Monday, December 14, 2009

BCS gig long time coming for Gill

Turner Gill coaches Buffalo against Kent State in this file photo from November 28, 2008, in Amherst, N.Y. Gill will be introduced as Kansas University’s head coach at a news conference today.

Turner Gill coaches Buffalo against Kent State in this file photo from November 28, 2008, in Amherst, N.Y. Gill will be introduced as Kansas University’s head coach at a news conference today.


Turner Gill deal to be made official

Turner Gill will officially be announced as the new head coach of the KU football team. The press conference can be seen live at Monday at 11 a.m.

Turner Gill in at KU

Turner Gill will begin his duties as head coach after being officially announced Monday. Gill leaves Buffalo to lead the Jayhawks' football program.

For members of the University at Buffalo football team, the offseason commotion surrounding their head coach became sort of an annual tradition.

Each winter, it seemed, another handful of teams would take a look at the things Turner Gill was accomplishing with the previously downtrodden Bulls and then think hard about plucking Gill, a former Nebraska quarterback who was in his first stint as a head coach, from western New York.

“We definitely felt last year was his last year,” Buffalo senior defensive lineman Dane Robinson said. “Because after what happened — he got us to the bowl game, we won a conference championship — you looked at the whole situation, and you were like, ‘Man, he pretty much did his job here. In three years, he turned nothing into something.’”

Gill will be introduced formally as Kansas University’s next head coach during an 11 a.m. news conference today.

“Turner Gill is a winner,” KU athletic director Lew Perkins said Sunday in officially announcing the hire. “His accomplishments at Buffalo speak for themselves. But more than that, everyone I talked to about him, starting with Tom Osborne, had the highest praise for Turner as a coach and as a person.”

Gill has been linked to a few head-coaching positions in recent years. Following a 2007 season, in which he led the Bulls to a share of the Mid-American Conference’s Eastern Division title in just his second year at the program’s helm, he spoke with Nebraska athletic director Osborne — who coached Gill in Lincoln in the early 1980s —about the program’s head-coaching vacancy.

Citing the team’s significant defensive struggles at the time, however, Osborne went with Bo Pelini, an LSU defensive coordinator who in his second year this fall led the Huskers to a Big 12 North title and within two points of a BCS bowl berth.

The next year, a 2008 season in which Gill’s Bulls finished 8-6 and advanced to their first bowl game in 50 years, Gill was reportedly a finalist for the Auburn head-coaching job that eventually went to Gene Chizik.

Though Gill brushed off speculation that the decision was based on race (Gill is black; Chizik is white), others, including outspoken former NBA player and Auburn alumnus Charles Barkley, called it the primary reason the Tigers selected Chizik.

There were those who were surprised Gill’s ascension took as long as it did.

“I just felt that he was ready,” said Ron Brown, tight ends coach at Nebraska and a longtime friend of Gill’s. “But God has perfect timing for Turner, and he knew that. He was being very patient about it; he never over-pursued it.”

Now primed for his first big-time gig, Gill’s supporters, which include a number of prominent football men, seem relieved that the coach finally has broken through.

“I was quite confident that he would land on his feet somewhere that was very attractive,” said Osborne, who coached Gill with the Huskers in the 1980s and highly recommended him to KU athletic director Lew Perkins. “And not to say that Buffalo isn’t a good job. I’ve been to Buffalo at his request, visited with him. They’ve done a nice job there. But certainly Kansas, being in the Big 12, will be seen as a great opportunity for him.”

That opportunity begins, however, with what is expected to be something of a rebuilding process.

Gill will take over a team that loses a number of offensive standouts, including quarterback Todd Reesing and receivers Dezmon Briscoe and Kerry Meier, and will be forced to calm the waters following the messy departure of former KU coach Mark Mangino.

At the same time, Robinson didn’t seem overly concerned about the particulars of the task facing his former coach.

“Everybody at Kansas just needs to look at his body of work and look at where Buffalo was before he got here and look at where Buffalo is after he got here,” Robinson said. “And I think that will put a little bit of ease to some of the skeptics that feel that coach Gill might have a hard time handling a BCS school.”


brungyjhawk 10 years, 2 months ago

The more I hear about Gill the more I like him. The thing I am most excited for is the fact that I don't think we will run a spread offense anymore. Run the ball then pass as needed. That is how K-State, Colorado, and Nebraska beat us.....well and the fact that Bowen is the D.C.

Rock Chalk

Carter Patterson 10 years, 2 months ago

Welcome to KU Coach Gill. This article is a little deceiving though not to mention that he was offered the Iowa State job and then declined it.

I do not know much about Iowa State so perhaps he had good reason to decline, facilities, etc.

Regardless, welcome to the Jayhawk Nation. Let's go kick some cornhusker tail.

Matt Bowers 10 years, 2 months ago

Good hire Lew, he is already my favorite KU football coach of all time! In all seriousness, I'm with you brungy, the more I hear the more I like this guy. KU football has been exciting over the past couple of years and even with this down year it has remained relavent. Gill will continue to make KU relavent. Welcome aboard Gill.

Rock Chalk

Aaron Carpenter 10 years, 2 months ago

I am very excited about Turner Gill, but maybe even more for Chuck Long and Carl Torbush. KU not only named what I believe will be a very good H.C but some damn good coordinators. Seems like Lew came strong with these decisions and put the Hawks in a very good spot. Can't wait for next year and those to come. Rock Chalk!

Benjamin Clay Jones 10 years, 2 months ago

I wonder about the headline on this story. This guy's had only four years' head coaching experience and yet the "BCS gig is a long time coming"? Since when is four years an exorbitant amount of time to put in at a smaller school before taking the reins of a major college program? Should we award all candidates a head-coaching job after their second or third season as a head coach?

KU 10 years, 2 months ago

acs.......Gill is the one with connections to Long and Torbush, not Lew. It's Gill's job to hire his staff. I'm sure having the type of experience that Long and Torbush offer was one of the reasons Lew was comfortable hiring Gill. A football coach is only as good as his staff.

KEITHMILES05 10 years, 2 months ago

Jason can suck it as far as I'm concerned.

Joe Baker 10 years, 2 months ago

I think he'll win a lot of KU supporters!!

We will see a whole new program folks.

We will see results and he understands his responsibility. I seriously doubt he's moving to Lawrence taking anything for granted. He knows exactly what the expectations are as HCGT!!

Welcome Coach!

Now...Rock the pigskin on the Chalk!!


Andrew Fry 10 years, 2 months ago

We've already renamed Lawrence "Billville" after the national championship. I'm just hoping it doesn't take long and we can split the town and name the other half "Gillville."

Ignorant_Yokel 10 years, 2 months ago

We're all very excited to support Turner Gill.

Good luck coach!!

loudog 10 years, 2 months ago

"Citing the team’s significant defensive struggles at the time, however, Osborne went with Bo Pelini..."

Um, aren't we in the same boat right now?

Scott Bonnet 10 years, 2 months ago

While he has only been a head coach fror 4 years, he has served in key assistant roles for a very long time. He is 47 years-old. You'd think from some peoples' comments that he is a 26 year-old rookie. Turner Gill has paid his dues. He deserves a chance. He deserves our support.

TrueBlue92 10 years, 2 months ago

billhawk -- really? Really? Exactly who is Jason Whitlock and when did his "float with the wind" opinion matter that much to the KU Nation?

I recommend you disagree with him, in general, on most things.

100 10 years, 2 months ago

Watch the YouTube Clip "Speechless, MAC championship" --

THIS is the kind of guy we want representing Kansas football!!!!

This guy will be able to bring in so many 4 & 5 star recruits!!!!!

Nebraska will be dying to steal Coach Gill from us, but they're already locked into Coach Pelini for the next 30 years!!!!

Rock Chalk!!!!

Jaminrawk 10 years, 2 months ago

It looks like he is alreadfy starting to catch the eye of a lot of good recruits. The next few months should be fun. Turner Gill exudes the "it" factor when he speaks. You can tell he is a very smart football coach and his players respect him. I think this guy is going to do a great job for KU. 2010 is going to be a fresh start with new players, new coaches and presumably new schemes. I can't wait to see Coach Gill lead these guys out onto the field. I think many other collges are going to be jealous of our hire.

shelleysue 10 years, 2 months ago

loudog. Yes.

I am still not thrilled with the choice. I'm sure he's a great guy and I appreciate that very much. I do hope I am pleasantly surprised and if I am, I will eat my words.

Tim Bingaman 10 years, 2 months ago

Congrats Coach Gill!!!! (HCTG)

I forgive you for your association with Nebraska and look forward to you making The University of Kansas a perennial football power!

Rock Chalk Jayhawk GO KU!

David Lara 10 years, 2 months ago

The absolute best part of this hire is that he is a young coach who has a lot to prove!! Being the kind of person that he is, his pride and passion will get him exactly where he wants to go, AND he will probably be here longer than ANY of the other candidates. KU has had some recent success, but we needed more than 1 season in the national spotlight to change our image in NCAA football. Good hire because he will be here long enough to ESTABLISH our success as a perennial power. And now he has resources, personnel and geography that he hasn't had in his short time at Buffalo. I admit, when this came across the wire during the App. St game, my first reaction was utter disappointment. But that was just because I saw his record at Buffalo and nothing else. Knowing what I know now I am infinitely optimistic about our PROGRAM'S FUTURE. Great to have a Big XII man back in the conference, smart hire for sure. Go Lew!

Mike Kendall 10 years, 2 months ago

I just talked to a colleague of mine who is a huge Nebraska fan and she said KU doesn't know how good of a coach we got. I think a lot of Nebraska fans are happy but nervous, because in the end, Nebraska has to defend their North crown, and, I hope it is KU to take it away from them!


Mike Kendall 10 years, 2 months ago


Mecham is from Snow College--several years ago, played for the JUCO Championship against Butler County (El Dorado, KS) and lost on a fluke play. Very interesting!

Steve Brown 10 years, 2 months ago

Now with a character based championship coach, players, staff, program, facilities & recruits we have a chance to build something solid instead of superficial.

This my get really fun.

welcome Kansas Head Coach Turner Gill: winning consistently will win over your detractors, most of us, you have from hello.


DocBean 10 years, 2 months ago

Why does everyone think he's such a great recruiter? Remember, he was recruiting for Nebraska when they were competing for a National Championship every other year. That must have been really hard to do.

We're getting the coach that Osborne turned down. so now we're not only competing with improved Missouri and KSU teams, we're competing with Nebraska, who has tradition, and a superior coach.

I'll support him, but until he proves it on the field, I will not call this a good hire.

guscornhawk 10 years, 2 months ago

Mikendal- I live in Lincoln, my wife's a husker and all I've been hearing for the last 2 days is that this guy is a good coach and person. I, as many, have been a bit skeptical of the hire, however I think if he can get a few big recruits, maybe even steal a few from up here KU fans will have no problem embracing him for many years to come. Good luck to HCTG and Rock Chalk Jayhawk!

Mike Kendall 10 years, 2 months ago


When KU meets Nebraska in 2010, that will be a crazy game! We have houses divided in Kansas (K-State & KU). Man, you're situation is crazy--house divided between KU and NU. I'm excited for next season!

guscornhawk 10 years, 2 months ago

Doc - not to jump the gun here on HCTG, but he may be better than you think...

From the Buffalo News.... "Turner Gill's recruiting classes are getting better and better," said Dave Schuman, founder and director of Schuman's National Underclassmen Combines. "This year, from where it was last year, is much better. Some of the kids he signed were MVPs of our combine camps and those camps included some kids who signed with Texas, Stanford and Ohio State."

shelleysue 10 years, 2 months ago

I'm not willing to jump on the bandwagon quite yet, but kinnebr, try not to be THAT depressed about it. :o) I don't know that he will tear down what Mangino built, but I do have questions as to whether he can take us to the next level - which as I've said before - is what everyone claimed Mangino couldn't do.

I'll be there every Saturday regardless and I SO hope Gill can get it done.

justinryman 10 years, 2 months ago

I too live in a house divided in Omaha, the eife is a diehard Husker fan, and I a KU fan. I have Turners autograph from when I was a kid frowing up in Nebraska when he was a player back in '83, but Im a KU fan. I can't wait for next fall in Lincoln to see how the fans react.

Rock Chalk!!!!

Hawk1969 10 years, 2 months ago

Looks like this hire is already paying off! Check out some legit recruits who are now looking hard at playing for KU.

Brian Leiker 10 years, 2 months ago

COLLEGE STATION, Texas -- Texas A&M defensive coordinator Carl Torbush was fired on Monday, the first casualty from the Aggies' disappointing 5-6 season, its second losing record in three seasons under head coach Dennis Franchione.

Texas A&M's defense was ranked 108th out of 117 Division I-A schools and its pass defense was the worst in the nation. The Aggies allowed a whopping 443.82 yards per game and gave up 31.2 points a contest

He's been successful in conferences that are run heavy. We will never have as much talent as an aTm team, so lets hope these numbers were do to poor position coaching.

DocBean 10 years, 2 months ago

If I were a Nebraska fan I'd be excited too. He's one of your own that is getting a shot to play with the big boys, but he's not going to make you nervous to play against him every year.

He wasn't their number 1 target, he wasn't our number 1 target. There is a reason why - because he's either not ready, or he's not good enough.

I hope he can prove me wrong, but I'm really disappointed we didn't get a winning coach.

huskernhawkland 10 years, 2 months ago

Hi All!

First off, i am a huskers fan. With that said i also would like to say that i have nothing against KU. Unlike Colorado and Missouri and now...Texas.....i actually enjoy watching KU sports and root for the Jayhawks when Nebraska isnt playing them. I read on here daily and notice that much like Nebraska fans MOST of you all are great guys with great attitudes.

I love the fact that Turner Gill is going to be the next Head Football Coach at KU. At first my huskerness kind of got in the way and I never wanted him to be a coach of a team we would face, however, all selfishness aside, i'm thrilled. Of all the schools in the Big 12, i'm happy its KU he is going to. I know he will be a great coach, and will thrive at a school such as KU.

GO BIG RED! & Rock Chalk!

pan65 10 years, 2 months ago

The only football program and A.D. that I know that would reward a coach with a losing record at a mid-level conference with a head football job. Unbelieveable. I have been a season ticket holder for many years along with a contributor to KU funds, but this is ridiculous. I am not willing to go back to 2-10 records and that is where we are headed with Georgia Tech and at Southern Miss on our schedule. And don't tell me we have to be patient to allow this coach to build a system, we fired a coach to look for a guy to take us to the next level. What a bunch of baloney from Lew!! I will not purchase season tickets this year with an A.D. who would not take the time to looking for people with proven winning records.

huskernhawkland 10 years, 2 months ago

To all those people hating this hire: (pan65 for example)

Do you think that any coach, even the one which you wanted....would have been able to turn BUFFALO around the way he did? Let alone as their first head coaching job? I dont think so. Yeah yeah yeah he has a losing record, but you are obviously not looking at the larger picture!!! You really think Jim Harbaugh or the amazing Tubberville could have recruited and done for Buffalo what Gill has done in 4 years?

Christopher Hauser 10 years, 2 months ago

I am listening to the press conference right now and Gill already has me pumped up, hope he can back up what he says.

Michael Leiker 10 years, 2 months ago

I'll tell you what, all the people up here in Nebraska a sure happy that someone was finally dumb enough to give him an oppotunity.

huskernhawkland - nobody gives a damm about turning around Buffalo. It is in no way shape or form a predictor for success as a head coach in the Big XII.

huskers4gill 10 years, 2 months ago

Congrats to KU and Coach Gill, I think only time will tell if Coach Gill can make KU a winner on the field, but I'm sure you will be proud to have him lead your team!! I am now a KU fan (except for one Saturday a year). GO BIG RED & KU TOO!!

Brak 10 years, 2 months ago

Frankly I have alot of concerns and HCTG is going to have to make some big strides in not alot of time to keep everyone happy. I also have some concerns about the OC and DC he is bringing in. DC Torbush only spent one year at Mississippi State and their defense was one of the worst in their conference and 95% of all replies on a MSU forum were glad he was leaving citing his 3-4 defensive schemes were flawed and allowed opposing QBs enough time to completely shred them. OC Chuck long will be coming to KU after being fired as head coach of San Diego State after posting a record of 9-27 after 3 years, so we can only hope he can step back into the role of a sucessful OC like when he was at OU. I will still give them the benefit of the doubt because regardless of their pass successes and failures they all have a very in depth knowlege of football and know how to win, but I guarantee you they will all be on a very short leash.

DocBean 10 years, 2 months ago

He's a good hire only if he can win us a Big XII title or National Championship.

Mangino didn't get it done, so the next guy needs to, otherwise we're taking a step back. However, to do that he has to prove he can beat the big boys. He's never done that. He's never done anything of note as a coach.

That's why I wanted Harbaugh. He proved he could beat the big boys by beating USC twice.

James Hubin 10 years, 2 months ago

Turner Gill is gonna do amazing things at KU! He should be able to at least keep pace with Mangino's one conference win against Iowa State this year, talk about underwhelming.

Some people are always going to question the hiring of a coach, as people did when we hired Bill Self. In five years when we are actually consistently beating other north opponents (something mangino was unable to do) no one is gonna post on here how big of an idiot they were when they posted that T. Gill wasn't gonna be a good coach. Everyone has a right to their opinion, however, five years from now be ready to eat your words.

babyjay1 10 years, 2 months ago

Again, those of you that are already "depressed" and quitting the team, move on... The press conference was terrific. He has the attitude & desire to do good things at KU. Whether he has the coaching abilities to take us to the next level, I don't know, and frankly, neither do you naysayers. Get on board and support HCTG. He IS our coach & so far ... so good... By that I mean, he presents himself well ( which is the first thing he needed to do...). One day and one step at a time. Rock Chalk!!!

Joe Baker 10 years, 2 months ago

pan65 (anonymous) says... And don't tell me we have to be patient to allow this coach to build a system, we fired a coach to look for a guy to take us to the next level.

You got it pan65...we'll go undefeated next year during his first year as head coach and we'll win the NC over Florida or maybe Alabama (you pick)! He won't take anytime. He'll just wiggle his nose and we'll win the B12 outright and the NC!!!!

Seriously, get real...I'll tell you what you don't want to hear: Be patient and allow him to build with what we've got and what he's bringing. Jeesh!

E4KUJHawks 10 years, 2 months ago

I fully supported Mangino the whole time he was here, and I shall do the same for Gill, as he's now our head coach!

Congrats Coach Gill & welcome to the Jayhawk family!

jahawkdave 10 years, 2 months ago

Whitlock is a joke!!! Here is what he wrote last year (12/18/2008) regarding the Auburn job not being the right fit for Gill.

Whitlock; "Turner Gill, the black head football coach at Buffalo, is one of the most promising coaches in the game. He has a chance to be a superstar.

Full story

Kevin Kelly 10 years, 2 months ago

Sorry we didn't get a winning coach????


We didn't HAVE a winning coach.

huskernhawkland 10 years, 2 months ago

leikness: If nobody cares about what he has done then why do you guys insist on bringing it up? If you dont care then in your mind he is 0-0 then right? If we (supporters) cant use the positives of his time in Buffalo then how can you (anti-gill) use his losing record to support your ideas? You can whine all you want but i cant wait for you to be back on here in a couple years cheering him and his team for doing so well.

100 10 years, 2 months ago

Have you guys seen the recruits that are considering KU!!???!??

This is amazing!!!! Absolutely amazing...

This kind of recruiting is the equivalent of what Coach Self does for us!!!!

So glad we're not going to a bowl this year -- a full extra month for Gill to work his magic!!!

Recruits love our new coach & new facilities!!!!

Rock Chalk Jayhawk!!!

jhokfan 10 years, 2 months ago


My sentiments exactly. He’s entitled to make a mistake but sending his daughter to KU shows me he has repented.

I am 100 percent behind our new coach. For those who are not, get over it and stop acting like mizboohoo fans.

100 10 years, 2 months ago


Just a tip -- anyone on this site (no matter their handle) who "acts like a Mizzou fan"...

Probably is.

KU Posters let's keep stepping up to the plate & standing up for what's right!

Top notch (& I mean top) recruiting, winning the right way & new Head Coach Turner Gill!!!!!!!!!

jahawkdave 10 years, 2 months ago

Regarding my Post: Whitlock is a joke!!! .

I did not intend for that to read as if I thought Whitlock was a joke for calling Gill a promosing coach, but for complementing him in an article last year, then saying he's never been impressed with him in the article today.

I think Gill is a great hire and will do great things at KU!! And I think Whitlock is full of shizit, and should go be a beat writer for Ball State.

actorman 10 years, 2 months ago

20-30, 20-30, 20-30, 20-30, 20-30, 20-30, 20-30, 20-30, 20-30, 20-30, 20-30, 20-30, 20-30, 20-30, 20-30, 20-30, 20-30, 20-30, 20-30, 20-30, 20-30, 20-30, 20-30, 20-30, 20-30, 20-30, 20-30, 20-30, 20-30, 20-30, 20-30, 20-30, 20-30, 20-30, 20-30, 20-30, 20-30, 20-30, 20-30, 20-30, ...

There, can we forget about his damn record already. I find it hysterical that the only thing the critics can point to is his record for four years at buffalo ... buffalo, for crying out loud! Forget how well he did as an assistant coach, forget his recruiting ability, forget that the players will actually LIKE playing for him--what a concept--forget that there have been countless coaches with similar records who have succeeded, forget that Lew has a proven record of success everywhere he's been and that he's improved our overall athletic program immeasurably, forget that it won't be embarrassing (in so many ways) to have him as our coach, forget everything else, just remember one thing: 20-30. What a bunch of morons! I'm ashamed that they're Jayhawks.

Phoggin_Loud 10 years, 2 months ago

100, What recruits are you referring to?

Jeff Hargate 10 years, 2 months ago

Buffalo was every bit (or worse) as bad as KU was when Mangino got the job and it seems like just a couple weeks ago that posters were defending Mangino's record because the 1st 2 years were Terry Allen's players. I think we need to give Gill the same slack and appreciate what he accomplished at Buffalo.

On another note, Mark Mangino is going to be an unpaid (KU paid) assistant at OU next season.

DocBean 10 years, 2 months ago


what recruits do you keep talking about? is there a story on Rivals or something?

Bruce Brenner 10 years, 2 months ago

Right choice based on available coaches for now and hopefully the future. Has a lot to prove in order to justify that salary level. His first tests will be selecting the right assistant coaches, plus recruiting the quality players.

chris4ku23 10 years, 2 months ago

Rock Chalk Jayhawk!!! I belive in you Gill !!

shelleysue 10 years, 2 months ago

I don't want to be a whiner. However, from looking at prior history of the three top men, I just can't feel real good about things. I really REALLY wanted a great defensive mind to come in either as HC or DC and it doesn't appear that I got my wish. Please tell me I'm wrong.

Brak 10 years, 2 months ago

From what I can find the only recruit so far associated with Gill's signing is Ferlando Bohanna, a 3 star linebacker from TN that originally committed to go to Mississippi State but is quoted as saying he will consider following Tornbush to KU. We also got a committ yesterday from a 3 star JuCo QB named Meachem from Snow College, but he was actually recruited by Warriner and had visited KU last October so I doubt that has anything to do with Gill. What worries me more is the fact that 4 star DE Grissom from Hutch who committed to KU has been strongly pursued by LSU and since the whole Mangino fiasco has scheduled a visit with LSU in January.

4jhawks4ku 10 years, 2 months ago

Pan 65, Were your season tickets decent? Since you're not reupping Id be interested in purchasing. I want to see a winning team as opposed to last years Manginos meltdown. I just wanna see speed and a great defense, thats all I want.

shelleysue 10 years, 2 months ago

I hope Gill and his staff look throughout the state of Kansas because from what I've heard there are several great players right here.

floridajayhawks 10 years, 2 months ago

First off Harbaugh is waiting for the Michigan job to open up then he is gone. Second I hope Allen Field House goes crazy when he is introduced at halftime, that means no booing(had to throw that in with all the negative post). He will bring in great talent and win at KU. Great hire Lew!

4jhawks4ku 10 years, 2 months ago

For all those Mangino lovers out there who are living on an orange bowl win, dont forget we were one whisper away from being 0-8 in the big twelve this year. I'm glad we have an AD that finds that totally unacceptable.

troutsee 10 years, 2 months ago

Agree, actorman.

Welcome Turner Gill.

Great job, Lew.

okiedave 10 years, 2 months ago

The Tulsa World sports writers believe that KU has found a gem in Gill. They express concern that Gill is going to be a recruiting force in Oklahoma and Texas and Gill will make KU a force to be a force in the Big XII under Gill's reign.

chris4ku23 10 years, 2 months ago

Welcome to Kansas Coach Gill, I belive in you 100 percent!!!


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