Thursday, December 4, 2014

KU football coaching search moving at smooth pace

KU athletic director Sheahon Zenger leaves the field after the Jayhawks 51-13 loss to the Kansas State Wildcats Nov. 29. 2014.

KU athletic director Sheahon Zenger leaves the field after the Jayhawks 51-13 loss to the Kansas State Wildcats Nov. 29. 2014.


The search to find the next Kansas University football coach is moving at a smooth pace, according to a source with knowledge of the goings on of the past few days. And it appears that KU athletic director Sheahon Zenger and his search committee, which includes special consultant Chuck Neinas, could be ready to make a hire by next week.

Through various sources, the Journal-World has learned that former Kansas interim coach and longtime KU defensive coordinator Clint Bowen, former Nebraska offensive coordinator Tim Beck, Texas A&M; recruiting coordinator and receivers coach David Beaty and Ohio State offensive line coach and co-offensive coordinator Ed Warinner all were interviewed by telephone this week by Zenger and members of the committee.

Several others — both assistants and head coaches — expressed interest in the job at one point or another during the past several days, and at least a few of them also conducted phone interviews with representatives from KU.

Sources confirmed that no offer had been made to any of the coaches KU had talked to, and one source said phone interviews may extend through Friday, clearing the way for in-person interviews to take place next week.

It is not yet known where the face-to-face interviews will be conducted, but the Journal-World learned that somewhere in Lawrence or the surrounding area seemed to be the preference of the committee.

Both Beaty and Bowen were known to be on the road recruiting for their current schools on Thursday. Warinner, meanwhile, was busy preparing for this weekend’s Big Ten championship game against Wisconsin. As for Beck, he appears to be busy exploring his options after being a part of the Bo Pelini staff that was let go by Nebraska earlier this week.

For the latest on the coaching search, including updates, candidate profiles, tidbits that might impact Kansas and any breaking news, stay logged on to on Friday and throughout the upcoming weekend.


• Thursday update

• Wednesday update

• Tuesday update

• Monday update


Cody Riedy 6 years, 9 months ago

The folks throwing out Franchione need to go edit his wikipedia page for him, because reviewing his record on there, I don't see anything appealing about him at all. He's had two successful stints: 3 years at TCU, 1998-2000, when they played in the WAC and 2 years at Alabama in 2001-2002, before the SEC exploded. He didn't exactly leave those two programs in style and he was no good at A&M where he got in trouble for selling insider information in newsletters to a couple dozen wealthy alumnus, which was a tad sleazy in my estimation. So well over a decade ago the guy had a short successful stint at as a D1 Head Coach and now he's successful at Texas St (7-5 this year) and this is supposed to be impressive? If we are going the road of older re-treads again, why not Tressel or Phil Fulmer or any number of guys, etc?

Aaron Paisley 6 years, 9 months ago

Tressel's Show-Cause is still in effect so not a chance in hell on that one.

Kyle Helmer 6 years, 9 months ago

It's an attempt at humor. Nobody actually wants him.

Michael Lorraine 6 years, 9 months ago

Dr. Z better approach this hire as if his job depended on it.

Doug Cramer 6 years, 9 months ago

Based off of the candidates listed in the article...I'd be surprised if Bowen doesn't get it.

Here is my percentage wheel on who I think has the best shot at getting it.

  • Bowen 62%
  • Beaty 18%
  • Warriner 15%
  • Beck 5%

Tait seems to have a strong source providing him information that is connected with Zenger's office. So I don't expect any surprises this time we saw with Weis.

Personally I'm pulling for Beaty or Warriner, but for some reason I think we're headed down the wrong road toward Bowenville.

Rick McGowwan 6 years, 9 months ago

I have two people who are informed on the search and, for the first time, they are saying wildly different things. One thing that both of them are clear on though is that Bowen is not #1 on the list. He is a strong contender and will be a fallback choice should choices #1 and #2 decline, get cold feet, or (more likely) get significant raises from their respective universities. Here is where they differ:

Source #1 says Warriner is squarely in the lead. He will get the offer and an announcement will be made after the B10 championship game regardless of outcome--this is a big deal since a win by tOSU and a loss by another team could propel them into the CFP.

Source #2 swears there is a dark horse candidate that people can't confirm. Early on they thought it was Fuente, but now they really, truly believe it is Fritz. Which I'm cool with. They say Fritz is doing well, hasn't faded, and will come to Lawrence next week to interview with Warriner, Bowen, and--if he isn't interviewing at AM for OC, Beaty. Beck will be interviewed as well but he is seen as more of an OC/Co-HC. Beaty is the ideal OC, but his Xs and Os are too weak for an HC right now.

My two cents is the longer this goes the more likely Bowen isn't getting the first offer. After an offer, tOSU is going to counter with a serious raise for Warriner, so Bowen may still get the gig.

Up until tonight both of my sources were saying the same thing, now it's different and I don't know which one is true, if either. I'm excited at least one of them is still saying Fritz. I guess we'll know shortly if either of them have real information or if they are just blowing smoke.

Rick McGowwan 6 years, 9 months ago

Beck's interview is to see if he would have interest in the OC position should the stars align correctly, as well as to keep options open.

Bo would be nice, but the dark horse is believed to be a current head coach. It's probably not Kill, Fuente is off the table, and Fritz is the most logical choice of current head coaches. Bo was a head coach when this information came out though, so I suppose it's possible that the leak hasn't caught up with the recent firing.

With that said Zenger made a crazy move last time so the other candidate really could be anyone.

I should also say that (very!) obviously I believe Tait has way better and more sources than I do--so there's no way of knowing if mine are really connected at all.

Aaron Paisley 6 years, 9 months ago

Dan Hawkins wasn't a bad hire at the time. The guy went 53-11 at Boise State when Colorado hired him. He may have ended up being a bust at Colorado, but his resume when he was hired at Colorado justified his hiring at the time.

Doug Cramer 6 years, 9 months ago

Rick - thanks for sharing your insight.

Jason Spangler 6 years, 9 months ago

Bowen is the fall back and will probably get the job. I don't see any of the other candidates taking the job.

John Fitzgerald 6 years, 9 months ago

I have a source that says Pizza Hut is going to start putting buffalo wings in their crust. Buffalo wings! In the crust! Mind = blown.

Michael Lorraine 6 years, 9 months ago

I have felt all along that if Bowen gets the job it will be by default. My order of preference is Bowen, Warriner, Other, Beck and Beaty. I would rather see them go after Beaty as an assistant.

John Fitzgerald 6 years, 9 months ago

Ed Warinner - HC

David Beaty - OC/Recruiting Coordinator

Kerry Coombs - DC/Special Teams

Clint Bowen - Assistant DC/CB Coach

Eric Keisau - Assistant OC/WR Coach

Reggie Mitchell - RB Coach/Assistant Recruiting Coordinator

Todd Reesing - QB Coach

Dirk Medema 6 years, 9 months ago

The real questions are: 1. Who is the OLC? 2. Who is the DLC?

Brandon Mahon 6 years, 9 months ago

I like your list of coaches and I think this is pretty possible. Would you keep holsopple?

Stan Crown 6 years, 9 months ago

A question for Matt or anyone else in the know. A name that hasn't come up much, if at all, although I believe he was mentioned when Mangino was canned, is Nolan Cromwell. I'm not sure he's head coach material, although he's played and coached both sides of the ball, and he's regarded highly enough that he doesn't seem to lack for assistant coaching offers in prominent places.

Has he ever commented on whether he has any interest in returning to coach in any capacity at KU? I'm not recommending or even suggesting that he be considered for head coach at this time. Just wondering why his name hardly ever gets mentioned.

John Strayer 6 years, 9 months ago

I gotta think that 18 year old kids will go "Nolan who?"

Randy Bombardier 6 years, 9 months ago

My source tells me that someone not even on our radar will get the job...and my bunions never lie.

Michael Lorraine 6 years, 9 months ago

Zenger plays his cards close to the vest. You could be right.

Michael Lorraine 6 years, 9 months ago

Except for a brief stint at A&M as an OC, I believe his coaching career has been spent primarily as a receivers coach in the NFL. I would love to see him on the KU sideline in any capacity. Could be good for recruiting. Just speculation on my part but if he had the desire to move up the ladder it would have happened by now.

Edward Daub 6 years, 9 months ago

I will eat Linguini if we hire Pelini. I will drink Peroni if we hire Pelini.

Kevin Kelly 6 years, 9 months ago

What's the hurry really? I have total trust in the last person on Earth to fall for the supposed talent of Chucky Frontbutt.

Richard Duran 6 years, 9 months ago

Why go for dudes other schools fired? Why would Pelini wanna come here? He got fired inning 9 games a year, why would he put himself here and go 5-7 and get canned? Hire an up and coming assistant or solid mid major coach, a la Mason.

Lance Cheney 6 years, 9 months ago

Remember the last mid-major coach we hired? I do. And KSU is still thanking us for it.

Allison Steen 6 years, 9 months ago

He would NEVER go 5-7 here and get canned. Ever. Nebraska seems to think they are Alabama and are going to go to a national championship ever year.

Mike Barnhart 6 years, 9 months ago

At the highest level, it's all about the "Jimmy's and Joe's." When you coach at a basketball school in a small state with a small old stadium it's all about the "X's and O's."

Even Zig Zigler couldn't convince four and five star athletes to choose Lawrence so forget the ace recruiters and hire a top notch, old school coach ... Willie Fritz!

Mike Barnhart 6 years, 9 months ago

Well... looks like it's going to the ace recruiter, David Beaty. Unless he recruits two GREAT coordinators I don't think it's going to work!

Nancy Borst 6 years, 9 months ago

I agree - Zenger's job DOES depend on getting this hire right.

Layne Pierce 6 years, 9 months ago

As some one who lives in Lincoln, NE, and was amazed at the hire of Riley. It is interesting to compare. In the minds of many Riley is a terrible hire, not because of who Riley is, but because of what it says about the current prestige and status of Nebraska football.

Now that said, the man will be on a short lease, and where the two situations are similar, the ADs butt will be on the line. Eichorst did the hire by himself, so its his tarbaby. Zenger at least realized it was too hot for a one man committee, Neinas, however, is an interesting component.

I think that from a prestige standpoint, Warriner is the man. From a roll the dice and shoot for the moon standpoint, I say Willie Fritz. I read all the resumes, and I even listened to them in interviews. Warriner and Fritz have the most experience and Fritz features a strong running game, as obviously does Warriner.

If our next coach bombs, we wont do a UAB, but we are certainly fading out of sight to survive the crackup of the B12.

Either Warriner and Fritz and I'm good to go. Then you look at the staffs.

Robert Brock 6 years, 9 months ago

Ed Warinner is ready. I hope that he gets the job.

Bryan Mohr 6 years, 9 months ago

Breaking News concerning "dark horse candidate that people can't confirm". Rumors that Barry Sanders was seen at McDonald's on 23rd with BGL and the Zenger consulting group. Chuck Neinas supposedly phoned Knobby, "If Quinton's had The Mangino, we need the Barry Burger in Lawrence."

Brandon Mahon 6 years, 9 months ago

I really think Warinner should be the number 1 and should be offered the job. I wouldn't be suprised if they are trying to get as much as the 2007-2009 staff together... except Beck. I think the only way Fritz gets the job is if Warinner turns it down. Warinners daughters both go to KU also.

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