Sunday, January 2, 2011


Wide-receivers coach Wyatt crucial to KU


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.


100 10 years, 11 months ago

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

Signed, the Jayhawk Nation

hawk316 10 years, 11 months ago

Amen! One of Turner Gill's great strengths since taking the KU job was his successful effort to surround himself with high quality assistants. Wyatt is one of those, and if Texas has interest in him, that certainly speaks highly of him. Let's hope we can keep Coach Wyatt.

ahpersecoachingexperience 10 years, 11 months ago

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

Clarence Haynes 10 years, 11 months ago

Instead of always being sarcastic, just come out and say that you don't like Gill, you want him out, and TRUTHFULLY explain why!

actorman 10 years, 11 months ago

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

LAJayhawk 10 years, 11 months ago

Consistent and unending trolling... much, much weaker.

Dirk Medema 10 years, 11 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

Brad Avery 10 years, 11 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.

LAJayhawk 10 years, 11 months ago

You very well might be right, but I think the focus has been -- and needs to be -- more about getting better players than those on the roster. And that's, apparently, Wyatt's biggest skill set. Of course, coaching those players comes next....

Lone_salina_kufan 10 years, 11 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.

Robert Brock 10 years, 11 months ago

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

ahpersecoachingexperience 10 years, 11 months ago

guess he didn't "believe"

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

Dirk Medema 10 years, 11 months ago

Bubba was also reported to be heading to the Hill.

The fat lady hasn't sung yet. Come on Coach Gill.

Fortunaely, UT's class is pretty full, and he isn't likely to take the 3*'s he has recruited to KU (Michael Cummings, Kenneth Lynn, JaCorey Shepherd) with him to UT. Either way, it is important to keep working to get Keithen English, Kevin Grooms, and Clavion Nelson.

KGphoto 10 years, 11 months ago

If you are any of those guys, do you really want to go from starter to a forgotten blip on the Saturday program?

integritycounts 10 years, 11 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

Dirk Medema 10 years, 11 months ago

Rivals lists 9 in 16 seasons ( For the most part though, that is the life of an assistant, and Turner's experience at NU is more of an anomoly.

Ashwin Rao 10 years, 11 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!

Steve Corder 10 years, 11 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.

jayhawk1996 10 years, 11 months ago

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

Steve Corder 10 years, 11 months ago

I saw that after the post. Looks like I was wrong.

Steve Corder 10 years, 11 months ago

I saw that after the post. Looks like I was wrong.

temjay 10 years, 11 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?

ahpersecoachingexperience 10 years, 11 months ago

Especially when that receiver was choosen by our head coach to be starting qb after competition during spring ball and two a days.

Dirk Medema 10 years, 11 months ago

Or was it the other way around? I thought I read (rockchalktalk maybe?) that Gill had initially conceded to Long in choosing Pick, which also had something to do with the quicker than normal hook. Either way, you are obviously more than capable of spinning it into a negative.

jhox 10 years, 11 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?

LAJayhawk 10 years, 11 months ago

Not sure but he was a wide receivers coach for the Vikings from 2005-2006:

Must not have been that much more money....

100 10 years, 11 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!

ahpersecoachingexperience 10 years, 11 months ago

coaches on staffs that go 3-9 do not deserve a pay raise!

Dirk Medema 10 years, 11 months ago

Well said 100.

Many local and national sites were saying that Bubba was the next AD as well, and we all know how much crap LJW caught for reporting the same.

As for DW's credentials, being able to coach on a depleted team (OL & LB) and being able to recruit are 2 vastly different things. DW has shown over and over again that he can bring in the Jimmy's & Joe's as well as handle the X's & O's

Funhawk 10 years, 11 months ago

Dez was the Buc's leading receiver today. We knew Desmond could make it in the NFL if he was given playing time. And, having a young, hot quarterback who grew up locally makes the Dez-Josh combination even more fun. This combo will be around for a l-o-o-o-o-n-g time.

KUDUDE 10 years, 11 months ago


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