Friday, October 17, 2014


Column: Kansas must be smarter in hiring next coach


When Charlie Weis draws his final paycheck from Kansas Athletics in 2016, he will have been paid $12.5 million for winning one Big 12 game. Turner Gill made $10 million for one Big 12 victory.

Such madness must stop.

Barring landing a proven big fish such as Jim Harbaugh, KU will hire an interim head coach, an assistant coach from a major conference, or a successful head coach from a smaller league.

If that coach insists on big bucks guaranteed, then he’s not confident he can scale the huge roadblocks to success at Kansas. Consequently, he’s not worth hiring.

Kansas athletic director Sheahon Zenger ought to consider loading the next coach’s contract with incentives, a good way to gauge how genuinely that coach believes he can get it done at KU and a way of ensuring that a coach only will be paid like a winner if he’s winning football games. What a novel concept.

Guarantee the next coach $4.5 million for five years, $900,000 per year, and give him a $200,000 bonus for every Big 12 victory. Make the money earned the previous season, plus the conference victories bonus money, the base pay for the following year.

For illustration purposes, let’s say the next coach wins one Big 12 game his first season, two his second, three his third, four his fourth, five his fifth. That record likely would result in back-to-back bowl appearances. Here’s how much he would be paid each season: $1 million, $1.4 million, $2 million, $2.8 million, $3.8 million.

That adds up to 15 conference victories for $11 million in salary, compared to two Big 12 victories for $22.5 million in the Gill and Weis errors combined. Two victories in five seasons under the bonus system would mean paying just $4.9 million in five years for a lousy coach.

I don’t sense anyone has an appetite to guarantee huge bucks to another coach with no first-hand knowledge of what works and what doesn’t at KU, unless it’s Harbaugh, high on every sensible NFL team’s list.


Joe Ross 7 years, 1 month ago

Suzi Marshall and I were talking about this the other day, but credit her for the original idea in the comments. Somehow, the next coach's salary should be structured based on performance. We have been giving away millions for nothing as if we have the luxury of throwing money away. MILLIONS!

Commented on "Column: Bowen’s passion, intensity rubbing off on Jayhawks" By Tom Keegan October 11, 2014

Suzi Marshall 4 days, 13 hours ago

I'm with you Steve and not yet ready to jump on the Bowen for Coach bandwagon. I'm very happy a local kid has been given a good shot. I watched him closely during yesterdays game and love his enthusiasm and visible leadership...If he can continue the good show, I'm all in favor of removing the "interim" tag to give him a shot, depending on the type of contract he's offered. Since it's unknown if he can maintain his high intensity and he does not have a proven record, a large guaranteed contract does not seem to be in order. A 3-year, $500k annual base, laden with all kinds of incentives, (i.e. $100 k per win + bonus for bowl win, depending on the bowl), should provide enough to see if he has what it takes to succeed with a BCS team. If Bowen works out, his second contract would have a more competitive base with guarantees...However, if Harbaugh becomes an option, we really need to pursue him, even if it cost $5MM p.a. Harbaugh has a proven record, in college and the pros, and has earned it.

And again in "Dave Campo endorses Clint Bowen for KU head coach long term" By Tom Keegan October 14, 2014

Suzi Marshall 2 days, 1 hour ago

A few things about this article bothers me...You are attempting to promote Bowen for a position he is not really qualified to hold. If a Harbough HR is not available, I don't mind giving Bowen a chance with clear performance metrics over no more than 3 years.

Micky Baker 7 years, 1 month ago

Not really. This idea was thrown about a long time before last week.

It shouldn't be just about getting a Big 12 win.

A Big 12 win at home should get less than Big 12 win on the road. Getting a Bowl Invite should carry a lot of weight. For example, if it's the Fort Worth Bowl, then it should only pay a couple hundred thousand. If it's a bowl like the Holiday Bowl, then a half million. If it's a BCS Bowl or a playoff invite, then the head coach should get a share of the payout from the Bowl, say 25% of it. Some of it needs to go to the assistants, and some needs to go to the athletic department to fund recruiting for the most successful programs like Basketball, Baseball, Volleyball, Outdoor Track and Field or any other program that has a good year.

What is more important is revenues for the athletic department from ticket sales and sales of licensed merchandise like Jerseys, caps, helmets, etc. These sales should be football related items only that apply for the coach's bonus.

However, if it is to be a destination job, then after proven success the guaranteed amount does need to go up and if the fans who were complaining about ticket prices when they're not doing so well shouldn't have a problem with paying higher ticket prices if they are doing well.

Joe Ross 7 years, 1 month ago

A contract structured in this way is motivation for a coach during his practice time. It will affect the content of practice, the intensity of practice, and the pace of practice. The contract would also affect how hard the coach would work on recruiting. It affects game preparation. It streamlines and prioritizes goals. It incentivizes making changes that are positive in all areas of the program. This is 99% of a coach's time. Even in a game, as you yourself suggest, there are only specific situations where thoughts of his contract might enter into his head. If a coach is more worried on gameday about making his money than coaching football, then he's the wrong guy anyway. In any case, the situations you mention dont occupy much of his time as coach. The vast majority of the time he will be motivated to improve the coaching of himself and his staff. While youre recovering from your shock, consider the millions we've lost doing it "your" way.

Micky Baker 7 years, 1 month ago

Brett has a point. A contract structured that way is motivation to do things while ignoring integrity. It is just an idea, or a starting point to begin the discussion on how a contract should be structured but it should not be weighed so heavily towards winning and if only the head coach get's the incentive, then there really is no incentive for the other coaches.

With all that said, there does need to be some structure that gives that incentive throughout the coaching staff, but the biggest incentive would be to become bowl eligible and get an invite to the bowl. The point that Brett was making that it probably shouldn't be weighed so heavily towards wins, because that gives an incentive to cheat and I don't want to win that way.

The kind of culture that these kinds of incentives can create are corrupt ones. Maybe pay a base of $1.5 million, and then $75K per Big 12 Win, and then a percentage of a bowl game if lost and different percent if lost. You can't create a situation that makes other coaches resentful for their hard work if they don't get anything but a base salary. You certainly can't make the players resentful of the coach or coaches. The incentives can work for the good or for the bad, if the University structures it wrongly, they won't have a chance of getting a guy that cares about the game.

Suzi Marshall 7 years, 1 month ago

I know it's a repugnant idea for you but this is a performance driven business not some kind of government union that pays everyone about the same for the same work, regardless of results.

Suzi Marshall 7 years, 1 month ago

Brett, you remind me of the amazing appeal Kansas basketball has over a broad spectrum of people. For one that stated there was not a shred of evidence in voter fraud, it shouldn't come as a surprise you have never heard of government unions, but it does.

Because you are a loyal Hawk fan, I feel the need to inform you, once again.

Micky Baker 7 years, 1 month ago

Coaches aren't members of public employee unions.

Micky Baker 7 years, 1 month ago

There are public employee unions, but not government unions. Most government workers, union or not, or overpaid in the first place including many of the professors.

Suzi Marshall 7 years, 1 month ago

Thanks for the reference but source is immaterial. Metrics laden compensation is widely applied in the private sector. This climate of entitlement, regardless of performance...if any at all, that permeates much of society needs to stop. We need fiscal responsibility.

Micky Baker 7 years, 1 month ago

There are people who do run around and live on the dole. That is reality, unfortunately, in the year 2014. It's not the intentions of the founders, but it's happening.

Lance Cheney 7 years, 1 month ago

I think we can guess which side of the political fence Brett and Suzi each sit on.

Micky Baker 7 years, 1 month ago

One believes that nobody among the 92 million people who aren't disabled and who aren't incarcerated is intentionally playing the system because they don't have to work. They can just get free stuff. The other one doesn't. One doesn't get the incentives that the so called "security nets" give people to cheat the system. It's easier than working. The government doesn't do its due diligence. They don't care if the system holds people down, like it does.

Michael Sillman 7 years, 1 month ago

I certainly hope and assume that the AD will try to structure the next coach's contract to avoid a massive payout for poor results. However,"we" did not pay anything for Gill and Weis. Some wealthy alumni graciously stepped forward to handle those bills. I doubt whether any of those boosters spend any time posting on this website.

Joe Ross 7 years, 1 month ago

We HAVE paid Weis and Gill. Alumni may have settled the buyout, but they weren't footing the bill for their salaries while they were employed. I cant even speak intelligently on how much alums may have contributed to our fired coaches' buyouts. If you can, please share. I would rather be informed properly than to make assertions I dont know much about, so I could stand to be educated.

Aaron Paisley 7 years, 1 month ago

The donors don't foot the bill for entirety of the coaches salary, but they do contribute a good portion of it. Because the coaches are officially employees of the state, they get a base salary from the university itself (in line with the highest paid professors in the state). I want to say that salary is 200-250k a year, the athletic department through their revenues and donors pay the rest. If you Google Bill Self's contact, you can see a breakdown of where his salary comes from and football coaches are going to be a similar breakdown, just a different total amount.

Bill Kackley 7 years, 1 month ago

Michael, I agree with you but I think the concept of a performance-ladened contract is an excellent concept. No matter who is paying the salary, the idea of having the relative small base and adding on for wins is solid. The assistants should also be compensated for success.

Jonathan Allison 7 years, 1 month ago

"If that coach insists on big bucks guaranteed, then he’s not confident he can scale the huge roadblocks to success at Kansas. Consequently, he’s not worth hiring."

I agree wholeheartedly with this. The infatuation with a Home Run head coaching hire is crazy. There are pros and cons to any candidate. The people clamoring for Mangino, Harbaugh, Leach, Leavitt, etc. don't seem to recognize the cons, and the people who have already anointed Coach Bowen don't seem to consider that he may belly-flop over the next 7 week or there may be other coaches out there who already have the track record that he lacks and the connections that he may lack.

Zenger should be working the phones like a madman for the next month and a half, while we all watch and see what Bowen can do.

David A. Smith 7 years, 1 month ago

From everything I've seen, those that want Bowen to be named the head coach are basing that on current performance- but not to the exclusion of his performance for the rest of the year. The latter consideration is implied- that if he CONTINUES to perform at this level, he should be named the head coach. This line of thinking addresses your concern that someone who is unproven may come in and either use this as a stepping stone (HR coach), or flop based on having never been a head coach.

Jim Jackson 7 years, 1 month ago

Keegan, besides Harbaugh, who is your choice for Head Coach?

Jim Jackson 7 years, 1 month ago

I know I've been annoyingly clear about my choice on this board. Ha

Bring on Beaty and retain Bowen as Associate HC/ D- Coordinator!

Ashwin Rao 7 years, 1 month ago

I don't have a problem with Beaty, but I don't believe he has proven his abilities as a HC. At least Bowen has been involved with the program, and is passionate about the school! Bowen seems to have more HC experience at this point than Beaty...

Jim Jackson 7 years, 1 month ago

Beaty's never been a HC. And Bowen is 2 games into it. Being a former HC is not a prerequisite for the job, tho. I believe we are looking for a younger, intense, passionate, energetic guy with proven recruiting abilities in OK. TX. KS and an aptitude for development. Bowen certainly has all those attributes but he does not have the recruiting ties that Beaty does. Beaty was just named top recruiter in Dallas by an online poll of HS coaches and he has coached up numerous wide- outs that were 3 star players into All Americans (Mike Evans, Briscoe, Jaret Dillard)

Kyle Sybesma 7 years, 1 month ago

I'd rather see Warinner as HC since he was the OC of the Orange Bowl team and has been at Army, Air Force, Notre Dame and Ohio State.

Beaty as OC since that will be a promotion from his position at A&M.

Bowen as DC for obvious reasons.

Aaron Paisley 7 years, 1 month ago

The head coach is not the one doing the recruiting during the season, it's the assistant coaches who do the leg work so Beaty's recruiting ties don't mean as much as a head coach compared to being an assistant coach.

Jim Jackson 7 years, 1 month ago

That's incorrect. He would be on the road recruiting quite often, it's part of the job. You're saying head coaches don't recruit??

Warriner was passed over by Army last year for the vacant HC position where, as you noted, he was once an assistant.

Kyle Sybesma 7 years, 1 month ago

Jim - I'm assuming you want to pass on Warinner because Army passed correct? If that's true, what HC jobs has Beaty interviewed for? Didn't we interview Dorean and pass? Didn't we interview Charlie Strong and pass? Didn't we interview Harbaugh and fail to come to an agreement?

I don't disagree with Beaty as HC. I just disagree with your logic on passing on Warinner. He has a better resume than Beaty.

Jim Jackson 7 years, 1 month ago

The Army job is not what we were in '08 when we passed on Strong (we all know how that turned out). With the exception of football, where they're independent, they compete in the miniscule Patriot league. I see what you're saying, but it's not as if Notre Dame passed on him, Army did. That being said, I think Warriner would be a solid choice, it just concerns me that he hasn't already got a shot at 53 years old with all that he's accomplished.

Aaron Paisley 7 years, 1 month ago

Make the base salary based on previous experience and success. If someone like Bowen gets the job, a Big 5 coordinator with no previous head coaching experience, make the base salary $1 million. If it's a non Big 5 head coach, make the base salary $1.5 million, or if it's another Big 5 head coach, $2 million.

I would include bonuses for beating top 25 opponents($100k), conference games($50k), making bowl games and scale the bowl game bonus based on the bowl game ($100k-$500k), a bonus for winning a bowl game ($100k), bonus for making the CFB Playoff ($500k), reaching the national title game ($250k), and winning the national title ($1mil).

Those are big enough base salaries to keep a coach here and enough incentives to double the base salary in a good year.

Jim Stauffer 7 years, 1 month ago

Sounds like your math is wrong to begin with. 900,000 + 200,000 for 1 Big 12 win would be 1.1 million.

But, all that aside, I agree with the concept. The bonuses are too high. 200,000 per Big 12 win is too high. He also should be rewarded for non-con wins. 75,000 per win regardless is much more reasonable. If he wins 6 games, he goes to a bowl and gets that bonus plus his salary just on base plus wins would be 1,350,000.

Give him 100,000 for a lesser bowl and 200,000 for a greater bowl and he makes 1,450,000 for producing a 6 win season and going to a bowl game. That is reasonable.

Once the new coach has established a consistent winning program, his contract could become more traditional in order to discourage him from looking to move.

Lloyd Kinnison 7 years, 1 month ago

The next coach's contract should require improvement each year or the contact will be invalid. If the Jayhawks only win 2 games this year, the new coach's contact will have a clause that a minimum of 3 games + the following year or the contact may be invalidated. Rewards for winning should be included. But not winning would be unacceptable. Lloyd Kinnison

Robert Brock 7 years, 1 month ago

Zenger hired Weis and now we expect that he will suddenly get smarter with a new opportunity to hire a coach?

Jonathan Allison 7 years, 1 month ago

It's a process called learning and it's been revolutionizing our planet since the days of the cavemen.

Waylon Cook 7 years, 1 month ago

Cavemen would have known Weis was a bad hire.

Robert Brock 7 years, 1 month ago

On the heels of Turner Gill? That is not learning. That is not even learning the hard way. That is pure madness!

Suzi Marshall 7 years, 1 month ago

Keegan, it appears there may be hope for you after all.

Michael Leiker 7 years, 1 month ago

Nice article, salary structure is probably the biggest part of this decision making process. I completely agree that the structure itself should be used to determine how interested the coach truly is in the job.

Michael Shaw 7 years, 1 month ago

The only "smart" thing about this article and the discussion is its title. I'm sure the athletic department can solve this problem. And the answer will be found after intense consultation and personal interviews. All very much off the record.

Brian Skelly 7 years, 1 month ago

I'd argue this approach is assured, regardless how much us minions pontificate about it. Maybe not specifically incentives-laden, but there is ZERO chance we'll throw that much $$$ per year at the next guy. It's just not going to happen. And despite the opining, Jim Harbaugh is not walking through that door. The approach we're taking without question benefits a guy like Bowen. Although Im not convinced he's the guy for the job, I hope he gets these guys to play well enough that he's THE serious candidate. And the other candidates have to raise the bar. And in fairness, the bar cant get much lower. Let's hope Bowen raises it.

Ian Legler 7 years, 1 month ago

Who here honestly thinks we have a realistic shot at landing Harbaugh? I don't care if his wife loves Kansas and if he's fed up in San Francisco. I give it about a snowball's chance in H-E-Double Hockey Sticks.

Andy Tweedy 7 years, 1 month ago

I think you're sadly way to optimistic we'll hire Harbaugh, or even had any chance of hiring him last year! I'd say the snowball has a muchy better chance!

Brian Wilson 7 years, 1 month ago

Your analogy is ridiculous. There are millions of sales people that earn their keep making straight commission with no base salary. That takes guts and confidence. Not desperation. Apparently your saying colleges coaches have to be fed with a silver spoon or their no good or they are desperate. I say it takes guts and confidence to accept the offer, because if Bowen gets a 2 year 500K contract with incentives and fails he probably won't ever get the opportunity to be head coach at a major college ever again. But if he succeeds, we all win!

Doug Merrill 7 years, 1 month ago

It takes "guts and confidence" and a decent product. No smart salesperson would sign up to take that contract on a product that isn't good and can't compete. He can and should have a great deal of confidence in himself, but the first two to three years of a turn around are never with a great team. If Zenger finds a good young coach who wants to come in and starve, that's going to be luck, not recruiting acumen.

Chris Baker 7 years, 1 month ago

If Bowen can win at least one game (plus a handful of at least CLOSE loses) or two games, AND we can't get a Jim Harbaugh type home run, then I'd say we should give Bowen an extended opportunity.

I like Keegan's incentive heavy plan, but I don't think the earned incentives should become guaranteed the following year, with opportunities to earn the incentives again on top of that to boot. $3.8 million, even for a KU coach winning five Big 12 games plus 1-3 non-conference games and earning a bowl invite, is still too much for a KU head coach. Or at least it's too much for me to be comfortable with in 2014. (Maybe by 2019 $3.8 will be a going rate for a mid-level Big Five Conference coach?) Where would that end if we want to keep him and renew the contract? If he makes ~$4 million one year, he'd want that much guaranteed going forward or he'll bail for a better job elsewhere.

I'm thinking for Bowen, we could get away with a non-gauranteed $600K base salary, $100K for non-con wins, $150K for Big12 wins, $200K for a bowl invite and another $250K for a bowl win, and the incentives do not become guaranteed the following year. That gives him three seasons before we'd really be expected to renew his contract for the sake of recruiting, and if we still want to keep him around at that point we can give him a guaranteed contract with a raise. If he blows us away with a "hell freezing over" return to the Orange Bowl next year or something like that, then we move up that contract renewal a bit sooner. In the meantime, he can make more money by producing better results on the field.

Why? It's not that I want to take advantage of Clint, but he IS unproven and to be frank, Bowen doesn't have much of a bargaining position. Everyone KNOWS it's his dream job so he'd likely accept just about any contract that keeps his name on the HC office's door and we know there aren't any other schools out there anxious to swipe him away from us. It's a salary negotiation like any other, where an employer wants to pay as little as is required to get him. We don't need to give him a huge contract when the "market" (potential competing offers) doesn't dictate that we should, so why give him a sweetheart special?

John Fitzgerald 7 years, 1 month ago

I love how people can be so critical over something they know nothing about. Stupidity will be the death of this planet. Anyways, I kind of agree with an incentive for a coach that wins. But I also don't get why a coach needs an incentive to win. You're getting paid too much anyways, and you're doing what you love. Any coach that needs incentive to run a successful program isn't a coach I want around. Can we just find a guy that wants to be successful because he loves the game? The pay should just be icing on the cake. I realize the country we live in is money first, results later, but maybe that culture needs to change in order to create better results. I'm rooting for Bowen, but am looking forward to seeing other interested candidates as well.

Aaron Paisley 7 years, 1 month ago

Coaches don't need incentives to do their best, but bonuses for accomplishments show the coach the school appreciate the job he's done and what he's accomplished.

Ray Winger 7 years, 1 month ago

Consider giving Clint Bowen a 1-year Contract as Head Coach. Tommy LaSorda got 16 consecutive one year contracts from the Dodgers.

Bryce Landon 7 years, 1 month ago

Repeat after me, folks:

Dan Mullen.

Dan Mullen.

Dan Mullen.

Anyone who can take an SEC doormat like Mississippi State and turn them into a national power can win at a Big 12 doormat like Kansas.

Aaron Paisley 7 years, 1 month ago

Dan Mullen is going to be the head coach of the Florida Gators next year. KU can compete with a Mississippi State financially, but not with Florida who will pay $5 million a year at least.

Al Martin 7 years, 1 month ago

Good grief we can be delusional. He's not coming here for the same reason Dave Doeren isn't coming here; he's already got a better job.

Andy Tweedy 7 years, 1 month ago

Mullen I agree, but I'm not so sure NC State is a better job...and if it is, maybe the call home could work. But you're probably right, we screwed that one up when we didn't hire him 3 years ago.

Brian Skelly 7 years, 1 month ago

The problem is the 'incentive-laden' deal that's being bantered about here likely has little traction in the D-I Head Coaching marketplace. I think its a good idea as well, but if you really want someone (whomever it maybe) and they are going to want a comparable salary. Most coaches have incentives in their contract -- Bill Self does -- but the bonuses and incentives are more ancillary than anything else. The bulk of the compensation for the next coach is going to be salary (whatever it is), not bonuses or incentives.

Richard Duran 7 years, 1 month ago

Why do people keep insisting that Jim Harbaugh would be a good hire? he has pissed off his players in SF, let a really talented QB stay the same, nearly got his butt kicked by Jim Swartz, he'ds be as bad a hire as Weiss and Gil and terry Allen. Doering. Period.

Brad Sherp 7 years, 1 month ago

Nick Saban and Bobby Petrino both were considered jerks in the NFL. You cannot treat professional players the same way you treat college players. By your logic, no one should have hired Saban and Petrino after Miami and Atlanta, respectively. The only difference between Harbaugh and Petrino/Saban is that Harbaugh actually won in the NFL. Harbaugh's personality is better suited for college than the NFL, because he needs a situation where his voice wouldn't have to compete with a GM. He wants to go after the players that he wants, and he wants the team to work his way.

Tom is right in saying that KU shouldn't spend big on anyone but someone like Harbaugh. What Harbaugh could do that no other candidate for the job could do is lure 5-star recruits to anywhere he lands. No one on KU's candidate list could do that at Kansas.

I believe that unproven college football coaches are like NFL QB first round draft picks. Their future success is usually a 50/50 proposition. At KU, it is historically even worse, a 33% chance of success... and it has been 0% if you consider that we have never had a coach to win AND stick around after turning the program around.

I don't think that there is any doubt about Harbaugh's ability to win football games. There is probably a 95% chance he can turn things around here. He has already done it three times in the last 10 years, including once in the NFL. He is a monster when it comes to winning football games. There is no coach that exists in the NFL or college ranks who comes close to that resume. He would immediately make KU relevant. Weis wasn't the same thing, because Weis was/is considered damaged goods. He needed success at KU to restore his credibility, and he failed to do it.

Look at the greatest coaches of all time.... no one likes them personally... but players love them for helping them raise their games, and fans build statues of them.

I recently learned that Harbaugh's wife lives and works in KC... even though he lives and works in SF. Anyone who thinks that is not a big deal has never been married. Harbaugh wants the KU job. The true story is he wanted it in 2009, but it was YANKED from under him. He never turned it down, even though that is what we are all led to believe.

We refuse to believe that coach of his caliber would want the KU job, and it is true that if we lived in a vacuum it would be silly notion. But we don't live in a vacuum. Harbaugh is a real person, with real personal problems. One of his problems is that his wife has a support structure in KC that she will not let go of, and he wants to be closer to her. KU has a unique opportunity to benefit from his personal circumstances. His interest is real, and not to be written off like we are writing it of.

Suzi Marshall 7 years, 1 month ago

Brad, that was interesting. I am not at all aware of Harbaugh's personal situation. I've lived all over the world and have found there is no place like Kansas City/Lawrence.

I considered Kansas chances to be far less than "a snowball's chance in hell." However, your comments has lit the fire of hope, for me.

Alums will have there check books ready if we sign Harbaugh.

Fred Davis 7 years, 1 month ago

I appreciate scuttlebutt and rumor-mongering as much as the next guy or gal, especially when it comes to KU Football - but folks, please stop with the Jim Harbaugh 'could be our next coach' talk.

Jim Harbaugh is coaching at the highest level in football. He's had one of the most successful three-year runs in NFL history and the only thing missing is winning a Super Bowl,which he was five yards away from. Sure, he's a competitive psycho as per an ESPN profile on him, but to suggest for a minute because he 'almost' came here in 2009 is fanciful thinking. I've posed this question before and I'll pose it again - When has any media outlet EVER reported CREDIBLE information that Harbaugh wanted to come to KU. Never.

The premise of this column meanwhile, yes, KU needs to be smarter with its next head coaching hire. Problem I have with such an incentive-laden contract is that it makes Kansas look cheap, but on the other hand, I get where a coach who is sure of himself wouldn't mind the challenge and that's the kind of coach you want to re-energize such a downtrodden program. Either way, the lowest paid Power 5 Conference program is Rutgers, who pays Kyle Flood 900k a year. If I'm Kansas, the easy paydays are over, but I'm at least offering a million so you dont have the distinction of being the worst paid Power Conference Coach in the Country. Throw in incentives for road wins, three wins, etc., but a per-win money sounds desperate and cheap.

As for Bowen.... I like what we've seen out of him so far, but if this team lays an egg today then all the love that's been built up will disappear faster than a Charlie Weis JUCO recruit hype... The question I have about Bowen is this - I don't worry about his recruiting,I dont worry about his dedication, passion or loyalty to the KU program. I worry about his football acumen... Does he have the football chops to make the kind of adjustments, add the kind of staff and overall football philosophy that say the elder west on I-70 showed when he arrived in Manhattan 25 years ago.... I'm opening up to the idea of Bowen more so than when he was first named interim head coach.... But two games - both losses - and loyalty - doesn't qualify you to be a head coach. Should be a good game today.

Rock Chalk

Suzi Marshall 7 years, 1 month ago

Your post is one of the reasons I love reading the comments section. For the most part, we have a lot of thoughtful, articulate annotations.

Reading your second paragraph left me with a similar feeling Self must have felt when he took the Ice Bucket Challenge. You used some COLD water.

In addition to the performance metrics, the other thing I want KU Football to get away from is the big money guarantee for non-performance. The Hawks are playing tough today but far too many key mistakes, like Cummings throwing into double coverage for an interception after fumbling the ball, although that led to recovering a TTU turnover and Mundine TD pass. What a great call on the Mundine TD. Another good effort led by Henney, but a loss nevertheless.

Your last paragraph is a good one, right on the mark. I love the phrase "disappear faster than a Charlie Weis JUCO recruit hype." Although I feel for Weis and Kansas fans that so many of those hyped JUCO guys didn’t work out, you made a great metaphor of the situation.

Marc Anthony 7 years, 1 month ago

"Such madness must stop..." Agreed. How about starting with honesty or the dishonesty within this article.

Weis and Gill are being paid their salaries of 12 and 10 million USD because "KU" breached the contracts of 5 years. All parties in a "properly written" contract will stipulate a penalty for breach of contract (termination). Be honest. KU signed coaches to turn around/put to rest a century's worth of average to below average coaching eras, but ceases to do the same with the knee-jerk-reactions to its impatience. After terminating the contract, it faults others (coaches for example) for failures it continues to make. [The culture of quick and instant gratification]

While incentivizing contracts of "unproven talent" may bring you some performance boosts, it can also create a revolving door at the coach's seat. On a 5-year contract, a coach will look to re-negotiate the contract if performance is significantly higher 2-3 years into the contract. Otherwise, the coach walks to a better deal.


Bob Bailey 7 years, 1 month ago

Some thinkers on here for a change; and congrats to Suzi Marshal!

But everyone has zeroed in on the wrong track!

Fred Davis is on the right track. The PROBLEM is COACHING! Bowen is a great Jayhawk. That isn't the answer. The biggest problem is Zenger. He has proved for 4 years that he doesn't know the difference. Been watching coaching for 83 years, off and on. Don't shake your head at me -- and especially not Fred.

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