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Thursday, December 8, 2011

Keegan

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.

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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 GoDaddy.com 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 GoDaddy.com 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.

Comments

WisconsinJayhawk 2 years, 4 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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kusportsdotcom 2 years, 4 months ago

Ohhhh Keegan, the only guy you didn't predict would get the job was Weis. Top-notch investigative journalism. Oh that's right, you don't do any fact checking or investigation, you just offer random opinions.

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lurkerhawk 2 years, 4 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?

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Robert Brock 2 years, 4 months ago

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

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Geezer 2 years, 4 months ago

Spot on again Keegan. Love this article.

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STLJHawk86 2 years, 4 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???

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jhawk613 2 years, 4 months ago

This article is proof that:

Tait > Keegan

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bad_dog 2 years, 4 months ago

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

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Dyrk Dugan 2 years, 4 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!

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SDickens 2 years, 4 months ago

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

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FLJHK 2 years, 4 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.

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kusully 2 years, 4 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.

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Andy Hess 2 years, 4 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.

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Scut Farkus 2 years, 4 months ago

I've never been a Keegan hater, but after watching him a few times on "The Drive" you just tend to dislike him, much like Skip Bayless. All mouth, no substance. That said, he's just doing his job, posting opinions. He doesn't have to justify what he writes.

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manginorh00lz 2 years, 4 months ago

Finally.

I've been begging Keegan to write this article for weeks. We can safely take Doeren off the list now.

Dodged a bullet there...

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Varlo52 2 years, 4 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.

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rob4lb 2 years, 4 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,

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irvan moore 2 years, 4 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.

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cobweb 2 years, 4 months ago

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

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Randy Bombardier 2 years, 4 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.

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TKHAWK 2 years, 4 months ago

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

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Vaildini 2 years, 4 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.

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bjejayhawk69 2 years, 4 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.

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AzNHawk 2 years, 4 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.

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MDHawk 2 years, 4 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.

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John Miller 2 years, 4 months ago

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

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shelleysue 2 years, 4 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.

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Vaildini 2 years, 4 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.

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MtOread88 2 years, 4 months ago

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

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John Mueller 2 years, 4 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?

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alphajay 2 years, 4 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.

RCJH

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hihawk 2 years, 4 months ago

Looks like we have a winner. Zenger of Kansas ST. does it again and saves KU from the laughing stock of he nation.

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johnnyhrdwd 2 years, 4 months ago

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

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moliemolie 2 years, 4 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.

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trey 2 years, 4 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,

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master16 2 years, 4 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.

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jayhawkinATL 2 years, 4 months ago

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

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bville_hawk 2 years, 4 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.

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hihawk 2 years, 4 months ago

Looks like this seach is about to come to an end, and it appears that Doeren could become the next KU Head Coach. Sure does sound like he has better credentials then a loser from nebraska (gill) that wasn't a coach at all. Hope KU and KST. (Altman) learned their lesson of hiring coaches from nebraska because, they can't coach even the idiot they have now as a AD. Give Doeren a couple mil and lets see just what he can do, surely better then 5 wins in 2 years, and the KU fans will go crazy.

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Eybea Opiner 2 years, 4 months ago

Keegan gets some kind of inkling, then writes a column "speculating" so that if/when a hire is made, he has covered the bases, and can say, "look, I was right."

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Sam Constance 2 years, 4 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.

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kudzutexas 2 years, 4 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?

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Tony Bushard 2 years, 4 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.

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Randy Bombardier 2 years, 4 months ago

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

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DocBean 2 years, 4 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).

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tahawk81 2 years, 4 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.

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shinanigins 2 years, 4 months ago

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

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bpeoples 2 years, 4 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.

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Scut Farkus 2 years, 4 months ago

Keegan lost all credibility when he tossed Childress into the mix. That said, I know very little about Doeren. He kept a low profile when he was the LB coach here. "He was very knowledgeable, knew how to motivate kids,” Diebold said......Sounds like the same mantra that was used when Gill was hired.

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lama 2 years, 4 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.

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JayhawkGrad05 2 years, 4 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.

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gripp42 2 years, 4 months ago

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

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thunderhawk357 2 years, 4 months ago

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

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Vaildini 2 years, 4 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.

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RockCaCO3 2 years, 4 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.

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RockCaCO3 2 years, 4 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.

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tylerste 2 years, 4 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.

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kusportsdotcom 2 years, 4 months ago

This article gave us some good information on Doeren, yes.

But, every day, and sometimes twice a day, Keegan writes a new article about who the new coach is most likely to be. It's getting a little ridiculous. I hope LJW pays Tait a lot more than Keegan.

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KCatty 2 years, 4 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.

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jhox 2 years, 4 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.

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ottomark 2 years, 4 months ago

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

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Carter Patterson 2 years, 4 months ago

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

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treed14ku 2 years, 4 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.

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