Monday, December 14, 2009

Turner Gill set to make $2 million annually

Turner Gill, in this undated photo, started his coaching career as an understudy to Nebraska football coach Tom Osborne and ascended to assistant head coach under Frank Solich.

Turner Gill, in this undated photo, started his coaching career as an understudy to Nebraska football coach Tom Osborne and ascended to assistant head coach under Frank Solich.



Turner Gill: A new era

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Turner Gill is officially the new head coach of KU football.

Kansas University athletic director Lew Perkins said Monday that new head football coach Turner Gill will make approximately $2 million per year for the next five seasons.

Former coach Mark Mangino, who resigned earlier this month under pressure, was making $2.3 million a year, fourth highest in the Big 12.

Gill, who was introduced as KU's football coach during a Monday morning press conference, is expected to meet with the current players on KU's roster at a Monday night meeting.


DocBean 9 years, 8 months ago

I hope he's as good of a coach as he is a negotiator, because his resume doesn't demand that kind of cash.

jayhawkinATL 9 years, 8 months ago

Yeah, we saw what $2.3 million can get you...5-7 (and a 7-game losing streak)!!!!

Mike Kendall 9 years, 8 months ago

My first comment was, "WOW!" However, if he is good beyond what his resume says and, here is the bottom line, if he can beat K-State, Mizzou and the Big 12 South, he will be well worth the money!

Brian Leiker 9 years, 8 months ago

Mangino made 1.3 million starting out and didn't have a single win to his name.

CO_Hawk 9 years, 8 months ago

The worst decision Lew has made yet....

Gill has been making $265k/year (,0,3767955.htmlstory) so how can anyone think an almost 8X raise is justified?!? We should have paid him equal to Bill Snyder ($1.1M) but built in big incentives. Only makes sense for a guy who has lost 60% of his games as a head coach.....


DXJhawk 9 years, 8 months ago

Kind of suprising, I figured it would be in the 1.2-1.5 million range. He was making well under 1 million at Buffalo.

Bud Stagg 9 years, 8 months ago

What a great negotiator Turner is. That is double the money per pound the last coach was making.

jhokfan 9 years, 8 months ago

Sounds right. Show him some respect and loyalty but let him know there is more to be had if he wins. If Turner becomes the coach he is suppossed to be we need to think long term or he'll bolt after a few seasons.

jayhawkintexas 9 years, 8 months ago

$2 million a year?? You have got to be kidding. Wait until he wins some games and goes to a decent bowl before you pay that kind of money. Lew, I'm afraid you're slipping, bud.

Ignorant_Yokel 9 years, 8 months ago

Congratulations to Turner and his family!

I hope those AD attorneys inserted an exorbitant buyout clause for Nebraska.

jayhawkinATL 9 years, 8 months ago

'Tis the price of doing business these days, folks.

Dyrk Dugan 9 years, 8 months ago

c'mon nation!.....the previous coach was $2.3 million a year....he is still not making as much as that

He deserves it...because this is where the bar is at. you're not paying your previous coach x, and then pay your next coach x-$1's not logical.

our football program is generating plenty of money....with a huge increase in season ticket sales....the Big 12 payout...our own donations. it's affordable.

Do you think Chuck Long and Torbush would be on board, if they weren't able to make good coordinator money? if the head coach was getting paid $1 million, while the previous coach got $2.3 million, that would affect the assistants' salaries as well.

kutravis 9 years, 8 months ago

I think this is great hire for KU. We're talking about a guy who guided a team to their first bowl game in 50 years and which in the previous eight year before his tenure, had won a total of 12 games. While his record at buffalo may seem like something to scoff at, he turned a bottom dwelling program in the MAC conference to title contenders. And He's a class act who's respected by his players and staff, something that can't be said for Mangino.

KU 9 years, 8 months ago

Agree, mv........It's not about what he's worth as a coach, it's about sending the message to the college football world that KU is serious about buying a big-time program.

I hope Lew empties his pockets on the assistant coach salaries, too. That's the only way to attract and retain great coaches.

jahawkdave 9 years, 8 months ago

Agree mv,

some must have thought the salary was on a per lbs basis.

jahawkdave 9 years, 8 months ago

C'mon KUsports did you not have a photog at the presser? how bout a pic of KU Head Football Coach Turner Gill in a KU hat?

KU 9 years, 8 months ago

Did you hear the "open letter" to KU's players from a Buffalo player? Brad Thorsen read it at the press conference. It told me two things about Gill: 1) His players love him, and 2) His players have learned from Gill about living outside themselves and, for lack of a better word, "blessing" people they come into contact with. That Buffalo player could have been angry with Gill for leaving, but instead, he reached out to KU players and let them know how beloved Gill is in Buffalo.

Will that translate to wins? Who knows? But I was ready to run through a wall for Gill watching his press conference. His players may tear down the Anderson football complex out of excitement tonight after they meet with him.

jcsmith 9 years, 8 months ago

Apparently some of you have forgotten, we did not tap Mangino with 2.3 million until he brought us home an Orange Bowl Championship.

So now whats going to happen when/if Gill brings home an orange bowl championship? Are we going to extend him up to 3/3.5 mil a year? Hell, lets just bump him all the way to the top, above Pete Carroll, and give him a cool 4.5 mil.

Where the hell was your business knowledge during this process Lew? Wheres your bargaining room?

You just cant justify giving only 300k less to a coach who, in alot of peoples eyes, has not proven himself worthy of that kind of paycheck. Hell, I was all state in high school, does that mean I'm capable of getting payed that much and running a program?

Again, I'm not against Turner Gill. I'm willing to give the guy a chance. There have just been way too many damn mistakes made in this whole circus that makes absolutely 0 sense, even to an unedumacated fool like myself. This is just all common knowledge.

Gill is now the 25th highest payed coach in college football (tied with Lane Kiffin from Tennessee) and he has not even won a game in the BCS. Damn, even Randy Edsall and Brian Kelly were only making around 1.4 this year. This just blows my mind.

Gill, I hope your up to the challenge of proving us all that you are worth this 2 million dollar salary you just recieved.

Lew, if in two years Coach Gill does not make an impression on us, I would hope you would be smart enough to renegotiate his salary. If you dont, I would hope that KU fans and alumni around the world would start expecting your resignation.

Yes. Lew has done us good here at KU. But no man can stay on the top of his game forever. Just like a football program, an athletic department needs overhauled every once in a while too.

sljhawk 9 years, 8 months ago

Read this article about Chuck Long. Why is Gill so high on this guy?

The once-competitive but now persistently woeful San Diego State football program fired coach Chuck Long this year, replacing him with Ball State's Brady Hoke. Long went just 9-27 at Montezuma Mesa, failing to light a fire under the Aztec offense despite his offensive background at Oklahoma.

Good luck getting an explanation as to why, but a clause in his contract with SDSU demanded he be "re-assigned" if the school terminated him as its head football coach. The San Diego Union-Tribune's Brent Schrotenboer reports Long is now doing "projects" and "analysis" for the cash-strapped state school at a hefty $700K price tag.

Putting a hefty dose of lipstick on this pig, Aztec Athletic Director Jeff Schemmel says "The projects we have for him right now are mostly related to campus issues relative to athletics. In other words, 'How can we be more successful at San Diego State, using his experience?' We've asked him to do some analysis for us on that sort of thing. He's been very good about it, whether that's admissions, whether that's fundraising, any of those things that can help us be more successful."

In other words, nonsense work.

Fittingly, Long wants out. His side claims to want to negotiate an out while SDSU certainly would love to get rid of him and paying that ridiculous amount of money for him to do special projects. Rightly so, Long won't be stepping down for free either but would also not be taking a head coaching gig anytime soon. The gap in pay between a normal assistants' job and his current pay is vast, however. The Union Tribune estimates he could make $200K as an assistant.

Even without that 20/20 hindsight thing I could have told you San Diego State shouldn't have hired him or paid him so much money. Long's seemingly a nice guy, but he was just one of a string of successful offensive coordinators at Oklahoma, arguably the worst of the obviously competent group since Bob Stoops took over. He didn't exactly bring an innovative offense, wasn't exactly Jim Jones when it came to charisma, and had no experience reviving a smaller program in the fashion of an Urban Meyer or Dan Hawkins.

Reviving the mid-level programs is not so much about great recruiting but maintaining the level of talent traditionally at that program and then finding ways to do something special with it on the field. San Diego State will never be a USC as far as pulling in talent. It won't even be a Cal or Arizona. How they get ahead is through innovation and doing things different. Either installing a wacky 3-3-5 defense, running a variation of the spread or run-and-shoot, things like that.

Long offered none of that, at least judging by his background. It was a bad fit, something the Aztec athletic department should have seen well in advance. Now look what's happened.

DocBean 9 years, 8 months ago

KU, what that stupid letter should have told you was this:

Lew had to sell Turner Gill! If he brought in Harbaugh do you think he would have needed to have a player read a stupid letter???

A good coach doesn't need to have his AD sell his hiring.

That doesn't mean he won't be a GREAT coach. it just means, he's not the big name type guy Lew wanted.

KU 9 years, 8 months ago

sljhawk.......Long may have hit his ceiling as an offensive coordinator. Just because he didn't succeed as a head coach doesn't mean he's a bad offensive coordinator. The guy coached a Heisman winner at OU. His offense set a record scoring over 50 points/game one year. He's considered a great quarterback coach.

It may be that the Midwest guy didn't fit the West Coast? Maybe he lacked recruiting ties out there? There could be any number of reasons Long failed at San Diego State.

I'm a lot less worried about Long than Torbush. But if you ask folks down south, Torbush has a great reputation, generally. I just don't know as much about Torbush due to geography.

OCJHAWK 9 years, 8 months ago

This puts immediate pressure on Head Coach Gill to both recruit well and win. The huge salary should mean he has 2-3 year leash. Not the old 4-6 years to let Coach Gill show what he can do with "his" players expectations.

This is big league money and we are expecting wins, not just a quality person.

I hope KUFB the best and like the first reports of recruiting and assistants.

KU 9 years, 8 months ago

DocBean..............Neither of us will ever really know who Lew's first choice was. It may have been Gill all along. Personally, I never understood the attraction--when it came to coaching ability and record--of Harbaugh. He would have been out in a couple of years, anyway. I could never see him making KU a destination where he could create a legacy. I can see Gill--if he's successful on the field--becoming a legend at KU. I don't think he's motivated by money and fame. I really think he would be content to build his own legacy at KU outside the shadow of Tom Osborne.

Let's hope he's successful enough to test my theory!

pan65 9 years, 8 months ago

Great points jcsmith. A 8x salary increase for no known results at all! This really says it all for Lew's mentality

Bruce Brenner 9 years, 8 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.

nwhawk 9 years, 8 months ago

Lew Perkins has a pretty damn good track record as an AD for picking winners. As far as I know, the rest of you get paid to do something else. I think I'll stick with Lew.

farnamjayhawk 9 years, 8 months ago

nwhawk....Thank you. Lew knows what he's doing when hiring coaches and has the track record to prove it. $2MM is not too much especially if you want to let people know that KU is a destination job. Lew has a great business mind and he's not going to get stupid with the university's money. I see a lot of posts criticizing Lew's business acumen but it's common sense and a good business practice to pay as much as you can to the best candidate.

In time, Turner Gill will be the winningest coach in KU football history

Bill Kackley 9 years, 8 months ago

Look I was for keeping MM, Turner Gil was not my favorite but after watching the news conference I can only say go Turner Gil, Go KU and go away all you negative people. It is what it is, let's get behind our new coach and the football team. I personally am looking for good things and at my age I won't be around for too many more coaching changes. Rock Chalk.

jcsmith 9 years, 8 months ago

Farnamjayhawk, You hit the nail on the head when you said, "you pay as much as you can to the best candidate."


Do you pay as much as you can "to the best candidate willing to take the job"???? Say, someone who was 3rd or 4th on the AD's list. Just because Gill was the one chosen, does not mean he was the best candidate for the job. Nor does it say he was not. What if the best candidate turned it down?

I have no proof, nor probably will I ever, but something tells me that Turner Gill was not the man leading the race when all the rumors were swirling around about harbaugh.

So, when you are forced to accept "not the best candidate" (and i'm not saying this was Perkins thoughts by no means) do you still pay him what you would if the best candidate would have accepted the job?

CO_Hawk 9 years, 8 months ago

nwhawk -

please tell me who Lew has hired that you consider as part of his "good track record"? And specifically in the last five years please.....

thmdmph 9 years, 8 months ago

jcsmith, very good point. In what world can you get an income increase of ~2.5k to 2M after 1) have a mediocre year in a mediocre conference, 2) haven't shown to win at big time stage, and 3) having only 4 or so years of experience. Like many people in the sports business industry, I think Lew is very good at what he does, but this boggles my mind. I guess that's why we're not AD's.

As for Gill, I'm going to lay off criticizing him. As a matter of fact, I should congrad him for getting such a promotion, deserving or not. We all can only dream of such good fortune or good negotiations. He better lives up to the hype/$$$ or he's going to get the wrath of KU Nation - the same crap that MM got. But with MM, at least he deserved the couple of millions dollars since he had an Orange Bowl victory and National Coach of the Year recognition. Gill hasn't even come close. But congrad and good luck with the staffing and recruitings over the next several months.

KU 9 years, 8 months ago

You guys complaining about the salary need to think of the big picture. Some of you probably believe Gill's worth only $800,000. What does that tell the rest of the college football world and recruits? It tells them KU is middle to back of the pack when it comes to the football program.

Do you really want to send that message? Personally, I would rather be taken seriously even though we're not a big-time program, yet. To play with the big boys, you have to pay like the big boys......even if the coach hasn't done anything to deserve it yet. (Mangino didn't deserve $2.3M even after the Orange Bowl.)

MitchumMan 9 years, 8 months ago

I live in NE and everyone at work is telling me how good of a coach we got and how lucky we are to get him. Most of them were saying that they wish NE would have hired him instead of Bo. And Bo's had pretty good success so far. And you know what? I completely agree! I love this hire!

$2M does sound like a lot of money though. But who am I to question the best AD in college sports? I don't know what we're paying these new coordinators but I bet it's pretty good. These guys have solid histories winning as coordinators and I hope they continue their success here at KU.

Unlike some of you, I'm super pumped to see where he takes KU in the next decade! Rock Chalk

beenahawk 9 years, 8 months ago

KU, that is a DUMB argument? "What kind of message does it send to recruits?" So you think that some 18 year old kid is going to pick another school over KU because that school pays their HC more? Fact is Lew paid too much. Doesn't mean that their couldn't have been incentive/bonus monies, but a base that high is nuts.....even if Gill is currently "undefeated" in BCS play!

nwhawk 9 years, 8 months ago

CO-Hawk: I see, so you want me to limit my answer to the last five years when Lew has hasn't had to make a major hire? Nice try. Let's look at the bigger picture. How about hiring Gary Williams as the basketball coach at Maryland? How about Holtz and Edsall as football coaches at Connecticut, two coaches many on these boards were clamoring for? Outside major men's sports, how about Bonnie Henrickson and Andrea Hudy at KU?

thmdmph 9 years, 8 months ago

KU, thank you for making my argument. If MM didn't deserve it after '08 season, Gill definitely doesn't deserve it with his record (esp, THE 25th highest payed College Football coach in the nation - stat per jcsmith)

KU 9 years, 8 months ago

thmdmph......I never made the argument that Gill deserves $2M either. I just said if you want the world of college football to take your program seriously, you better be willing to pay.

thmdmph 9 years, 8 months ago

KU, if you want the world of anything to take you seriously, you better win, do it well, excel, ect.... Not just pay top dollar to somebody who doesn't deserve it and expect respect. MU can pay MM $3 mil and still got get respect.

thmdmph 9 years, 8 months ago

KU, head coach salary DOES add some legit-ness of a program, but so many other things contributes first and have more street credit than coach's salary. Just paying the head coach A LOT of money in exchange for potential respect is such an inefficient way of managing business/the program.

actorman 9 years, 8 months ago

"In what world can you get an income increase of ~2.5k to 2M after ..."

In what world can you keep your job after screaming at, intimidating and generally abusing everyone around you? Yet you're still one of the people bitching and moaning about how they didn't keep MM. According to you, he deserved the money because he won, that's the only thing that mattered. Never mind that he embarrassed the university on a regular basis and was an arrogant SOB who refused to ever admit that he was wrong.

actorman 9 years, 8 months ago

And before you make the tired old argument about how "that's football and discipline is a part of it," I challenge you to defend MM doing the same thing to secretaries, parking officers and numerous others.

thmdmph 9 years, 8 months ago

actorman, get your facts straight before going off blabbering your mouth or brain+fingers. First, I never bitch and moan about keeping MM - I'm glad he's gone. Second, at the time after the Orange Bowl and Nat'l Coach of the Year recognition, we did not know about the abuse (yes abuses), so he deservED the raise. As a matter of fact, I'd bet if you look back at the postings back then, most everybody (and probably you too) were kissing his big fat ass, and gloating about how he deserved it. So, you can retrospectively look back and take back his pay raise now if you want and say he doesn't deserve it, but that can only happen in your dream land.

In the real world, having brought a football program like KU to national prominence with an Orange Bowl victory over a #3 BCS Virginia Tech team that had been 11-1 (ranked top five in both polls) and being named National Coach of the Year - that deserves a raise. So stop blabbering.

thmdmph 9 years, 8 months ago

Just noticed I just used a bad word, so I'd probably get censored soon. So here's toned down version with **'s

actorman, get your facts straight before going off blabbering your mouth or brain+fingers. First, I never bitch and moan about keeping MM - I'm glad he's gone. Second, at the time after the Orange Bowl and Nat'l Coach of the Year recognition, we did not know about the abuse (yes abuses), so he deservED the raise. As a matter of fact, I'd bet if you look back at the postings back then, most everybody (and probably you too) were kissing his big fat a**, and gloating about how he deserved it. So, you can retrospectively look back and take back his pay raise now if you want and say he doesn't deserve it, but that can only happen in your dream land.

In the real world, having brought a football program like KU to national prominence with an Orange Bowl victory over a #3 BCS Virginia Tech team that had been 11-1 (ranked top five in both polls) and being named National Coach of the Year - that deserves a raise. So stop blabbering.

thmdmph 9 years, 8 months ago

and actorman, notice that he did not get to keep his job

KURocksChalk 9 years, 8 months ago

Wow, the salary really surprised me. I really, really doubt that this salary was negotiated. I think it was offered and hopefully blew TG away. I would guess that this is a vote of confidence by Lew AND he wanted TG to be even more excited than he is. Hey, to have low-balled him would have been an incredibly stupid thing. I hope that I am right and that Lew shocked TG with the offer. He has got to be one engergized man right now.

eastcoasthawk 9 years, 8 months ago

Count me as totally shocked here. He was making lets say maybe 500K with incentives and we set it at 2M. I was member of the Mangino mafia and am sorry he is gone. The way we handled it was to devalue him so we could offer a lower buyout. But we still paid a handsome price. A lot of money that could have gone to a lot of other good things like maybe construction for a Gridiron Club. Or other sports. I support Coach Gill and the football team but if we find he is not the hire to provide a winning record in the Big 12 conference, he too, will have a huge buyout thanks to his upfront salary. I think Lew is taking a huge risk here and is gambling with our money.

timtation 9 years, 8 months ago

With that kind of money, I expect a National Title in 2010.

jahawkdave 9 years, 8 months ago

It's about image, perception and portraying KU and KUFB at a higher standard. Same reason many of us spend money on nice clothes, nice cars, nice houses...going to a quality school.

Everyone can spend less on Wal mart clothes, drive KIA's, live in a cheaper house, they all accomplish the same thing so why not just go the cheaper route? It's not the image we want to represent ourselves as, it's not a bad image, but if we did would that get us the hot wife/girlfriend (ie star recruit top coaches/assts. donors...)

Sure we could have maybe got Gill for less $, but do we want KU and KUFB to appear cheap? What message does that send to go backwards? or what message to say we'll pay the controversial MM 2.3 mil but we'll only pay the quality up and coming coach (finalist NU AUB surley going to be looked at by CIN, MARSHALL UNLV...) TG 800K-1 mil. Not to mention the racial implications that could unfortunately bring up.

100 9 years, 8 months ago

I posted this in a couple other articles. Just in case you missed it, here it is:

Anybody like Dynasties?

Well, Tom Osbourne has some knowledge on this topic. Why not get a quote from Tom Osbourne, Chuck... when asked if he (Osbourne) "made" those mid 1990's dynasties happen (3 NCAA championships), here's what he said. This is a story from 1999:

"Without Turner Gill recruiting for us & coaching the quarterbacks his little instinctual tricks, we would not have won any of those national titles in the mid '90s. None. I firmly believe that with all of my heart. We would have been good, but no national championships. Turner Gill made it happen with his heart, his recruiting, his belief & his help with the quarterbacks. Turner's gift to us, in tandem with our unified team belief, coupled with the hard work of our units in practice, magnified by the undying devotion of our walk ons giving our first two teams double the repetitions, not to mention the ceaseless support of our assistant coaching staff those years, made those teams the focused & talented group that they were. We believed. And we were good, partially thanks to all the hard work. But, more than anyone, if I was to single out one person, it wouldn't be me. It was Turner Gill... his recruiting & leadership made all the difference."

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