Thursday, December 8, 2011


Gus Malzahn? More likely Northern Illinois coach Dave Doeren

Northern Illinois coach Dave Doeren walks the sideline in the second quarter Saturday, Sept. 10, 2011 at Memorial Stadium.

Northern Illinois coach Dave Doeren walks the sideline in the second quarter Saturday, Sept. 10, 2011 at Memorial Stadium.


A friend asked if I would be surprised if Auburn offensive coordinator Gus Malzahn were announced as the next head coach of the Kansas University football team.

My response: “Yes, but I’ll be surprised no matter who it is.”

Then I thought about it and came to the conclusion that only one name won’t surprise me: Dave Doeren.

He’s the former Mark Mangino assistant coach who left Kansas after the 2005 season for Wisconsin, where he worked his way up to defensive coordinator and then left to become head coach at Northern Illinois.

Yes, Doeren has the dubious distinction of being the only coach from an FBS school to lose a game to Turner Gill in 2011, but one game does not a coach make or break.

If I had to stake every possession of value I had — my house, my clutch putting stroke, my good looks — on being right, I would make that guess Doeren.

Here’s why: When KU athletic director Sheahon Zenger started his coaching search, he knew he could get Doeren. He had that in his back pocket. So why not do an exhaustive search, starting with established head coaches such as Mike Leach and Larry Fedora? Also talk to Doeren and Wyoming coach Dave Christensen.

And then move onto assistant coaches and NFL coaches, past and present. All the while, measure each candidate against Doeren, who has proven better than anyone that he can sell recruits on coming to Kansas.

While coaching for KU, Kansas City and Dallas were Doeren’s main recruiting areas. During that time, he recruited, among others, All-American cornerback Aqib Talib, second-team All-American defensive tackle James McClinton, NFL safety Darrell Stuckey, and linebackers James Holt, Kevin Kane, Joe Mortensen (Oakland, Calif.) and Mike Rivera.

Doeren’s Northern Illinois Huskies are scheduled to play against Arkansas State in the Bowl on Jan. 8 in Mobile, Ala. Arkansas State’s coach Hugh Freeze already has left for Mississippi. Is it too late to change the name to the Interim Head Coach Bowl?

Doeren coached Northern Illinois to the MAC championship with a 20-point comeback, defeating Ohio University, 23-20, to improve the Huskies’ record to 10-3.

Doeren’s area of expertise is defense. At Northern Illinois, he inherited a terrific quarterback in Chandler Harnish, who has 26 touchdown passes and five interceptions and has rushed for 1,382 yards.

A graduate of Bishop Miege and Drake University, where he played football, Doeren turned 40 last Saturday. His first coaching job was as an assistant under Scott Diebold at Shawnee Mission Northwest in 1994, now an assistant coach at Shawnee Mission West. Doeren was a student-teacher at SMNW after finishing his education at Drake.

“He was very knowledgeable, knew how to motivate kids,” Diebold said. “Nowadays, at the high school and college level, getting kids to believe in what you’re doing is so important. Dave has that ability to sell kids that what they’re doing is going to get them to the big-time, get them to win those big games.”

Diebold spoke to Doeren’s winning personality.

“He’s very personable, very genuine,” said Diebold, who painted houses with Doeren on the same crew for a couple of summers. “If he tells you something, it’s the truth. He’s not blowing smoke. I guess that’s what I like best about David, he’s genuine.”

I think it’s going to be Doeren, even if most of the rest of the world thinks it’s going to be Malzahn. It just makes too much sense for Zenger, who doesn’t appear to have an interest in former Tennessee coach Phillip Fulmer, to hire Doeren. The man believes he can win at Kansas and his interest isn’t in becoming a head coach, it’s in becoming the Kansas head coach.

If Kansas announces Doeren at a Friday press conference and introduces him to the crowd at Saturday’s Ohio State basketball game in Allen Fieldhouse, I won’t be surprised. If it’s anybody else, I’ll be surprised.


treed14ku 6 years, 6 months ago

This is getting ridiculous Keegan. First you wanted Leach, then Fedora, then Fullmer, then it was going to be an NFL hire "according to your sources", and now you want Doeren? I'm just ready for a new column to come out tomorrow w/ a completely different name. Your ADD sports writing schtick is getting old.

stahlin 6 years, 6 months ago

THIS! 1000Xs this, just go away keegan

Bangkok_Jayhawk 6 years, 6 months ago

This is what a columnist does. His job is to write about what people want to hear about. People want to hear about the coaching search. The Keegan bashers on the message boards are getting old. If you don't want an opinion, don't read the opinion column.

txjhawk77 6 years, 6 months ago

You forgot that this was written long after Tait had put the headlights on Weis.

So much for Keegan's house, putting stroke, and good looks.

More useless drivel.

Carter Patterson 6 years, 6 months ago

Ok...strike Doeren off the list. Thanks TK.

ottomark 6 years, 6 months ago

No one else will say it, so I will: great article.

treed14ku 6 years, 6 months ago

So Keegan, why did you pick ottomark as your user name?

JJHAWK 6 years, 6 months ago

treed14ku you off your meds again? Dang boy! You know your doctors warned you you can't play with adults if you don't keep up your meds. Kids!

Bville Hawk 6 years, 6 months ago

Yeah, I agree with you and I like most of Tom's columns. For some reason on this board it is popular to bash Keegan. For the most part I think the bashing is undeserved

Keep up the good work, Tom. I suspect the silent majority appreciates your work.

Gary Wirsig 6 years, 6 months ago

I think that the bashing is deserved about 50% of the time. But I liked this article. Makes a lot of sense. However, pure speculation at this time, thanks to our tight-lipped AD, which I also appreciate.

ironhead80 6 years, 6 months ago

Hey!! Keegan!!! Quit asking your MOM to respond to your articles.

jhox 6 years, 6 months ago

I agree, Ottomark...Keegan's best article in awhile...Well thought out, and he actually sold me somewhat on the idea of Doeren. I won't be as disappointed in that hire as I would have been before reading this. I'd forgotten he had a lot to do with the recruits Mangino's staff landed, who made up the bowl teams. When he left, that's when the recruiting wheels fell off. He's in my top 3 now as far as guys I would be most happy with.

KCatty 6 years, 6 months ago

I don't usually bash on Keegan, but this is like his 5th article, all naming different coaches as our best and most likely candidiate. Keegan's reporting on this matter has lost all credibility.

bradh 6 years, 6 months ago

Name one person who's made a prediction on who the new coach would be that hasn't changed their mind over the week plus we've been looking. Almost everyone opted for Leach, then Fedora. New possibilities come up as old ones come off the board. Right now it is just a guessing game. Guess we could root for MU if we wanted to know exactly who the next coach will be, they can't keep secrets.

Bville Hawk 6 years, 6 months ago

How many times does it have to be reinforced to some of you that TK is a columnist, not a reporter. What he writes is supposed to be thought provoking opinion. I think he meets that goal.

Jared Grillot 6 years, 6 months ago

Except, of course, that Matt has been giving us just as many, and often the same, names, just couching things in "seems to be" and "possibly", rather than the more definite, and therefore argument-causing, ways that Keegan has been presenting his various predictions. What does that tell us? Either the names actually are changing that fast, or nobody knows a darn thing. Either way, posting nothing would be even more aggravating, so keep them coming guys. Eventualy someone will get hired and then we can all jump in to complain about that instead.

tylerste 6 years, 6 months ago

Dorean would be a ho hum pick, but I don't doubt that he might be the right pick. People will complain that he is from a mid-major, but if you look at his career arc you can clearly see how fast he has been moving up the ranks as a coach. Coaches who advance through the system quickly normally do so for a reason. He can bring in the talent we need, and he can coach the type of offense that is necessary to compete in the big twelve. When this search started Dorean was way down on my list, but at this point I think he could be the best option for KU, even if he is not the most exciting.

Andy Tweedy 6 years, 6 months ago

Pretty much! I will be very afraid to sign on here that day and read the horrid responses from the masses when he's picked, but I think it might actually be the best pick in some ways! The idea that we beat him being a big strike against him is laughable to me. SZ better be looking at far more than one game. That being said, I still don't think he'll be the guy...just doesn't feel right to me.

RockCaCO3 6 years, 6 months ago

Rare moment here, but I like Keegans rationale for Doeren. I think we could do alot worse than him (and acutally, we did do alot worse than him.

RockCaCO3 6 years, 6 months ago

It's called speculation folks. Keegan is speculating, just like Tait, and the rest of us. If LJW didnt post any articles (even speculation) you whiners would be whining about that.

RockCaCO3 6 years, 6 months ago

And Keegan, you can send my check to the same address.

Vaildini 6 years, 6 months ago

Great pick if it happens. Also, you guys bash his articles everyday, but still read them. That's his job. To make you read them so they sell papers and you do everyday. Well done Tom. It's not like other schools where this search is happening a bit public. He is drawing at straws a bit like us. Everyone is looking for info and no one is finding it. Tait is already doing a great job of tracking things. They can't write the same article. You guys are ridiculous. Why don't you post something with all your football search knowledge. Your friends must love sharing a beer with you know-it-alls. haha give it a rest.

thunderhawk357 6 years, 6 months ago

Keegan is only ever about 1 week behind Kirby. Umm.. Doeren is out of the pic.

gripp42 6 years, 6 months ago

Really? Really? Reeeeallly? Keegan names yet another front runner. Is this April 1?

JayhawkGrad05 6 years, 6 months ago

To be fair to Keegan, nobody knows what in the world is going on in this search (Thank God we don't look like ASU does in their search!!), so he's just stating cases for different ideas each day. Matt has the advantage of working in the blog format, so he can explain himself easier. I'm not a Keegan apologist and don't agree with many of his articles, but when writing about a subject that nobody but SZ and maybe a couple others truly even know anything about, what do you expect? I think he can have a pass on criticism for coverage on the coaching search. The other stuff is fair game though.

Mark Lindrud 6 years, 6 months ago

I think it would have been better served if Keegan did a daily bio on possible candidates we are looking at then saying who should be the guy. Just tell us who KU is interested and tell us about the coach so we can decide for ourselves what our opinion of each coach is.

Instead, we got Fulmer should be the guy for 3 days, now Doeren, then it will be Keegan's barber, then the deli guy. I am glad Zenger is doing his homework and I am getting the feeling we will have our next coach by the end of the week. I hope I am right so he can be introduced at the KU-OSU game.

Bville Hawk 6 years, 6 months ago

If you want a bio go to google and type in their name then click on the Wikipedia link. Takes 10 seconds if you're a 2 finger typist, less if you have normal skills. Why should he waste everyone's time by re-feeding us common knowledge?

Mark Lindrud 6 years, 6 months ago

He is wasting our time already so why not at least be useful?

Bville Hawk 6 years, 6 months ago

Hell, if any of us were worth anything we wouldn't be wasting our time posting on this board!

Mark Lindrud 6 years, 6 months ago

My mama said when I grow up I am going to be worth something!

Andy Tweedy 6 years, 6 months ago

I guess to me, TK's article just read like longer versions of the posts I'm seeing on this site. But as someone who supposedly has a lot more inside knowledge of the search (or at least sources), I get a little burned out on the fact that what he seems to think is going to happen changes every day. This article didn't come across that way to me. In fact, I think what he's saying made some sense. I think, this time, he's kind of saying "who knows!"

lama 6 years, 6 months ago

Doeren isn't the sexy, home-run hire, but he wants the job, would stay if he has success (like Mangino) and is a good young coach. It beats the retreads circulating now. Get it done.

bpeoples 6 years, 6 months ago

I'm definitely warming up to the idea of Doeren. All I want is a KU football team that goes 7-5 every year, makes a bowl game, beats KSU, and at least has a chance of winning every game they play in. This doesnt' require a home run hire. I like the idea of giving a former KC resident a chance. And it sure doesn't hurt that he's young and would love to have the job. Who really wants a guy to come here for a couple years and as soon as things start looking good, they bolt? It's all about pride, and no KU fan wants a coach to come here and leave after a few years for a "better" job.

JayhawkGrad05 6 years, 6 months ago

I think I'd like more than that, but if that were a normal year and sometimes, with a talented group, we went 10-2 or even better, I'd definitely be ok with it!

kranny 6 years, 6 months ago

If you're settling for 7-5, we won't beat K-State. K-State is 10-2, 3 years removed from Prince. There's no reason KU can't be the same. 7-5 isn't bad but with WVU and TCU coming in, 3 of those wins will need to be against FBS teams in the non-conference. We'll need to beat hopefully Iowa State, Baylor, K-State, and who? This league is going to fricking tough and KU better nut it up or the Big 12 may drop them for lack of ticket sales.

bpeoples 6 years, 6 months ago

Sure, I'd love a football team with 10 wins or more every year, but let's be realistic for now. What I said above is basically the goal set for a decent year, and that will keep fans in the seats, which is what we need in order to become a real contender. And K-State is a couple of plays going wrong, that went right, from being 7-5 this year. They pulled out some games that could've easily gone the other way. A lot of that is good coaching, but sometimes things just go your way and snowball from there. My whole point is we need a coach that can recruit and put a disciplined team on the field that can at least compete with anyone. A play or two goes our way and we win some games we shouldn't have.

And I'd put Tech in there with teams we need to beat regularly.

shinanigins 6 years, 6 months ago

If I am comparing Weis or Malzahn to Doreon I pick Weis or Malzahn.

tahawk81 6 years, 6 months ago

I cant argue with the points TK makes. IF, and a big if, Doeren has success at KU the chances of him leaving would be lower than other coaches since he is from around here. I would like a little bigger name but if its Doeren I will get behind him.

DocBean 6 years, 6 months ago

Even though he lost to Gill, it took a last second touchdown from KU to get the win, and it was at home.

I won't hold that horrible loss against him. I'm guessing his kids overlooked KU (mostly joking).

Randy Bombardier 6 years, 6 months ago

Just like a kid at Christmas. Now we know why he got into journalism. He liked taking sneaky peaks.

Tony Bushard 6 years, 6 months ago

I think Keegan has a wheel in his office too and it must have landed on Doeren today. To his point though, a pretty good coach by the name of Urban Meyer succeeded in the MAC before he made it big. I'm not saying Doeren will ever be as successful as Meyer, nor do I know if he is the right person for KU, but like tylerste said above, he's advanced through the ranks quickly and had success at the head coaching level. Also, I think when you've been at an institution previously (see Bill Self) there's a better chance of that person staying and being more dedicated if given the chance to come back. Finally, it's true that Gill beat him, but it's also true that Northern Illinois nearly won on the road. I have a feeling it will be Doeren too, but I'd rather have youthful exuberance with a proven track record than a big name that wouldn't be so "big" if he hadn't had been gifted with Tom Brady.

kudzutexas 6 years, 6 months ago

I think TK is absolutely right...Doeren would be the perfect fit. Besides all the info TK provided, Doeren is an experienced, very good coach. He's great recruiter and a winner. But, most importantly, and I think this is really important, he is from Kansas - just 30 minutes from Lawrence. From his perspective this would seem to be his destination job (like Bill Self says). How many other coaches would say that?

Sam Constance 6 years, 6 months ago

I'm no Keegan apologist, but I can't understand why people are distinguishing in their minds any difference between what Keegan and Tait are doing in relation to the coaching search.

Both guys are doing a slightly more-refined version of throwing crap against the wall and seeing what sticks. Tait is doing this by basically giving a real-time account of the information he finds out, via various websites and phonecalls, in an informal and conversational manner. Keegan is doing it by writing a bit more formal editorial articles...

...but at the end of the day, both men are doing their best to make educated guesses about a coaching search that has been kept very close to the vest by AD Zenger.

I have to agree with some others on this board--no matter what you think about Keegan or the blunderbuss style speculation about KU's next head coach, he makes a fairly convincing argument for why Doeren would be a good selection to succeed Gill.

I know he's another "mid major" coach, so there will undoubtedly be some reticence, given the spectacular failure that was Turner Gill. But Doeren has shown specific recruiting success, whereas Gill's "recruiting" benefit was the fact that he was originally a Big 12 guy and was a successful player when he played. I also like the fact that Doeren is a Kansas guy, and that he doesn't take a choirboy approach to getting restless, self-absorbed young men to listen to and play hard for him.

Bville Hawk 6 years, 6 months ago

The collective mentality of the posters is to bash Keegan and fawn all over Matt, don't know why. They are both capable writers that are good at their jobs, Matt to report and Tom to opine.

Bville Hawk 6 years, 6 months ago

Duh, did you even read the column? He said Doeren's is the only name that would not surprise him.

Andy Tweedy 6 years, 6 months ago

So you're saying TO and his three national championships can't coach? Just exactly who can?

NebraskaJayhawk 6 years, 6 months ago

Good luck rockchalk1990. hihawk doesn't have a clue about most everything. Really not even worth posting on his comments because for one he can't read / write, and two his comprehension level is that of a first grader. My 6 year old understands English better than this guy does.

Anyway, Altman was actually a pretty decent coach. Didn't fair well at K-State, but had some success at other venues, mainly Creighton. Most people don't know that he was the guy that recruited Mitch Richmond to K-State under Lon Kruger. Richmond was a stud and I always enjoyed the matchup between Manning's Jayhawks and Richmond's Wildcats.

Bville Hawk 6 years, 6 months ago

My only question about Doeren: Is he a hard ass? KU football has only been successful over the years when we had a tough, demanding, SOB as head coach. No more touchy-feely.

I would still take Jim Leavitt over Doeren, but if Doeren has a rep for being tough and demanding and no-nonsense then I would be fine with him.

ku_foaf 6 years, 6 months ago

I'd agree about the "tough coach."

Fambrough - a tough guy of sorts, not a "hard-a##" but not soft, well liked. Caused NCAA problems that had bad repercussions for KU for years and was fired.

Gottfried - definite tough guy, also well liked. Got sick of the administration and moved on.

Valescente - extremely well qualified, nice guy, well liked, soft teams, disaster. Fired after 2 years.

Mason - definitely a tough guy, well liked. Got sick of the administration and almost left. Got sick of the administration and DID leave.

Allen - nice guy, well liked, terrible recruiting, football fell very low. Fired.

Mangino - tough guy, supposedly NOT well liked internally. Had teams with actual talent and took KU further than anyone for 40 years. Fired, supposedly for cruelty.

Turner Gill - See Valescente.

I just wish we could get a coach that can get along with the administration and have some success. Even our successful coaches (Fambrough, Gottfried, Mason, Mangino) have all had a wavering season after a very good one, and the grumbling starts. We usually have a coaching change then, either the coach leaving or fired. I think patience is an issue. Texas A&M is now doing the same thing in the last 15 years or so.

jayhawkinATL 6 years, 6 months ago

Hope I'm wrong, but I think we're getting ready to swing and whiff!!!!!

master16 6 years, 6 months ago

put simply: under the circumstances Doeren would be a great get. obviously he is not the first, second or even third choice but that's because he's still young and hasn't accomplished much yet. he is just about to complete his first season as head coach. however, if nothing else works out, I think he is a solid coach who will work hard, recruit hard and put KU back on track.

as for the keegan bashers, it's getting old. if anything he probably enjoys having haters, judging by the way he continues to write.

trey 6 years, 6 months ago

I've always liked Doeren as a choice, not neccessarily at the very top of the list, but on the "short list". And I haven't figured out why folks wouldn't be as excited about him, as other BCS Coordinators (Malzahn, Chryst, Stoops, Venables). After all, he was BCS coordinator AND has 1 year of HC experience (and a very good one). Here's how I feel about the suggested folks in play...

Would be very excited about... Fulmer, Tressel, Weis, Doeren

Would be cautiously optimistic with... Malzahn, Chryst

Will be depressed if... Dirk (please no), Christianson (this is an IQ test), Nutt, Stoops, Venables, Jones, Childress (god no), Herm, Dykes,

Andy Tweedy 6 years, 6 months ago

I like him, too, but it seems clear to me why they aren't excited. They just got done with a guy from Buffalo and now we'd be getting a guy from Northern Illinois. But he was already a DC at Wisconsin, so that should sit well with everyone. I LOVE the fact that he's from the area. If he does work out, which would be a questions with any candidate, good change he'd stick around.

moliemolie 6 years, 6 months ago

I'd be ok with Doeren, based on his overall resume and his history here. I also think there would be a chance he could become a lifer with his ties to the area. Most guys who have any success here would be gone soon after.

Of course, he'd have to be successful first and we know how difficult that is.

johnnyhrdwd 6 years, 6 months ago

Doeren is the only guy who wants the job, he's familiar with the territory. He's a man, he's 40.

Clarence Glasse 6 years, 6 months ago

Mr. Keegan wrote an interesting and informative article. I now know things about Doeren that I didn't yesterday. I'll have to put Mr. Doeren high on the list.

Like 99.9% of the folks that read these posts (READ them, not post - I know only the "real experts" do most of the posting) I'm subject to flights of fancy about almost any coaching name that carries with it almost any credibility at all. The big majority of us have no clue about all the intricacies involved in making this coaching choice. I'm glad that a better man than any of us is shoulders the responsibility of getting KU the right head coach. Its part of SZ's job. I think he'll do it well.


John Mueller 6 years, 6 months ago

I very much appreciate being able to read about my beloved Jayhawks every day on this website!

Thanks for the info. Some of us are old enough to remember a world when as soon as you got transferred away from Kansas, you basically had to call your parents to find out what was going on in Lawrence and Kansas City. Or maybe a box score on page 14 of the Chicago Tribune.

I think the secrecy of this search is brilliant by our new AD. The absolute professional way to do this is to have one winner, no losers (we don't even have to read about KU getting passed over, etc.).

The "Coach Watch" is extremely entertaining, but there is literally no reporting to be done because of the secrecy of the process. So, it's all speculation, and it's total candy every day at lunch time if you are a sports junkie and a Jayhawk fan.

I always wonder what kind of unbelievable professional success has been achieved by all who come on this site and bash writers, players, etc. every single day.

You people must be unbelievably, talented and successful!!

Maybe tomorrow instead of bashing Keegan, you can write a short bio about yourself and include all of your professional accomplishments, financial success a maybe a short note or two about what kind of philanthropy you will choose as you start to give away the tremendous wealth you have been able to accumulate?

JayhawkGrad05 6 years, 6 months ago

Ha ha! I'm not old enough to remember that time, but I agree with just about everything said here. Great post!

Robert Howard 6 years, 6 months ago

Thanks for writing this Keegs. The 'Keegan Curse' will ensure that Doeren won't be the next football coach.

Vaildini 6 years, 6 months ago

I hope everyone understands that we are not in the running for some of the top names because of the program. Mason,Terry Allen, Mangino and Gill. None of these guys were sexy hires. This is KU. We love it but it is not nationally known as a blue chip program. If you go back you will see all the people that wanted both Mangino and Mase fired in there first couple years. If you follow football you know that we would be very fotunate to land Doeren. He is a tough,hard nosed guy. He is a MW Kansas guy. A great recruiter and defensive mind clear back to his Montana days where he was winning championships. The guy can coach. He has coached in this league and worked his way into being a D Coor, at a Big 10 School based on his accomplishments at that school. I don't know who you guys think are lining up for this job. Fedora passed us up for North Carolina. If you are a KU fan you know we have the facilities,campus and AD to get it done. Now we nned a great coach WHO WANTS TO BE HERE. We dont need a Josh Selby who is gonna come for 1 year to use us as a stepping stone to a better job. We need a commitment. I'm open to other coaches too, but don't sleep on Dave. He would be a great hire.

VaJay 6 years, 6 months ago

The other good thing (assuming he turns the team around) is there's a good chance he would stay for a while & maybe put his mark on this program.

David Robinett 6 years, 6 months ago

--young --would probably stay if successful --defensive mind --has recruited well, including to KS


Agree with "not sexy, but maybe the RIGHT hire"

hawksince51 6 years, 6 months ago

Agree--with the possible exception of Jack Mitchell, whon we hired away from Arkansas in the late 50's, KU has never been able to hire a big or even mediorcre named coach. We have consistently hired either from the Assistant Coach ranks or mid-major head coaches. We need to have realistic expectations about who Zenger can attract.

shelleysue 6 years, 6 months ago

This needs to stop. It's no longer humorous. Both the reporting and the Doeren talk. Stop. And no. Sorry, but I would be as disappointed in that hire as I was the day Turner Gill was announced as head coach.

Vaildini 6 years, 6 months ago

Then I would have to understand that you do not know much about football, coaching and selling the KU football program. Unfortunate.

Bville Hawk 6 years, 6 months ago

Oh, come on now, shelleysue, don't go gettin your panties in a wad. Me and the boys just talkin a little football, that's all. 'Bout time to go scare up a possum for supper...

shelleysue 6 years, 6 months ago

That's uncalled for. I'm entitled to my opinion just as well as everyone else on this board. And actually I do know quite a bit about football. Of course I've never coached it. I also know something about KU football and saw my first KU football game decades ago. A major thumping by Nebraska that I've never forgotten. I also know that there are better options than Doeren. I also know that defense and special teams are the most important components of the game. Field position is pretty important and it doesn't matter how good the offense is, if the defense let's the other team rack up 70 points. And I also know that when I read posts like these, I hang my head in shame that there are Jayhawk fans like this. I thought we left this kind of talk for Missouri fans. Unfortunate.

John Mueller 6 years, 6 months ago

Now, that's just funny. You two need to kiss and makeup.

shelleysue 6 years, 6 months ago

No thank you! All his talk of wad and possum reminds me too much of someone from the slave state next door.

hawksince51 6 years, 6 months ago

You go girl!! What NU butt-kicking were you referring to? After beating them 5 years in a row (yes it's true--I was there), they came into Lawrence and killed us in 1962. That was Devaney's first year I think.

shelleysue 6 years, 6 months ago

Hawks - 1972. 60-0 or something like that. I was pretty young and bored like none other. Painful to watch. I know KU is bball school but ill take football any day.

shelleysue 6 years, 6 months ago

Hawks - 1972. 60-0 or something like that. I was pretty young and bored like none other. Painful to watch. I know KU is bball school but ill take football any day.

John Miller 6 years, 6 months ago

When you have to list his high school coaching experience you know where at the bottom

Bville Hawk 6 years, 6 months ago

HS coaching experience was a big part of the sell on Fedora as well as Malzahn.

MDHawk 6 years, 6 months ago

You have to start somewhere...mentioning his high school experience was more to point out that he's from the area. Working here would be more than just a job to him, which makes me more inclined to give him a closer look.

Experience isn't everything. I certainly would prefer someone with a little more experience, but that doesn't mean he can't succeed here. Would be a bit of a risk, however.

Vaildini 6 years, 6 months ago

You should follow the search of all canidates more closely. They list High School coaching experience during the search to show he has roots in a certain area. Kinda showing that he can relate to MW kids and stuff. Pretty standard.

MDHawk 6 years, 6 months ago

I've been thinking more about Doeren as a viable candidate lately. He's pretty green as a head coach, but if we're going to take a chance, might as well be on a KU guy. He would certainly fit well, but the question I have is the same everyone else will have: can he win here? Ultimately, I think his minimal head coaching experience might prove his undoing as a candidate, but if he comes here and is successful, we're certain to have a great coach who loves KU and who's likely to stay for a long time.

shelleysue 6 years, 6 months ago

I've tried to spin this hire in 37 different ways, but I never like it. I just can't get on board with it.

MDHawk 6 years, 6 months ago

I can't say I'm on board either...too big of a risk. To me, though, the dream scenario for KU would be to take a risk on a pro-KU guy like Doeren, have him be successful and stick around for a long time. I just feel like our best chance at getting a "star" coach at KU is to find them before they're "out of our league", much like how Fedora's late season success rocketed him out of reach. I would also be terribly disappointed if we pass on one of our own, only to find out later that he is the real deal.

In the end, I don't think our program in its current state can afford to take that risk, but part of me wishes the situation was such that we could give him a shot.

Bville Hawk 6 years, 6 months ago

Looks to me like he's making $371,000.00 at NI. Certainly we could at least double (or triple) that and let him hire some top notch coordinators and assistants with the savings?

AzNHawk 6 years, 6 months ago

I'm pulling for Gus Malzahn. I had a high school friend who played for Malzahn while attending Tulsa.

Gill brought in a whole bunch of freshman and offensive folks and redshirted them. Gill's gone and nothing we can do about that so I'd like to see Malzahn evaluate and develop them with his creative offensive mind. Especially the running backs. Who knows, we might be setup for a strong smash your mouth, pound the ground, power running game. Get Michael Cummings and all the other QB's developed and we might have ourselves a strong offense.

Hopefully Malzahn has a few contacts from the SEC or wherever who can fill the gaps at defense.

Randy Bombardier 6 years, 6 months ago

Bill Snyder, as usual, is ahead of the curve. His style of offense is the antedote to the spread. K-State only let the spread get the best of them in one game, with OU. Every other game, they kept it close. Grind it out, ball-control, possession football. That is what I thought we were going to do with Gill. I am not sold on the spread, not the hurry-up. I would have loved to see K-State and Oregon matched up, the ultimate game between opposing philosophies. All this to say, I am not sure that getting another spread guy is the best thing for us. It puts us in catch-up mode. I think Mason could come in here and do better just because of his background and the kinds of offenses he has run before. The Wisconsin guy, too.

bjejayhawk69 6 years, 6 months ago

I am not a Keegen fan or hater but I have thought the same thing all along. I am like others with Leach and Fedora - hopeful they would come but in reality they were long shots.

Doeren is who I suspect we end up with. I would not be disappointed and would be happy with him but again always hoping for the "home run" hire. 2 things I do like about him. He has been an up and comer and head coaching experience is a huge bonus. Secondly he is from the area and more apt to stay long term and he has been here and recruited here so he knows what it takes.

With some many names being thrown out who really knows but almost any body is a huge upgrade over Gill.

Vaildini 6 years, 6 months ago

I think most of us had Leach, Fedora and Levitt on the top of our lists. I'm not saying Doeren is on the top of mine. What I am saying is he would be a quality hire for us. We don't get to choose from everybody. Thats reality. He is a great canidate that people will try and hire away form us in 4-5 years, only he would probably like to stay. I'm not lobbying for a coach just for support of a decision. There are hall of fame coaches that would be have been fired by this blog after there first year.

TKHAWK 6 years, 6 months ago

Does the fact the TK goes all in on Doeren almost make Malzahn a lock? Haha!

Randy Bombardier 6 years, 6 months ago

I think I'd rather have Doeren than Malzahn. But, glad its not my decision. I would have already hired Barry Switzer and the NCAA investigators would probably already be in town.

cobweb 6 years, 6 months ago

We'll find out if Zenger meant what he said about fixing the program. Doeren won't get anyone aroused. Sorry.

Randy Bombardier 6 years, 6 months ago

We may both be underestimating him. Let's not forget he was 10-3 in his first year.

irvan moore 6 years, 6 months ago

i enjoy reading the articles mr. keegan writes, they have a certain jason whitlockishness about them and are written to provoke thought without having to bother with facts or reality. good for you mr. keegan, i find your writing enjoyable, i think all of the ljw sportswriters have done a good job on this one. thank you.

rob4lb 6 years, 6 months ago

To me, it seems like Doeren have been subtlely pushed as a candidate from the beginning. It is never smart to hire someone because he has local ties which is what I think the driver is in recommending him. He has one year of head coaching experience and one could easily argue that as a head coach, Turner Gill's accomplishments in the MAC were more impressive than Doeren's. He took over for a team that was expected to be good and they were good.

At Wisconsin, he did OK. He was there for five years and the defense wasn't great each year. They were great last year, and he clearly earned a head coaching job. He left KU in 2005 so he did not experience the good years. He may have been instrumental in recruiting the nucleus of the 2007 team,

Vaildini 6 years, 6 months ago

Good post and correct. Wisconsin did get better with Doerens recruits and defensive style. And he did leave early at KU and the hawks got to reap the benefits of Talib,Mcclinton,Stucky and so on. He can sell a program and himself to young people and there families. I think the push for Doeren is because he is a tough no non sense coach with a great football mind. I think the bonus is that he would have ties and want to stay if he does well. He respected for this job for more than being local.

Varlo52 6 years, 6 months ago

I won't enter any dog's name into this fight because, like just about every poster (sorry, geniuses) I am really not qualified to say who our best AVAILABLE choice would be. But those of you who insist on a well-known name (who would probably leave as soon as a school with a better football reputation offered) are in fantasy land.

I wish the KU job was every coach's dream job and that we could have the pick of the litter. The sad fact is that most candidates will consider us a stepping stone, not a destination. That said, any reasonably well-qualified coach who really wants THIS job is great with me.

Andy Hess 6 years, 6 months ago

while i'd prefer to hire Weis or Malzahn, I'd take Doeren, but only if we HAD to take another mid major guy.

Pat Sullivan 6 years, 6 months ago

Thanks Keegan for doing what your are paid to do...keep us updated on the ever changing/schizophrenic environment of a coaching search.

FLJHK 6 years, 6 months ago

This article gives me a much higher comfort level re Doeren. Doesn't sound like a leftover at all. Rather he seems to be a very good fit with his success, experience and local ties. With Mizzou bolting to the SEC, Doeren could likely get a big chunk of the KC area recruits. Maybe add some splash by hiring Nolan Cromwell as a position coach.

SDickens 6 years, 6 months ago

Charlie Weiss to be introduced as new head coach at 6pm tonight

Dyrk Dugan 6 years, 6 months ago

Dave Doeren was one of my original choices. Please let it be Dave Doeren! He'd be a tireless worker for Kansas....totally dedicated.

Go Jayhawks!

bad_dog 6 years, 6 months ago

Doeren more likely? Egg meet Keegan's face...

phi4life940 6 years, 6 months ago

  • 1

Can't wait to read Keegan's next article (not) = "Charlie Weiss: I knew it all along."

Eric Williams 6 years, 6 months ago

This article is proof that:

Tait > Keegan

STLJHawk86 6 years, 6 months ago

Hey Keegs, I am so sorry to learn that you have become homeless due to the high stakes bet you described in your article. Do you think Doeren will let you come live with him? If not, maybe Fulmer???

STLJHawk86 6 years, 6 months ago

P.S. I liked Doeren too but would never have bet the house on it.

Geezer 6 years, 6 months ago

Spot on again Keegan. Love this article.

Robert Brock 6 years, 6 months ago

A word to the's not Doeren. Keegan, you're fired!

lurkerhawk 6 years, 6 months ago

I guess it's a good thing you really didnt bet "your house, your clutch putting stroke, and your good looks." Can I get an amen Keegs?

WisconsinJayhawk 6 years, 6 months ago

Keegs! You are AWESOME at this sports journalism stuff!

I just picture in my mind you at some podium, pontificiating about how ONLY DOEREN makes sense while Charlie Weis and Zenger are approaching it behind you to make the announcement. It would take THAT kind of timing could make you to look any more ridiculous.

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