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Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Gill appoints offensive, defensive coordinators

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Turner Gill: A new era

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

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Kansas Head Football Coach Turner Gill

Turner Gill was named the head coach of the Kansas football team Sunday, December 15, 2009.

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San Diego State head coach Chuck Long, center, talks to his team in this 2008 file photo. Long will serve as KU's new offensive coordinator under head coach Turner Gill.

Newly named Kansas University football coach Turner Gill has not been a head coach for very long. But, even with just four years at the University at Buffalo behind him, it seems that installing a top-notch staff around him will not be a problem.

“The staff that will be here at KU will be second to none,” Gill said Monday, during a 30-minute meeting with the media in which he was officially introduced by the KU administration as the school’s ninth head coach since 1967. “(When) hiring a coaching staff, I want people who have a proven record on and off the football field.”

There’s no arguing with the impressive track record of the first few members of his staff, as Gill has named Chuck Long his offensive coordinator and veteran defensive assistant Carl Torbush as his defensive coordinator. Long and Torbush come to Kansas with head-coaching experience and have had decorated days as assistant coaches.

“It’s great that these two guys have been former head coaches,” Gill said. “And I think there are some special things that can take place here.”

Gill, who finished fourth in the Heisman Trophy voting at Nebraska in 1983, said he had been a long-time admirer of both men.

“Our offensive coordinator will be Chuck Long,” said Gill of the man who replaced Mark Mangino as the offensive coordinator at Oklahoma from 2002-05. “I could go on and on about his accolades but I want to mention just a few of them. He’s coached a Heisman Trophy winner (OU’s Jason White, 2003), he’s coached a Maxwell Award winner (White, 2004), an O’Brien Award winner (White, 2003 and 2004). At Oklahoma, when he was the offensive coordinator, he set many, many records. He’s also passionate about teaching young men about life with football and teaching young men life after football.”

Long, a former University of Iowa quarterback and runner-up to Bo Jackson for the 1985 Heisman, was present at Gill’s introduction. He stood proudly as Gill unveiled the blueprint for the future of KU football. He admitted afterward that he decided to attend only because he was invited — and encouraged — by Gill.

“This is Turner Gill’s day, as it should be,” Long said. “He called me up and said, ‘Hey, do you want to come to the press conference? I’d love for you to come.’ That’s the kind of guy he is: very humble. I said I would love to come. I didn’t hesitate to get on a plane. It says a lot about him and his humility because a lot of coaches wouldn’t do that.”

As for Torbush, a veteran college coach with various stops since 1975, Gill said he was drawn to Torbush’s experience and character.

“He’s been a defensive coordinator in the ACC, he’s been a defensive coordinator in the SEC, he’s been in the Big 12 and, again, he’s passionate about being able to teach young men the things that we’re going to want to do here,” Gill said. “These two guys, there’s a lot of commonality, and they want to have a lot of the same things done as I do when it comes to our student-athletes, and that was really important to me, more than the X’s and O’s.”

The only other member of Gill’s staff announced Monday was Aaron Stamn, a former Nebraska assistant who coached with Gill during all four of his seasons at Buffalo. Stamn will be the special-teams coordinator and will coach tight ends at KU.

It remains to be seen if Gill will request the services of any former Jayhawk assistants. Gill said Monday he was interested in talking with members of Mangino’s staff, but did not divulge whether he planned to bring any aboard.

“There’s going to be a couple of guys here that I’ll interview,” Gill said. “I’ve just gotta try to see how it all fits with what I’m trying to do with the staff.”

Likely candidates to catch Gill’s eye include former defensive coordinator and longtime Jayhawk Clint Bowen, former co-defensive coordinator Bill Miller and former wide-receivers coach David Beaty. Those three were named interim head coaches for the days following Mangino’s resignation.

A handful of current KU players attended Monday’s news conference and, afterward, several of them shared their thoughts about their new head coach. Junior defensive back Chris Harris said he was thrilled that his squad finally had a coach again. He also threw in his support for some of his former coaches.

“I hope quite a few coaches stay around because we’ve already built a lot of great relationships with them, and there are a lot of great coaches on the staff we’ve had,” Harris said. “Having some of the same coaches around would definitely make the team more comfortable and make the transition a lot easier. I think that would definitely help us when it’s time to strap it on.”

Comments

afilmer 4 years, 11 months ago

wow - gill's proving himself with the company he's keeping. i think this is going to be a fun ride.

Phoggin_Loud 4 years, 11 months ago

I was at that game in 1987. Ironically, I was also at the Kent State loss the year before KU hired Glen Mason. I don't know what it means, except that KU's football team sucked in the 1980's. I look forward to continued growth in 2010 and beyond.

7texdude 4 years, 11 months ago

Good moves by Gill. We needed a new leader on defense. KU will only get better in that area next year and beyond. Long was not very good as a head coach, but Stoops was a big of him at OU.

Nice work coach. Welcome to Lawrence. Go get 'em!

DocBean 4 years, 11 months ago

why do people think these guys are such great coordinators?

Their records aren't great. Is there something I'm missing? I've heard their names a lot on message boards, but it doesn't sound like they're world-beaters to me.

I'm guessing they're great Xs and Os guys, and Gill will do the recruiting, because it doesn't sound like Gill's a strong system coach on either side of the ball. Wasn't Torbush fired for having one of the worst defenses in the entire league? What have they done as coordinators and recruiters?

NorCalScott 4 years, 11 months ago

Thank you DocBean!

Speaking from experience, Choke Long is horrrrrrrible! As a San Diego State alum he did a poor job to say the least! It was well known on campus that his players had lost respect for Long due to his lack of leadership, poor direction of the program, and no discipline with the program.

I think Turner Gil is a great hire for any BCS team. But the hiring of Long, and also Torbush, really have me puzzled. Granted, Long did coach in the Big 12 4yrs ago and probably did alot of recruiting but he has NO personality, no excitement, etc.

When Long was fired at SDSU it was the rebirth of Aztec football!

blackhawkjayhawk 4 years, 11 months ago

DocBean: Good points. I think that Gill was really looking for weak assistants with no success. What better way to start your career at KU?

There are a lot of good coordinators who don't succeed as HC's - remember Bill Bellicheck with the Browns? How about Dom Capers?

Long was the OC at Oklahoma when they were better offensively than they are now. Don't know much about the new DC.

One request to Coach Gill: Please get rid of the spread. It was interesting when we were one of the few, but I'm so sick of watching it now that I can't stand it!

milehighhawk 4 years, 11 months ago

There's no satisfying some of you guys, is there?

There's a reason these guys are assistants and not head coaches, but absent Bill Parcells standing on the sideline, what did you expect??

We may get the #17 linebacker in the nation because of the DC as well. Decent start, I'd say.

HawkChalk29 4 years, 11 months ago

At least we're at an advantage for the begenning of next season when other schools really won't know what to gameplan on. I'm a fan of the spread but would like it to be used a little differently than Mangino/Warriner did. Oregon's spread option is awesome to watch!

JBurtin 4 years, 11 months ago

Neither of these guys made a great head coach, but I find all this criticism to be a bit ridiculous. They aren't being hired as head coaches. They are being hired to do what they have already proven to be excellent at.

Long was at Oklahoma for 6 years, coached a Heisman trophy winning quarterback when he was the quarterbacks coach, and as offensive coordinator he lead an offense that scored 51.5 points per game. He'll also be experienced at recruting the area. If he's good enough that Bob Stoops would gladly take him back, then I have a real problem figuring out what's not to like.

Torbush coached under Mack Brown at North Carolina for 10 seasons and lead defenses that lead the nation in scoring defense 3 years in a row. At least one of his linebackers was drafted to the NFL each year he coached there. Once again, if it weren't for the fact that Wil Muschamp has been doing a great job at Texas, I would be willing to bet that Mack Brown would hire him back in a heartbeat. As it is, the only reason he didn't follow Brown in the first place is because he got the head coaching gig at North Carolina when Brown left.

Not every great coordinator makes a great head coach (Frank Broyles award winner Mark Mangino comes to mind). I think the fact that these guys were good enough to be long time coordinators under Mack Brown and Bob Stoops speaks volumes to what kind of coaches we are getting. Further, the fact that they have already had unsuccessful forays into the ranks of head coaching means that they are less likely to get snagged for a head coaching job again. If anyone else tries to steal them it will likely have to be a big program out bidding us to take them as coordinators again.

I just can't imagine why everyone wants to jump on the negativity bandwagon when there is very little reason to do so. Mark Mangino's staff included an offensive coordinator that had only had one other brief stint as OC at one of the military schools 20 years ago, and an inept defensive coordinator that obviously didn't learn much from coaching under Bill Young.

Compared with the staff under Mangino it looks to me that Coach Gill has made a couple of excellent hires that I never would have imagined he could pull off.

Cry in your beer if you want, but I think these guys deserve a fair shot.

Hawk1969 4 years, 11 months ago

Rock Chalk! Great start...now hit the recruiting trail.

John Brown 4 years, 11 months ago

I don't know much about these coaches but I hope their failures as head coaches lead to strenths as coordinators. I think the spread offense works well. Problem with KU was not putting points on the board or moving the football down the field. It was a fluid offensive line and a porous defense. We did need a full back which is a good point by Gills. Also, running a traditional two back offense will be good when the spread truly runs its course.

Andy Tweedy 4 years, 11 months ago

These are both really nice hires, great coordinators in the past! As for the offense, Gill said we will run some spread but also utilize a fullback. So I think what he's saying is we will have multiple formations, one of which is the spread. But what he clearly said was we won't be afraid to or unable to run. THANK GOD!!! Last year's team would have a 2nd and 1 and try to throw for the first down.

David Leathers 4 years, 11 months ago

A lot of you don't understand the following statement: Kansas University's Football team does NOT deserve high profile coaches.

I mean if that were the case Bob Stoops or Pete Carroll would be taking the helm. Why won't you guys, instead of criticizing everything and everyone, give these guys a chance. Chuck Long is a former Head Coach of another shotty football program, but that says nothing about how well he will be able to run a big 12 offense. The same goes for Torbush.

Just give these guys and chance and at the very least be proud and happy that KU no longer has a football coach who will verbally abuse these young men!

jayhawkintexas 4 years, 11 months ago

Let me guess...Ron Prince for special teams coach? Hiring former head coaches with losing records seems to be in vogue with the KU football team now.

s6u6r6f 4 years, 11 months ago

jmfitz,

No argument with either your heart or the bulk of your points, but the idea that one can correlate income with wise decision making is regularly proven specious in both sports and business. And love. Examples abound. Rock Chalk.

Jeff Kilgore 4 years, 11 months ago

The I formation? Really? 1970s are calling, and they miss you! The I formation as a down for down offense is the equivalent of the four corners.

There is no way on turf that the I formation gets it done. With the speed and strength of the modern defensive athlete, you have to have multiple threats. There isn't any other choice. The Big 10 has had 20 years to figure this out, and I still don't think they get it! The I equals two and three yard carries, three and outs, and punts.

Can you imagine what would happen if Minnesota or Purdue hired Mike Leach? Big 10 opponents' heads would explode! Yeah!

Hawk1969 4 years, 11 months ago

Um, jkilgore, Gill said he will run the spread offense. At times he will utilize a fullback in two back sets.

I'm no coach, but Gill is. I'm sure he won't bring a Big 10 style of play to KU.

JBurtin 4 years, 11 months ago

I was wondering the same thing myself. Where in the heck did anybody get the idea that Gill was going to run the I formation?

A spread offense simply means that rather than having your wide receivers in tight where they can be utilized as blockers for the run game you spread them out toward the sidelines where of course the defenders have to follow. On inside run plays it allows a team to essentially take a defender away from the play without the receiver even having to move.

With the I you block the players inside and run around the outside, which requires that your athletes are quick enough to turn the corner and physical enough to hold their blocks. With the spread you block the players out and go straight up field before anyone has a chance to come off a block, which makes it a great equalizer against more talented teams.

There's nothing stopping a spread team from running a 3 wide receiver set rather than 4 and bringing in 2 backs. A well designed play can easily end up with a cornerback being over matched by a fullback and busting your quicker back into the second level where he can do some real damage. Look for Opurum and Sands to have a field day with this offense.

55jayhawk 4 years, 11 months ago

Coach Gill, keep some of the present coaches and hire Nolan Cromwell to head the offense. We will see monster results on all fronts. You all will think I'm crazy but it will work.

temjay 4 years, 11 months ago

I live near San Diego and all I can say is Chuck Long was an absolute disaster at San Diego State University.

He only lasted three years on a five-year contract and they practically had to beg people to attend games a year ago. His 2-10 record in 2008 was the school's worst in 25 years and he lost seven of those games by a total of 25 points or more. The killer was a 70-7 loss to New Mexico, the third worst loss in school history.

To be fair, Long came a tough situation but he really drove it into the ground. He had to recruit against USC, UCLA, Arizona, Arizona State and Cal. But there is a big talent pool here in California and he never tapped it very well.

Some claim Long would have fared better if he had installed an innovative, high-powered offense to attract good athletes but that never happened.

And to further illustrate just what kind of coach Long is ..... his successor, Brady Hoke, who came here from Ball State, actually had the Aztecs in contention for a bowl game in early November. But they lost their last four games -- including 3-point loss to Wyoming and a 4-point loss to UNLV -- and fell to 4-8. Despite the record, the locals were much happier.

So, I don't think Chuck Long is someone to crow about.

As for Turner Gill, well, I'd like to embrace this idea but it's hard. That 20-30 record bothers me and while he harped on consistent growth during his press conference today, his records of 2-10, 5-7, 8-6, and 5-7 at Buffalo don't necessarily support that notion.

And besides, the last time I saw Gill and his Husker brothers they were pounding us by about 60 points. Why should I be excited about that?

Let's face it, half the fun of beating Nebraska in '07 is that we rolled up 70-plus on 'em. If we're fortunate to be good enough to do that again, I don't see Turner Gill following through.

100 4 years, 11 months ago

Long also brought a team to the NCAA division 1 national championship game as an OC...

He must know something...

And it sounds like he's a heck of a recruiter...

Dirk Medema 4 years, 11 months ago

A positive side of having OC & DC with a history of success as assistants, but not so much as HC's is that they are a lot less likely to take off to try their luck at other schools when KU gets successful. That means the probability of coaching consistency is that much greater.

I'm excited to see what happens in the next 2 months with recruiting.

Dirk Medema 4 years, 11 months ago

jkilgore says... Can you imagine what would happen if Minnesota or Purdue hired Mike Leach? Big 10 opponents' heads would explode! Yeah!

Get a clue bubs. Purdue started running the spread - they called it "basketball on grass", long before it ever became vogue at other major schools, including KU. Perhaps you've heard of a QB name Drew Brees. He was their 2nd Point Guard/QB.

Maybe they haven't been to the Orange or Rose Bowl lately, but any KU fan with even a little intelligence should appreciate the Boiler's FB team. They had a prolific O but couldn't stop anyone.

Robert Brock 4 years, 11 months ago

It doesn't matter if KU runs the Spread or the Single Wing: ya gotta block. Our offensive line was a mess this season. Good linemen are difficult to recruit since that is the forte of the powers who scoop them up. Gill knows this; can he do anything about it?

KU 4 years, 11 months ago

dagger108.......you beat me to the comment about Purdue. Also, Minnesota's running the spread. In fact, they ran it LAST year but switched up their offense when they played KU in the Insight Bowl to a more traditional Big 10 offense. If you will recall, it caught us off guard in the first quarter, but after we adjusted we kicked butt. Most of the Big 10 is incorporating at least some aspects of the spread offense.

KU 4 years, 11 months ago

The thing I didn't like about our spread this season (and it seems to have started last year) is we gave up the advantage of a quick attack by looking to the sideline (which we have done for several years), but not only that we took the play clock down within 5 seconds on almost every play. This gave the defense time to get set and get their bearings.

Watch Texas when they get on a roll. It's like a Roy Williams fast break. They are breathing down the defense's neck and snap the ball before they know what hit them. If you're going to run the spread, you need to break down the defense's ability to communicate assignments before the snap at least some of the game.

Kale Pick would be great running the (true) spread option (not the one KU ran with Reesing), but I don't know if that expertise is in Long's and Gill's bag.

kugrad93 4 years, 11 months ago

Enough with the Nolan Cromwell comments. KU already has hired a head coach and an offensive coordinator. Cromwell has a job. Move on.

okiedave 4 years, 11 months ago

Oklahoma sportswriters think KU hit a homerun in HCTG. They believe Gill will be one hell of a recruiter and b-e-l-i-e-v-e KU will be contending for a Big XII championship sooner than later.

dylans 4 years, 11 months ago

Anybody heard of Charlie Weiss? The mas was a brilliant OC, but couldn't win as a head coach at Notre Dame! How would he have faired in San Diego? Most OC/DC make poor head coaches that's why they have the job they have to concentrate on their strengths.

bradt1719 4 years, 11 months ago

oh my goodness people. know some stuff before you open your mouth. and if you dont know do 5 seconds of research and you can find any info u need (especially on the hires). chuck long - from oklahoma - played football at Iowa, played professionally for the lions and rams. Fmr OU QB coach and Offensive Coordinator - has won national championships, coachced josh heupel. they averages 51.5 points a game under his leadership (2003). in 04 he was a finalist for the nations TOP assistant head coach. they were 67-11 during his time there. give the man a break for 'attempting' to be a head coach. hes an assistant and damn good. carl torbush - as already been said loooong time assistant for mack brown at UNC. since then he has been all over the land however, but has coach at Bame, Texas A&M. he will have to impress me more but im guessing could be a bit better then clint bowen (and have a feeling bill miller could get interviewed to come back as one of those 'few' gill was discussing). all in all i was not the most excited at first but am very pleased and excited now. cant wait til next fall. rock chalk.

Layne Pierce 4 years, 11 months ago

The fact that Long and Torbush were headcoaches is more significant for how they will do their jobs as Coordinators, it is not to say they were great head coaches. Long said in his interview that he really likes working with the players something that head coaches, (except Mangino half-way through the season) do a lot less.

The head coach is the CEO of the program. He sets the tone of the overall operation. He decides the overall offense, the overall defensive philosophies. He hires excellent coordinators to carry that philsophy out and to develop the players needed to do it successfuly.

We have a great beginning here, a lot better than I expected. TGs idea of unity, cohesion, trust, and everybody getting on board is something that Nebraska is known for, and its something that we can have. Believe, believe, believe!!!

bierstube 4 years, 11 months ago

"The I formation? Really? 1970s are calling, and they miss you! The I formation as a down for down offense is the equivalent of the four corners."

I guess NFL coaches aren't as sophisticated as Big 12 coaches.

Jaminrawk 4 years, 11 months ago

Yeah, I think all of the detractors need to step back a second an realize that a coach''s head coaching experience is very different from a coordinator's experience. Look at all of the guys in the NFL that fail as head coaches but thrived as coordinators (Mike Nolan, Dom Capers, Herm Edwards, etc). In college these guys will pretty much only be schemeing with their guys. A coaching staff is like a pyramid. The further you get down, the close the coaches work with specific players. I like that Gill had a plan coming in. He didn't get hired and have to waste time getting his two main coordinators squared away. He had them ready. The other thing you have to look at is the players they coached at different stops. Talent make your scheme work. Gill is known as a great recruiter so I think he will be able to bring in some talent that will perform well for these coordinators.

bierstube 4 years, 11 months ago

Regarding the "Believe" stuff and Gill hiring failed former head coaches: Any chance he snags Tony Pena from the Yankees?

youowethehawks 4 years, 11 months ago

I would like to invite all whiners to become fans of another team. You'd fit right in with a feline-oriented school.

Have some pride for your team for heaven's sake!

Turner Gill and his bevy of experienced and successful coordinators will have this team performing like Kansas has never seen.

The I formation works on a very simple principle, line up and beat the guy in front of you. With a larger and more experienced returning front 5 and a beast of a running back in Opurum we should be able to pound 4-5 yards out every down if half of the guys do what they're supposed to. Compared to the Mangina/Wariner-style of offense, consisting of shovels and draws, the line's first step is alway backwards to feign the pass. You can't drive people off the ball when you're moving away from the line.

Now, mix in an athletic and fleet-of-foot QB, some play action, some pulling guards, and some true screens and you've got a very powerful offense that can move the ball and eat some clock. We've got Thunder and Lightning for real this year. Look for Rell to be a solid change of pace back. We've got giant and fast receivers, a nicely developing tight end (under-utilized last year) and returning 10 starters on D. Add to that a coaching staff that will let the guys be just who they are and play loose, and you've got the recipe for a very good year.

There is plenty to be optimistic about with regards to KU Football, next year and looking well in to the future. Quitcherbichin and get on board... or at least take a "wait-and-see" approach. You whiners are prolly the folks that sit on your hands during games, show up 10 minutes late and leave an hour early.

ROCK CHALK JAYHAWK! Wave that mf'n wheat!

Eric Schneider 4 years, 11 months ago

My confidence in the Gill hiring just went up. Great hires. UNC had some of the best defenses in the country under Torbush. So they never made it as head coaches. You can't compare a head coach to a coordinator. The jobs are completely different. Look at Gunther Cunningham. Charlie Weis.

And of course a more pro style offense like the I-formation will never work in college. I mean seriously. When was the last time USC won anything?

TRUEHEART 4 years, 11 months ago

The anti-Coach Gill whiners are running out of ammo and having to really stretch to get their negative attitudes out. It is Coach Gill's prerogative and responsibility to get coordinators who can best work with him to put his style and philosophy in place - that reflect and can execute the coach's overall plan. I agree with JBurtin that these two have been hired to do what they have already proven to be excellent at AS COORDINATORS. We all agree that we had some dissatisfaction and misgivings with our Mangino coordinators - and they were obviously going to be replaced by any new coach. I am glad that our new coach recognized that a change was needed - and at first glance I tend to be pleased with these choices.

ShazzyD 4 years, 11 months ago

I was not a huge fan of the Gil hire, but I really think that Gil's weaknesses (a lack of true success in the past) are overcome by having two very experienced and successful coordinators. I might not feel as good about Gil as I did about Mangino, but I feel better about our team overall knowing that we have Torbush coaching the D instead of Bowen. And although our offense has been great these past few years, I think a change at Offensive Coordinator is necessary as well and think Long will do a good job. So overall, I am happy.

Gil also gets a big push out of the gate by the fact that these past two years have been Mangino's best recruiting classes. So aside from losing a few productive seniors and an outstanding junior, Gil is actually inheriting a pretty talented group of players. I am optimistic that we'll be contending for the North title in 2 years.

Kevin Long 4 years, 11 months ago

Being a HC and assistant are two way different things. If people aren't smart enough to know that then don't comment on this article. Most of the battle is recruiting anyway. These guys seem to be good at that, so give them a chance and see what happens.

truefan 4 years, 11 months ago

jayhawkinnebr...I don't want "fans" like you in the stands anyway. You are a waste of a seat and a sad excuse for a "fan." You haven't even seen the team play a single snap with Gill running the show.

100 4 years, 11 months ago

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."

bjdku 4 years, 11 months ago

@100

Where did you find that quote? That is powerful! I am surprised the intrepid reporters at the LJW didn't find this if real...

bradt1719 4 years, 11 months ago

100 - LOVE IT

didnt gill interview for the Nebraska Job tho? and obviously didnt get it. just wonder why? huh.

justanotherfan 4 years, 11 months ago

I think Gill is off to a good start with his hires.

As many have already mentioned, being a good coordinator is not necessarily a guarantee that a person will be a good coach. And being a bad head coach doesn't mean that these guys won't be tremendous as coordinators.

A head coach is responsible for every aspect of the program - recruiting, offensive and defensive gameplanning, alumni relations, etc. Coordinators help out with those things, but they don't have the weight of that responsibility. Long is responsible for the offense, and for recruiting talent for whatever offense he is going to install. He has no responsibility on the defensive side of the ball, and only limited alumni responsibilities. Same goes for Torbush. He has gameplan responsibility for the defense only, and only has to worry about defensive recruits. He doesn't have to do much of the other stuff.

Each of these men excelled when they focused their energies on their side of the football. Turner Gill has shown that he is an excellent recruiter (at Nebraska for a national championship run, and at Buffalo moving them from the worst program in D-1 history to marginally respectable) and can handle the organizational tasks of managing the whole football program. Further, hiring two men with head coaching experience means that all three have each other as sounding boards to assist with the whole picture as they try to build KU football.

Will this automatically turn KU around next year? I don't know. Gill must replace the all-time leading QB in every statistical respect at the school. He must replace the two most decorated receivers in the history of the program. He has an entire defense to retool.

He has pieces, though. I remember when Daymond Patterson looked like an explosive game breaking type player. MacDougald showed his abilities at times this year. Opurum looked like he was the real deal when he stepped in for Sharp. So he has some talent on offense potentially. The biggest question is whether Kale Pick or Jordan Webb is ready to be THE GUY, and secondarily whether the line can protect either of them.

On defense he has a lot of questions. He has Huldon Tharp, but the rest of that linebacking group is iffy. His most explosive D-lineman (Onyegbule) is gone. His best DB (Stuckey) is gone. Among the returning DBs, once upon a time Chris Harris could cover people. Whether that was a product of playing opposite Aqib Talib or not remains to be seen, but the potential is there.

But we will know a lot more about Turner Gill in February when that first recruiting class signs. A bad class means he didn't get it done this winter. Not fatal, but definitely handicaps Mr. Gill for the next two seasons. The one downside is that the top in-state players have already committed, and KU only got one of the top 10 (with one player still uncommitted). That has to change under his watch, or he will suffer the same fate as those before him.

Dan Harris 4 years, 11 months ago

jkilgore- seemed to work for Alabama this year as well as Stanford. They ran out of the I-formation quite a bit this year.

Dan Harris 4 years, 11 months ago

To everybody that is coming on here with all the negative comments. It is your right to voice your opinion just as it is my right to tell all of you to STFU ALREADY!!!!!

rastameta 4 years, 11 months ago

Torbush had some great defenses at UNC under Mack Brown. Brown even said last year that if Torbush hadn't gotten the head coaching job at UNC he probably would still be his DC at Texas now. Torbush is a good DC.

It will be interested to see who the rest of the defensive staff will be...but we won't be lacking on the coordinator side of things. We still need a few more athletes on that side of the ball before we will can be a dominant defense.

Kevin Long 4 years, 11 months ago

That was a great find 100. It does make you wonder why NU didn't hire him though.

I would like to see KU do what a lot of schools are doing recently. And that is putting the best athletes they have on defense. Brian Kelly did it at Cinn. I also heard Tim Grunhard talking about that today. Bo Pelini did the same thing and that has worked pretty well for him too.

Lone_salina_kufan 4 years, 11 months ago

I want David Beaty to stay. Crapcan Bowen. He's sucked for 2 years

hailtoku 4 years, 11 months ago

You know that when your trying to prove a coach's worthiness through a facebook message that its the wrong hire.

I'm more concerned with credentials that are obvious (i.e. a winning record, bowl victories, rankings, conference championships, etca)

The acronym B-E-L-I-E-V-E (in which "B' stands for "belief"... genius) I'm not so impressed with.

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