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Sunday, January 2, 2011

Tait

Wide-receivers coach Wyatt crucial to KU

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More than eight months out from the first game of the 2011 college football season, Kansas University coach Turner Gill is staring down the first huge decision of his second season at KU.

With rumors of wide-receivers coach Darrell Wyatt heading to Texas picking up steam, it’s time for Gill to make sure Wyatt stays in Lawrence. Whether that means Wyatt gets more money or an increased role within the offense, hand it over. As a coach and recruiter, Wyatt is crucial to what Gill wants to get done.

There are plenty of reasons for Wyatt to stay, and most are the same ones that brought him back to Lawrence a year ago. He and his family appreciate Lawrence’s college-town charm. Beyond that, Wyatt believes in Gill, and KU’s first-class football facilities have made recruiting to Lawrence a lot easier than it was when he was on Terry Allen’s staff in the late 1990s.

If Wyatt stays, it likely means he’s in for the long haul. You don’t turn down Texas one year to take a lesser job the next.

If he goes, no one can blame him. Leaving Kansas to coach at Texas under Mack Brown is akin to an assistant men’s basketball coach at Nebraska bolting the Cornhusker State for a spot on Bill Self’s staff at KU. When opportunities like that come along, most people don’t think, they just go.

All signs point to Wyatt being the top target for UT’s vacant receivers-coach job, but sources on both sides of the fence have told the Journal-World this is far from a done deal. If Gill acts fast and with a purpose, KU could hang on to one of its top recruiters.

Wyatt having his eyes upon Texas is about more than money. This year, Wyatt, 44, was paid $249,999.96 to help install a new culture at Kansas. The wins were tough to come by, but Wyatt has landed some solid recruits. He talked Mesquite, Texas, receiver JaCorey Shepherd into picking KU over Iowa and enticed cornerback Kenneth Lynn to dump Iowa State. Surely, there’s more where that came from. But, if Wyatt leaves, will those guys go with him?

Wyatt is no different than most assistant coaches in the college game. He wants to be a head coach. He came to Kansas from Southern Miss, where he was the offensive coordinator and second-in-command on a team that set 36 school records. The reason? It’s easier to get a head-coaching job as an assistant at a BCS school than it is to make the leap from Southern Miss. Doesn’t the same idea ring true with the gap between Kansas and Texas?

Getting Wyatt to stay would go a long way in solidifying this staff and KU football. And it could help tremendously in the near future should Gill find himself in another battle for one of his assistants with a different BCS blueblood.

If things at Michigan go the way it looks like they might, and the Wolverines send Rich Rodriguez packing, the new coach at Michigan, whoever he is, could come after KU assistant Reggie Mitchell, a master recruiter who hails from Flint, Mich. That, too, would be a big blow to Gill’s vision.

Since arriving in Lawrence, Gill has talked a lot about creating a program never before seen at KU. If he’s serious, he has to find a way to keep Wyatt. He must take the decision out of Wyatt’s hands by increasing his responsibility and pay.

The clock’s ticking.

Comments

KUDUDE 3 years, 3 months ago

UT HAS THE MONEY TO PAY IN COACH THAT THEY WONE TO

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100 3 years, 3 months ago

Just we're all clear on what's going on. The UT cannot confirm or deny this yet. The job must be listed for five days before any contract can be signed or any statement can be made.

Hook 'em Horns website is attempting to make it seem official by placing pressure on Mack Brown that it's done when in fact it's not.

What it comes down to is exactly what Matt Tait is writing: it's time for Gill to step up along with the athletic department & show why & how staying in Lawrence will be the best move of his life.

We are building a dynasty here Coach Wyatt. We need you with us!

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jhox 3 years, 3 months ago

I picked the wrong career. $249,999 for a position coach on a 3 win team? Wonder what kind of money those guys make at Texas or on an NFL team?

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temjay 3 years, 3 months ago

Wide receiver seemed to be the strongest and deepest position on the team at the start of the year but by season's end, we were relying on a converted quarterback as our go-to guy on key passing downs in the Missouri game.

Sort of makes you wonder, doesn't it?

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Jayjocker 3 years, 3 months ago

Get David Beaty back if DW bolts.

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jayhawk1996 3 years, 3 months ago

Dallas Morning News reporting it could be announced today that he's going to Texas.

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Steve Corder 3 years, 3 months ago

Matt, I agree with your analogy between a Husker assistant basketball coach wanting to come to KU under Bill Self. However, Mac Brown has stated that he's soon to retire, which explains why he's now losing his assistants. There would have been no, or very little, defections had the defensive coach (head coach-in-waiting) not taken the Florida job. But assistant coaches know that a new head coach generally means all new assistants.

I think you're correct also in thinking that Gill needs to take appropriate action (okay from the interim AD) to insure Wyatt and others stay. If Gill succeeds, as I think he will, quality head coaching opportunities will arrive in abundance for the KU staff.

Texas, although football eye candy, is more of a gamble. I think Wyatt will stay. If he does it will speak more about Gill the man & coach than most will ever know.

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Ashwin Rao 3 years, 3 months ago

No one is indispensable! We should do what is necessary to entice people to stay, but I am sure we can replace him if needed. Hope he makes a good decision!

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integritycounts 3 years, 3 months ago

Wyatt has not stayed anywhere a long time. He has 11 different jobs in his very short career. He will leave and KU will be just fine. I would much rather have someone dedicated to our program long term than someone like Wyatt that would be here for another year at most before further diluting his resume. Head Coaches are made by dedication to a program....this young man might want to look at the resume of Turner Gill (13 years at Nebraska leading them to 13 bowl games) before leaving Texas in 2 years

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ahpersecoachingexperience 3 years, 3 months ago

guess he didn't "believe"

http://texas.247sports.com/Article/Darrell-Wyatt-Texas-10005

and in a fake jaybate style press release wyatt was heard saying "ah &^% it feels good to &^%&( be able to cuss again"

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Robert Brock 3 years, 3 months ago

Goodbye, Coach Wyatt. It was nice to have you in Lawrence for a short while.

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Lone_salina_kufan 3 years, 3 months ago

As tough as this football season was, I think any turnover in the coaching staff would be very discouraging. Keep this staff together at least 2 years. This team needs a little continuity and stability.

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doolindalton 3 years, 3 months ago

KU's receivers were not very good football players this season, especially in their ability to block for each other. I don't know whether that was coach Wyatt's fault, but rather than focus on whether he leaves, the real problem is how to improve the football skills of the players on the roster, not retaining a coach who allegedly can recruit the State of Texas.

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Dirk Medema 3 years, 3 months ago

I'm still wondering about the turmoil in Austin with the horns tanking this year, so many coaches leaving, and Mack just a few years away from retirement. It is one mighty big ranch down there, but just how much of a "fixer" is the place?

Maybe UT is more pretigious in FB, but would it be better to be part of an old program that is slipping, or part of developing a new program?

Now we get to see just how good a recruiter Gill really is. Make us proud Coach. Rock Chalk

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actorman 3 years, 3 months ago

Gee wonder if anyone is going to catch on to what a doofus ahperse is?

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ahpersecoachingexperience 3 years, 3 months ago

Gee wonder if anyone is going to catch the Terry Allen link to Gills staff?

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100 3 years, 3 months ago

Stay in Lawrence Coach Wyatt!!!!!!!

Signed, the Jayhawk Nation

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