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Saturday, November 12, 2011

Keegan

Things just not working out for Turner Gill at KU

Kansas head coach Turner Gill pleads for an interference call against Baylor after a pass to KU receiver JaCorey Shepherd during KU's last drive of regulation Saturday, Nov. 12, 2011 at Kivisto Field.

Kansas head coach Turner Gill pleads for an interference call against Baylor after a pass to KU receiver JaCorey Shepherd during KU's last drive of regulation Saturday, Nov. 12, 2011 at Kivisto Field.

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Podcast episode

Press Conferences & Post-Game Interviews

KU coach Turner Gill

Kansas coach Turner Gill talks after his team's 31-30 overtime loss to Baylor on Nov. 12, 2011.

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With one more successful play from his offense Saturday, Kansas University football coach Turner Gill could have ended a seven-game losing streak, made irrelevant blowing a 21-point fourth-quarter lead and drawn praise for having had the guts to fly in the face of conventional wisdom.

It didn’t work out for him, of course, and Baylor won Saturday’s game in Memorial Stadium, 31-30, in overtime.

Not much has worked out during Gill’s two years as the football coach.

Not the decision to leave the names off the jerseys. Not the word of the week.

Not the beginning, a 6-3 loss to FCS opponent North Dakota State in his debut.

Not the end, a losing streak of eight games and counting.

Not the blowouts — his teams have lost as many games by 42 points or more as they have won by any margin — and not the 5-17 record, 1-14 in Big 12 games.

Not even big leads — 20-0 against Texas Tech, 24-3 against Baylor — work out for Gill, who took Saturday’s setback particularly hard.

One bold play could have made this one different.

After Jordan Webb beautifully executed in understated fashion a fake handoff to James Sims and the linebacker bit leaving open tight end Tim Biere for a touchdown on the KU offense’s first overtime play, Gill had a decision to make. Kick the extra point, tie the score and give the ball back to Robert Griffin III, who had turned back into RG3 in the fourth quarter after three P.U. quarters.

Asked why he went for the two-point conversion, Gill answered, “Momentum.”

Good answer, had he gone for it right away. But he called a timeout to set up a play. Think about what basketball coaches do — except for the most stubborn of them — to stop the other team’s momentum. They call timeouts. Gill called one on his own team. And then Baylor coach Art Briles called one. So much time had passed since Biere’s touchdown the sweat dried on the momentum. Time to kick the ball through the uprights and see if emerging star safety Bradley McDougald could come up with another big play.

Momentum has no official measurement, but it does have a point of origin. The momentum swings to a team when the sum of adrenaline in all the athletes on one squad flows far faster than the sum in all the athletes on the other. Adrenaline sharpens focus, enhances strength, instills endurance. It’s fleeting. It had fled by the time Jordan Webb threw a fade to the double-covered Biere on a day Gill recruits Darrian Miller and Tony Pierson rushed for a combined 219 yards and a touchdown (Pierson) on 32 carries.

Miller accounted for 147 of those yards, but wasn’t celebrating after the one-point loss. He knows it was Senior Day and he knows about the speculation swirling around his coach’s job security.

“I really try to not pay so much attention to it because I feel like, on the priority list, it’s not a team priority right now because we still have to finish our season and finish strong,” Miller said of the latter factor. “I think coach Gill will be here for a long time because I think he does great things for this team, even off the field. That’s one reason why I was so emotional today, not just wanting to play hard for the seniors, but also wanting to play hard for coach Gill. Because he’s such a great person, he makes you want to play hard for him.”

The tendency, be it with presidents, Army generals, football coaches, is to get blinded by numbers and want to deify the winners and demonize the losers. It’s a mistake to do so. Gill illustrates that as well as anybody. Joe Paterno, we’re learning, is a mixed bag of another sort for not slaying the monster in his midst. Some day, the rioting Penn State students will come to the realization that a winning record doesn’t equate to a winning football program in all areas.

It’s also a mistake to think that when Sheahon Zenger does what his job requires and lets Gill know he’ll be fired with a $6 million parachute, that meeting will be harder on Gill than on Zenger, who truly believes there is more to coaching than winning and losing, but knows that winning has to be part of it. It’ll be tougher on Zenger, no question. Gill is not a man defined by his job performance. Wherever his next stop takes him, be it in coaching or another profession, he’ll go to bed every night knowing he just finished another day of treating people well, a trait that comes easily to him. Is that such a bad lot in life?

Comments

jaybate 2 years, 5 months ago

How much access do you get for kicking a coach, when he is down, for rebuilding a program, as he was hired to do?

What kind of "unholy" alliance between Sheahon Zenger and Tom Keegan could drive this sort of coverage?

How much access can you get for trashing a man who is doing the same kind of a job, at the same pace, that Bill Snyder did once upon a time in Manhattan?

What quid pro quo justifies torching a man's career, while saying he gets to walk away with $6M and exit, perhaps into another profession?

What message is being communicated to Turner Gill via the media; that he should take the money and run?

What is the unspoken risk, if he stays to fight for his job like a man?

How can two good Catholic men act this way to one good born again Christian man?

How can two good Caucasian American men act this way to one good African American man?

How can a journalist and an athletic director treat a KU coach this way?

What has Bernadette Gray-Little become; that she, am African American woman, would let this go on, or, god forbid, encourage it?

Why is it so important to run a hire of Lew Perkins?

What has money done to KU people in sports?

For the love of Catholic and born-again gods, for the progressive tradition of Kansas and KU, for the fellowship of the races and religions, and for the good of the players, stop this now before something occurs that cannot be undone!

Being beaten by one point and blowing a lead is not a hanging offense, even in the age of the Patriot Acts.

Ad astra per aspera.

We have nothing to fear in KU football, but fear itself.

Rock Chalk!

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mustlehustle 2 years, 5 months ago

The core problem continues to be the lack of commitment and genuine interest in the Kansas football program. If you read the excuses and rationale for the hiring of Gill, and then to endure the apologists who believe this winless attempt deserves 3-4 years will perpetuate the mediocrity that is Kansas football. This brand of football isn't worthy of the Big East, Big 10 and certainly not ACC or SEC worthy.

This brand of football and the 35,000 "rabid" fans who last till half time, before leaving to run more important errands, is Missouri Valley, WAC, Mountain West caliber of play and performance. How many major colleges allow people to sit on a hill and watch the game for free, or still have their team playing on a multi-purpose field? Oh sure, its "tradition." to do so....Really?

No college committed to a formidable, respectable football program, would look at this hot mess and say "we should give this till the end of the contract for this coach, because this really is showing promise." Nobody should look at this and think "who would possibly come to Kansas and take this job, are you kidding me? There are only so many major college coaching jobs, and there are way more capable, competent, coaches than positions available.

You don't have to dig much deeper than to read the apologists and the strive for average to understand the work ahead to turn this program into a BCS, Big 12 worthy team.

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kscityrobber 2 years, 5 months ago

I like how half these people complaining are the ones that wanted the big guy out. Look back at my past comments. I TOLD YA SO!!!!!!!! This is not kansas basketball. You dont trade in Mr. Williams for Mr. self. No good coach wants the job at KU. So once again be careful what you ask for. I want the big guy back....

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gardenjay 2 years, 5 months ago

Turner Gill is a KU hero. He operates under adversity from fans and foes, but maintains his humanity with his players, and it shows by almost beating #25 in the country. That's progress. Go find yer coach all y'all that would come to Lawrence under these conditions and do as well.

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142466 2 years, 5 months ago

It will be much easier to attract an experienced, competent, coach to KU if he is entering a 12 member, 2 division, league. Ideally, we would be in the north division along with KSU, ISU, WVU, Cincy, and Loui. (OSU might go to the north and either Loui or Cincy to the south.) Under that setup, a competent coach could get us back to .500 records.

Having watched the Big7, Big8, and Big12 for so long, I don't like the idea of the league going so far east to get new members. But WVU is already in. So we might as well get Cincy and Loui, too.

I suspect that the K.U. A.D. has a pretty good idea of who the likely expansion candidates are and when they're likely coming in. Right now it looks like the league will have no more than 10 members for next year's season, 2012. If the A.D. knows or thinks that there will 2 divisions for the 2013 season, then the safe thing for him to do is to retain Gill for one more year and then bring in an up and coming coach at the same time that the new 2 division structure is implemented. The new hire will feel confident that he will be given at least 3 years, and with an easier schedule.

There is little chance that next year Gill will deliver a much better record than this year. Conference schedule is just too brutal. I'd say that 4 wins next year is the upper limit.

What if he delivers 5 wins next year? Hard to say. All this realignment uncertainty complicates everything, because KU's long-term FB outlook is so dependent on whether or not there are 2 divisions. Maybe, beginning next year we could put Gill on the Walter Austin (former long-time Dodgers manager) formula. One year at a time, indefinitely. That's not how it's done these days, though. That's too bad.

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jhawkrulz 2 years, 5 months ago

In the history of coaching, which coaches are successful after 2 years, and which ones were not, but given 3-4 years to prove otherwise. List of Coaches successful after 2 years: Bob Stoops (NC, second year), Nick Saban (LSU/Bama) NC 1st year back in Bama, Les Miles (at OSU and LSU), Urban Meyer (Utah and Florida), Snyder (both times at KSU), Gundy (OSU), Paterno (might not be timely, but undefeated his first year), Leach, Mangino (might not like him, but he did get to a bowl game second season), Carroll (2nd year), Chip Kelly (Oregon), Current Coach (Clemson, 1st year after Bowden left).
Enough of the good ones, let's talk about the coaches that after two years didn't perform and were given additional time to pan out, be prepared the list is long: Weiss (ND), Rodrigues (Michigan), Bowden (Clemson), Neuhesal (UCLA), Crowton (BYU), M. Stoops (Arizona), Long (our very own at SD), Colorado Coach (just got canned last year), Jimbo fisher is in his second year...anyone want another year, Terry Allen, Blake (OU), Miami Coach just fired last year, Butch Davis (UNC),

Anyways, I could go on, but I know you can judge a lot after 2 years and the message is clear. Turner Gill is merely incompetent (by the way he can be dismissed for cause for impcompetency).
A few notes about TG: Some have said he is a top recruiter, unfortunately his two best recruits aren't even practicing. He can't get them on the field. He hasn't recruited one top defender. This year when he has 12 (only 12) scholarships available, he hasn't been able to fulfill them yet. In addition, already one has backed out and some have threatened. This is part of the coaching and he clearly has failed in this area as well. Coaching he has been outcoached in every close game this year. He hasn't made one adjustment during the game that has been successful, unless if you think deferring to the third quarter is the best coaching move he has done. He didn't hire a defensive coordinator when one wasa needed. He hasn't taken over play calling duties when it was clear that the playcaller isn't doing their job.
Anybody who thinks we will pay the full $6MM to have him exit doesn't understand lawyers. He'll get a big payout, but it won't be the full amount. And by the way the estimated fees for the two teams that left is approximately $60MM/8 remaining teams. That is $7.5MM/team, KU has the money and the carrying of their debt currently can be serviced for $2.5MM/Year. Most companies would kill for the balance sheet that KU has. That is assuming that none of the boosters step up. I think they will.

Long and short...Gill is gone and we all know it.

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rob4lb 2 years, 5 months ago

Let's be honest, the football team has never performed consistently. Some of the recent records are actually inflated because of weak non-conference opponents. When I was in schools in the mid- 1970s, we played non conference games with teams like Wisconsin, Kentucky, Washington State for several years, UCLA compared to who we play today.

Looking at conference record, since the mid-60s (Hadl, then Sayers era), there has been only ONE five year stretch where KU had a winning conference record and during that stretch, KU was one game over .500. We've had almost 50 years of frustration. It is almost less risky to give Gill one more year than to roll the dice on another coach.

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mustlehustle 2 years, 5 months ago

This is not a "let's wait and see if things work-out" solution. It isn't a "how do we get out of this contract." Its that complacency that is at the root of the mediocrity of this program. In a time of rapid change on the college football landscape, increasing television revenues and declining booster and fan support at Kansas for football, a swift and deliberate change must happen. Is there a fear that changing coaches might adversely affect the amount of wins?

Now more than ever, a head coach that has deep recruiting roots in Texas is required.

Kansas has a rare opportunity, normally not afforded to anyone, to step-up and fill the void of the departure of Missouri and Texas A&M. Both schools have recruited very successfully out of Texas. Athletes being recruited to Kansas will still provide their family and friends the ability to see them on regionally televised games, and also be able to travel to many of the Jayhawks away games during the season. This won't be the case with moving to the SEC.

Chad Morris, in his first year as OC at Clemson, has taken them to a 9-1 record and has put Clemson football back on the map. He did the very same thing at Tulsa in an equally short time. Morris has also won "3" Texas High School Football State Championships, and was the "Coach of the Year 11 times, and took Lake Travis High School (alma mater of Todd Reesing) to being ranked 8th and 9th nationally by Rivals.

Morris is on the very short list of coaching candidates and the school that hires him first, will get a player's coach, and every available assistant coach knows what this guy will brng to a program. Morris "is" Texas High School and can immediately turnaround a very fractured Kansas football program.

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Andy Tweedy 2 years, 5 months ago

The stadium seemed so quiet yesterday, despite a really good effort for 3 quarters and a close call at the end (KU driving for the win as the clock wound down). It was pretty disappointing that the crowd wasn't louder, but I graduated from KU in 1990 and I can't say this is anything new. What I'd be really curious to know is how many of the posters on this board are really ever into the team enough to drop the cash and attend, or does this board consist of the same fan base that, save 2007, just doesn't give a crap about KU football. To say that we don't owe the team our support if they aren't winning is a copout, it's at least in some ways a two way street. Regardless of who is the coach, this program needs to be energized by the fans, and I really hope we can get out and support our boys next fall, regardless of who is coach! I saw a post on here a few weeks back complaining about roundball tickets going unused, but I haven't seen one complaint about all the football fans who don't show up week after week. I realize I'm kind of just rambling here, but right now I'm really disappointed in just about everything KU football, including the fans!!!

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Steven Gaudreau 2 years, 5 months ago

I left off the second second "l" because it reminds me of h, e, double toothpicks.

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Steven Gaudreau 2 years, 5 months ago

The picture is Coach Gil reacting to a curse word, not the game.

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dmg97102 2 years, 5 months ago

A lot of times, when a coach isn't winning, he restructures his buyout to buy himself another year. I say we give Gill another year, but restructure his buyout significantly if he doesn't produce...Like to a few hundred thousand if he doesn't win. (Charlie Weis did the same thing at Notre Dame a few years ago, and got another year). So Gill and KU get a chance to save face next year, and we're not on the hook for $6 mil. If Gill doesn't go for it, then just let him go this year, which is what everyone wants anyway.

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rob4lb 2 years, 5 months ago

You play six games a year. Let's say you have 15,000 empty seats a game and say empty seat is $100- and that is a high number. That's $1.5M in lost revenue which is alot less than coming up with $8M to buy out the coaches. I imagine most people pay about $30/ticket and maybe $20 more in concessions. So that $1.5M number is highly inflated.

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thekansasboy1987 2 years, 5 months ago

Will it cost more to get rid Gill and his staff or keep them and having empty seats next year?

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rob4lb 2 years, 5 months ago

In general, I think you have to give a coach at least three or four years to establish his own system. I waffle on what we should do. If KU fires Gill, they have to hit a home run on the next hire and there is no one out there, I believe, who 1) would come here and 2) would be a guarantee to transform the program. Leach will demand a huge paycheck and may not want to come here and will not guarantee success.

There is a lot of revisionist history with Mangino. He took from the bottom to the middle, the Orange Bowl year notwithstanding. In no other year did he have a winning conference record. Today a 3-5 record sounds great, but the program was clearly heading in a downward direction when he left.

I suspect that there is NO 'home run' candidate out there and Zenger will pressure Gill to make some coaching changes and give him another year.

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bjejayhawk69 2 years, 5 months ago

Gill has 2 more games to prove we are "improving". If we get blown out by A&M and Misery I just don't see the "improvement" The Baylor and ISU games show some hope but more often then not it has been a KSU game or Texas game or OSU game or GT game where we looked like we should have been playing Pitt state. We need some consistency not the occasional competitive stretch of play where some want to think we are getting better. None of us are paid by our employers to occasionally produce good work and most if not all are getting paid 2 mil a year. KU needs to be in both of the next 2 games for Gill to have a chance to retain his job. Blow outs and we are delusional that he has what it takes at this level.

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hawksfanatic 2 years, 5 months ago

First, that photo. Turner Gill being restrained by a ref? Second, my prediction. He will not be fired. He has one more year to get it right. If not, he's out of here.

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Clarence Haynes 2 years, 5 months ago

Are there anymore Harbaugh's left?

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mahkmood 2 years, 5 months ago

MM has a 5-7 year, fans are complaining that we need a coach that can "take us to the next level". Lew does his dirty work and gets rid of MM. Now - it seems to me - the fan base would be proud and patting Gill on the back for producing a 5-7 season (something that MM produced on a fan considered down year). What is wrong with so many KU football fans!? They seem schizophrenic to me - maybe just bad football IQ. Gill's problem is not what MM left behind. I don't want to hear any more lame excuses. I think we should re-hire Mark Mangino, and leave the true problems for KU football out of our memory, 1) Lew Perkins, 2) Turner Gill's lack of BCS coaching ability. Boo-hoo, cry, cry, cry, MM was a "meany" to players and rude to parking-ticket employees. He weighed too much. These "reasons" for why MM needed to go were overblown by Lew so he could get rid of MM at a discount rate. Bring back Mangino! Bring back Mangino! Bring back Mangino! Do it NOW!

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Randy Bombardier 2 years, 5 months ago

When Gill stated that he was here to win championships I thought that was either blind faith or arrogance, yet he didn't have that pride-fulness about him. So, I chalked it up to a child-likeness about him that believes in simple platitudes. When he took it a step further to "dynasty" I was really amazed. I thought oh my, this guy is really delusional. It took me a while to get over the dismissal of MM and get supportive of the new regime. I still think he is delusional. But, I also think he needs more time. This current class of freshmen needs to be taken to their senior year by Gill and Co. I don't want some other guy coming in here and getting the illusion of being better when it is simply that the "Baby Hawks" are maturing.

This staff can recruit. I would like to see what four or five years of this staff can do. Just get a decent DC.

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hi_c21 2 years, 5 months ago

I just don't get it. KU was not very good at all until we had a handful of good years under Mangino. That spoiled the heck out the fanbase. Thinking a few good years will translate to inevitable eternal greatness.

Now I see people spread nothing but hate and say "As fans, we deserve a better football team. We deserve better than this." As fans, we aren't entitled to ANYTHING. We don't deserve ANYTHING.

When Coach Gill was hired, he was given a five year deal because we had a sense that it was going to take some of that to do well. At the beginning of the season, people only expected two or three wins. Am I right? KU got those two wins, and made these last two close. It was embarrassing for a while, yes. But it's clear that there has been improvement. Being a student at KU and having talked to some of the players, I know that the players love Coach Gill. They say he is a great guy and he really is a good coach, the players just don't have the experience and those not recruited by him were not a good fit for his system.

And who is to say Mangino's recruits get along with Gill's recruits? I'm not saying they don't, but isn't it possible that Mangino's recruits don't mesh entirely with the culture Gill emulates and the players he recruits?

Honestly, to be at yesterday's game and to see all the people clapping after the failed conversion showed me something. The people and true fans have respect for Coach Gill and for the team as a whole for having the guts to go for it. They showed support for Gill and for the great effort that the team put forth yesterday.

This team is on its way up. The night is always darkest before the dawn, and if we don't give Coach Gill one more shot next year, it may only get darker. This group of guys have faith in Gill. It's time we did too.

As fans, we don't "deserve" anything. Either you support your team, or you don't. And if you don't, are you really a fan?

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cajayfan 2 years, 5 months ago

I've flipped too. At least the scores of the last two games don't make me feel sick when they fly by on ESPN. That's improvement. A step back in the next two games and I will flip again. Next year, he has his own hand picked quarterback that is supposedly a dual threat quaterback. If no five win season next year, he should be gone.

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Steven Gaudreau 2 years, 5 months ago

Not a Gill fan but KU did beat the spread last two games. That's improvement.

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142466 2 years, 5 months ago

Successful recruiting and strong coaching ability, especially by the coordinators, make for a respectable football program. But for KU there is a crucial third factor in the football equation, a factor that we probably have little control over. That factor is our schedule, and our schedule is held captive by the folks in Austin, Texas.

KU will very likely not return to football respectibility until the B12 returns to at least 12 members. Huge factor. Under the current league structure, we have to play all the B12 football powers every year. If we can return to 2 divisions, with OU and UT in the other division, our FB schedule instantly changes from one of the toughest BCS schedules in the country to one of the easiest.

I am a huge fan of Mangino, but I will admit that under the current league structure he probably would never have gotten us to the Orange Bowl. Darn, I'm sad that I had to say that. But it's true.

The current schedule not only delivers rough Saturday afternoons, it also hinders our ability to attract a good coach. What proven head coach would be willing to sign on to a boat with a hundred holes in the hull, about to set sail into one storm after another.

Should Gill be fired at season's end? Well, tell me how many FB members the conference will have next year. If the answer is less than 12, it could be wise to retain him for one more year, thereby conserving our resources for hiring a descent coach when the conference returns to 2 divisions.

I, myself, am not yet sold on the idea set forth in this post. I'm seriously considering it. For me, I think it depends on the scores of the final 2 games. The A.D. is likely pondering all this, too. He decides.

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Stephan123 2 years, 5 months ago

The contract for services should have been in three year increments with pay adjusted upward every year and starting in the $750,000 range. Coach Gill had a very good negotiator and Mr. Perkins had too much optimism. Perkins was generally a good A.D. but took a gamble that he should not have. Maybe he had lost his edge and became arrogant with his own infallibility. Water under the bridge. Hard decision now faced by Mr. Zenger. Without all the variables being known, I would guess that Gill will be walking the sidelines in Memorial Stadium next year.

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rockchalkhawk95 2 years, 5 months ago

I feel very bad for Turner Gill. I think he's a very respectable person. However, this is an industry built on results. I'm not convinced we've seen enough positive results to justify him continuing on as head coach. At the same time, KU is in a tough spot. Do you let Coach Gill stay on for another 2-10 or 3-9 season at a cost of $2 million dollars? But, if you can him, will a prospective coach want this job after one coach got fired for being mean and the latest coach got fired after 2 years? I'm starting to wonder if the best thing for everyone involved is to hunker down and have faith Coach Gill can get this turned around in the next year or so. I don't know if he can, but what choice do we have? I have a hard time believing Mike Leach, Larry Fedora, Kevin Sumlin or June Jones would want this job under these circumstances.

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Jayhawkintexas1973 2 years, 5 months ago

That ref is the same guy that called two plays 40 yards away from him in the same quarter, and then missed the one that he was supposed to be paying attention to. It was an obvious PI. The refs were terrible in this game, and down the stretch it seemed the one ref had money on Baylor in this game. He should not be allowed to step back onto any field until they investigate him.

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danno1313 2 years, 5 months ago

Is that a picture of TG showing EMOTION on the sideline?? First time for everything I guess. I ve had that LOOK ALL SEASON! Welcome to the club, coach!

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bjejayhawk69 2 years, 5 months ago

Baylor came in flat just like OU did. Inspired senior day as well (Steven Johnson is a stud). Gill finally showed some fire on the sidelines. The problem is it took him 2 years to show that. He doesn't have to cuss and swear but football is played with emotion and intensity. He is not consistent with that.

Coaching football also requires game in and game out proper game preparation and in game and half time adjustments. Those aspects are also done inconsistently. We have talent (and cupboard was not bare when Mangino left) to play with a lot of teams in the Big 12 and KSU should be one of them. The problem is there is no consistent game planning and in game decision making. Throw in the lack of proper off season strength and conditioning and this what we are left with. The 4th quarter defense was atrocious. We went from being aggressive and even bumping them close to the line of scrimmage with their receivers to the softest zone defense ever seen in Div. 1. These aren't mistakes BCS level coaches making 2 million a year can make. And it is a pattern that won't change. Gill will get out coached most of the time. Baylor's coach is not a genius, he currently has a stud QB who didn't come to play for 3 quarters. This game was a game where a Synder or any other quality coach would have beaten Baylor by 30+. We got a ton of breaks in that game and didn't bury them.

Nice guy but for 2 mil a year - we will be stuck in 1-3 win seasons with some occasional close games. I love KU FB and think we can be more than that. No one expects Orange bowl years every year but being in a position to qualify for a bowl game and beat our now only league rival KSU is not too much to expect. I don't ever see that with Gill.

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MinnesotaJay 2 years, 5 months ago

I've been a flip-flopper on this Turner Gill topic, even though I haven't posted about it before. Prior to the last two games, I believed there could be no justification for sticking with him. Now, I'm willing to see what happens in the next two games before concluding that's the case. And, that doesn't mean that we necessarily have to win those games for him to be retained for another year.

The Big 12 is brutally tough! In this conference, a program that's rebuilding for the long haul, especially the way Gill is doing it, by establishing a solid foundation first, is going to suffer some blowout defeats. Period. To have expected anything different would have been unrealistic. A ship that's reversing course is still going in 'the wrong direction' during the early and middle stages of its turn.

Of course, I won't be deciding anything. And, if we regress to blowout losses in the next two games, it's hard to imagine there'll be any support remaining for Gill.

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hihawk 2 years, 5 months ago

gill should have been gone before KU made the mistake in hiring him. Doesn't say much for NU or Tom Osborne does it? I said it earlier too ya!! As you know Baylor didn't play to their level, don't you think that when Baylor came in here that they were flat, playing a team like Kansas. It's hard to get up for a team that has a horrible recorded like KU and the media has been laughing at KU for the last two years. It's is easy to let your guard down, especially to KU.

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Ashwin Rao 2 years, 5 months ago

I love the comment made here (close to the end) which i read "You’ve got to get it done. No excuses.” Same goes at KU... no excuses... if you don't get it done in 2 years (or 6 yrs in Bonnie's case), you should be out! http://www.washingtonpost.com/sports/mark-turgeon-i-want-to-be-the-next-gary-williams-at-maryland/2011/11/09/gIQAri86FN_story.html

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Chris Condren 2 years, 5 months ago

Gill's team has looked moronic many times this season. Offense at Texas and Iowa State, defense in too many games to mention and special teams have all hurt the team effort. Poor organization and poor discipline have added to the belief the staff does not know up from down. Being a nice person is a good thing but being a crummy head coach means you get fired. Football irrelevance by the fifth or sixth game of the season is unacceptable.

Also fans have in large part quit support the team. It is time for a change.

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troutsee 2 years, 5 months ago

Okay. I apologiize. I am a flipflopper. But sometimes things happen that cause a person to reconsider his thoughts, especially when those thoughts are expressed in anger, like, for instance, some of mine. I was a Gill supporter when he was hired, not because I thought he was the best hire, but because he was hired and, therefore, was the coach of my beloved KU, and by god, right or wrong, I was going to support him. Then came the NDSU embarrassment and the many blowouts over two years and I turned against him. However, and here comes the flip-flop, I have personally seen the last two games and there has been team unity; there has been organization; we have been prepared; and we have played well enough to win both games. A non-call of an obvious pass interference penalty at the end of regulation of this game may very well have cost us the game. I agree wilh Gill going for two. However, a fade to the tight end, a pass that Webb has never executed well (remember the TAM game last year) was a poor choice for a game winner. However, barring embarrassing blow outs in the next two games, I see a coach and a defensive coordinator who are improving as the year passes; I see a team that is coming together and playing with passion, effort, and preparation; and finally I see a team that is still playing for their coach. Therefore, I have flipped. Firing Gill at this time would be premature. I might flip flop again should we be blown out over the next two games.

The way I see it, our coverage of deep balls has been poor all year and we need a more athletic QB. One very good DT would also help. But, if we keep it together as we have over the last two games, I think we are headed in the right direction.

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minnhawk84 2 years, 5 months ago

Minnesota would have a tough time beating KU. Jerry Kill team is really struggling, but he did manage to beat Iowa last week. Kill has already been given a raise and an extension on his contract ..... in his first year! I guess the UofM has a little more faith in BUILDING a program than many KU fans posting here.

Turner Gill needs more time. He didn't drop those critical passes yesterday.

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IrishDaddy 2 years, 5 months ago

small potatoes compared to Bill Self's recent NCAA meltdowns.

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Steve Corder 2 years, 5 months ago

After reading most of these comments, I say give the man another year. If players can develop so can a coach. Zenger's closer than any of us to the situation, and I'll live with the decision he makes...one way or another. But I am not after Gill's scalp with the same fervor as many of these comments.

I know of no other KU coach, with a similarly dismal record in the 1st 2 years (along with a brutal schedule), not to be given another year.

IF T.G. can turn around this program with the integrity he has displayed then we MAY have a fine program for many years. Stick with a man through the darkest hours and you'll develop a fierce loyalty that will last a life time.

Or just go ahead and admit defeat and fire the whole lot of 'em and start over again. Let the football program's "swinging door" continue!

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okiedave 2 years, 5 months ago

I recall everybody calling for Mangino's head his first couple of years because he had a sorry win record. Then he won an orange bowl. The Chancelor discovered he was not "nice" and he was fired. It's hard to be a successful football coach at KU.

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namder 2 years, 5 months ago

The money needed to send Gill on his way is there. Leave it at that. Zenger has deep pocketed doners that realize the implications of keeping Gill one more year.

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Roger Tobias 2 years, 5 months ago

Turner Gill is a nice guy. Nice guys finish last. Turner Gill needs to stop being nice, except in the office and at home. He needs another year just because we have only two years of his recruits (apparently KU doesn't go for the instant fix of JUCO players--e.g. Bill Snyder. Seems to be working for KSU) Losing A&M and MU just means two losses to avoid. Shouldn't forfeit any windfall from them leaving to buy out Gill. Turner Gill needs to get tough with his players and coaches. Candy bars for good performance? Really? How about letting them earn marks on their helmets, for instance beaks (instead of buckeyes). Already anticipating the "Peckerhead" response.

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ferdthemooncat 2 years, 5 months ago

True, Mangino got us to a minor bowl in his second year, but the administration gave him a good three years to get it going. "Character First," was MM's catchphrase, I believe. I could stand another year given TG's integrity.

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chipmunk1956 2 years, 5 months ago

"...that meeting will be harder on Gill than on Zenger, who truly believes there is more to coaching than winning and losing, but knows that winning has to be part of it. It’ll be tougher on Zenger, no question."

Was anyone else confused by this last paragraph? Uh, so what is it, Tom? Will it be harder on Gill, or Zengher? Just when I was ready to laud TK for a nice article, finally... his true colors surface in his last paragraph.

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bootlegger 2 years, 5 months ago

I’m still here to get this thing turned around. How long it’s going to be, I don’t know, but we will get this thing turned around. We have a tremendous staff, like you always hear me talk about, so we’ve got the right people here, and we will get this thing turned around. It might take a little longer than we expected, but we will get this turned around."

— KU coach Turner Gill, talking after KU's 59-7 loss to Kansas State on Oct. 14, 2010, in Lawrence

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Kevin Long 2 years, 5 months ago

I get really sick of people talking about what Gill was left with! It's his team now!!! You probably the same people that still blame Bush for the economy too. Once you take something over it's YOUR baby!

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jayhawkmwh 2 years, 5 months ago

Kansas started fifteen freshmen today. Six red shirt and nine true. I challenge any coach to win with that young of a team on the field! Gill was left with little.

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all_in 2 years, 5 months ago

The average of upperclassmen (juniors & seniors) for Kansas, K-State, Oklahoma, Texas, OK State , and Texas Tech is 45.3 (Kansas 34) , average seniors 19.3 (Kansas 14) , average juniors 26 (Kansas 20).

If my opponents, at any level, have more seasoned players to field against me, any and every game will be tough.

Thanks "Slyhawk" for showing some understanding of what is necessary to build a winner, 2 years is just not enough time. A coach is due the opportunity for his first recruited class to hit the field, I know that much. Anything short of that is a waste of endowment dollars. Or as "kujhawkfan" thinks, exit money will pay the bill, NOT!!

The kicker to it all......... I'm listening in as a parent of a recruit, and I'm appalled at the lack of consideration to the aforementioned. If you don't have to interest in the program developing and are more concerned with "win now", a new coach next year still won't "win then". He will have to develop his class of players over a 3 to 4 year period. So why should my son choose KU if the fan base is this volatile? Or is it that only the frustrated speak the most?

These words of disgust you express travel many miles and worry those of us that consider sending our young ones your way.

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Stephen Young 2 years, 5 months ago

Coach Gill inherited virtually no Div. I talent once his rightly discredited predecessor left, and he has been able to bring in only one class of his own recruits--many of whom have been redshirted in order to build the program up the right way. It is slow and full of heartbreak in the beginning. But it establishes a foundation for later, greater, consistent success. Anyone remember 2006? Loss after loss, all in the 4th quarter; the next year, we went to the Orange Bowl! It would be insane to fire this talented coach without giving him a fair chance to fail or succeed with his own players.

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ben161803 2 years, 5 months ago

Wait, we lost to a top 25 team by 1, held our last 2 opponents to season lows in points (regulation), have had a significant number of good starts to games before being overcome by superior talent, and your answer is fire the coach?

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Michael Sillman 2 years, 5 months ago

Turner Gill was a winner today no matter what the scoreboard showed at the end. Any coach that can keep his team together and motivated after the beatdowns suffered during a truly brutal schedule plus the unending venom from knuckleheads like Keegan and many of the posters on this site is doing a hell of a job.

Then he showed real guts going for the win today with the two point conversion. According to the experts on this site, Gill is not a competitive guy. Well, he looked pretty competitive today.

The bad stats for the defense have been skewed by a series of big plays like the three in today's 4th quarter. Nearly all of the 50 plus yard gainers by the other teams this year were the result of mistakes by kids with very little college experience under their belts. Those mistakes piled up the yards and the points. Next year, they won't be making the same mistakes.

If Zenger takes the easy way out by firing Gill to satisfy the media and impatient fans, he'll set the KU football program back another 5 years. There's no doubt that Gill needs to get better at the X's and O's but he has definitely mastered the truly critical aspect of coaching: building players of character.

Keep Gill and let's see what he can do next year.

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jgkojak 2 years, 5 months ago

What's funny is its just 3 games that could have gone either way-

We win the first game last year (6-3 loss against a D2 opponent) then the good wins against G Tech and Colorado really have some staying power, and it looks like we're a little better off than we should have been.

And then this year- we win last week and this week (again, close games), and we're set up to maybe get our 5th win at MU... progress.

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142466 2 years, 5 months ago

Gill's status is tenuous.

Had he won today and then have been competitive in both remaining games, he would return. During most of today's game, I thought he was setting himself up to have a decent chance of doing that. That path is now gone.

If he wins 1 of the remaining games, he returns next year. Unlikely to happen.

If he is competitive in the remaining games, but fails to win. What happens? A close call. I'd say it's 55 to 45 that he returns. (the Paterno situation helps him, since he stands in stark contrast to Perv State).

If the remaining games are blowouts, he is gone.

As has happened so many times in the Border Showdown game, the outcome of that game may well decide the fate of KU's coach.

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lv_jhwk 2 years, 5 months ago

All that said though, does anyone still wish that Tuberville had been hired instead of Gill??

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rockchalkjjjhawk 2 years, 5 months ago

So, here's how I look at it. Keegan really backed the hiring of Gill. Basically because as everyone knows by now, Keegan only spews forth what someone else has told him. And when he got wind that Gill was the man, he went gaga trying to show his importance in saying that Gill was the man. So now, Keegan all of a sudden is championing the removal of Gill, so that KU will lose even more money that will never be replaced. I wonder just how much Keegan contributes to the university of KU? I wonder just how much of Keegan's hard earned money will go to helping pay off Gill? No, if Keegan is now saying that Gill should go (who I was against hiring in the first place), I'm thinking that the correct approach is for Zenger to keep Gill and save the cash.

After all, as I've said before, it's not like KU is going to be OU in a year or two's time with a new coach anyway. Even if there are 20,000 empty seats for two more years, that dollar figure is still in the same ballpark as the amount that KU would have to pay out to Gill. So let's say Gill is fired and given 6million in hopes of the new coach filling the stadium. If Memorial is filled, KU negates the loss of the Gill buyout but goes in the hole because of the new coaching contract. And the way of the bowl system today is that the attending university doesn't make as much as folks think. So, the way I see it, Gill should fulfill his obligation and try and win more than 2 games the next two years. If he continues to suck, that's just the price to pay for letting someone like Lew run rough shot over everyone.

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lv_jhwk 2 years, 5 months ago

Prior to the first snaps of the season, I think most reasonable fans knew that a two win season was a strong possibility. As such, the idea of losses to Iowa State and Baylor were to be expected. The promise of a young group of players would lead to anticipation of success down the road.

So here we are...two victories seems most likely, the opportunities for wins the last two weeks have been encouraging (actually surprising today), and a good number of newcomers have shown a fair amount of ability. Yet an overwhelming majority of the same reasonable fan base is wanting/looking forward to/expecting a coaching change. Just goes to show just how complete of a job Gill and Co did burning bridges with the blowout losses in the middle of the season.

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Eric Mitchell 2 years, 5 months ago

           Turner Gill will get at least 1 more season. Although he has not shown results in the win-loss column this year, what did you expect coming into this season? HCTG has shown to be a great recruiter in his first two classes under the circumstances(this years class remains to be seen due to only 13 scholarships) with getting a solid core of speed guys on offense and getting many O-Lineman. If the players still somehow BELIEVE at season's end, then I think he deserves at least a half season next year. I like the youth of the team and you have to admit that MM didnt really leave the guy with much skill position talent. The past two weeks have been very rough with a real chance of winning and then losing. Its been somewhat encouraging. If the trend continues in these last two games against A&M and Mizwho he will return. IMHO it really takes 3 years to determine if a coach is right for the job and actually building the program positively the way he wants it. But if KU is still struggling with blowouts next  season he needs be fired. One thing that could buy him some extra time is to win one of these upcoming games and to take a paycut this offseason.
         One can dream of the days when Bob Davis and Nate Bukaty are calling games. Here it is from Bob "Darrian Miller with a handofff up the middle....he's in the secondary.. Midfield..  THIRTY, TWENTY, TEN, FIVE, TOUCHDOWN KANSAS. Miller now owns the single season rushing record here at KU" Nate chirps in" He really just showed what a great athlete he is right there and was helped by tremendous blocks by Pick on the outside and Marrongelli in the interior. Wow, he is special." (Notice I really am in love with Miller as a player and his potential)

Rock Chalk.

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kujhawkfan 2 years, 5 months ago

He will be fired after the MU game. When you say there isn't any money to buy him out you have to keep in mind that Texas A&M and Missouri have to pay huge exit fees to leave the Big 12 Conference. As it stands right now, both schools are required to pay over $25 million each. That would mean $50 million divided by 10 schools, which means KU would receive $5 million. There will not be any money coming in unless he is fired.

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pepper_bar 2 years, 5 months ago

Turner Gill isn't going anywhere. KUAC can't afford to buy out his guarantee plus pay the assistants to go away, and the booster money isn't there. There won't be a home run hire to help with attendance next year, so a buyout is pointless.

TG stays for at least one more year, and he has a soft enough non-con next year that he'll probably buy himself more time.

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ahpersecoachingexperience 2 years, 5 months ago

Photo caption: Turner Gill speaks in tongues on the sideline of ku's game against Baylor.

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ukanjhox 2 years, 5 months ago

Has anyone ever written a personal message to Keegan? Just curious to see how he responds to other people.

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sebuffaloes01 2 years, 5 months ago

Turner Gill holds him self to a high moral and ethical standard for which he should be commended. However, lets not lose sight of the fact he was hired to do a job; win Football Games and Graduate Student Athletes. You would be hard pressed to find anyone that could keep a job if they only did a fraction of it.

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Eric Dawson 2 years, 5 months ago

Unfortunately TG has become the living essence of Leo Durocher's famous quote. When looking at future books of quotations, Leo's (as the sayer) and Turner's (as the classic example) pictures will accompany "Nice guys finish last".

I truly wish TG will, but he is simply not a competent D1 football coach, and needs to be let go.

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jhawkln 2 years, 5 months ago

We suck period! If Turner Gill would've showed that much emotion during his first game here as he did today, they would've shown improvements and they would be better 22 games later. But too little too late. Sorry coach gill. It shouldn't take almost 2 full seasons to get a fire lit under the team's and your own arse!

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buckleyhawk 2 years, 5 months ago

In the shadows cast down by Penn St, I think Keegan actually has it right this time -- there is something to be said about how TG treats pretty much everyone he comes in contact with, and what kind of man he seems to be.

Unfortunately in such a black and white field as athletics, it doesn't matter...wins and losses (and even point spreads) are what it ultimately comes down to (excepting disgusting situations as we have seen lately)...so...TG, really good guy in general, but maybe not qualified for D1 BCS HC (at least right now).

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ahpersecoachingexperience 2 years, 5 months ago

This comment was removed by the site staff for violation of the usage agreement.

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boknowssports 2 years, 5 months ago

no one deserves a raise from 450K to 2 million a year. something is fishy there!

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ukanjhox 2 years, 5 months ago

It ain't such a bad lot in life, especially when he's got a cool 6 million in his pocket thanks to sweet Lew.

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Janet Scott 2 years, 5 months ago

KU football has no relevance. None. It is the laughingstock of the national Div I scene; the butt of jokes here on the East Coast, with ESPN radio leading the charge, equating "football at Kansas" under Gill to absolutely the worst college football program in the land -- by far. Hapless. A sad comedy. Utter futility.

It's time for Turner to go .... a rich man, compliments of Lew and Bernie GL.

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Joe Ross 2 years, 5 months ago

I feel badly for Gill. I really do. But my sympathy stops at the point that I realize he is a football coach. One that is being paid a lot of money. To coach FOOTBALL. It saddens me as we come to the end, but he MUST go.

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