Advertisement

Advertisement

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Keegan

Don’t scoff at Larry Fedora

Advertisement

photo

Associated Press

Southern Miss coach Larry Fedora.

None of us gets to sit down with the candidates interested in the Kansas University football job, yet that doesn’t keep us from having strong reactions to hires.

When it comes to sports, many of us think with our hearts. It’s KU athletic director Sheahon Zenger’s job to think with his head and his gut when pulling the trigger on the most important decision of his professional life.

Taking the pulse of those who want to see Zenger make a great hire leads to interesting revelations. The most consistent, most baffling tendency of many is to get far more excited about a defensive/offensive coordinator/guru from a big-name school than a former defensive/offensive coordinator/guru from a big-name school who has gone on to do impressive things at a lesser football school.

Consider two names: Northern Illinois head coach Dave Doeren and Wisconsin offensive coordinator Paul Chryst. The typical reaction is one of disappointment at the mention of Doeren because he’s at a small school. Yet, most are intrigued by Chryst’s name and want to hear more. Chryst is one of the hot coordinator/guru names on the national radar. Never mind that Doeren was a hot defensive coordinator/guru at the same school a year ago. Since then, Doeren has gone 10-3 as a head coach, which ought to improve his stock, but in the court of perception does not.

Larry Fedora, a more proven head coach than Doeren, also appears to suffer from a syndrome that henceforth shall be known as DSBK, which stands for Directional School Buzz Kill. Fedora coaches at Southern Mississippi.

If not for the highly contagious DSBK, Fedora has the sort of résumé that would make him a popular choice for Kansas. He once was an offensive guru at Oklahoma State. SEC giants LSU and Alabama tried to steal him, but he decided to stay put, earning nearly $400,000 and waiting for the right head-coaching job to come along. A former high school coach in Garland, Texas, Fedora was the OC at Florida before moving to Stillwater.

In his fourth year at Southern Miss, Fedora has a 10-2 record and will go to a bowl game for the fourth consecutive season. His offense is ranked 14th in the nation. A year ago, his defense knocked Kansas silly in a 31-16 beating witnessed by a ESPN audience and 30,211 spectators at M.M. Roberts Stadium in Hattiesburg, Miss.

Teams run by pass-happy gurus aren’t supposed to hit hard, but the attacking Golden Eagles defense certainly did that night.

Ole Miss, thought to be in competition for landing Fedora, is closing in on hiring Arkansas State coach Hugh Freeze, who was depicted in the movie “The Blind Side,” which centered on a player he coached in high school, Michael Oher of the Baltimore Ravens.

Fedora is from College Station, but Texas A&M appears more interested in hiring Houston’s Kevin Sumlin.

Interestingly, Southern Miss plays at 11 a.m. today at Houston on ABC.

Win or lose, Fedora remains an attractive option.

The Jayhawks never did land the coach with the fedora (Earl Bruce) but just might get the Fedora with the visor.

Comments

Randy Bombardier 2 years, 4 months ago

Wonder if Barry Switzer wants back in? He is ultra competitive and thats what we need.

0

Steve Brown 2 years, 4 months ago

Watched Houston v. So Miss as I thought I wanted Sumlin albeit a long shot. Now hope aTm takes Sumlin as expected and leaves Fedora or rest of us to fight over. Fedora my new #1 if we get to vote.

RCJH.

0

ack 2 years, 4 months ago

I doubt that Fedora will come to KU. I still think we are headed in the wrong direction. We need a Good Asst Coach who is hungry and will work to recruit a good bunch strong linemen. Get away from all these Texas wanna be players.

0

mikehawk 2 years, 4 months ago

Larry Fedora is not coming to KU to be our coach. Why would he do that? He will be waiting for a great job at a football school, not a bad job at a basketball school. Prediction: AD SZ will hire a good coach with no name recognition and the KU Nation will turn on the AD and the coach right away because they are deluded into believing great college coaches are just dying to come coach football at Kansas if we would just call them up, ask, and then hire them. It just ain't so. If my prediction is wrong, I will gladly eat every word.

0

jay381 2 years, 4 months ago

If anyone has watched the OU-OSU game, I do understand why so many friends from OU want Venables the H___ out of OU. What a defensive disaster. I hope he has been stricken from the list if he was ever under serious consideration.

0

danmoore 2 years, 4 months ago

Don't understand the support for Mason. If we are going to recycle coaches it should be Mangino. He's been the most successful.

0

jaybate 2 years, 4 months ago

Gee, I wonder if Tom knows something about Larry Fedora being the next football coach?

Tom, I hope you are clearing some public relations fees for this.

0

Chinese Laoshi 2 years, 4 months ago

With So Miss St dominated Houston earlier, Fedora will gain many believers. I am convinced. Too bad, with that convincing win, Fedora may now be out of KU's league.

0

irvan moore 2 years, 4 months ago

i think all of my favorites for the job would be happy to be here, i like mason, venables or stoops. a proven head coach at a bcs school or a coordinator from a winning big time program with ties to the snyder.coaching tree. they all would be able to recruit and they would bring credibility to the program.

0

kansasexplorer3128 2 years, 4 months ago

I'm guessing that anybody that watched So Miss take Houston to the woodshed today is not going to belong to the Fedora Basher Club anymore. His team appeared to be well coached and disciplined. Big win in a pressure game.

0

Randy Bombardier 2 years, 4 months ago

I wouldn't be surprised if he never shows up in Pullman.

0

jhawkrulz 2 years, 4 months ago

Anybody else hopes that Leach is about 10-26 in about three years from now?

0

TwistedFish31 2 years, 4 months ago

There are so many Debbie Downers on this board. Yikes, maybe a good coach wouldn't want to come here and listen to what a terrible decision he made to take a rebuilding project in Lawrence and make $2M/yr and work in great facilities and have a supportive AD. And the fact that there was major buzz and the stands were full when Mangino had us relevant, I'm sure that will be a huge turn off. You Debbies have me convinced. Terrible job here at KU, you're right.

0

pepper_bar 2 years, 4 months ago

OK, I've said a lot about how Keegan should set his sights lower, but I will give him credit for thinking ambitiously about this coaching hire.

KU should shoot for the moon and aim high, even if that means not getting your #1 or #2 choice. Value your own program, and others will value it too. Let's dream big, Jayhawks.

0

Dee Shaw 2 years, 4 months ago

Well it looks like S. Miss is going to beat Houston. You can take the name Larry Fedora off the KU wish list. No way KU will have a chance to hire Coach Fedora. His name will jump off the charts now after beating a team rank #6 in the nation and having a chance at a BCS bowl game. Our Athletic Director needs to start getting aggressive and get a deal done with someone. Coach Leach to Washington St. Coach Fedora to whoever besides KU. The longer the wait the worst coach you are going to get. Sorry to be so negative but it's true. One name I did hear that I thought would be interesting is Brian Schottenheimer. The NY Jets Off. Cor. Went to KU for a year. Then went to FL. and got awesome training under Coach Spurrier. Knows the area. Just a thought. Thinking outside the box.

0

Larry Ewart 2 years, 4 months ago

First of all, Z knows what he is doing. He is a FB guy. Strong connections. He will get a solid hire I am convinced about that. Those dreamers who wanted Leach for crying out loud , really? Seriously? Come to the Death Valley of former fb coaches? Keep in mind of the people who have coached here over the years most of them end up getting fired! If memory serves me I think only Gottfried and Mason went on to other jobs equal if not better than KU. So, let's get some reality here people. We are going to get a coordinator or someone on the rebound. Plain and simple. There r better fb jobs out there right now than KU. That is the reality of it all.

0

TwistedFish31 2 years, 4 months ago

Watching the Southern Miss and Houston game. Fedora is a GREAT coach and I honestly believe that we'll be LUCKY to get him! His players play HARD for him and there's no giving up!!

0

TexasHawk44 2 years, 4 months ago

What is amazing is how many editors and writers for the NY Times, wall Street Journal and Sports Illustrated post on here. Certainly Keegan needs to impress you all should he wish to make the big time... Or perhaps you are just talentless Trolls who wish like hell that someone would pay you to cover the Jayhawks don't hold your breath you hating Trolls... Some of you are simply pathetic.

0

pepper_bar 2 years, 4 months ago

Fedora will have much better options than taking over KU's bottom-ten football program.

At some point, Keegan should take a cue from Matt Tait (who actually seems to know something about football) and start focusing on realistic candidates.

0

Randy Bombardier 2 years, 4 months ago

Venables would be good, better than most. I would worry about Fedora talking off the minute A&M decides they want him.

0

irvan moore 2 years, 4 months ago

i still like coaches from the snyder tree, had a great teacher and a real work ethic.

0

Duane Rice 2 years, 4 months ago

NO VENEBLES! I dont know if anybody has noticed but his defenses have gotten considerably worse.I believe he is past his prime.

0

Randy Maxwell 2 years, 4 months ago

Lets see the last 4 coaches hired at KU were from Kent St, Northern Iowa, an Asst and Buffalo yeah getting a coach from a team that goes to a bowl game every year like USM would be the biggest hire KU has had in 50 years

0

kureignman 2 years, 4 months ago

I'm a big fan of hiring Fedora. He's been a successful Coordinator and made a smooth transition to HC at a smaller school. He's an offensive guy whose Defenses have been pretty good. He's my clear number 1, but that being said there are several good canidates out there I'd be happy with. Now that Keegan cursed Fedora by writing this article, I might have to get used to someone other than Fedora as HC.

0

Jayhawk1116 2 years, 4 months ago

Bill Snyder wasn't a sexy hire. Bill Snyder wasn't a big name. Bill Snyder wasn't a head coach...

0

irvan moore 2 years, 4 months ago

i still have confidence in zenger, i just really like mason, venables and stoops. i also understand i probably (ok, positively) don't know as much about hiring a coach as zenger but it's fun to speculate and have an opinion, we don't all agree but i really don't think zenger will be swayed by our opinions.

0

fancy80 2 years, 4 months ago

I too, was in the Hire Leach group, but I have to wonder if him accepting the Wash St job, wasn't a blessing in disguise. How badly did he want to be here? Obviously, not very bad. I trust SZ will get the best available interested candidate. It mIght not be the "sexy" hire that a number of people here are looking for, but I will support our coach until he/she is no longer our coach.

0

hailtoku 2 years, 4 months ago

If we hire a USM head coach, d-coordinator, or o-coordinator we might as have saved millions of dollars and given Gill a couple more years.

This coming from a huge anti-Gill guy....

0

tical523 2 years, 4 months ago

Nice article Keegan, thanks for serving some perspective (just watched Ratatouille again, great movie). To be honest I have been guilty of this train of thought at times when looking at coaches. Fedora's resume is impressive and when watching his teams play they definitely pass the "eye test" and that record speaks for itself.

0

kueric 2 years, 4 months ago

Welcome to the conversation Keegan. You are an @ssh@t, did you read Taits blog to learn the name Fedora? He was many fans first choice and definitely is now (w/o Leach being force fed down our throats by none other than you). Of course he's being rumored at bigger, better jobs now and it appears Kansas may not have the opportunity to hire him. And your comparison of Chryst vs. Doreen is obvious, there isn't a whole lot of talk about Chryst around these parts (he has no Big12, Texas ties) its a non-factor versus what seems like a safe pick. Way to go out on a limb. Stick to your poor editing and write about the basketball team because you know nothing about football.

0

blackhawkjayhawk 2 years, 4 months ago

For fun, let's talk Recycled Coaches. Names I've heard most:

Fulmer Barnett Mason Todd Reesing's coach (I mean, Mangino) Mike Sherman

To me, Barnett would be first. Proven winner in this league. Wanted to play at KU, knows the conference, won at a non-powerhouse school.

After Barnett, maybe Mason. For those of you who weren't around when he was, the guy's ego rivals only Roy Williams'. Has said that he has learned a lot sitting out the past five years and that he would love the KU job.

I would think that Fulmer would be third.

I'd probably take Sherman before Mangino. Less impact on the cafeteria budget.

0

bradynsdad 2 years, 4 months ago

Nick Saban lost to central michigan when he was at Toledo. Urban myer lost to western Michigan and marshal at bowling green. Les miles got beat by southern miss while at okie state. It's a good thing noone gave these guys a chance after they lost to a few smaller schools. Sometimes you have to put your faith in an A.D. For a good hire and a coach to win some games.

0

Sayers44 2 years, 4 months ago

Zenger blew it by not landing his friend Leech.

Zenger thought he had Leech in the bag and found out that by not paying enough attention to Leech that he then bolted to Wash state --who did give attention.

Now Zenger is behind the 8-ball and is scratching his head trying to figure out the next move.

Any hire now is going to be a ho hum hire after Zenger blew it with Leech.

Now we think bringing in a Fedora who lost to Marshall and UAB is a good thing. WRONG!

Realize that Fedora lost to UAB late in the year and then next week UAB lost to Fl Atlantic who had not won a game all year.

Shows me that Fedora's team did not improve and his team will get their butt kicked today.

Anybody who thinks Zenger has done something special if he hires Fedora is in La La Land.

Zenger should have given Gill two more years. Every coach needs a chance to win with his own recruits.

0

Brandon Pope 2 years, 4 months ago

Two prominent groups have emerged on this site in the last 3 days. Groups 1 is so unshakably demoralized that we didn't get Leach that all they can do is whine about anybody's name who comes from this point on. This article is for those people. All they have been able to do since Leach's hiring is complain about the A list, the B list, the C list, the AD, the chancellor, ESPN, Keegan, Leach, their dog, and anyone else who tries to remind them that the Pirate isn't coming to Lawrence. GET OVER IT!

In the second group, many probably wanted Leach and are disappointed it didn't work out (myself included) but realize that the search goes on and many names that have come up since the start (Fedora included) would be phenomenal hires for KU. Now we just have to wait and see what SZ does. The man knows what he is doing, he knows what is at stake, and he is way more qualified to pick a candidate for KU's future than all of the couch ADs that have emerged all of a sudden.

Let the man work, let him pick the right guy, quit crying about Leach, give these great coaches some respect, and support the guy who emerges because he will be the best fit for KU at this time. If you can't handle that, maybe you should go hide under a rock for 2-4 more days until this thing is over and leave the support of our athletic program to the more emotionally stable in the group.

0

bradynsdad 2 years, 4 months ago

I say we offer nick Saban half what he is making at Alabama but give him manginos burger king account. After watching that MAC championship last night I wouldnt care if he did hire doreon. I will go to the games and support my hawks no matter who they hire.

0

kesmithstl1 2 years, 4 months ago

hire Fedora before we light the Menorah!!

0

John Mueller 2 years, 4 months ago

I don't know that Doeren is my first choice, but i could not agree more that the outcome of the game this year is irrelevant to his potential qualifications / future success as KU coach.

I wonder if Abe Lincoln ever lost a trial prior to his run for presidency?

What were we thinking when we voted him as president for goodness sakes?????

dumb comment, Texashawk

0

sevenyearhawk 2 years, 4 months ago

scoff, Scoff, SCOFF!

No thanks ...

I'd much rather chose Fulmer, Nutt, Barnett (eh) or recycle Mason/Mangino than give yet another mid-major coach their "big break"

0

Andy Hess 2 years, 4 months ago

I want nothing to do with Fedora. I'd take a defensive coordinator in Venables over him in a heartbeat.

0

irvan moore 2 years, 4 months ago

mason, venables, stoops, that's where i'd like to see him looking for a coach

0

doolindalton 2 years, 4 months ago

The fact KU beat Doeren's UNI on a very fortunate last second touchdown pass is irrelevant or at least should be. Mark Mangino beat Bill Snyder once too. The fact that Turner Gill was also from a small school and had no prior experience in the Big 12 has perhaps poisoned the well in regard to first impressions. The obvious key is determining who is the best fit regardless of where he comes from. I am also interested watching Fedora's team and ,making an initial determination regarding how well coached they appear, i.e. do they block and tackle well, do they appear to know their assignments, do they make dumb penalties, did he manage to recruit a kicker who can kick deep and make his field goals?

0

johnnyhrdwd 2 years, 4 months ago

Zenger is a huge pimp if he can sign Fedora, more than likely Fedora will hold out after So. Miss raises his pay, or A$M will hire him. I'm fine with whoever Zenger hires, Doeren is probably fine. I still think it should be a coach with Kansas ties and Oklahoma and Texas recruiting connections, somebody that understands how to mix in juco players.

0

LAJayhawk 2 years, 4 months ago

I won't speak for others, but Larry Fedora is absolutely my number 1 choice at this moment. If we land him, Zenger will have drilled one about 465 feet over the fence.

Not sure exactly who Tom Keegan is speaking of, but I certainly am not scoffing; rather hoping and praying that someone else doesn't snag him up, and we have him trotting out in Crimson and Blue in 2012....

0

DevilHawk 2 years, 4 months ago

"The Jayhawks never did land the coach with the fedora (Earl Bruce) but just might get the Fedora with the visor."

Keegan,

Your final line (quoted above) seems to be entirely unnecessary. The line before it would have made a better conclusion. If anything, the line seems as though it would have been more fitting as the title or subtitle of this piece.

Respectfully.

0

Benjamin Piehler 2 years, 4 months ago

Zenger's reputation in the KU community for the immediate future probably hinges on this hire... whoever it is. I'll give him the benefit of the doubt for now.

0

treed14ku 2 years, 4 months ago

The instant I saw this headline, I knew it was a Keegan story. He's the only one dumb enough to think that KU fans wouldn't know about or want Larry Fedora. Since Leach was hired, Fedora has been the almost unanimous pick amongst KU fans. Who said we were scoffing at Fedora?? Another Keegan fluff piece that doesn't make any sense. Only Keegan would spend the first four paragraphs of a story talking about other things than what the story and headline is ultimately talking about.

0

texashawk10 2 years, 4 months ago

If KU had not beaten Doeren and NIU this season, I don't think there would be quite the backlash against his name being linked to the KU job. In a different offseason he would be a good fit for KU, but considering one of Turner Gill's 5 wins is over NIU, Doeren's name is immediately tarnished despite his very impressive resume overall.

0

Commenting has been disabled for this item.