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Originally published January 2, 2011 at 04:22p.m., updated January 2, 2011 at 04:29p.m.

KU names Sheahon Zenger new athletic director

New KU athletic director Sheahon Zenger.

New KU athletic director Sheahon Zenger.

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Sheahon Zenger Timeline

• 1987 — Graduated from Kansas State with bachelor’s degree in English and secondary education

• 1987 — Accepted first football coaching gig, working with freshmen at Manhattan High School

• 1988 — Accepted position with Drake football team as graduate assistant

• 1989 — Served as assistant recruiting coordinator/director of football operations at Kansas State

• 1992 — Earned master’s in journalism and mass communication from Kansas State

• 1993-95 — Became editor of American Football Quarterly magazine

• 1996 — Earned Ph.D. in educational policy and leadership from Kansas University

• 1996 — Accepted position as recruiting coordinator for South Florida football team

• 1997 — Became recruiting coordinator for Wyoming football team

• 1998 — Promoted to assistant head coach at Wyoming

• 2000 — Worked in Kansas State College of Business as director of development

• 2001-02 — Became assistant athletics director for major gifts at Kansas State

• 2002-05 — Promoted to associate athletics director for development at Kansas State

• 2005-10 — Served as athletic director for Illinois State

• 2010 — Accepted athletic director position at Kansas University, replacing Lew Perkins

Kansas University has named Sheahon Zenger its next athletic director.

Zenger is currently the athletic director at Illinois State University and is a Kansas native and KU graduate.

“With his experience and leadership skills, Sheahon Zenger is the best choice to lead Kansas Athletics into the future. He is exactly who we need as athletics director, working to ensure that every Jayhawk team succeeds on the field and in the classroom, as well as making sure our programs operate with the utmost integrity,” said Chancellor Bernadette Gray-Little in a statement.

Zenger will be officially introduced at a news conference at 1:30 p.m. Monday. He will start at KU on February 1, 2011.

Dr. Sheahon (pronounced SHAY-un) Zenger comes to KU after spending six years as athletic director for Illinois State.

A native of Hays, Zenger helped Illinois State capture the Missouri Valley’s All-Sports Trophy in both 2008 and 2010. ISU also has had a 65-percent growth in its scholarship fund memberships since his arrival, while the athletic department has posted record-high grade-point averages in each of the last four years.

Prior to joining ISU, Zenger was the associate athletics director for development at Kansas State from 2002-05. Before that, he spent two years as KSU’s assistant athletics director for major gifts and also spent a year with the KSU College of Business as director of development. He graduated from KSU in 1987 with a bachelor's degree in English and secondary education. He later earned his master’s in journalism and mass communication from KSU in 1992 before earning a Ph.D. in educational policy and leadership from KU in 1996.

Before moving to administration, Zenger was a football coach. His first coaching gig was with Manhattan High School in 1987, and he moved on to Drake as a graduate assistant for a year before accepting a football position with KSU in 1989.

At age 23, Zenger was one of the nation’s youngest full-time football staff members, serving as assistant recruiting coordinator and director of football operations for KSU coach Bill Snyder.

From 1993-95, Zenger was editor of American Football Quarterly — a magazine for football coaches. In 1996, he became recruiting coordinator for South Florida before accepting the same position with the University of Wyoming the following year.

In 1998, Zenger was promoted to assistant head coach at Wyoming.

At ISU, Zenger served on numerous NCAA committees, including the NCAA Div. I Committee on Student-Athlete Reinstatement.

Zenger and his wife, Pam, have three children: Luke, Abby and Jake.

Comments

KGphoto 3 years, 9 months ago

Is it me, or does he sound more like an assassin than an AD?

Jaminrawk 3 years, 9 months ago

HoriAble?

You're a horrible speller. We know that. Please name the candidate you were hoping KU would get. And explain why they were so great. I'm pretty much tired of people acting like they know anything about AD candidates. It's different from being familiar with coaches.

jhawk613 3 years, 9 months ago

I bet you really wanted KU to choose their second option for AD, huh? what was his name again? Gurner Till, i think.

Michael Maris 3 years, 9 months ago

Ahpersecoachingexperience, you are always quick to criticize about the hiring practices at University of Kansas. But, you NEVER offer a viable solution or suggestion. Sounds like a bunch a whining politicians (that have been running the United States of America for the past few years).

Or better yet, just throw out the names of the personnell that Kansas Athletics Dept. should be interviewing and hiring. I'm sure that they will deeply consider your wordly advice.

hawk316 3 years, 9 months ago

Seems like a good hire to me. Lots of varied experience, and he's a KU guy.

DBK95 3 years, 9 months ago

Hey, I wish him nothing but success as our new AD, but his PhD from KU removed, I think it's pretty obvious, based on his education and work history, that he's a K-State guy. :-)

Dirk Medema 3 years, 9 months ago

lol

All jokes aside, sounds like a good, up and coming AD. Some (ahper & nebr) will comment about hiring from the MAC, but anyone that actually looks at his history objectivily has to respect his profesional development, and the development of ISU athletics under his watch.

notigers4me 3 years, 9 months ago

Welcome home Dr. Zenger. We will try to overlook your KSU ties and will look to the future with your leadership.

swunruh 3 years, 9 months ago

He's from western Kansas. He will do a fine job.

Michael Leiker 3 years, 9 months ago

right on unruh...at least you know you have a 90% chance he will have a strong work ethic.

Ben Kliewer 3 years, 9 months ago

So, shiny-godlike-genius...who are your ideal hires for all the positions you've been b*tching about this whole time? Since you seem to claim that you have all the answers.

John Beck 3 years, 9 months ago

How about you pull a Bubba and go away from KU and this site? We would all appreciate it

David Hodges 3 years, 9 months ago

Can we get the admins to start a poll? The Question... "Would you like the troll who can only say negative things to go away?"

ahpersecoachingexperience 3 years, 9 months ago

lol, dude you have been killing it so far this year. keep it up;)

ZDKC 3 years, 9 months ago

Don't know much about him, but a KU grad nonetheless. Sounds like a good pickup.

ZDKC 3 years, 9 months ago

^^ Nice try methzouri fan. Hey how many titles has mu won? Oh yeah, zero along with several arrests -- No wonder they call it "The Zoo!"

KU_FanSince75 3 years, 9 months ago

I am sure he will trade his former purple color in for crimson & blue!

ahpersecoachingexperience 3 years, 9 months ago

Key words in this article that make this guy a no!

Hays Ks Illinois State Missouri Valley KSU Kansas State School of Business Bill Snyder Mahattan High School

The next round of conference realignment talks should be stress free. Stress free because now we know we are going no place good.

Ben Kliewer 3 years, 9 months ago

Well, now you're just spewing ignorance.

Dan Harris 3 years, 9 months ago

That's what A@@@!@#exp@#$% Is best at!

Ben Kliewer 3 years, 9 months ago

We all know how worthless Snyder was for KSU's football program.

Jaminrawk 3 years, 9 months ago

You don't have any idea of the people he knows. You have no idea about anything. You're a troll that sits behind a keyboard and talks smack about anything KU does. It the guy grows KU athletics in his tenure, that's all that will be necessary in conference realignment.

Lance Cheney 3 years, 9 months ago

Where's "Mahattan" High School? And why is it a bad move to hire a Kansas native to be the AD at the University of KANSAS? You're a moron.

DevilHawk 3 years, 9 months ago

Being a Kansas native can be a good thing or a bad thing.

It often speaks to one's character, and it makes other Kansans feel better about the person.

However, it also means that those with power on a national basis tend to belittle the person and his or her ability based entirely on the fact that the person is from Kansas. And in conference realignment, the power lies on the coasts.

That applies to the entire state.

kranny 3 years, 9 months ago

Hey, What have you got against Hays, KS?

ahpersecoachingexperience 3 years, 9 months ago

sorry, i'm sure it's full of great people. it's just that i had to zoom out 5x's on the google map before i found a city nearby that i have heard of.

Al Martin 3 years, 9 months ago

This is a board for the University of Kansas, you know. Have you ever been there? One would be hard pressed to spend four years in Lawrence without hearing something about other cities in the state.

I'm not convinced that this is a good hire, but holding a home town of Hays against a KUAD is just ignorant.

kranny 3 years, 9 months ago

Just fu%*ing with you. Had to stick up for one of my many alma maters. As my grandpa would put it,"it's so far out there, the owls have to screw the chickens."

swunruh 3 years, 9 months ago

Dr. Bob Fredrick was at Illinois State and he was outstanding for KU. Dr. Zenger will be too.

ahpersecoachingexperience 3 years, 9 months ago

bob fredrick lead us through the most mediocre years in ku history. . .4 words allen fieldhouse indoor track!!!

Al Martin 3 years, 9 months ago

Right. The Glen Mason and Roy Williams hires were real disasters, weren't they?

Multiple bowl and Final Four appearances don't smack of the most mediocre years in our history, at least not in my book...

ahpersecoachingexperience 3 years, 9 months ago

sorry but mangino and bill have accomplished 10 times the amount than those two did.

Al Martin 3 years, 9 months ago

Pathetic deflection attempt. I didn't say they were better than Self and Mangino, did I?

My argument still stands. Your statement about Bob Frederick is patently false.

I've been around KU a long time, and I know mediocre eras when I live through them. Roy Williams wasn't mediocre by anyone's standards, and you do yourself no credit by implying that he was.

Sadly, by KU standards, Glen Mason's record is not mediocre either. He is the third winningest coach in KU history, with Mangino second and A.R. Kennedy in 1904-1910 being first. You have to sink well below Mason to hit KU's mediocrity level. Remember, the Mangino that you worship only went 50-48.

But way to go with that childish exaggeration. I liked Mangino and adore Self, and liked the Mangino/Self combo more than I liked Mason/Willliams, but 10 times more accomplished? That's just dumb.

GoodGrief 3 years, 9 months ago

Demeaning Bob Frederick's tenure as KU Athletics Director is downright silly and inaccurate. The Jayhawks went to three Final Fours and won the 1988 National Championship on his watch (which makes the critical reference to the indoor track at Allen Fieldhouse especially asinine). In addition, KU football won bowl games in 1992 and 1995, and the baseball team went to the College World Series in 1993.

The aforementioned accomplishments are anything but "mediocre," and the fact that Dr. Frederick ran the Athletics Department with class only adds to his legacy. True KU fans (unlike the perennially negative and often offensive "ahpersecoachingexperience") realize what Bob Frederick meant to our proud institution, and to the Lawrence community. He is greatly missed.

Dan Harris 3 years, 9 months ago

Alph- your tv character had more intelligence then you,geez your an ass!

Byrd313 3 years, 9 months ago

I live in Bloomington/Normal, where ISU is located. While I don't know anything about him personally, I can give you a glimpse at ISU athletics. None of the ISU sporting events are televised, there is no local support for ISU teams, and the sports haven't improved in years. They can spin his "achievements" any way they'd like, but this seems like a cheap option with home state ties.

That being said, I hope he does a great job for the greatest university in the nation. RCJ

Drew Alan 3 years, 9 months ago

how can none of the sports teams have improved if he has won the conference all-sports trophy 2 of the last 3 years? I guess because they are already among the best in their league?

Byrd313 3 years, 9 months ago

They haven't improved in any of the real (money making) sports. Basketball still stinks despite Jank, football was a D-1AA powerhouse at one point, now stinks, and baseball continues to stink.

Byrd313 3 years, 9 months ago

Here is an example:

ISU hosted UNLV in basketball earlier this year. The Redbirds were 5-1 and UNLV was ranked.

Only 6500 people showed up for the game (3700 empty seats). This was the biggest home game of the year for ISU and first ranked team that has came to Redbird Arena in a while.

klineisanazi 3 years, 9 months ago

What is the point? We sure don't need an AD with ideas on how to fill AFH. We need somebody with integrity that can be an administrator and clean up the cesspool otherwise knows as the KUAD.

Byrd313 3 years, 9 months ago

I agree kline. Just hoping we could get an AD that could clean things up and generate interest in sports..i.e. KU football.

Ben Kliewer 3 years, 9 months ago

That could have less to do with who the AD is and more to do with the fact that they are Illinois State and nobody cares...jk :)

Ben Kliewer 3 years, 9 months ago

Byrd313, I like you, and here's why... You state a case about why you think he may not be the best thing since sliced bread, and you provide evidence for that argument. I mean, you're really saying "Uh oh, I dunno about this guy..." But then, you go on to say you hope he does great, and call KU the greatest U in the nation! You admit that you're skeptical, but you don't know what he's going to do in the future, and you wish him all the best. You, my friend, are a KU fan, not an a**hole... This is a great example of what a "realist" is, as opposed to the Doomsayers who constantly troll these boards, claiming to be realists by giving a big finger to the University and it's supporters. Kudos to you Byrd313.

Dirk Medema 3 years, 9 months ago

The article above and the JayhawkSlant article listed below contradicts most of your statements. He has negotiated a TV deal (JayhawkSlant), he's raised funds for new facilities (JayhawkSlant), and ISU has the best overall program in their conference (above). It would appear that you don't have your facts straight.

P0WER 3 years, 9 months ago

Welcome Dr Zenger! As soon as you get this whole ticket office mess taken care of and the football team headed on the right track, you mind getting us back in Nike uniforms? Adidas really sucks! Thanks in advance.

kdub81 3 years, 9 months ago

They're better than the Navy blue jerseys Nike came up with about 8 years ago.

Carter Patterson 3 years, 9 months ago

Adidas paid KU a gazillion more dollars than Nike. I could give a flip...whoever pays the most gets it. Nothing wrong with Adidas nor Nike.

thebruced 3 years, 9 months ago

I'd put the the teams in Osh Kosh Bgosh if they paid the most and the unis weren't made of burlap.

Justin Lindsley 3 years, 9 months ago

Hope this guy can get us moving in the right direction. I hope he can raise some serious $$$$$$ too. We need it to have a chance to compete going in to the future.

patrick_e 3 years, 9 months ago

All you 'tards who were hoping for a big-name AD (does that really exist in the AD world anyways??), need a reality check.

Guess what: Athletic Director for the University of Kansas is not a step-up or even a lateral move for most of the "candidates" you were hopeful for.

This guy sounds like he has a solid resume. He has KU ties and has a football pedigree. That's what many of you Zenger bashers were looking for anyways.

three2b 3 years, 9 months ago

Well said.....I like the football emphasis with the hire. Rock Chalk!

Chris Bruning 3 years, 9 months ago

great hire, welcome Mr. Zenger. All i care about is that he doesn't pull an al bohl and run Bill outta here.

Andy Tweedy 3 years, 9 months ago

He'll have to help everyone recover from the scandal, but he won't have to build any new facilities and he won't have to worry about any hires (even the Gill haters know if he gets fired it won't be now). I would think he'll have to time to settle in and do a nice job.

100 3 years, 9 months ago

Excellent hire.

Welcome back to Kansas.

First move?

This will affect all of KU sports for years to come; football rules the money & the conference repositioning/stability that will develop over the next decade or two.

Your most important first move is to ensure that Coach Gill has what he needs to keep Coaxh Wyatt happy in Lawrence.

Wyatt's reputation for standing up for what is right, for his family, for a stable future and helping to build a dynasty at Kansas would supersede any possibility of joining a program that is nationally well known, but very unstable, led by an unstable man at this juncture (part of the reason for the Longhorn lockeroom troubles).

Welcome to Kansas.

Please help Coach Gill to keep Wyatt & a tremendous football future as well as more revenue for the rest of the programs.

Rock Chalk Jayhawk!

100 3 years, 9 months ago

Ahperse, Your prediction might be true that Wyatt is indeed gone.

Yes even the report of Wyatt leaving was filed by Gill himself, which by your standards should make you happy... On another note when you can get a picture of him on the practice field in Austin I'll believe it.

Glad KU athletics has taken up your entire Sunday yet again.

Rock Chalk Ahperse

ahpersecoachingexperience 3 years, 9 months ago

decent day. kc hosed me but made it up alright with atl, got a little ahead with "the u" covering but then the hawks pushed. 2-1-1 is still a winner!

Ben Kliewer 3 years, 9 months ago

Ahperse would complain for anyone being hired at any position at KU. This individual has already ousted themselves as a grade a Troll and is the same type of person as Michael Caine describes the joker in "The Dark Knight;" "Some [people] just want to watch the world burn..." That's all ahperse wants to do, hate everything and claim that the sky is falling and watch the ensuing flame-war unfold.

DevilHawk 3 years, 9 months ago

KU needs to aim higher when hiring important positions - including AD and law school dean.

That said, the good news is that he was "assistant recruiting coordinator and director of football operations" for K-State under Snyder when Snyder came in and started to build K-State. (K-State went from 0-11 in 1988 to 1-10 in 1989 to 5-6 in 1990.)

If nothing else, this is good news for Gill, because he will be given the time needed to build up the football program.

rob4lb 3 years, 9 months ago

I agree with the comments that any AD from a BCS program would probably not view the KU position as an upgrade. I was hoping that the new AD would be someone who would be influential during the next round of conference realignment. That does not appear to the case with this hire. However, I think there was a good process in identifying potential candidates and Zenger was on the short list. I am sure he will do fine. Currently watching the KU-MIami game. The Hawks look great. The chancellor was just interviewed regarding the hiring of Zenger. She does not come across as being very dynamic.

Michael Leiker 3 years, 9 months ago

she is wound about as tight as they get...never understood the reason for such a different personality than Heminway in a hire.

Scott Perlmutter 3 years, 9 months ago

I hate this hire. Although I was friends with Lew, I was hoping we could find a solid replacement. There were numerous candidates with big time ties (ie. Big East and Notre Dame). We chose a guy from Illinois State who was personal friends with members of the search committee and the late great Dr. Bob. I'm horribly disappointed with this hire and believe the majority of other alums are as well.

bradam 3 years, 9 months ago

I'm listening to him now on the radio w/Bob. Sounds like he has enthusiasm and said he was growing up in Lawrence circa 1966-67 and remembers watching Bobby Douglas from the Hill. Nice touch.

AZHaysHawk 3 years, 9 months ago

I went to Hays High School with Sheahon; he was a year older than me and we played football together. I haven't kept up with him, but we have maintained mutual friends and I have heard about his career evolution through the grapevine. This hire comes as a shock to me! Although I can't speak to whether he is ready to lead a big time program like KU, I can speak to him being a high character guy. I spent a lot of cold winter mornings lifting weights and running sprints with the guy, and a lot of hot summer two-a-day football practices following his lead. He was always one to lead by example, do the right thing, and put in the extra effort. Frankly, his athletic abilities was pretty marginal but he was successful due to a strong work ethic, a strong faith, and a strong mind. Those same characteristics will likely serve him well in his new role as KU A.D..

Ben Kliewer 3 years, 9 months ago

Uh oh, you said the doom words "a strong faith." Regardless of what that actually means, now all the Jesus-Bashers are going to log on and call him an ignorant, kumbaya, let's-all-have-a-hug-circle moron.

Lance Cheney 3 years, 9 months ago

That means a lot, coming from a guy whose screen name is the state of Kansas' legal statute defining indecent liberties with a child. Real cool!

Ben Kliewer 3 years, 9 months ago

Yeah, you really shouldn't post on these boards anymore.

ahpersecoachingexperience 3 years, 9 months ago

you people do realize you are outing youself when you say you know what his name means!

Lance Cheney 3 years, 9 months ago

I didn't out "youself," I had to google it...

bad_dog 3 years, 9 months ago

As an attorney, you tend to recognize allusions to the more heinous crimes by their statutory references. Likewise, you tend to have a poor opinion of those who use statutory references to heinous crimes as their loser names.

Ask him for an explanation why he uses it and watch how he tries to turn it on the person asking.

Here's your chance KSA....

I know, crickets are still chirping and you're still busy deflecting.

bad_dog 3 years, 9 months ago

Please post the link to your "explanation". I and the rest of the viewing public would sure love to see it...

As for your "better judgement", if you had any you wouldn't be using the Kansas statutory reference to indecent liberties with a child as your loser name. Your inadequacies with social interactions aren't my problem either. You do however, have "mad" fabrication skills.

bad_dog 3 years, 9 months ago

What's the matter KSA? Does he wear shirts with button-down collars?

Pobresita...

DevilHawk 3 years, 9 months ago

1: Not going to happen. He was working under Snyder as Snyder built the base for his dynasty at K-State. He will give Gill the time that he deserves - and realistically needs - in order to turn around KU football.

2: This is probably the most important thing to do outside of helping Gill build up the football program.

Michael Leiker 3 years, 9 months ago

Calling KSU a football dynasty is a bit of a stretch, even in the 90s. But you're right, I would have to guess that this hire assumes Gill will be given way too much time to turn this thing right back around into what it was in 2001.

doolindalton 3 years, 9 months ago

At last, someone who is actuallly from Kansas running the KU athletic department.

jaybate 3 years, 9 months ago

Sheahon Zenger sounds like a fund raising tiger, so alums, and corporations, get out your wallets again.

He sounds like primarily a football guy, which tends to be a mistake for KU, whenever they hire that sort.

On the other hand, he is a KU man, who has been a part of successful football programs at KSU and has shown he could make it rain development dollars at ISU, so these are significant pluses.

But what persuades me most that he a good hire is that Zenger was smart enough to hire Janks to coach ISU. Janks is a great Okie Baller with Jack Hartman and Bill Self pedigree. Zenger recognized that. Janks has done a good job at ISU.

My bet is that Zenger gets good men in position as coaches, let's them do their thing, and spends most time on the money trail.

And he has a Ph.d., which means he and Chancellor Bernie can use big words with each other and not have to worry.

This is the kind of up and coming guy Chancellor Bernie should take a chance on, if she wants to go the up-and-coming route, which she appears intent on doing; not a Bubba Cunningham, coming in from Notre Dame via Tulsa. Cunningham may have been a fine guy, probably was a fine guy, but what one learns at Notre Dame, a private school with an athletics legacy and culture utterly unlike any public university like KU, translates out to zero at KU in terms of the intense politics of a major state university. And what Cunningham learned at Tulsa was not big enough potatoes to have made him a good hire for KU, even if he had not turned KU down. Finally, the very fact that Cunningham did turn KU down, meant that he was certainly not the right guy for KU.

Michael Leiker 3 years, 9 months ago

Agree w/most, except that hiring Jankovich seems more like cronyism than it does sound hiring. Not saying that it was cronyism, just think you might be giving him a touch too much credit.

jaybate 3 years, 9 months ago

KU appears fortunate to get Zenger, whether or not he is a big name.

Rock Chalk, Chancellor Bernie. You got your man. Someone who likes "development" as much as you and Hemenway do, and Kansas man, and a Ph.d. with the brains and intellectual self discipline to watch the enterprise details that tripped KU up on yours and Hemenway's watches.

Now, the only really big question remaining is: can he get along with Bill Self and vice versa?

The football coach issue is not so critical. Gill is probably a perfectly good coach having the same problems anyone would have had when a QB like Reesing departs. It would have taken Mangino a couple years to find another top QB. It will take Gill the same time. But even if Gill were a lemon, Zenger is your man and will take the heart for firing Gill quickly.

Hey, the definition of a good Chancellor, or any chairman of any Fortune 500 sized organization, as Billion Dollar budget KU is, is to be able to take a tidal wave head on and some how make everyone else get wet, while you work behind the scenes to right the ship. You've done that Chancellor Bernie, assuming the scalpergate court dates don't reveal an underworld connection into the heart of the program. And that seems unlikely at this late date.

Give Chancellor Bernie a big high five. She entered a gun fight and brought a gun. Good for her.

Rock Chalk!

DevilHawk 3 years, 9 months ago

Because he posted the small bond amount ($100). Also, it was a practically meaningless arrest, because judges' dockets are on hold for all intents and purposes between the middle of December and the middle of January.

If there is actual news behind the article, then I am sure that we will hear about it.

KGphoto 3 years, 9 months ago

Because this is an article about Kayser Soze... er... Sheahon Zenger.

ahpersecoachingexperience 3 years, 9 months ago

really because i've never heard of a meaningless arrest? did he play tonight?

DevilHawk 3 years, 9 months ago

From the updated article: "According to Kansas coach Bill Self, the incident was the result of a traffic ticket from months ago which Johnson falsely thought had been taken care of through an attorney."

Don Everett 3 years, 9 months ago

Because you aren't a KU fan or in an area where this would be local news.

AirCapJay 3 years, 9 months ago

I don't know why an AD candidate has to have KU ties. If that was a requirement then they eliminated a lot of prospects. I would have liked to have seen a hire with a better proven record. He jumped around a lot until 5 years ago never holding a position more than about a year at a time.

Dirk Medema 3 years, 9 months ago

KU ties were not a requirement (see Bubba's resume'). Jumping around is the life of an assisstant FB coach, just ask DWyatt on his way out of town.

Hank Cross 3 years, 9 months ago

Being a KU/Kansas guy doesn't make him good. Being from a mid-major doesn't make him bad. In all honesty, I would've preferred someone who had worked outside the Midwest at some point in order to focus on KU to keep elevating its national brand. Maybe he will. Time will tell.

Ray March 3 years, 9 months ago

I don't know about this choice... Coached at Manhattan (KS) high, got a bachelors from K-St, got a masters from K-St, (got a quick PhD from KU), worked with Prune-Face Bill Snyder, was an assistant AD at K-St.....???

Sounds like a terrible pick!

kutrack2851 3 years, 9 months ago

It's too bad the recent hires do not create any buzz or excitement....it always the same...let's give him a chance... it will probably work out ....at least ISU beat NDSU in football - 1 winning season since 2006 in football doesn' really show a football focus.

ahpersecoachingexperience 3 years, 9 months ago

a couple of weeks ago i jokingly suggested we hire the university of buffalo's ad. turns out the u of b guy would of been a better hire!

kutrack2851 3 years, 9 months ago

I noticed that our AD and Buffalo's were considered by Rice before they went with an AD from the Big Ten - Rick Greenspan.

ahpersecoachingexperience 3 years, 9 months ago

great, rice will be in the big ten before we will. lets do the blind resume game with the rice ad and our new guy.

1st guy university of miami university of cal university of wisc university of indiana

2nd guy k state wyoming ill state

kutrack2851 3 years, 9 months ago

"Coming back to Kansas State is that warm cozy feeling you get when you put on that old sweatshirt," said Zenger, who has served as the Director of Athletics at Illinois State for the last five years. "This is a home to me. Between my wife (the former Pam McAnarney) and I, and our extended families, I think we have around 50 degrees from Kansas State."

I think I need a shower after reading that!

ahpersecoachingexperience 3 years, 9 months ago

maybe he was on staff when that mangino fella was there and could convince him to coach us again!

Josh Galler 3 years, 9 months ago

I am getting tired of hearing this is a good hire or a bad hire. Time will tell. I have hired various people for my company, some times when I feel it was a good hire, it turns out to be bad and vice versa if I feel someone is good enough for the position which is that person is now a hiring manager too. He has been an AD for 6 years now at Illinois State which is a state college in a more populated state than Kansas. I am sure he has some contacts for numerous other conferences to help us in re-alliginment in the future. Maybe he will hire someone for assistant AD with BCS ties. Yes Bubba work in the ND AD prior to Tulsa and he been there for only 3 years in a mid major conference as well. ANd that looks more prominent b/c of the 20+years in the Athletic Department fields. Also remember being an AD is a business now.

ahpersecoachingexperience 3 years, 9 months ago

what's a matter? could we not find some one with a missouri degree to lead our athletics department?

Andy Tweedy 3 years, 9 months ago

http://kansas.rivals.com/content.asp?CID=1171587 Rivals seems to want to make it a point that this guy has ties to the Big 10. Personally, I don't think the Big 10 is going to ever call, but I hope this doesn't mean we're going to be hearing all kinds of rumors of conference realignment ALREADY!!!

FLJHK 3 years, 9 months ago

I've no legitimate basis to be able to objectively evaluate an AD hire, and for now I will just have to trust the judgment of those close to the process, and hope like hell that he is the person for the job.

In addition to fundraising, alumni coddling and the usual tedium of the AD's job, I think for KU at this time there are two places of emphasis. The lesser of these, but very important, is the improvement of the overall sports program. I may be in the minority of those that believe that Coach Gill will prove to be a good hire for the football program, but improvement in other programs is needed. Universal improvement in the short term is likely a stretch, but it would be good to make a splash in at least one area. To me a likely candidate is track and field, given KU's solid history in that arena. But in any event one or a few programs should rise above mediocrity.

But the most important future issue has to do with further conference realignment, and here I have some uneasiness about Zenger's KSU ties. Actually, as a Kansas native, KSU remains my second favorite university, albeit a very distant second. But if KSU's future in any way compromises KU's, the AD must be willing to sever the ties.

I'm not convinced that further realignment is inevitable, and the newly configured Big XII (- II) remains a highly desirable conference. The academics are generally good, and the diversity of sports excellence is impressive - as much as any other conference. The ACC and too Big East are basically basketball conferences, the SEC (duh) football, the Big 10 nothing really, althought they are a collection of really good schools, and the Pac 10 (12) has some nice schools and great weed. While it is easy to resent UT's sweetheart deal, it has to be acknowledged that they are, academically, financially and athletically, the Big 12's most important member.

I'm not convinced that the Big 12 can last as a 10-team conference, and expansion has to be a constant consideration. Getting back to 12 is the first step, and certainly a case can be made for Arkansas, although that prospect doesn't thrill me and I am doubtful that it will ever occur.

But two alternatives seem intriguing to me. First is Notre Dame. Obviously that would be a major coup, but I don't think it is beyond the realm of imagination. With its UT accommodations, the Big XII has already distinguished itself from other conferences be allowing unequal revenue sharing. That could be the key to luring a Notre Dame, and if so, it should be pursued. Notre Dame would be a revenue bonanza, and it brings academic integrity and a national following.

FLJHK 3 years, 9 months ago

My next choice in getting to 12 is a rather unorthodox one. It is Air Force. I think a military school located in the general region would bring a lot to the table. It's true that while their sports pedigree is not elite, they have more than decent athletic traditions and they bring a large number of intangibles that are difficult to quantify.

Otherwise, KU needs to posture itself as attractive to the Big 10, if predictions of the eventual 16-team superconferences are to be believed. They are our best fit academically, culturally and geographically, and KU needs to be in a position to move in that direction if and when it becomes necessary. If we were to go in such a direction, it would likely be along with Missery and possibly Iowa State, but almost certainly not KSU, And this, (finally getting back to the point), is where I have some superficial concern re the new AD hire.

Hank Cross 3 years, 9 months ago

The B12 isn't going to expand b/c Bevo has been very clear about removing the conference championship game as a potential roadblock to the BCS title game. I do like your AFA selection though if expansion were to occur. If independence doesn't work out for BYU, I wouldn't mind seeing them and AFA join the B12.

jhawkrulz 3 years, 9 months ago

There are 3 things that an AD needs to do 1) Hire a good football coach and basketball coach 2) Raise lots of money 3) Keep us in a good conference.

We have a fantastic basketball coach and thanks to our last AD we have a football coach for 4 more years.

If you have a million dollars I hope you like the new AD otherwise most of us just ship in our few hundred bucks here and there and call it good.

The big thing with this AD is going to be conference realignment. All I hope is that with his KSU ties, he is willing to part ways with the purple-headed stepchild if it comes down to that.

babyjay1 3 years, 9 months ago

Just a suggestion for those of us that are REAL Jayhawk fans and would like Alpherse.... whatever... to go away: he reminds me of the Phelps clan here in Topeka and I think he just wants our attention as he is a sad and lonely person and doesn't have friends. The only way he knows to get attention is to be negative, nasty, etc... If we all completely ignored his every comment, maybe he would get bored and find some other team to annoy. No one has ever learned to ignore the Phelps clan... therefore, they are still here!

OldOldHawk 3 years, 9 months ago

If I had to guess I would say realignment is going to be the biggest entre on this guy's plate. The Big-12 is either going to have to add a couple of teams or collapse in my opinion. The fact that TCU went to the ill-suited Big-East suggests to me that the Big-12 has made the decision to stand pat. I think that, in turn, means eventual collapse. The question, to me, is one of when, not if.

He might have two or three years of breathing space, but that's what I think is the elephant in his office.

Jacobpaul81 3 years, 9 months ago

Clearly there's a lot of internet ridiculousness going on in this thread.

Having worked in the Missouri Valley, I realize the difficulties coaches/Athletic directors face in working at smaller Division I programs. Zenger has been highly recognized in the conference for his productivity and he doesn't have a Big Shot, Name in the Headlines mentality. The last two jerks, Al Bohl and Lew Perkins had that mentality and look where it got them. Both were crooks.

Having worked and hired Tim Jankovich ( a huge hire considering Jankovich's pre-head coaching resume), Zenger has a familiarity with what you look for and expect in Kansas coaches. This is not someone who is going to rush out and replace someone with a bad fit. It's also not someone who's got a track record of thievery and crookedness. Something we need in the post-Bohl/Perkins era.

Most of Kansas' former ADs worked in smaller schools including the valley: Lew Perkins, Bob Frederick, Bob Marcum... Monte Johnson never worked as an AD til we hired him in 82. KU hired Gayle Sayers, a former Missouri Valley AD and no one seems to be coming down on him for the work he's done since returning to Kansas.

I like the hire. He's a well-respected guy, familiar with the school and situation. He's from a non-BCS school and is use to dealing with the Big School-Little School mentality a Kansas AD will have to deal with. As for conference realignment, why is everyone so scared about this? You guys are fretting about something that doesn't really matter. If Texas, TA&M and TT want to leave, I say "let them". I guarantee you the Big East football schools would love to realign and unite with the Big XII schools. More TV markets, more Basketball dominance, and they can drop some small, non-football programs that don't make money.

Hank Cross 3 years, 9 months ago

KU panicked during the realaignment and it made us look week. Bevo was never going to the P12 and be one of equals with Wazzoo and ASU. It was all a gigantic bluff. It's too bad it didn't happen though if it would've meant KU and the rest of the North 4 going to BE. The BB conference tournement would've been better than the NCAA. And Mizery might've actually had a shot to got to a BCS bowl, which might've stopped their whining for a day or two.

ahpersecoachingexperience 3 years, 9 months ago

going to bed. dr conrad murray thinks i might of went a little heavy on the sleeping meds

AZHaysHawk 3 years, 9 months ago

I know. The truth is, I'm not one who has a strong faith, but I don't see the need to bash those who do. In Sheahon's case, it was (and from what I understand still is) a very effective basis from which he leads a productive and successful life. If it works for him, more power to him!

DevilHawk 3 years, 9 months ago

It should be fairly easy for him to act as a recruiting adviser for the football team while bringing Gill with him on trips to visit with alumni throughout the country.

The pressing issue at the moment is to fill the receivers coaching spot. A position where many believe that Beaty would be the right fit - assuming that he wouldn't have a problem leaving Rice again (which may be a bad assumption).

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