Friday, November 7, 2008

Firing of KSU’s Prince, KU’s Allen comparable


The athletic director at a major university in the Sunflower State fires his football coach with three games remaining in the season.

Did this week's action by Kansas State athletic director Bob Krause sound familiar?

Seven years ago, Kansas athletic director Al Bohl did the same thing.

On Wednesday, Krause fired Ron Prince following a 52-21 loss to archrival Kansas. Bohl had decided to fire Terry Allen after a 40-6 loss to Kansas State in 2001.

Prince was canned with three games remaining in the season. So was Allen.

Although Allen wasn't officially pink-slipped until after the Jayhawks' 51-7 loss to Nebraska, word had leaked out before the NU game that Bohl had made up his mind in the wake of Allen's fifth straight loss to Kansas State.

Allen never defeated K-State in five tries. In fact, he never came close, losing by scores of 48-16, 54-6, 50-9, 52-13 and finally 40-6.

Prince, meanwhile, never won against Kansas, losing 39-20 two years ago, 30-24 last season and 52-21 on Saturday.

While Prince apparently will coach the Wildcats in their last three games, Allen was not given the same opportunity by Bohl. Allen was replaced by assistant head coach and defensive coordinator Tom Hayes.

No one connected with KU athletics ever said for the record why Allen wasn't allowed to continue to coach the Jayhawks down the stretch, but it was speculated Bohl and his advisers convinced Allen it would save him a lot of call-in, Internet and media grief if he stepped down.

With Hayes in charge during that November interim, the Jayhawks were clobbered by Texas, 59-0, and thumped by Iowa State, 49-7, before pinning Wyoming, 27-14, in front of fewer than 10,000 fans in Memorial Stadium.

The Wyoming game had been postponed in the wake of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks on New York and Washington, D.C.

Today Allen is head coach at Missouri State, an NCAA Bowl Subdivision school. The Bears have a 3-5 record at this stage of the season. One of the defeats, incidentally, was a season-opening 35-27 loss to Washburn.

Allen's legacy is that he was the only KU football coach to post five consecutive losing seasons, and the only KU football coach in modern times who was fired during a season and replaced by an interim.

Hayes remained in Lawrence for a few years after Mark Mangino was hired in December of 2001 and managed a watering hole on the city's west side. In 2005, Hayes left to join the Stanford University staff. A year later, he became secondary coach of the New Orleans Saints, but the Saints fired him in January.

Bohl, who was removed by KU chancellor Robert Hemenway in the spring of 2003, lives in St. Augustine, Fla. He and his son Brett operate The Bohl Group Inc., a consulting firm with a focus on fundraising, motivational speaking and direct sales.


FlaHawk 9 years, 6 months ago

I remember the Wyoming agme in this article. KU and UW were both so pathetic. Seen bigger crowds at Midle School games in Texas!

milwaukeeJAYHAWK 9 years, 6 months ago

Ugh, that 49-7 drubbing by Iowa State takes me back to my sophomore year at KU. We were soooooo bad, but my friends and i went to every game no matter what! It's nice that we fill the stadium these days, but how many are fairweather fans that will bolt if we suck again someday?Oh, and i still have my "Terry Towel" that they wanted us to wave at games. Poor Terry, no one even cared...

hawk_bred20 9 years, 6 months ago

Comparable in how they were fired, but nowhere else. Prince is near .500 record at K-State and has 2 very big wins against Texas....still think this firing was premature but will definitely not lose any sleep over it. Sorry kitties.

Jeff Hargate 9 years, 6 months ago

Self was hired by Drew Jennings, not Al Bohl.

worrynotjhawk 9 years, 6 months ago

TCU is not in Kansas mind you. Some times Texas kids just want to play in Texas. Fish in a barrel. I'm not worrying about Patterson too much and neither should any of you.

JBurtin 9 years, 6 months ago

"my guess is Women's BB is next"Women's basketball was in as bad a shape when Bonnie came here as football was when Mangino got here. She's taking pretty much the same path to success that Mangino did. She's getting better recruits, but most of them aren't the elite level that much of the Big Twelve has. She blows out a bunch of mediocre non-cons, then has to compete in one of the nation's best conferences for the rest of the year. Her teams are more competitive than before she got here, but close games still count as a loss.Give her plenty of time and she will eventually turn in a breakout season. All those 5 point losses can turn into 5 point wins with just a couple of the right players. She's finally starting to land the kinds of players that can do it, but now they'll need time to grow.I'm in no hurry.

joedavis 9 years, 6 months ago

Self was hired by Chancellor Hemingway.

Ted Toulouse 9 years, 6 months ago

I like the idea of if you're going to fire someone, make it immediate and appoint an interim. I'm sure in the cases of Tennessee, where a legend is stepping down, there may be some recruiting implications to the announcement being made now. But if you're firing a guy whose reputation is loosing, I just don't understand keeping them around the program and basically torturing them and the team for the rest of the season. If you want them to finish the year, fire them at the end of the year. If you want to fire them, actually fire them.For those who were able to meet and converse with Terry Allen, I'm sure you'll agree that he couldn't have been a nicer, more generous fellow. Especially compared to how much of a prick Glenn Mason was. It was difficult to see Allen struggle because you knew the success he had at Northern Iowa and you knew that he was putting everything he could into trying to make it work. That being said, MAN it was hard to watch KU football back then. Mangino and Self (looking back now) are the only positives from the Bohl's tenure. Bohl seemed to make good hires but didn't know how to handle the talent he had. It will be interesting to see how Perkins handles a major search process whenever we hire the next high-profile coach (my guess is Women's BB is next).

Todd 9 years, 6 months ago

Prince may have been a bad coach, but let's not go overboard. He's no where near comparable to the disaster that was Terry Allen at KU.

Carter Patterson 9 years, 6 months ago

Sounds like Gameball Allen is having some struggles down in Springfield. Perhaps Washburn can hire him next year and when they thrash the Bears again the Bods can thank him.

Jaminrawk 9 years, 6 months ago

Missouri State sucks. I heard that Terry Allen's fantasy football team is 2-6 as well.

ujawoad 9 years, 6 months ago

After suffering through getting thumped by a more annoying crowd for my 4 years at KU ('94 ring a bell?) believe me, I have enjoyed the lack of purple "pride" success. Frankly, I really don't see how they are going to recover any time soon....enjoy Aggieville, its all you have, losers.

railer1122 9 years, 6 months ago

On rivals it says Patterson from TCU was hired today for K-State. That scares me because he had good players at TCU, imagine what he could do recruiting for a BIG 12 school

John Percival 9 years, 6 months ago

Coach Allen personifies "nice guys finish last."

Rick Arnoldy 9 years, 6 months ago

The only thing comparable is that they were both fired with three games left. Allen was given a much longer leash to work with and couldn't get it done.

John Strayer 9 years, 6 months ago

Missouri State is not in the NCAA Bowl Subdivision...they are in the NCAA Championship Division.

9 years, 6 months ago

Al Bohl brought back tailgating. Hooray beer!

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