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Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Keegan

Sheahon Zenger looking at former NFL head coaches

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Highly regarded Wisconsin offensive coordinator Paul Chryst interviewed for the Kansas University job, but KU athletic director Sheahon Zenger’s focus recently has turned to “NFL guys,” according to an industry insider.

Three former NFL coaches are believed to be interested in heading college programs: Brad Childress, Herman Edwards and Jim Mora, Jr. (It’s not yet known whether KU graduate Jack Del Rio, recently fired as head coach of the Jacksonville Jaguars, has any interest in trying college coaching. An All-American linebacker at USC, where he earned 1985 Rose Bowl honors, Del Rio attended KU to finish up his degree while on the Kansas City Chiefs’ roster.)

Also, Jacksonville Jaguars offensive coordinator Dirk Koetter has been on Zenger’s radar.

Childress, Minnesota Vikings head coach from 2006-2010, has the most extensive college experience among the former NFL head coaches testing the college waters and the lowest name-recognition with national recruits.

Childress, 55, regarded as having an innovative offensive mind, held offensive assistant positions at Illinois (1978-84), as quarterbacks coach for the Indianapolis Colts in 1985, then held offensive assistant jobs through 1998, working for Northern Arizona, Utah and Wisconsin (1991-1998). He worked as an offensive assistant with the Philadelphia Eagles for the next seven seasons, the last three as offensive coordinator.

Childress’ interest in college jobs has taken place under the radar, much as has Zenger’s search.

Edwards has limited college coaching experience and the highest profile of the three with national recruits, who feel as if they know him because he’s so telegenic in his work for ESPN.

A hard-hitting defensive back in the NFL who in nine seasons never missed a game because of injury, Edwards’ only college coaching experience came at San Jose State (1987-89) as an offensive assistant. He worked as a scout and then defensive assistant for the Kansas City Chiefs, was a defensive backs coach/associate head coach for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the compiled a 54-74 regular-season record as a head coach with the New York Jets and Chiefs.

Mora was a graduate assistant at his alma mater, University of Washington, in 1984 and has worked in the pros ever since. He compiled a 31-33 record as head coach for the Atlanta Falcons and Seattle Seahawks. Mora’s name had come up in the Arizona State search, but ASU reportedly has more interest in SMU coach June Jones.

Edwards’ name has come up for the UCLA job.

Comments

AzNHawk 2 years, 4 months ago

Should've kept Gill for year 3 along with revamping the defensive along with the strength/conditioning crew. LOL

mikehawk makes some valid points. If the jayhawk basketball team starts losing X amount of games in a row or such because of their sloppy play next thing you know they'll want Bill's head.

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mikehawk 2 years, 4 months ago

It continues to amaze me the many bloggers on this site still don't understand this is considered a high risk, potentially career killer job, in a sport that will always be #2 at KU. This is just a hypothesis, but if true AD SZ is really looking at former NFL coaches, he may have concluded he must have a name with sizzle and name recognition to energize the whole of the Jayhawk Nation. He can't get a big name college coach to KU for the aformentioned reasons. He may realize even a very good, but no name, no head coaching experience assistant, can't satisfy the donor/fan base, and won't give that type of coach the time it takes to turn this ship wreck around. Without a doubt, AD SZ is a smart guy, and he knows if this hire fails, he's cooked at KU. This is the biggest decision he will ever make from a career standpoint. I have decided the KU Nation donor/fan base has become so spoiled by the success of the basketball team, they just carry their spoiled, unrealistic expectations over the football team and think the same applies. An example of this has been watching some bloggers turn on Self for the recruiting misses this year. Let's watch the FANatics through this basketball season with the losses that are assured to occur and see to what extent they turn on HCBS. Of course, he can easily weather such criticism and sleep quietly in his bed. In contrast, become the head football coach at KU at your own career risk.

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namder 2 years, 4 months ago

Herm Edwards is the guy KU needs, he will be a good recruiter, there is alot of players who would want to play for Edwards.

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yates33333 2 years, 4 months ago

How about Texas A&M's ex-coach, Sherman?

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Danny Hernandez 2 years, 4 months ago

reading the posts about Fedora, I for one am really glad he won't be coaching Kansas next year. I know there are lots of Kansas fans that wanted Fedora but we can count our lucky stars he won't be our next coach. JUST A FEW COMMENTS below rhat were posted on Rivals from those that knew him or at least knew him better than those Kansas fans or writers that slobbed all over him.

Fedora is the worst we have had in 50 years at Southern Miss. How can a guy that has enough talent to whip Houston get beat by Marshall and UAB. the guy has been looking to leave for past three years. It's all about ME with Fedora. He has never LOST a game himself, it's always the players weren't ready to play of the Officials cost him the game. O'Well, I don't like NC so maybe they can lose together.

Moving from a successful USM program to a basketball school that cheats in football is a downward move. He is better off staying where he is. Add in the fact that the ACC is one of the worst football conferences in America and this looks like career suicide.

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HarleyFord 2 years, 4 months ago

Coaching career

[edit] NFL

After retirement as an active player, Cromwell began his coaching career with the Rams. He served as a defensive and special teams assistant in 1991 before being hired by Mike Holmgren to coach special teams for the Green Bay Packers in 1992. From 1992-97, Cromwell headed up the special teams for the Packers. The Packers' punt return unit led the NFL in 1996 with a 15.1-yard return average. Five different times during the 1996 season, one of Cromwell's players was honored as Special Teams Player of the Week. Also in 1996, the Packers won Super Bowl XXXI against the New England Patriots in New Orleans with special teams player Desmond Howard winning the Super Bowl MVP honors. The following year, the Packers reached Super Bowl XXXII in San Diego against the Denver Broncos. In 1998, he moved from special teams to coach the Packers' wide receivers and Cromwell worked with the wide receivers at Green Bay in 1998 helping Pro Bowler Antonio Freeman lead the NFL with 1,424 yards on 84 catches

After two Super Bowl appearances with Green Bay, in 1996 and 1997, Cromwell followed Holmgren to the Seattle Seahawks to coach the wide receivers. Cromwell's 2002 wide receiver corps set a franchise record for 300-yard (five) and 400-yard (two) passing games and in 2003 helped quarterback Matt Hasselbeck set a club record with 3,841 passing yardsIn Seattle, Cromwell again made a Super Bowl appearance as a coach during the Seahawks' 2005 season.

He is now the Wide Receiver coach for the St. Louis Rams and has been so since February 10, 2010

[edit] College

On January 5, 2008, Texas A&M head coach Mike Sherman named Cromwell to be his offensive coordinator.[3] When asked by media as to why he chose Cromwell, Sherman responded "I’ve always been impressed with him and the job he did in (the NFL). He’s excited about being part of college football."[4]

On February 10, 2010, Cromwell returned to the NFL as a wide receiver coach for the Rams and works with the likes of Donnie Avery, Mark Clayton, Brandon Gibson, and other to get into synch with new Rams quarterback Sam Bradford.[5]

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HarleyFord 2 years, 4 months ago

Cromwell, nicknamed "The Ransom Rambler", was an honorable mention All-America quarterback for the University of Kansas Jayhawks. He started at quarterback for two seasons, throwing 92 passes and completing 33 for 606 yards. He is one of KU's ten 1,000-yard rushers in school history.

As a freshman in 1973 he was the starting safety in the Liberty Bowl. After being a two-year starter at safety he made the move to quarterback where he broke several KU, Big Eight and NCAA records for rushing by a quarterback. In 1975, Cromwell rushed 294 and 187 yards in the Oregon State and Wisconsin games, respectively, and finished the season with 1,124 rushing yards. He also scored a touchdown in a stunning 23-3 win over the University of Oklahoma was ranked #1 at the time and the defending National Champions. Despite playing in just 18 games on offense at Kansas, he is 13th on the all-time rushing charts and is the top rushing quarterback. The 1975 Big Eight Offensive Player of the Year, All-Conference and Academic All-Conference's rushing total was the third highest in NCAA history at the time. His 294 yards rushing by a quarterback is still an NCAA record for a Division I school. He holds the Kansas record for most rushes (24) by a Kansas player in a Bowl game (set vs. Pittsburgh in the 1975 Sun Bowl).

Cromwell also earned All-America in the 600-yard run and the 440-hurdles while setting KU records in the 600-meter and 400-meter yard runs, the intermediate hurdles (a record he still holds 49:47) and the decathlon and qualified for the US Olympic trials in the low hurdles.[2]

he was part of the Big-8 champion mile relay team in 1975 and 1976, was the Big-8 440-yd/400-meter hurdle champ in both 1975 and 1976 With Cromwell's contributions the 1975 Jayhawk track team finished ranked second in the NCAA in outdoor track and fifth in indoor track while capturing both titles for the Big-8 Conference. In 1976 they repeated as Big-8 indoor champs and were second in outdoor while finishing tied for 9th in the NCAA in indoor competition and ited for 20th in outdoor competition.

Cromwell was inducted into the Kansas Sports Hall of Fame in 1996.

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HarleyFord 2 years, 4 months ago

KU needs the "Ransom Rambler" Nolan Cromwell. A star KU player 1973-1976, All Pro cornerback for the LA Rams, he has been in coaching since retirement from the NFL. He has a couple of Super Bowl rings, He is one of you! Give him a shot! You are not going to get a big name coach. He could be the Bill Snyder for KU. Give him a chance!

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Slick50 2 years, 4 months ago

Lets get a few things straight here about Herm Edwards. First of all, it was Bill Kuharic who ran the drafts during Herms tenure with the Chiefs. Secondly, Herms teams were the most unprepared, undisciplined and out of shape group of players in the league year in and year out. Thirdly, and most importantly, Herm was a disorganized head coach, with absolutely no grasp of time management or personnel management. His defenses were putrid, and his offenses were worse. A rotting corpse on the roadside has more coaching prowess than Herm "deer in the headlights" Edwards. Herm was a puppet for the Peterson regime, and wasn't qualified to be a coordinator, let alone a head coach on any level. The Chiefs weren't smart enough to learn from the Jets debacle where Herm destroyed all that Parcels put together. Suffice it to say, Turner Gill is a more gifted head coach than Herm could ever dream of being.

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Bangkok_Jayhawk 2 years, 4 months ago

Thanks for the updater Keegan! I'm still pulling for Gus Malzahn but Jim Mora Jr. could be a good hire as well. As a Chiefs fan, Herm Edwards would be interesting but make me a little nervous.

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jphog 2 years, 4 months ago

Maybe we're waiting for the Eagles to fire Andy Reid. That would be a homerun hire!

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Randy Bombardier 2 years, 4 months ago

Could it be...Mike Ditka. How about Hank Stram? I know, somewhere along a rocky, remote ledge, a little seedling has been found, the only known living descendent from the line of Vince Lombardi coaching tree. Picture SZ repelling down a cliff (think Daniel retrieving the bonsai tree in Karate Kid) to get that one special someone.

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Bill Lee 2 years, 4 months ago

As long as we're throwing out names, how about Bill Belichick? I don't know if he can recruit, but he knows how to win games.

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barackchalkjhawk 2 years, 4 months ago

This is probably the most commical thread I have seen in a while, let's throw out every name of every ex NFL coach and discuss. These guys, all of them, would be horrible choices and I doubt there is any merit to this article. But it's entertaining so keep it coming!

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Scut Farkus 2 years, 4 months ago

Childress ???? I think this "industry insider" Keegan mentions is from the marijuana industry. Edwards is happy as an talking head. Jim Mora ???? I would hate to see him crying during every press conference. Jack Del Rio ???? Don't know much about him. I liked to watch him play but I don't think he has any college coaching experience. If were going to pick names out of the air like Keegan, I would throw in Tony Dungy, but I think the NFL would lure him back if he was truly interested in coaching again.

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bootlegger 2 years, 4 months ago

How about Marty Shottenheimer??

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bootlegger 2 years, 4 months ago

Herm Edwards; worthless...................just like Gill.................

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Daniel Kennamore 2 years, 4 months ago

Well if there is anything we can take away from this article, it's that KU's coach will not be a former NFL coach.

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Randy Maxwell 2 years, 4 months ago

June Jones is back in play talks with ASU off

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Ralster Jayhawk 2 years, 4 months ago

Bill Cowher or John Gruden--but what's really the chance of landing these guys? Just to dream a little bit, if we land one of these two...you gotta believe we could land alot of 4, 5-star talent. Talent that can have an impact even in frosh/spoo seasons...These 2 could "sell" their NFL connections, have the 5star recruits drooling with the 'future'='easy' button...(Ok, back to reality: whatcha got for us Zenger?)

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squawkhawk 2 years, 4 months ago

This is just getting ridiculous. No one wants the job. Maybe we should just give up football and focus on BB.

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Randy Bombardier 2 years, 4 months ago

People mention working ability with Bill Self. Personally, I don't see that at all. If that were the case, we'd hire Neuheisal.

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97jhawk 2 years, 4 months ago

Arrrggggg! Please! No Baldress!! He's the worst! As a resident of Minnesota, I witnessed his downfall. His personality will NOT work at KU! He's the furthest cry from Bill Self, regarding that category. The guy had the worst press conferences and has the personality of an eraser.

If he is named the new coach, I will officially jump ship from all things KU football! Zenger, I hope you're listening!

If these are the guys he's looking at, he has no idea what he is doing and is going in the wrong direction. This is ridiculous!!

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gchawk 2 years, 4 months ago

If we're going to dream, I'd vote for Bill Cowher.

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Haiku_Cuckoo 2 years, 4 months ago

Gayle Sayers. He's already on the payroll and any potential recruit would love to play for "The Kansas Comet". He may not be able to coach but that doesn't matter...because he's Gayle Sayers.

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Tony Bandle 2 years, 4 months ago

The only way you get a quality, legit coach is;

1] You offer him "Bill Self " money for a guaranteed five years. 2] You include a no-fire clause with a penalty of 10 mil plus remaining salary balance. 3] You grant absolute control of the program 4] You sweeten the pot with cash loaded incentives for wins, bowl appearances, league titles, national titles, 5] Dump the track and enhance the game day experieince in the Stadium 6] Consistently schedule the softest three cream puffs you can find for non-conference play. 7]You name the field after his wife and then the stadium after his mother. 8] Provide a private jet for team away games. 9] Charge every student, teacher, researcher and university worker a football tax fee of $100 annually. 10] Bend the rules as much as possible without cheating [or at least, getting caught]

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troutsee 2 years, 4 months ago

If Zenger can somehow lure Herm Edwards to take the KU job, he will have earned his salary. This would be a three-runs-behind-two-outs-bottom-of-the-ninth-grandslam in the 7th game. This guy knows football. If he shows passion to return to coaching at the college level, well, then that completes the deal.

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newmedia 2 years, 4 months ago

Must have received a lot of rejections from current college coaches if we are down to old NFL coaches. This may not end well. Boy I hope I am wrong...

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alphajay 2 years, 4 months ago

I'm becoming more and more interested in Edwards. I suspect head coaching is nearly as much about political correctness as X's and O's. Herm Edwards appears to be able to handle both, and probably better as an NCAA head coach than a NFL head coach. He's got ties to the area, knows the game, knows people (assistants?). I don't know - Herm might work out just right for KU. RCJH

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Funhawk 2 years, 4 months ago

Hire someone who has experience and is attractive. Hire Goldie Hawn.

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cool_beans 2 years, 4 months ago

the AD should talk to john gruden

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Randy Bombardier 2 years, 4 months ago

Marty Shottenheimer if we are going pro. I think he'd like it, do well and could coach a long time here. And since we are talking pro why not our man Nolan Cromwell?

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jlvlawrence 2 years, 4 months ago

I personally think Herm would be a great fit here. I think if he hired some good assistants, he'd really be able to recruit. The best guys playing for the chiefs are all guys that Herm drafted.

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bear67 2 years, 4 months ago

I hope Der Meister Zenger has at least interviewed Dirk Koetter. He did an outstanding job at ASU where he inherited a catastrophy. He's 40ish, tough but intellegent, and can both coach and mentor players. He recruited one of my family [ . . the Hasselbacks, Chris Hovan, and multiple other NFL players] and coached them at BC as an assistant coach. He can recruit anybody any where and he can look a mother in the eye and tell her "exactly what he expects and exactly what her son will get in return". KU doesn't need a TV personality or someone with NFL credentials [although Koetter has them], they need a leader and football coach.

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rcjallday 2 years, 4 months ago

I would prefer to not have an NFL guy. The college game is much different with the variety of offenses and recruiting. I don't see why a coach that couldn't get it done in the NFL would be a good match at KU. It wouldn't be a great way to rally the troops.

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Matthew Pyle 2 years, 4 months ago

Though I hated Herm as the Chiefs coach, I think he would be a great coach for KU. His personality, etc I believe would naturally make him a good recruiter. Does he still live in the KC area??

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Michael Wattai 2 years, 4 months ago

Brad Childress looks like Frank Oz.

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Casey Gee 2 years, 4 months ago

Hiring an NFL coach would stand out to recruits at least. Out of curiosity, can anyone even think of an example of a former NFL coach being unsuccessful when they came down to the college ranks? I think Herm Edwards would combine all the things we liked about Turner Gill (really likable, players coach) and would bring better coaching ability, defensive presence, and talent evaluation to KU.

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1jhawk2 2 years, 4 months ago

I doubt they would be fired in 2 years considering the next coach will be Zenger's hire. Zenger will most likely give the new coach a 4 year window to prove his worth. Maybe personalities clashed with Zenger and Gill. Gill may be to passive and Zenger wants someone with a firm grip on the program which does not mean no texting after 10pm.

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1jhawk2 2 years, 4 months ago

I doubt they would be fired in 2 years considering the next coach will be Zenger's hire. Zenger will most likely give the new coach a 4 year window to prove his worth. Maybe personalities clashed with Zenger and Gill. Gill may be to passive and Zenger wants someone with a firm grip on the program which does not mean no texting after 10pm.

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Displayhawk 2 years, 4 months ago

If Herm Edwards knows so much, then why didn't he win more games as an NFL head coach??? He would be a terrible hire. Out of all of them, I would take Koetter or Del Rio before Edwards or Mora. Would rather have Malzahn or Chryst before these rejects.

CBS sports is saying the Air Force coach Calhoun is interviewing for the aTm job.

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XEPCT 2 years, 4 months ago

I'll be back in Lawrence over the holidays and I'd like to ask everyone to save a little of what all of you are smoking for me. You seriously think that any of these guys would take a job at Kansas knowing that they are liable to be fired in two years if they don't win with Gill's players? Zenger has to roll the dice on an unproven guy.

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Alex Wishart 2 years, 4 months ago

just because you are unsuccessful int he NFL doesn't mean you'll be a failure in NCAA. Charlie Weis was never a head coach in the NFL so that's a bad example. Look at Nick Saban, Pete Carroll, and Lane Kiffen. I know it's a small sample size but its just a list of NFL guys that made it happen in college as well. I'd take Herm or Del Rio in a heartbeat.

what about Eric Mangini?

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miseryh8r 2 years, 4 months ago

If any of these are true, especially Edwards and childress, I'm done with football. It's hard enough to win let alone win when you're a complete tool. And I'm tired of people being great offensive minds.....I'm a great offensive mind on PlayStation 3 but that probably wouldn't transfer to the real world. Look at their resumes and tell me u don't cringe. If fedora is out I would rather see Gus or Chryst....our options are dwindling fast...I am praying keegan is as wrong as he always is.

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Bruce Bertsch 2 years, 4 months ago

Keegan has become "Captain Stir the Pot", in other news...Germans bomb Pearl Harbor! Film at 11.

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Randy Bombardier 2 years, 4 months ago

Well, better sign a contract with Reggie and assistants so we don't lose our recruiters while we are waiting for some NFL guy. Sure hope Zenger comes out as a boy wonder on this one. Otherwise I am starting to get nervous.

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irvan moore 2 years, 4 months ago

what about charlie wiess, i like him

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FreddyinLA 2 years, 4 months ago

Childress always had that perplexed look on the sideline after Farve would throw another pick and then come over to the sideline and ignore him. Yea, I want that guy leading young men to battle.

No worries though, Keeg wrote about him so we are safe.

This is now beyond comical.

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TKHAWK 2 years, 4 months ago

Of the names on the list, Herm is actually the name I like the best, but unfortunately due to circumstances, I don't see it happening. Firstly, there will automatically be the comparison to Turner Gill, which is absolutely not true. Herm is a leader of men and his players would run through walls for him. His failure with the NYJ and Chiefs had other organizational issues besides coaching, but as usual the head coach takes the fall. Secondly, on that same note. He did coach the Chiefs. Many KU alum and Chiefs fans. Therefore they will automatically regress to their memories of the Chiefs.

I actually think Herm would make a better fit for college football than NFL. He's smart, charismatic and he knows football. He just needs the right fit (and as described above I'm not saying thats KU). One last thought, as a recruiter, remember who your target audience is...18 yo high school kids, who love Coach Herm on ESPN and know nothing about the above things I have mentioned. They will give Herm his fair chance and respect, but sadly KU fan will not.

Don't be surprised to see coach Edwards on the college sidelines very soon, and don't be surprised to read KU posts asking "why couldn't we have gotten him?"

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Ron Prichard 2 years, 4 months ago

I hope this column from Keegan is as accurate as his last 47. I don't want any of these guys.

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ogjhawk 2 years, 4 months ago

this has to be a joke. When was the last time one of these guys went on a recruiting trip?

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JayHawkFanToo 2 years, 4 months ago

Herm did to the Chiefs what Gill did to KU. If you want a former NFL coach take Schottenheimer. A proven winner and still coaching.

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cool_beans 2 years, 4 months ago

herm edwards would be a legit hire

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Jeremy Shank 2 years, 4 months ago

From Nate Bukaty's twitter feed

Already did. Says he's not interested. RT @quanred: @nate_bukaty could you ask herm if he would take the ku job.#kufball

He interviews Herm once a week on his 810whb morning show

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Fred Davis 2 years, 4 months ago

Herm and TGill aren't even in the same ballpark... Herm is a damn good evaluator of talent and the man knows football... I've said for years he's probably better suited as a College Head Coach as opposed to an NFL head coach... He's been on ESPN the last three years, and you gonna tell me Herm wouldn't be able to recruit? Please. I'd take Herm in a heartbeat to be the next HC at KU...

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ahpersecoachingexperience 2 years, 4 months ago

Your tips on leach, fedora, and fulmer have been so dead on, how can this one be anything else but true?

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Randy Bombardier 2 years, 4 months ago

How about Tony Dungy? Anybody ask? Gill-like character and values and proven winner. So, in many ways what Gill started is continued, only with more on-the-field success.

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jayhawkinATL 2 years, 4 months ago

Especially "no" to Mora...he sucked ASS here in the ATL!!!!!

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DrGraydog 2 years, 4 months ago

who ever gets the job....hope he has some credentials on the defensive side of the game

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Tad Shurtz 2 years, 4 months ago

Keegan is just throwing darts.

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zhawkz 2 years, 4 months ago

Herm Edwards? Holy smokes...awful coach.

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Kirk 2 years, 4 months ago

This is the first time I've caught a whiff of real desperation in the search.

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RibMan 2 years, 4 months ago

The head coach must have successfully coordinated an offense or defense at a very high level. Herm Edwards is a better/higher profile version of Turner Gill. Edwards was never a coordinator. KU needs something better. Sounds like some good candidates are in play.

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sdoyel 2 years, 4 months ago

Herm Edwards = Turner Gill

You don't want to venture into former NFL head coaches, because as soon as they gain success at the collegiate level, they bolt back to the NFL.

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Brandon Pope 2 years, 4 months ago

I wish there was more close-to-home precedence for the NFL-> college transition so I could get a feel for how successful these kinds of moves are were SZ to end up hiring someone from the next level.

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