Thursday, December 10, 2009

Buffalo coach Gill’s fate: Hurry up, wait for call from KU

Two of three pundits have chosen Kansas and coach Turner Gill, pictured here coaching Buffalo, to take fourth in the north.

Two of three pundits have chosen Kansas and coach Turner Gill, pictured here coaching Buffalo, to take fourth in the north.


It appears Buffalo football coach Turner Gill is playing the waiting game.

According to Bulls senior defensive lineman Dane Robinson, who spoke with the Journal-World on Wednesday, Gill, the fourth-year coach who interviewed Sunday for the Kansas University football coach vacancy, is carrying on as usual as KU athletic director Lew Perkins continues his search to replace Mark Mangino.

“He’s done all he can do on his part as far as putting his name in the hat,” said Robinson, who met with the coach earlier in the week and discussed the coach’s interest in the KU job. “And anything that’s going to happen is going to happen from Kansas’ side.”

In the past two days, Buffalo’s players have spoken highly of Gill, who has emerged as a notable candidate to replace the recently resigned Mangino. Mangino left the program amidst allegations that he physically and verbally abused players.

Two current players reached by e-mail Tuesday wished Gill the best wherever he ended up, and Robinson reiterated that sentiment, insisting he’ll take away nothing but pleasant memories from his time under Gill.

“He’s always told us he’s just like us — he’s learning too,” Robinson said. “He’s told us, ‘If I make a mistake or you think I’m not doing something right, let me know. It’s not one-sided, where other coaches are giving you all the feedback. Let me know how I’m doing.’”

Robinson, who described Gill as a “players’ coach,” praised Gill’s approach to the program, including his handling of a controversial incident last year that shone a national spotlight on the Bulls’ program.

Gill, who had led Buffalo to an 8-5 regular-season record and MAC championship, was reportedly a finalist for the Auburn opening that eventually went to Iowa State’s Gene Chizik, and the school’s decision to go with Chizik — who had a 5-19 record in two seasons at Iowa State — rubbed some the wrong way.

That included outspoken former NBA standout Charles Barkley, an Auburn alumnus who contended that his alma mater’s decision was race-related. Gill is African-American; Chizik is white.

“I think race was the No. 1 factor,” Barkley said at the time. “You can say it’s not about race, but you can’t compare the two résumés and say (Chizik) deserved the job. Out of all the coaches they interviewed, Chizik probably had the worst résumé.”

The comments sparked a small maelstrom — and players discussed the incident — but Robinson said Bulls players were impressed with how Gill failed to let the situation affect the team’s preparation for its first bowl game in school history, an International Bowl berth against Connecticut.

“It definitely brought some interesting attention to Buffalo,” Robinson said. “I think the players took it as kind of flattering toward coach Gill, that there was all this commotion over him, and we knew we truly had something valuable here in a head football coach.”

As Perkins’ coaching search drags into its seventh day, meanwhile, little new information has surfaced in regard to the athletic director’s plan of action.

The only two coaches known to have spoken with Kansas officials are Gill and Ole Miss’ Houston Nutt.

Nutt pulled himself from contention Tuesday, and Minnesota’s Tim Brewster — who was touted as a potential candidate — on Wednesday professed his fondness for Minnesota and declared himself not a candidate. With Houston’s Kevin Sumlin reportedly close to signing a contract extension with his current school, the list of possible candidates appears to be shrinking.

This may or may not explain why Perkins spent Wednesday night taking in the Connecticut-Kentucky men’s basketball game at New York City’s Madison Square Garden.

It has been rumored that UCONN football coach Randy Edsall is a potential candidate for the Kansas job, though the 11th-year Huskies coach has also been linked to the Notre Dame opening — arguably the top available coaching job at the moment.

Akron passes on KU’s Warinner: KU offensive coordinator Ed Warinner, who Monday interviewed for the University of Akron head-coaching vacancy, did not get the job, a school official confirmed Wednesday.

Akron, which last month fired coach J.D. Brookhart and his staff following a 3-9 season, is expected to announce Notre Dame assistant head coach Rob Ianello as the program’s new coach during a news conference today.

Warinner began his career at Akron in 1984, when he served one season as the running backs coach before moving to Michigan State. He served two seasons there before moving on to Army, Air Force and Illinois.

Akron would have been Warinner’s first head-coaching job.

In the past three seasons under Warinner, who was recently named a finalist for the American Football Coaches Association’s National Assistant Coach of the Year award, the Kansas offense thrived, finishing the 2009 season ranked seventh in the NCAA in passing offense (310.3 yards per game) and 25th in total offense (422.42).


Jonathan Briles 8 years, 5 months ago

I would be fine with Gill. I think it would be an honor to have a coach such as him leading our team. His players seem to really love him and rally around him. That is something that this program needs. I think that he could really take the KU talent and facilities and put them to good use. I'm a little worried and think there is a chance that he may not transition well in the first year and that we may just make a neutral move and not move up or down. I do want to move in the right direction but think that Gill does have the potential to take us up. I would just like to have the process over and know what is to come of the situation. I still think there are probably better options out there but there are certainly much worse. I would welcome Gill quite warmly to the Jayhawk family.

John Pritchett 8 years, 5 months ago

He definitely seems to have that warm fuzzy quality that we seem to be looking for in a football coach.

cffighter86 8 years, 5 months ago

I am so tired of Barkley trying to get on the high horse...not everything is about race charles....

temjay 8 years, 5 months ago

Turner Gill was a great quarterback and a long-time, sccessful assistant coach at the University of Nebraska.

That sounds well-and-good but check the resumes of the other coaches on his staff at Buffalo, most of whom would be following him out to Lawrence.

One was a graduate assistant at NU and another was an undergraduate assistant there, which I think means he held tackling dummies and told the players where to stand in line.

Another assistant coached briefly at the University of Cincinnati before going to Buffalo.

The rest have barely ventured west of the Mississippi River.

They coached at such football powers as Kentucky State, Gardner-Web, South Dakota State, Liberty University, Unversity of South Dakota, Minnesota-Mankato, St. Cloud State, and oh, yes, Buffalo.

That doesn't add up to much of a recruiting background in the Big 12, does it? I'm sure the sharks in places like Manhattan, Lubbock, Columbia, Lincoln, Austin, and Norman can't wait to feast on these guys.

In five years Gill and his staff may be incredible Big 12 recruiters but until then we run a very high risk of hiring another Bill Callahan, Ron Prince or Dan Hawkins.

C'mon, Lew. Don't be a doofus. Go after someone whose staff knows the heartland and can compete there. If you don't do that we were better off with Mangino, whose list of recruiting needs was "longer that a roll of toilet paper."

Recruiting to Kansas is a challenge we shouldn't pin on amateurs..

Robert Brock 8 years, 5 months ago

I don't have any memories of Gill throwing the ball when he was at Nebraska.

bradh 8 years, 5 months ago

Gill definitely sounds like a positive guy, but he's only had one winning season in the MAC. That season was 8-6 which doesn't look like an upgrade to replace a coach that went 12-1 one year and had multiple winning seasons in the Big 12.

One name I haven't heard is Chan Gailey. I think he would be an interesting candidate.

Brad Avery 8 years, 5 months ago

If Perkins is going to hire a MAC coach, he might as well hire the one who has won the conference title 3 out of the last four years, Butch Jones of Central Michigan.

TwistedFish31 8 years, 5 months ago

"...the list of possible candidates appears to be shrinking."? Doogie, you are such a mizzou loving idiot! There are dozens of coaches out there and you have no idea who Lew is talking to. You're just worried he's going to trump Tinkle from your school. This is really the best you could come up with? Take your antlers off or go back to that sewer called columbia where you came from Doogie!

Bill Kackley 8 years, 5 months ago

TwistedFish31 until you can say something constructive, shut up

Dyrk Dugan 8 years, 5 months ago

i think the LJW, like the KC star, is getting frustrated that the access is so limited. but it's not surprising, because this is a one man search committee, Lew Perkins.

Sumlin hasn't signed his contract extension, so why isn't he eligible? until his name is actually on the dotted line, he is definitely in the mix.

How do you know who Lew has/hasn't talked to? he could have had 10 phone conversations by now...with any number of people. i still believe Lew will at least talk to Nolan Cromwell, Sumlin, Fedora of USM...maybe even Venables at OU. it's kind of strange he hasn't gotten a head gig...especially since his alma mater down the road has hired twice in the last four years. (has to be bad blood there.)

as i've said before, i would have no problem with Gill being hired as the head coach. he would likely keep a couple of assistants here...and he would probably bring a couple of his current assistants in. Happens with every new head coach.

let the process work folks....we have to trust in Lew now. in Lew we trust...tee he.

RonBurgandy 8 years, 5 months ago

To anyone who complains about Gill's MAC record, remember he's at Buffalo. One of the worst programs in D1 before he took over. He has to recruit to a place with limited facilities and a limited recruiting area, and also, it's Buffalo!

He's done a tremendous job at that school, and I think he would be a pretty successful coach at KU. I'm on board, Lew - just get it done already.

ack 8 years, 5 months ago

Tom Osborne Coach-- Turner Gill Offensive Coach

shelleysue 8 years, 5 months ago

Most postings I've seen about records have been complaints that Mangino's record was overall terrible so I'm surprised to see that anyone is ok with Gill, given his current record. They both started with nothing.

I do not want Lew to "get it done already". He needs to take his time and get the best coach possible. Like I said - we need to be patient at this point even considering recruiting. It will be better to take our lumps now than to regret the choice later.

There are going to be growing pains and everyone - especially those who wanted rid of Mangino - just need to accept that fact and deal with it.

Hawk1969 8 years, 5 months ago

p> has confirmed that Perkins and Harbaugh met Wednesday night in New York. From what I understand Perkins has narrowed his search to Gill, Holtz, and the Central Michigan coach. Not sure what that all means, or just how reliable that website is, but Harbaugh may still be an option.

RonBurgandy, I like Gill as well. However, while winning at Buffalo and competing in the MAC sounds impressive, is he ready for the Big XII?

Gill has tremendous work ethic, great moral character, and has succeeded at Buffalo, but we shouldn't get carried away with what he's accomplished in a conference like the MAC. I think he would be a good fit at KU, but so would Holtz.

KUFan90 8 years, 5 months ago

Akron was going to hire Warinner, but then they watched the MU game tape. After seeing the 40 yard bomb call from the 2 yard line with the lead and under 3 mins left, they threw his resume in the trash.

Hawk1969 8 years, 5 months ago

shelleysue, don't forget that some KU recruits are being wooed by the likes of Stanford and LSU. Time is not a luxury for Perkins.

Hawk1969 8 years, 5 months ago

edjayhawk, most of US haven't heard of Butch Jones!

Hawk1969 8 years, 5 months ago

And, edjayhawk, please don't bring up the name Terry Allen...bad memories!

Jim Jackson 8 years, 5 months ago

I'm all for Gill coming here. He demands respect and can really recruit unlike Mangina. He would need a whole new group of assistants. He should keep Beaty.

shelleysue 8 years, 5 months ago

Hawk - I totally appreciate what you're saying. But my opinion is that a coach is worth more in the long run than a few recruits. I don't want to lose good recruits either. This is what I mean when I say we'll have growing pains - in our position we can't have it all and we need to determine what is the best course for the long term - and I say it's the coach.

I also agree in that we need pretty much an entirely new staff. Bowman might be ok with the special teams, but not the entire defense for sure. Whether it is the head coach or DC, I want a great defensive mind at Kansas!!

Hawk1969 8 years, 5 months ago

Butch Jones is meeting with Marshall.

shellysue...your point is legitament. However, recruiting is the life blood of college athletics. The sooner recruits know who will be coaching KU, the better.

And, hasn't KU gone through enough growing pains in the past 50 years?

William James 8 years, 5 months ago

I DO NOT want another warm and fuzzy football coach. We've been down that road before.

Jonathan Briles 8 years, 5 months ago

Twistedfish- As Ron White would say the next time you have a thought.... let it go.

MNHawk23 8 years, 5 months ago

yes i want gill already! he can recruit to the big12 north as good as anyone, and hes a good coach.

btw, you know all those QBs he developed? crouch, frazier, Lord, frost and even gill himself.. kale pick would become GREAT in his option system

Blake Post 8 years, 5 months ago

I am against all things nebrASSka. On the other hand,

Hey Buffalo Gill, What did you kill, Buffalo Gill Deep in the jungle where the mighty tiger lies Gill and his elephants were taken by surprise So Captain Marvel zapped him right between the eyes,

Yeah, Zap those Tigers dead.

On the other hand, I want to throw the dang ball... Like Douglas, Jaynes, Seurer, Norseth, Whitamore, Reesing. Call the bomb squad!

Buffalo Gill was a running quarterback mainly.

jhokfan 8 years, 5 months ago

I’d like Charlie Strong but it looks like he’s about to sign with Louisville.

jhokfan 8 years, 5 months ago


I think your concerns about the lack of experience in the coaches he would bring with him are valid. In spite of hearing a lot of positives about Gill, I haven’t heard his name mentioned in connection with any other vacancies.

Jemele Hill argued on ESPN First Take that the reason Gill did not get the job at Auburn was because his wife is white and that would not sit well with black families in the south, and thus hinder the recruiting process. If that’s the case, that would explain why he was not interviewed by Western Kentucky, Memphis, Louisville or Virginia. That leaves Kansas as his only option for a move or the vacancy created by whoever Notre Dame hires.

MitchumMan 8 years, 5 months ago

From what I've read, Gill doesn't have the best record at Buffalo, but he has actually won games there. Apparently coaches before him couldn't do that (even if it is the MAC). So that tells me he knows how to use the players he has, even if the whole team is full of 2 star athletes. Plus, he’s starting to recruit some better athletes to Buffalo (3 stars). No, those aren’t blue chip athletes by any means, but it’s Buffalo… I think the guy could be the real deal if given the chance at a higher tiered school (KU). But I think Lew is doing the right thing. You know Gill is salivating at the mouth for this job and would do anything to get it. So therefore Lew can continue to search to see if he can find something even better. If not…you know Gill will still be waiting and will jump at the opportunity.

NUFBownsku 8 years, 5 months ago

you guys should consider yourselves lucky that turner would want to go to kansas. Id hate to have to root against him but i guarentee you guys would be respectable under him? As for those who think gill know nothing about the passing game youre wrong. Maybe people in Kansas have only been watching football for the past couple of years only. Im pretty sure Gill played with and threw the ball to a guy named Irving Fryar, the number 1 pick in the 1984 nfl draft.

squawky 8 years, 5 months ago

Gill will be the next coach if were lucky. Harbaugh has his sights set on bigger things than the jayhawks football team.

Oh and Brock are you kidding? Gill was a great passing QB for the huskers ask Irving Fryar.

RockCaCO3 8 years, 5 months ago

Twisted, it's obvious you're a closet Tiger fan. You probably even have an MU "blankie" you snuggle with at bed time.

Xavier4three 8 years, 5 months ago

LJWorld Qutoe

"Mangino left the program amidst allegations that he physically and verbally abused players."

You have to add this to every article dont ya..............

As if anyone who knows anything about Kansas Football doesnt already know this.

squawky 8 years, 5 months ago

I have to the one thing I don't like about Gill is that he seems to wear his religion on his sleeve.

"Rational arguments don't usually work on religious people. Otherwise, there wouldn't be religious people".

Rickyonealku 8 years, 5 months ago

Turner Gill or Nolan Cromwell...if Turner Gill his hired give Nolan Cromwell a that would work for me.

Lawrence49 8 years, 5 months ago

KU is kind an in between program. Not catching the eye of successful coaches in good conferences, but not wanting to select another Terry Allen.

jhokfan 8 years, 5 months ago

Why is Terry Allen the poster child for bad coaches? Valascente was worse. It's not like we got Munsoned.

Marcia Parsons 8 years, 5 months ago

I keep thinking that we may not be hearing some of the names because those coaches are involved with getting ready for bowl games. Is it likely they would request that interviews and possible acceptance be kept quiet until bowl games are complete?

Brett Glover 8 years, 5 months ago

We could have Cromwell be coach.... and Sayers be OC..... how awesome would THAT be?

jayhawkox 8 years, 5 months ago

squawky- while I agree that I'm not thrilled about the prospect of a coach who wears his religion on his sleeve, Tony Dungy was the same way and that didn't stop him from being one helluva coach. Just sayin'.

rukidding 8 years, 5 months ago

I'm really surprised with my homestate KU fans. You guys have a short, brief successful period as a football program, and you as fans have the courage enough to complain about a person as successful, and upstanding as a Turner Gill. I understand that everyone wants the best they can have, in any situation, but KU has a football history of success to be honest with you, that mirrors Buffalo. A couple good years here and there.

I remember the 60's, though, I only was a kid watching TV, and seeing KU get beaten by the likes of, "any saturday opponent". I remember watching Nolan Cromwell during the 70's run the wishbone, and John Riggins hammering defenders. Nebraska or Oklahoma won, but we played. I remember the 80's when KU went to California and brought players to the plains to, run with the Alexander twins, Darren Green and the likes. A few more wins, but probation. I remember the 90's when there was nothing to remember but "wait until basketball season". Come on Roy. Halftime empty stadiums. I remember the trip to the Orange Bowl 2 seasons ago.

Guys what I'm telling you is, if you want to be successful you have to hire successful people. Turner Gill, has been successful everywhere he has been. A successful college football player, (he once owned the record for the most wins as a starting QB- the one Colt now owns), an established top recruiter, and successful Head Coach. For some who don't know, you have to go to Buffalo to find out what a chore it really is to be successful.

I read one of the guys comment about Gill's assistants. It's pretty difficult to get quality, players or coaches to go Buffalo. (Listen to all the coaches that are turning down the Bills job). Gill was the number 1 candidate of Bob Stoops, as his offensive coordinator when he got the job 10 years ago. His coaching contacts reach far and wide. He'll bring the right people. To win in Buffalo, with those coaches to me says alot about someones leadership, and coaching ability. Not about where the coaches came from. I haven't checked but I wonder where the KU's coaches have come from recently during the 7 game slide. OK, that wasn't nice. Sorry.

Listening to some, you would get the thought that KU is to good for some people.

I remember (win) when.

Rather it's Gill or whomever, remember that with the right man you too, could be successful.

By the way, aren't you the guys that said Roy Williams is a bum of coach.

Brett Glover 8 years, 5 months ago

Hmmm..... I'm a KU fan and I didn't say that about Roy... don't know where you're getting your info but you should probably keep that stuff to yourself because people will be angry.

This is a MESSAGE board....... message boards are for bitching and imposing your will on others (stating your opinion) and that is all. (I don't mean that in a negative way at all, it might sound that way but no)

Of course we know how successful coach Turner has been throughout the years and a lot of us think he would be a great fit here...... others don't agree with him being our coach and will want to state their respective opinions about it on her, just like I did might I add. You make it look like we hate him and don't want him to step foot in Kansas and you're the only one defending him...... with all due respect, shut up.


rukidding 8 years, 5 months ago

Obviously you didn't like the fact the I might be just stating my opinion. Don't be so sinsitive.

We'll find a good coach.

jhokfan 8 years, 5 months ago


Everything you say makes sense but what if Pelini is another version of Solich? He may very well be the next KU coach but I think Lew has the luxury of sitting on Gill for awhile because no one else is offering him a job. After Notre Dame hires a coach that will create an opening somewhere else and then we will have some competition.

rukidding 8 years, 5 months ago

Pelina's the real deal. Besides I don't see him going back to Nebraska at this point. Be there done that. Kansas could certainly land a stud coach, but just what if that guy is the guy they've already interviewed. Anytime the guys been given an opportunity hes done well.

Got to decide if we want the guy who wants the money, or a guy who wants the responsibility.

FreddyinLA 8 years, 5 months ago

Check out Nolan Cromwell's resume. 1,000+ yards rushing as a QB for the Hawks. Big 8 champ in the intermediate hurdles. Born and raised in Kansas. Starting DB on a Super Bowl team. Coach both defense and special teams for teams that went to the Super Bowl. Currently Off. Coordinator at a Big 12 school located in Texas. Anyone better out there for Kansas? Not even close. Should have hired him 8 years ago. This is a no brainer.

ku_bringback_danny 8 years, 5 months ago

It would be nice I live in Omaha and see the Omaha media trash Mangino the past years like the year we won 76 to 39 and seeing Tom Osborne stare at the scoreboard in shock now did they talk about that or Todd Reesing killer game or that we went 12 -1. remember that's the game that got their coach fired. No I got to listen to them talk about how fat he is. They wont be able to take cheep shots at Turner. Plus Turner knows Texas and maybe we can get more beef cakes from Nebraska. Tim Bier is a stud at TE. We got him right in their backyard.

mahkmood 8 years, 5 months ago

If we want a coach who is buds with the players maybe we should consider hiring Todd Reesing. I hear he's available. Great personality. Intelligent. Ex-Big12-QB. Knows Texas. We could get him real cheap too. (ok, if you didn't recognize it - this is sarcasm).

86finalfour 8 years, 5 months ago

Must see!

Harbough is a long shot and east coaster Holtz would struggle with recruiting in the Midwest. Gill was a fabulous recruiter at Nebraska -- I initially was against this Gill because of the Buffalo name but now I really like this guy and I think he's the perfect fit. Gil is the sleeper!

rukidding 8 years, 5 months ago

Selecting a head coach is the most important and difficult decision any AD has. If he get's it right, it can carry a program to new heights for years to come. Sometimes never to return to the meger days of the past. If he misses, it sits the program back, until the right guy is found.

KU will find the right guy. Mangino at the time of the hire was the right guy. What the program needs is continuty in it's coaching assistance. That's what stalls the progress of a program building momentum. You can hold on for a while, but eventually it will be a difference.

Be it Turner Gill, Nolan Cromwell (my favorite Jayhawk growing up) Defensive Coordinator Texas A&M, Todd Reising, Randy Edsall, Skip Holtz, Mike Stoops, Mike Leach, Mike Shanahan, the program needs continuty. So if the hire is correct the growth will begin, and the new successful era of Jayhawk football start.

There won't be a incorrect hire. Watch!!!

justinryman 8 years, 5 months ago

If Turner Gill is such a bad choice why is he being considered to replace Kelly at Cincy?

mr_jhawk4477 8 years, 5 months ago

Must Read...

Talks about Tommy Tuberville expressing interest in the job, seems like that would be a hell of a hire and judging by the article he seems to be very interested.

areyouserious 8 years, 5 months ago

The job has been offered to Harbaugh. He is waiting to make his decision until after his Running Back goes through the Heisman ceremony on Sat........very respectful not to put the attention on him!

My guess is we will have a coach by Sunday!

tobyfoo 8 years, 5 months ago

I think Gill is a good hire. He deserves a shot at a BCS school. He has done well at Buffalo. Go Gill!

justinryman 8 years, 5 months ago

If Harbough gets the job he bolts for the NFL if he has a couple decent years, Gill will stay as long as we will have him. But from some of the post and closed mindedness of people why would he want to come here in the first place. Turner, you may want to go to Cincy and win the Big East play in BCS Bowls and make a name for yourself there. For some reason a few KU fans feel entiltle to pick thier coach.
I would be thrilled and glad to call you coach.

TwistedFish31 8 years, 5 months ago

justin, weren't you the one saying that anyone wanting Harbough was "dreaming" because he would never come here? And way to go telling Turner to go to Cincy...I'm sure he will now and it will be your fault!

But seriously, I don't think the posters feel "entitled" to pick their coach. This is a board where fans come to talk about "their" team and who they might like as their new coach.

I'm hoping for Harbough or Tuberville but after seeing the video on Gill on espn, I think he's going to be a great Division 1 coach wherever he winds up. If it's KU, great!


justinryman 8 years, 5 months ago

Twisted, what I was trying to say about Gill was that the way this search was going was that if we don't do it right Cincy will get Gill and why wouldn't he go there? And dreaming for Harbuagh? A week ago yeah it sure seemed that way, but time is the ultimate equalizer, who knows what tomorrow will bring.

I really just want a coach who is here for the program and not a stepping stone for thier next step in a few years.

justinryman 8 years, 5 months ago

Oh and for the entitle comment its for the fans who think that we are a top of the line program not a run of the mill program, which we are, lets be honest with ourselves.

I love KU, just ask all my Husker buddies. Man I hate the Huskers too.

Commenting has been disabled for this item.