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Monday, November 10, 2014

Clint Bowen deflects credit

Kansas interim head football coach Clint Bowen gets a bear hug from his player Michael Reynolds following the Jayhawks' 34-14 win over the Cyclones on Saturday, Nov. 8, 2014.

Kansas interim head football coach Clint Bowen gets a bear hug from his player Michael Reynolds following the Jayhawks' 34-14 win over the Cyclones on Saturday, Nov. 8, 2014.

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There’s a reason Clint Bowen, Kansas University’s interim head football coach of six weeks, keeps deflecting all of the attention and praise thrown his way onto his players.

He believes they deserve it, not just for continuing to work hard in the face of adversity, maintaining great attitudes as the losses have piled up year after year or responding to pretty much everything he has thrown at them since taking over for Charlie Weis in late September. Bowen says such actions from the Jayhawks — particularly the senior leaders — have done wonders to keep the coaches’ heads up during tough times as well.

“They never come to practice not ready to work,” said Bowen, still smiling after Saturday’s 34-14 victory over Iowa State at Memorial Stadium. “Every day when we go out there, we group up before we take the field, and we run on the field, and no matter what you think their mood is going to be that day, they just keep fighting back. They’re a resilient group of young men. If you ever did want to quit, they wouldn’t let you.”

The 100 or so guys on the KU roster are not the only ones Bowen appreciates for helping him land his first victory as a head coach. Bowen shared a lot of Saturday’s success with the KU coaching staff, a group he did not put together but one he has worked closely with and tweaked during the past few weeks.

“I had tremendous help along the way,” Bowen said, asked if the victory validated all of the work he has put in while carrying the titles of interim head coach and defensive coordinator. “There’s so many people in this program that bend over backwards to help, from the administration, the managers, everyone across the board. We have so much help that it makes it a pleasure to come to work every day. We all work extremely hard. All the coaches, everyone; it was a true program win.”

The scene that unfolded on the sideline in the waning moments provided proof of what the victory meant to the program.

Senior linebacker Ben Heeney remembered the chatter that led up to Bowen’s first career Gatorade bath.

“A lot of people were telling us, ‘No, don’t do it, don’t do it yet, he still has his headset on,’” Heeney recalled. “But he can buy a new headset, man.”

A few minutes later, with the victory officially in the books, overjoyed fans rushed the field to celebrate with the Jayhawks and eventually made their way to the south end zone to tear down the goal post, a sign of jubilation that has been a part of KU football for as long as Bowen has.

Asked for his thoughts on the practice, Bowen allowed himself to peek into the future ever so briefly.

“Well, I hope we get to where we win enough games that it’s what we expect to do,” he said.

TCU opens as heavy favorite

KU’s next opponent, fifth-ranked TCU, opened as a 24.5-point favorite over KU (3-6 overall, 1-5 Big 12) for Saturday’s 2 p.m. kickoff at Memorial Stadium. Less than four hours after this week’s lines were released, the number jumped to TCU -28.

The Horned Frogs (8-1, 5-1) enter on the heels of a 41-20 victory over Kansas State.

Comments

Andy Tweedy 5 years, 11 months ago

Whether he wins another game this year or not...whether he gets the permanent gig or not...I'm pretty happy for Clint Bowen! I know how much I love KU and it's really nice to see someone care so much about a place that means so much to so many!!! Congrats, Clint...they can never take that feeling away from you!

Glen Miller 5 years, 11 months ago

Amen!! I don't recall seeing a football coach here in my 35 years of existence that was as big of a supporter of this University and it's program than this guy. Bowen, to me, is just the kind of guy I want walking into living rooms telling these recruits what they would be walking into. He's a great promoter of our school and obviously his players not only love him, but respect him. There is a lot to be said for that in itself.

Jocelyn Kennedy 5 years, 11 months ago

KEEP HIM !!!!! That was so much fun to see, I think these guys would do anything for him and with some time...let's spend the money it would take to get a big name coach into supporting Clint's recruiting efforts instead!! ROCK CHALK!!

Mike Nicco 5 years, 11 months ago

I love seeing Coach Bowen's passion for KU, the coaches and players! Finally, somebody to which we can relate.

My biggest question mark continues to be recruiting. Coach Bowen has never wavered in his love for KU, but past recruiting shows this passion has not translated to recruiting success more often than not. Could that change now that he will have a greater roll in this?

We've heard about the other HC candidates and their ability to recruit. Is there a list for up and coming assistants that can recruit if Coach Bowen earns the HC title? Even though it won't happen, I would love to know what his potential staff would look like.

Aaron Paisley 5 years, 11 months ago

The best recruiters on KU's staff are Mitchell, Kiesau, Wyatt, and Campo.

Michael Maris 5 years, 11 months ago

I loved seeing the assistant coaches in the background of the post game locker room video. Coach Campo standing in the background with a large smile on his face. You could see the happiness and joy in Coach Campo's face for the Locker Room moment. I'm very happy for Coach Bowen and his opportunity to lead this team through the rest of the season. I know that next week's game will be another tough challenge for this year squad. But, you can see that the players respect, love and desire to play for Coach Bowen. I'm not saying that Coach Bowen will get the full time gig. But, I can guarantee, if he does. He will scratch, crawl and DIG to make the Jayhawk Football program ascend to the highest level that we (the fan base) desire to see.

And, I'm confident that Coach Bowen will do his best to surround himself (if given the opportunity) with quality assistant coaching staff to help achieve the consistent winning attitude and play that is needed on a weekly basis. Heck, if Baylor can build a program and be in the picture for a National Title (year in and year out), then what's stopping the Jayhawks football program from doing the same thing. Baylor (Art Briles) and Kansas State (Bill Snyder) are two programs that were previously annual cellar dweller's and now are consistently in the picture for a shot at National Title opportunities.

I even seen one picture of Dr. Sheahon Zenger (standing behind Coach Bowen), enjoying the locker room moment. Dr. Zenger knows that feeling of pride as well from his assistant coaching days.

So, no more searching for Coaching Candidates that are just looking for a 5 year retirement padding opportunity. Hire a young energetic, enthusiastic coach that is driven and has the desire to build and sustain a program for the ages.

We all know that Coach Bowen has mentioned that he does not see Kansas as a Stepping Stone job opportunity. If Dr. Zenger and this searching committee do not feel that Coach Bowen is the right fit for the next head coach. Then, I challenge this formed committee to search for a candidate that thinks like Coach Bowen. That, Kansas can be a destination job (such as Art Briles and Bill Snyder have done with their respective employers).

And, I've seen the HC Moniker being thrown around on this site for as long as I've been reading stories on this site. But, I truly feel that HC is a moniker that is well deserved for Coach Clint Bowen. Coach Bowen is humbled and honored to wear the Crimson and Blue for the Jayhawks football squad. And, he will ALWAYS be a member of the Jayhawk Nation (no matter what the outcome of the on-going search for Chalie Weis replacement is).

ROCK CHALK - HCCB!

John Fitzgerald 5 years, 11 months ago

I love Bowen and I think he can and will be a successful HC for us, eventually. I just don't feel giving him this team as it stands would be in our best interest or his. He doesn't deserve the junk Weis left him with. I still feel we need to do a thorough search on an existing HC with experience that can help turn the program around, and then give it to Bowen. Allow Bowen to delve into recruiting so he can strengthen and develop relationships, especially with Texas. I would hate to see Bowen take over and not be successful. He deserves a better shot than what this would be.

Mike Riches 5 years, 11 months ago

I like Clint Bowen a lot, but I don't think KU just spent $50K to hire Chuck Neinas to help in their coaching search, just to keep Bowen. I'd be very surprised if he got the job. Happy for him...but surprised.

Joe Ross 5 years, 11 months ago

Perspective: Charlie Weis probably would have won this game against Iowa State. Yet it WASNT him. It was Bowen who did the work, who game up with the game plan, who saw his plan executed culminating in a win. Bowen may seek to deflect credit; but he is deserving of a lot of it. I am impressed with coach Bowen, I must admit. Much more so than I could have projected for myself. This is not the same thing as saying he is right for the job here, but my gosh...you couldnt have found anyone better to finish the season with. No doubt about that.

Micky Baker 5 years, 11 months ago

I'm not sure Weis would have won this game. Bowen changed QBs. Bowen is getting a lot more guys playing time including Crawley. He changed the guy who is calling the plays so Reagan could focus on the Offensive Line who did play quite a bit better Saturday than they have all season. We only had one false start Saturday, but what was more important is how the line got out on pulls and made blocks that created room for two running backs to go over the 100 yard mark.

Bowen has made some solid decisions, and if we were go to go back and start this season all over with Bowen as head coach and his decisions made, here is what I predict may have happened.

  1. We'd have five wins right now including against Oklahoma State and either Texas or West Virginia. Well, we might have won both games against the last two teams.

  2. We'd be one win from being Bowl Eligible which would mean a possible, maybe a probably sell out for this Saturday against TCU who we seem to always play close no matter where the game is played, and that goes back to when we played them when Glen Mason was here.

  3. We'd probably be way ahead in recruiting, even though the players currently committed provide a solid foundation for the rest of the class.

We'd probably be in 7th place in the Big 12, which doesn't sound like that much of an improvement from what it is right now, but 7th place would make us 3 and 3 or 4-3 in the Big 12 right now and we'd be talking about what Bowl game we're going to be playing in.

Lot's of speculation, obviously, but we should have beat Iowa State both of the past two seasons and Weis was just out coached. We should have beat a couple of other teams that we didn't with Weis here and we should have played a lot more games closer with Weis here, but he was just out coached by a whole lot.

What do you think of this game on Saturday with KU's Senior Day and a chance to spoil TCU's national play-off bid?

Joe Ross 5 years, 11 months ago

I dont think there's any way to beat TCU, but Kansas can still play the spoiler. A lot of pundits have TCU on the outside looking in on the top 4 teams. If Kansas plays TCU close, then I think the Horned Frogs' chances of making the top 4 teams is damaged severely. The selection committee will likely be splitting hairs when determining who gets into that coveted fourth spot. The ACC's Florida State is definitely in, in my opinion. Mississippi State has a tough road playing against both Alabama and Ole Miss on the road, so despite their current ranking I don't think they will stay there when the dust settles. Oregon is looking good and I think they are definitely in as well considering the games they have remaining are not marquis matchups. That means two spots are sewed up. I think either Mississippi State or Alabama gets the third spot, and that leaves several teams in the conversation for number four: Baylor, TCU, and Kansas State are the Big 12 teams that have a chance to make it. But again, if Kansas plays either TCU or KSU close I think they are OUT. In practicality, that just doesn't seem anywhere close to probable though. Not a knock on CB, but those teams are really in a different class right now.

Micky Baker 5 years, 11 months ago

Bowen is a class act. I do like how our receivers are a lot more involved now. 9 different guys caught a pass on Saturday. Nigel King went over 100 yards and we had two running backs rush for 100 yards. I really don't believe that would have been possible with Weis. With that said, we have to do a thorough search, but no matter who the next coach is, I think Bowen needs to be a fixture on this staff because of how he relates to the players. They are energized and I expect them to come out and play with great energy Saturday on senior day. TCU is better than they have been since they joined the league, but we have also played them pretty tight the past two seasons with poor coaching and much less of a passing threat than we had. I think KU has a chance to make it a game and if it's close in the 4th quarter, the pressure will be on TCU in a big way. A loss to Kansas would end their national championship ambitions at TCU and then Baylor would just have to take care of business winning out to have a chance for the 4th spot.

I'm not saying we're going to win on Saturday, but I feel a lot better about it than I did when Weis was here.

Brandon Mahon 5 years, 11 months ago

The only part that CB really has to do with the offense is switching Kiesau to OC and Reagan only worrying about OL. Kiesau is a receivers coach so you can thank him for the improvements there.

Curtis Hedrick 5 years, 11 months ago

Point is, CB made the switch. I think he knows what he is doing. So some of the credit still goes to Bowen in my opinion.

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