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Tuesday, July 31, 2018

David Beaty prepared to ‘welcome’ Jeff Long behind the scenes of KU football program

Kansas head coach David Beaty watches the action during the fourth quarter on Saturday, Sept. 2, 2017 at Memorial Stadium.

Kansas head coach David Beaty watches the action during the fourth quarter on Saturday, Sept. 2, 2017 at Memorial Stadium.

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As Jeff Long heads into his first official day on the job at the University of Kansas on Wednesday, one of his most visible new employees, David Beaty, looks forward to formally introducing the new athletic director to the ins and outs of the football program.

In the midst of the Jayhawks reporting to preseason camp on Thursday and going through their first practice on Friday, Beaty said recently he would “welcome” Long to survey the program up close in the weeks and months ahead.

“He’s still the AD, and he’s got more responsibilities than just us. But I welcome him to be around,” KU’s fourth-year head coach said. “Matter of fact, I think that it’s good for programs to walk hand in hand, for him to get to know our coaches, our players, how we’re conducting business on a day-to-day basis for himself, so he can see it and nobody’s having to tell him. I welcome that. And I welcome that because we’re not afraid to get better — we’re not afraid of that. We’re not afraid of the challenge that we face.”

Although the public perception surrounding Beaty’s job security, as he has acknowledged, may be that the 3-33 coach will have to produce some form of a breakthrough season in order to inspire Long to keep him around for 2019, Beaty maintains he is excited about what the presence of the former Arkansas and Pitt AD will mean for KU.

“The guy’s been around a lot of good ones, and I know that he can bring something to help us in some way that’s going to help make us better. So I welcome that,” Beaty said. “I think that’s a great relationship between the head coach and an AD. I know it’s always difficult because an AD has a job to do that requires so much, but I’d love to have him over there as much as he wants to be and as much as we can possibly get him there, because I think it’s important for him to see those men, our people, work for himself.”

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New University of Kansas athletic director Jeff Long addresses those gathered for his introductory news conference on Wednesday, July 11, 2018, at the Lied Center Pavilion.

During Long’s introductory press conference a few weeks back, he identified one of his primary objectives as removing obstacles that may impede all KU head coaches, so that teams would be able to compete not only in the Big 12, but also nationally.

In Beaty’s initial phone conversations with his new boss, the football coach said the two discussed some potential impediments to the program’s success.

“He’s been in a very competitive league, just like the Big 12. As far as facilities and the different things,” Beaty shared, “the way that he wants to be able to support us initially is just understanding maybe what our needs are and getting a better look at what our facilities have and really using his experience to be able to say, ‘Hey, listen. We had this here. I’ve seen this here. I traveled here. These guys have this. They’re doing this, it might be the next cutting-edge thing.’ So, as far as those obstacles, I think we all understand that facilities is kind of one of the things that stands in the way for a lot of people. But there’s a lot more to that, too, that he brings to the table.”

While at Arkansas, Long oversaw the installment of the Fred W. Smith Football Center, an 80,000-square-foot facility that housed the Razorbacks’ locker, meeting, training and equipment rooms; a lounge and study area; coaches’ offices; and more. Beaty said he admired what Long accomplished at his previous job.

“We haven’t gotten to talk about those things yet, he and I, but I’ve studied most of the places in the country, and they did some really unique things under his leadership,” Beaty said, “that I think really helped in recruiting. And they help when it comes to attracting athletes. And they gave his coaches an advantage.”

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A look at the construction site where the Kansas football program's new indoor practice facility will eventually stand, as of July 31, 2018.

Months before KU chancellor Douglas Girod fired him, former athletic director Sheahon Zenger announced a $350 million fundraising campaign focused on upgrades to KU football facilities, including massive renovations to what is now known as David Booth Kansas Memorial Stadium, following the KU alumnus and benefactor’s $50 million pledge to the project.

Construction began in April on a new football-only indoor practice facility, to the west of the stadium that opened in 1921.

KU initially announced a completion target date for the indoor practice center as “late fall” of this year. An athletic department spokesperson told the Journal-World Tuesday the facility now is expected to be done in late December.

Beaty anticipates Long will bring useful knowledge regarding such projects with him to KU.

“He’s maybe seen 77 different facilities,” the football coach estimated, “as we look at renovating our facility. Just a guy with his experience has seen so much and done so much when it comes to renovating and the things that an AD has to do.”

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A look at the construction site where the Kansas football program's new indoor practice facility will eventually stand, as of July 31, 2018.

The new man in charge and the embattled coach still had not met in person on the eve of Long’s start date. But Beaty said a couple weeks back their initial interactions have been “great,” and he enjoyed getting to know his boss a little through phone conversations.

“He’s been very professional and vey accommodating and, man, just easy to talk to,” Beaty attested. “I love the fact that he’s very direct and very easy to talk to. You can tell why he’s so good at what he does. We’ve had very little that we didn’t really just kind of shake heads at each other, going, ‘You know, that’s something that we believe in.’ It really feels like there’s a lot of things that we share when it comes to that.”

As Beaty prepares his fourth KU football team for the upcoming season, he expects to spend “a lot more time together” with Long.

“And I’m sure both of us will be able to make our place better,” the coach added.

Comments

Steven Haag 1 year, 2 months ago

And that is why I don’t think there will be an immediate firing. Let Beaty know what the expectations are. I’m sure that “winnng” is not the only thing on Longs mind. Graduation, safety, turning these kids that are away from parents and family is a big responsibility. Turning them into good men and preparing them for life after college and football should hold a ton of weight also. After all, less than 3% of KU football players will go to the NFL.

Dane Pratt 1 year, 2 months ago

There is no imperative for Long to fire Beaty. Everything that has happened with the football program was on someone else’s watch. If the program turns a corner, great. If not we go looking for a new head coach. From the coaches perspective this would likely have been his last chance to turn things around no matter who the AD is. He has 3 wins in 3 seasons. Even Zenger would be forced to can him after a 4th season with no real progress.

Jeff Coffman 1 year, 2 months ago

Long has to fundraise...Beaty at the helm does not help him fulfill his job.

Jeff Coffman 1 year, 2 months ago

Beaty hasn't earned a fourth year. He has one win in D1.

I dont think he coaches another game for KU. Long wasnt brought in to keep the status quo...he was hired to move things, a change in head coach is the first move. Okay second...meeting Bill Self at AFH is first.

Absolutely no benefit to retaining Beaty,

Doug Cramer 1 year, 2 months ago

So you think Beaty is fired before the season starts ?

Jeff Coffman 1 year, 2 months ago

I would hope so, do I think it will happen no; however, there is no benefit to retaining the coach. Beaty has not been successful as a D1 head coach. Hoping in year four that he shook up his coaching staff again and fixed every position is unlikely.

If you immediately fire him, you give your future coach some assessment of the current assistants. You get a little more energy going with football, because the interim coach will change things up. You can immediately start searching for a replacement coach, and you save $125k a game.

Many people say the best case scenario is that Beaty wins 5 games, that is actually less than what he said he was going to do last year. If we keep lowering the bar we will never improve. Beaty would need a bowl game to even think about retaining his job, and then you would have to ask if that saves his job, what does that do for Jeff Long, he'd almost have to retain him, with the likelihood that will be the best Beaty will ever do.

Jeff Long has to get dollars coming in, and Beaty at the helm this year will not bring in those dollars.

I would say very few people believe that Beaty will have a fifth year, and many were surprised when he was retained at the end of last year...all that being said why wait?

Jim Stauffer 1 year, 2 months ago

No person who can tie his own shoes believes he will be fired before the season starts.

John Fitzgerald 1 year, 2 months ago

I'm frustrated with Beaty too but there's no more than a .5% chance he gets fired before the season. He'll at least coach game one.

Chris Condren 1 year, 2 months ago

More chatter from Beaty. I hope he can slow the chatter and concentrate on getting this team ready for the season.

Barry Weiss 1 year, 2 months ago

I don't know. I think it's strange they have not met yet in person. My gut tells me he is gone before the season starts. I know Jim will say I can't time my own shoes, but I must be taking these articles with Beaty's comments alot differently than others. Whatever happens, I hope we can win some games this year. Its tough being the laughing stock of the country, ESPN, etc.

Randy Bombardier 1 year, 2 months ago

I was extremely pleased to see a commitment to the running game. With that, all bets are off. Beaty may have saved Long the trouble, at least for this year. My guess is Carter Stanley will get the nod and coupled with a run first attack we may well win all of our nonconference games. Time will tell.

Jay Scott 1 year, 2 months ago

Nice to see that many of the crazies have either calmed down or left town.

Brad Watson 1 year, 2 months ago

I like Coach Beaty....I liked Terry Allen and Bob Valasente...Charlie Weis...Turner Gill....actually I have liked all the coaches that have come to Lawrence.....but its a results business...3-33 cannot be defended and the change should be made right away...before the season begins....get Gene Chizik on the phone....we need a coach who is willing to lead an Expedition to Everest and someone who is tough enough to begin shaping this Bad News Bears level of a roster into someting this season....I wish CoachBeaty all the best ...with the money he has been paid...I don't worry about his future...but if The University wants people to come out and watch this team... this year...we need a new Leader NOW....we don't need a big name.....we need some one who can recruit....teach...be disciplined...and someone Mr. Long knows and is comfortable with....Gene Chizik checks all the boxes and he won't insist on a huge pay day and I think he will get along great with Coach Self ...Everest awaits....who do you want leading that kind of expedition?

Brad Watson 1 year, 2 months ago

Gene has won Crystal....against pretty good competition

Gene has won Crystal....against pretty good competition by Brad Watson

Brad Watson 1 year, 2 months ago

Gene has beaten this man on his way to an SEC Championship and National Title!!!....and by the way an undefeated season!...Not many coaches have an undefeated season on their resume...especially playing in the SEC West Division!

Gene has beaten this man on his way to an SEC Championship and National Title!!!....and by the way an undefeated season!...Not many coaches have an undefeated season on their resume...especially playing in the SEC West Division! by Brad Watson

Brad Watson 1 year, 2 months ago

He beat Dabo Swinney.....Dan Mullen.....Mark Richt......Les Miles......Bobby Petrino......Houston Nutt.,,,,..Nick Saban....and Steve Spurrier...the old ball coach.... twice.....all in the same season...and finished it off by beating Chip Kelly.....thats doing something.....the man can coach !....get him on the phone!

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