Sunday, December 25, 2011


Weis’ renown akin to Larry Brown’s


Sheahon Zenger’s Charlie Weis hire inspired Bob Davis, voice of the Kansas University Jayhawks and Kansas City Royals, and his son, Steven, voice of the Northwest Arkansas Naturals and UMKC Kangaroos, to do what they do best: talk.

The son asked the father if it reminded him of Monte Johnson’s hiring of Larry Brown, a basketball coach who had worked some in the college game but primarily in the pros. Sure enough, it did. And the Davis voices aren’t alone in that regard.

“It’s interesting that you’d say that,” Johnson said when told of the Davis discussion. “I was walking into the Ohio State game with my son Jeff and his kids, and Sheahon poked his head out the door of Wagnon (Student Athlete Center) and said, ‘I hope my hire turns out to be as good as your hire of the basketball coach.’ It hit me later what he might have meant, a combination coach who had coached in the pros and in college.”

Brown had a reputation as among the game’s best teachers and game tacticians. Recruiting never was considered his greatest strength, but he did bring one advantage there.

“The players he recruited had to think in the backs of their minds, ‘He has a chance of getting me to the next level because he’s been at both levels and knows what it takes,’” Johnson said. “I guarantee you some kids came to KU because of Larry’s reputation as a pro coach. Back then, there weren’t as many coaches who had gone back and forth between college and the pros.”

Weis already has shown how his history of coaching up quarterbacks will enable him to recruit depth at the most vital building block to any football program.

His name carries enough weight to help him recruit up and down the roster. Most college football recruits have dreams of playing in the NFL. He can tell them with credibility he knows what the pros are seeking. It also should help in a less-tangible way. Parents, coaches and peers directly or indirectly influence the choices of high school athletes. All those groups will want to brag that Weis, the guy whose name has been mentioned so many times on the pre-game shows, Tom Brady’s first pro position coach, is paying a visit.

The buzz Zenger created hiring such a big name should translate to ticket sales as well.

“Not many people would know, if I asked them, what the average attendance was at the fieldhouse the year before Larry’s first season,” Johnson said. “It was about 8,500. I can remember a crowd of 3,000 for a Saturday game. In one half a season with Larry as coach, it started filling up, and from that point forward it stayed full. If there’s such a thing as believing you’re going to be good based on a hire, Larry had that reputation, and I think Charlie Weis could have that same advantage working for him.”

As a season-ticket holder, Johnson liked another aspect of the hire.

“As you’re rebuilding a program and want fan support to come back, having an exciting offensive coach and offensive style will help you do that,” Johnson said. “You need a defense to be good, but as you’re rebuilding, with an offensive coach, you’ll be exciting.”

And if Weis recruits the right defensive coordinator, good should follow exciting in time.


dhinkansas 2 years, 3 months ago

Wonder if the officials at Liberty read the Sports Illustrated blurb on the hiring of Weis, saying the program was "in shambles after going 5-19 under Turner Gill."

Anything Weis does will be better than the last two years.


Hank Cross 2 years, 3 months ago

I actually agree with Keegan's premise. Both LB and CW had a reputation as being a wnning coach while not necessarily being a winner. It took the '88 NC to cement LB's reputation.

I also love that they went outside of the B12/Midwest to get a coach. To get someone who didn't know that it was written in stone somewhere that KU must always be a FB bottom feeder. When LB came he didn't pay any deference at all to Norm, Jack, and Billy. LB rightly believed that KU was better than the league and deserved to be one of the preeminent BB programs. And that's where KU's been ever since.

I don't know if Weis can do that wih FB, but it's great to have a coach who questions why must KSU being the one going 10-2 and KU must go 2-10.


jaybate 2 years, 3 months ago

Larry Brown, Jewish, born Brooklyn, NY

Charlie Weis, Roman Catholic, born Trenton, NJ

Larry Brown attended UNC, and played for UNC under Frank McGuire and Dean Smith.

Charlie Weis attended Notre Dame, but his wikipedia page does not indicate the he played football in college.

Larry Brown played on the US Olympic basketball team and won a gold medal.

Charlie Weis did not play on a US Olympic team and did not win a gold medal.

Larry Brown's first coaching job was as an assistant to Dean Smith.

Charlie Weis' first coaching job was as an assistant at Boonton HS in New Jersey.

Larry Brown's next job was as a professional basketball player in the NBA where he lead the league in assists for three seasons and was MVP of an All Star game his first season, before retiring as a player.

Charlie Weis moved on to another high school assistant coaching job at Morristown NJ.

Larry Brown's first head coaching job was at Davidson, which he left after only a few months in the off season to become head coach of two ABA teams in succession.

Charlie Weis became an assistant at South Carolina.

Larry Brown won 4 ABA division championships and one regular season ABA championship.

Charlie Weis returned to high school ball and became head coach of Franklin High School in New Jersey, leading them to a state championship, while working in player personel for the NY Giants of the NFL.

Larry Brown became head coach of UCLA and took second in the NCAA, but had to vacate for playing two ineligible players.

Charlie Weis miraculously jumped from being a high school coach to being an NFL assistant coach with the New York Giants.

Larry Brown struggled two seasons with the NJ Nets and came to KU.

Charlie Weis, after many years coaching running backs, wide receivers and tight ends, became an offensive coordinator for the Jets and the Patriots where he was offensive coordinator for some Super Bowl champions, then coached Notre Dame to a 35-27 record before being fired, then became offensive coordinator of Florida and then the struggling Chiefs and then came to KU.

Larry Brown replaced a long tenured and often successful Ted Owens who left a full cupboard for Larry.

Charlie Weis replaced Turner Gill who got run after only two lousy seasons and appears to have left Charlie Weis little.

After only 4 seasons at KU, Larry Brown won an NCAA ring and then went on to become the only head basketball coach to win both an NCAA and NBA ring.

Charlie Weis has not coached a game at KU yet.

Larry Brown and Charlie Weis have both had hip replacements. Charlie got his soon after taking the KU job. Larry got his many years after leaving KU.

If Charlie Weis at the time of his hiring at KU seems similar to Larry Brown at the time of his hiring at KU, then apples seem like oranges.


Hammertoe 2 years, 3 months ago

Lofty expectations for a coach that couldn't win at Notre Dame. A little coal for your stocking....KSU vs KU 13-1 in all sports last school year and off to a 3- 0 start this school year. (2 volleyball losses and 50 points in Football) K-State vs KU in All Sports : 16 - 1 in calendar year 2011!


mikehawk 2 years, 4 months ago

I hate it I'm going to sound like the Christmas grinch, but I've been blogging pieces of coal for weeks now. Why stop because it's Christmas? You can compare coaches across sports, but not the sports themselves. In basketball, one or two players can mean everything toward a team's success. In football, it takes more than a quarterback. The Old Ball Coach knows that, and he will probably be looking for offensive linemen to guard those great QB recruits. We need a lot of bodies, and good ones. I do like the professional coaching experience, professional player development angle, and I do think it could make a difference with a lot of kids. Let's see who he pulls in to round out his staff.


HawkTronic 2 years, 4 months ago

Mr. Johnson also made a football hire with diverse pro and college experience. Bob Valesente. How'd that work out?

We have eggs, not chickens.


Tony Bandle 2 years, 4 months ago

To all you posters on this Jayhawk site...I send you the last lines of "It's a Wonderful Life".

No man is a failure as long as he has friends.

Merry Christmas, Happy New Year and, I can't believe I am saying this but, I can't wait for Kansas football to start!!!

It is indeed the season for miracles.

God Bless, everyone, I will continue to fight the good fight in the middle of Tiggerland!!!


Randy Bombardier 2 years, 4 months ago

One more thing. I was reading about Snyder and recruiting and he said that he learned a valuable lesson from his last stint at K-State. After some success he and his staff tried to target a different kind of recruit, more elite with more talent. They got away a bit from what they normally do. He realizes now that that was a major mistake. I think we can learn from that. We have got to target much like KSU does kids with a certain chip on their shoulder, a work ethic, that can pull the grades, that have enough character to make good decisions and don't have to be babysat all the time.

I hope that just because Weiss is a big name does not mean that we think we will get the big names. We, too, will spend a lot of time trying to compete with Ohio State, Florida, Bama, USC, Oklahoma, Texas and we will most likely not get to that level for a long time. For now, what we need are the hard-nosed Jersey kids just like he is. We need him to go back to get those young guys from his hood that have been overlooked. Those guys will sleep with their puke bucket and won't be satisfied until Charlie can't work them so hard anymore so that they puke. Tough kids from Jersey, New York that have an innate attitude that no one will push them around. That is the attitude we especially need on the line.

Any Merry Christmas to you all. And may we all have a wonderful 2012.


Randy Bombardier 2 years, 4 months ago

Well, I hope CW stays at least as long as Larry Brown did. It is going to be very difficult to climb out of the cellar. We no longer have the CU doormat. ISU is tougher than ever. Baylor without RG3 is possible but there are just no easy targets anymore in the conference. TCU and WVa added to the mix. I would say if we had the 2007 team that next year it would probably lose three games. If we get 6 wins next year I hope people realize that is a heckavu job.


Funhawk 2 years, 4 months ago

Headline: Brown bids farewell to NBA, accepts KU head coaching post Ex-Tar Heel claims Kansas 'special' Complied from wire reports Larry Brown wanted to finish the season, but Joe Taub said no. Brown, who led the New Jersey Nets to their first winning seasons in the National Basketball Assn., resigned Thursday to become head coach at Kansas University. The 42-year-old Brown said he wanted to complete his second season as the Nets' coach, but he left immediately at the urging of team owner Taub. Bill Blair, an assistant coach, becomes the Nets' interim head coach. Kansas officials offered the job to Brown on Thursday afternoon after Taub issued an ultimatum. "I told him (Wednesday) night the way the thing was handled was not fair to the organization, and I told him he had to make a decision this afternoon — either stay with the Nets or resign to get the job in Kansas," Taub said from the Nets' offices. Brown, who left as UCLA's coach in 1980 to take over the Nets, said he had not been offered the job until he called Kansas athletic director Monte Johnson on Thursday afternoon. "It was hard to say 'Yes' when it was finally given to me," Brown said. "If (Kansas officials) said they hadn't made a decision yet, I would've stayed. "I wouldn't consider just any job," Brown added. "Kansas is special. It had to be a special job." Brown said his former college coach, Dean Smith of North Carolina — who attended KU — taught him long ago that Kansas was a prime coaching job. "My college coach is from Kansas," Brown said. "He always talked to me about Kansas — the tradition, atmosphere and history. It's really special." Blair said he felt Brown accepted the Kansas job because it was an opportunity to teach young players. "Larry is a great, great teacher of basketball," he said. "The college atmosphere is very conducive to teaching and the University of Kansas with its great basketball tradition is a great opportunity for Larry Brown." Brown has never coached a team that finished with a losing record. In each of his nine years at the professional level in the American Basketball Association and the NBA, his teams reached the playoffs. Article is from the Lawrence Journal World of April 8, 1983


Robert Brock 2 years, 4 months ago

If the Jayhawk football team looks even remotely competent, I will be pleased.


minnhawk84 2 years, 4 months ago

Geez. the defense will be ok next year. Have some patience. We need some Florida DB/safeties who won't give up the big pass (see Baylor game) late in the game or half. Guys who will stay on their assignments and fight for the ball when it is in the air. (see all 12 games). Guys who have been coached up and know what their assignments are (see K-State game). We were in several games this past season only to let them go because the DBs got lost or blew assignments.

Merry Christmas!


Funhawk 2 years, 4 months ago

There was a lot of buzz in Lawrence when Larry Brown announced he accepted the KU job. Never saw the similarity between Brown and Weis until now. Both moved around a lot in their employments. It was thought at the time that restless Larry would not hang around in Larryville for long. When a basketball season ended, I recall people in Lawrence asking each other, "Well, is he (Brown) coming back?"

Without employing Mr. Manning, Danny would have probably ended up at North Carolina State. Brown came into the job inheriting fun guys like Calvin Thompson and Ronnie Kellogg - Ted Owens recruited very well his final year, but too little too late. Really, the only big time Brown recruit I can recall was Danny. If Larry Brown had no Danny Manning .......

Interesting how sports fans' opinions vary by locality. If you read on the net their comments in South Bend, Utah, or Seattle, they have a completely different opinion. One employer terminates, another offers. One group of fans reject their subjects, another embrances their arrival.


Lance Hobson 2 years, 4 months ago

It's all about defense against these Big 12 offenses. We certainly can't be any worse.


Bangkok_Jayhawk 2 years, 4 months ago

I can not wait to see an improved Jayhawk football team next year. I think 6-7 wins is very realistic with the QBs and the and the decent amount of talent we have in the Freshman/Sophomore class. More importantly, I expect interest and fun to return to the fan base. THANK YOU DR. ZENGER FOR THE CHRISTMAS PRESENT!


JayHok 2 years, 4 months ago

We want Weis!

We want Grunhard!

We want Crist!

We want Heaps!

We want Juco defensive linemen!

We want Brice Butler from USC!

We want Dieter!

We want the Lee's summit 4 star who gave Pinkel the softest verbal in Missouri history!

We want the 5 star Missouri receiver!

We want Dreiling!


blackhawkjayhawk 2 years, 4 months ago

Well....let's get the rest of the staff in the fold and start hitting hard on the recruiting. We have great momentum right now....hit it while it's hot!

Also....Happy Holidays to all!


Benjamin Piehler 2 years, 4 months ago

Comparing Weis to Brown is probably stretching it...

haven't commenters picked up on aperse's sense of humor yet?

Anyway, merry Christmas, happy holidays, and all that good stuff. Plenty of reasons to celebrate this season in the jayhawk nation.


Hawk7682 2 years, 4 months ago

My wish this Christmas is that aphers dude shuts up and true KU fans will just trust in the Hawks in everything they do.


ahpersecoachingexperience 2 years, 4 months ago

Geezus, calm down. It's a term of endearment.


Ryan Lee 2 years, 4 months ago

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ahpersecoachingexperience 2 years, 4 months ago

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