Tuesday, May 31, 2011


KU coach Turner Gill would be wise to promote Vic Shealy and hire Clint Bowen


Good guy Carl Torbush — you hear him talk, you feel like you’re in a rocking chair on a porch just waiting for a line that’s going to crack you up — will be missed by the Kansas University football program.

We’re told the outlook is good for a full recovery from impending prostate-cancer surgery for the hard-driving coach blessed with an abundance of charm that suited him well on the recruiting trail. Torbush will get back to full speed as fast as humanly possible because that’s who he is. Throughout his time in Lawrence, he could be seen jogging daily. The smart money says he’ll be back playing in an adult baseball league soon.

As for how head coach Turner Gill will replace him, he already has an experienced defensive coordinator on his staff, and a perfect fit passionate about KU and now working elsewhere to slide in as a defensive position coach.

Gill’s cornerbacks coach, Vic Shealy, is among the most respected defensive football minds in the business, which is no surprise considering he’s the son of a football coach, Dal Shealy, whose resume included assistant coaching positions at Auburn and Tennessee. (Vic started at quarterback for the Auburn High Tigers.)

Vic Shealy came to Kansas from Richmond, where in 2009 he was defensive coordinator, the same position he held at UNLV the four seasons before that. He coached the secondary at Air Force (1999-2004) and was named NAIA National Coach of the Year during his time as head coach of Azusa Pacific.

In Shealy’s one season as Gill’s cornerbacks coach, Greg Brown made huge strides, showing star potential, Tyler Patmon became a playmaker and Isiah Barfield, burned repeatedly early in the season, showed significant improvement.

Gill pulled off as smooth a transition as possible when he lost wide receivers coach/recruiting standout Darrell Wyatt to Texas by bringing David Beaty back to Lawrence to replace him. Some coaches might have been too insecure to bring back an assistant from the staff of the previous coach whose ouster was unpopular with the fan base. Not Gill. He can be a hard man to read, but one easy call on him is that he doesn’t have an ounce of insecurity. He believes what he does is right and doesn’t seem to be influenced by opinions outside the program.

So if Gill believes bringing former Lawrence High and KU football player Clint Bowen back to Lawrence strengthens his staff, he’ll do it. After losing his job along with the rest of Mangino’s staff, Bowen served a year as defensive coordinator at Western Kentucky and now holds the same position at North Texas.

Bowen’s personality makes him a great recruiter — he recruited a Miss Kansas winner, the former Kristie Knox, to be his wife — and he would believe everything he said to a recruit about KU being a great place to go to school and play football. With all the experience he has coaching defense, handling linebackers would not be a problem for Bowen, even though most of his position-coaching experience has been in the secondary.

Having an experienced coordinator as a sounding board for Shealy wouldn’t hurt. With Torbush only a phone call away, Shealy would have two of them.


Andy Hess 10 years, 7 months ago

Bowen was a disaster. No way in hell he should hire that guy.

kureader 10 years, 7 months ago

This article should generate some bickering. I'd be surprised if Bowen is on Gill's short list.

Kenneth Hillman 10 years, 7 months ago

No on Clint Bowen....bring back Bill Young!!!

rob4lb 10 years, 7 months ago

Based on his body of work, why would Bowen even be suggested. The most frustration thing about the Mangino era was the pathetic defense. If it were merely below average, the team would have won 2-3 more games in 2008 and 2009 and Mangino would probably still be here. Not that I think that would necessarily be a good thing.

Troll_or_AntiTroll 10 years, 7 months ago

Even if Gill wanted him, I can't see Clint quitting the (good) job he just started.

lama 10 years, 7 months ago

Bowen was awful -- wouldn't hire him at LHS.

Dirk Medema 10 years, 7 months ago

The D was fine when Clint was a position coach and not a DC. Somehow the pressing D that Coach Gill and Shealy talk about doesn't seem to fit what we saw during the Bowen-DC days.

My guess is that Gill will recruit a LB coach just as successfully as he has recruited players - his current staff says so.

Scott Smetana 10 years, 7 months ago

I played with Clint. He is an energetic, player friendly, hard working, smart coach who would be an awesome position coach at KU. To all you naysayers, he wasn't too bad in the Orange Bowl, was he?

rastameta 10 years, 7 months ago

Seriously? Bill Young was the mastermind of that defense, not Bowen. Also, Bowen would not be a good Linebackers coach at this point an time. KU cannot afford to have someone learning about how to coach the LB spot right now. We need someone that can coach that position and coach it well.

truefan 10 years, 7 months ago

I agree with rastameta on this one. I love Bowen's enthusiasm and he was a great recruiter for us, but he is a CB/S coach and has never coached LBs. We need a guy with no learning curve that can come straight in a do the job from day 1. That being said, I hope Bowen makes his way back here someday.

jayhawkintx73 10 years, 7 months ago

Bowen wasn't the D Coordinator. After Bill Young left, the Kansas defense went 5-7 in games that Bowen was Coordinator. I don't want him back at D-Coordinator. When Kansas had the great defense in 2003 and 2004, where was Clint Bowen then? Clint didn't allow the players to use their strengths and seemed to use schemes that allowed the other teams to exploit KU's weaknesses. Bowen cannot be KU's defensive coordinator if KU wants to be successful.

stubert 10 years, 7 months ago

keegan finally shows his football knowledge. please, get a person that at least knows what footall is all about. his article on this webb site is a total embrassment to k.u. football. clint bowan is a d-3 coach at his very best

Ryan Gerstner 10 years, 7 months ago

Again, KU football fans just aren't very bright. Clint Bowen would be a major addition to this staff if we'd be lucky enough for Bowen to entertain us again. KU's defense wasn't loaded with a bunch of studs the year Bowen was coordinator. I'd love to hear the genius game plans our fans would come up with when you have no pass rush, slow linebackers, and a secondary that can't cover people for 10 seconds. That's a roster built for success in a league of spread offenses.

truefan 10 years, 7 months ago

Great way to make your point is to act high and mighty and call the rest of us dumb.

Bowen has not ever coached LBs, we need an experienced LB coach, so by definition, Bowen does not fit the mold.

As far as game planning. No one on here claimed that they could have done a better job. I would have at least taken a page out of Bill Young's defensive play book and tried crowding the WRs though. It forces teams to make accurate deep passes instead of giving them 10 yards of space and allowing them to make short accurate passes until they end up in the end zone. It also forces teams to use deeper routes that take longer to develop, thus allowing our D-Line more time to get to the QB. When Young was doing this I saw a lot of long TD's by our opponents, but for every one of these I saw 3 or 4 QB's over or under throw their WR and completely waste a down as the ball sailed to the turf. Further, it puts our DBs closer to the line of scrimmage to help in run support to which helps to hide the fact that our LBs are slow.

Am I guaranteeing any of this would have helped when Bowen was the DC? No. But if he tried it and it didn't work, at least we would have seen why he wasn't doing it, but by not trying this EVER it frustrated us fans who watched and appreciated Young's defensive strategy that made our defense relevant even without superior talent many years.

KUJHAWK07 10 years, 7 months ago

jayhawkintx73 - you might want to double check your facts.

The Kansas defense was not the team's strength in 2003, see Philip River's 475 yards passing in the Tangerine Bowl. Bill Whittemore and the offense carried the team that year. And 2004? Better defense, but team still finished 4-7. The 2005 team that won the Ft. Worth Bowl had the great defense, and was one of the top rushing defenses in the country. Bowen was on all of these staffs.

After Young, KU went 5-7 with Bowen was d-coordinator? False. Young left after the 2007-08 Orange Bowl season (Bowen was co-defensive coordinator). KU went 8-5 in 2008 and won the Insight Bowl with Bowen as d-coordinator. The entire starting linebacker unit graduated after the 2008 season, and the 2009 team went 5-7.

truefan - Young is known for his ZONE blitz packages. The KU defense was predominately a zone coverage team during the entire Young era, not a bump-and-run / man coverage as you describe above. You are not alone in bringing up this false argument. We ran the same defense in 2007 as just helps to have an all-American/first round NFL draft pick in Aqib Talib to shut down half of the field. Bowen coached and schemed with Young from 2002 - 2007. Bowen's playbook was largely influenced by Young.

Rock chalk.

truefan 10 years, 7 months ago

While he is known for his zone blitz packages, I saw plenty of bump and run coverage while Young was coaching the defense. It is true that Aqib was the one doing most of this, but at least someone was. Watch the OSU game from 07-08 again and count how many times more than one of our CBs presses the WR.

And while Bowen was largely influenced by Young, I think his play calling on defense was suspect at best. Although Bowen was the co-defensive coordinator, Young was the guy calling the plays and mixing it up. Stopping the run gets difficult when your LBs graduate, but we still had some pretty good talent there and should have at least been able to slow teams down.

Mike Barnhart 10 years, 7 months ago

Bill Young, Clint Bowen ...who cares? 2007's recipe for success was this: Move all of your best athletes to defense, install a never-before-seen gimmick offense, have a "perfect fit" quarterback fall into your lap because he's only 5'8" and catch a HUGE break from the schedule gods!

It was a great season but not really a product of great coaching!

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