Monday, May 21, 2018

David Beaty reacts to firing of Sheahon Zenger

Kansas head coach David Beaty runs off the field following the Jayhawks' 38-9 loss to Baylor on Saturday, Sept. 4, 2017 at Memorial Stadium. Before Saturday's game, Baylor was winless on the season.

Kansas head coach David Beaty runs off the field following the Jayhawks' 38-9 loss to Baylor on Saturday, Sept. 4, 2017 at Memorial Stadium. Before Saturday's game, Baylor was winless on the season.


The man who hired David Beaty to coach the University of Kansas football program lost his job Monday.

No doubt, the on-field struggles that have characterized Beaty’s tenure, as well as that of his predecessor, Charlie Weis, played a factor in KU chancellor Douglas Girod’s decision to fire athletic director Sheahon Zenger, who hired the university’s two most recent football coaches.

During his first three years in charge of attempting to overhaul the perpetually rebuilding program, Beaty’s teams won three games and lost 33, with only one victory coming against Big 12 competition — an overtime home win against Texas, late in 2016. Zenger awarded Beaty with a contract extension through 2021 shortly thereafter.

In a letter Girod made public Monday morning that announced Zenger’s firing, the chancellor also revealed his intentions to keep Beaty in place. Girod wrote that he shared with the current KU coach his “expectation” that Beaty will “continue recruiting hard and getting his team ready for the season.”

While a KU spokesperson reached Monday said Beaty would not field any questions regarding Zenger’s dismissal at this time, the fourth-year KU football coach released a statement on the day Girod terminated Zenger.

“It’s certainly been a difficult day,” Beaty stated. “Sheahon gave me an opportunity to be the head coach here at Kansas, a place that is special to both of us, and I will be forever grateful for that.”

KU’s football coach also thanked Girod for directly reaching out to him.

“Although this is a tough day, we will move forward as a program and continue to keep all of our focus on preparing for the season ahead," Beaty added.

Girod also announced deputy athletics director Sean Lester will serve as interim director for KU while the process for identifying Zenger’s full-time replacement plays out. Girod indicated those endeavors already had begun, with Drue Jennings, interim KU athletics director in 2003, leading the search process. Jennings will be assisted by Jed Hughes, a consultant from the Korn Ferry executive search firm.

Zenger started at KU in January of 2011. At the conclusion of his first year on the job, he fired football coach Turner Gill, who went 5-19 over the course of two seasons. Gill coached KU to a 2-10 mark in 2011.

He replaced Gill with Weis, who went 6-22 in two-plus years at Kansas before Zenger fired him four games into the 2014 season.


Kevin Robert Fest 3 years, 5 months ago

Let me guess. "Neat Deal"

He'll talk but say nothing just like after every game.

Phil Leister 3 years, 5 months ago

And Beaty was the only KU coach to be mentioned in Girod's letter.

Zero chance Beaty survives after this season. The only way a new AD agrees to the job is if he gets to hire his own guy.

Brett McCabe 3 years, 5 months ago

Here's hoping that the AD's at Wyoming, Tulane or Army are all interested in joining a Power 5 Conference.

Dirk Medema 3 years, 5 months ago


But you've already decided that won't happen?

Sounds a lot like quitting.

Kevin Robert Fest 3 years, 5 months ago

Why didn't they just take the 2 for 1 deal after the season. Could have had a new coach and AD by now. Looking forward to new season with some optimism not just same ole same ole. Boat has sprung ANOTHER leak.

Bryan Mohr 3 years, 5 months ago

Beaty supposedly had a great recruiting class coming in. Girod would have been blamed for losing recruits if he fired Zenger last fall. Instead, Beaty got his chance and didn't really deliver what was hyped. I doubt Girod and the new AD will allow Beaty to stick around for the season. If Beaty wins games, it will make the firing of Zenger look bad. The odds of that are very unlikely, but I doubt Girod will even allow the chance of it. Look for a new head coach this summer.

Brett McCabe 3 years, 5 months ago

That's an interesting take.

Though unusual, it wouldn't be impossible. You could fire Beaty, and make Meachem interim. This gets the word out that a new coach is coming, unless Meachem pulled off a miracle, then he could be added to the pool of candidates.

Hiring a coach during the summer is something I can't recall happening before, but I'm sure that it has. You could probably get an assistant to take the job, but I think a current head coach would be hard-pressed to leave, unless it was a package deal with the AD.

Beaty out, Meachem in, new AD and coaching search starting late summer? Not impossible.

[''] 3 years, 5 months ago

Sorry but....Meach has showed ZERO signs of being any better than Beaty. And he has never been a HC either. I agree to get rid of Beaty -- but Meach ain't the answer.

Dirk Medema 3 years, 5 months ago

Beaty winning games would make the firing of Zenger look bad only if that was the only reason for him being fired. Fortunately, Girod isn't as knee-jerk as the commenters here, and illustrated in his remarks today - for those that take the time to read and comprehend them.

Bryan Mohr 3 years, 5 months ago

In the world of politics a person can't always be blunt. Girod had a nice, fluffy statement, but the firing of Zenger is about football. The basketball program is doing very well, Zenger did well in accomplishing fundraising and execution of the new track facility, and from a financial perspective the other sports (everything but FB and men's BB) drain money. The Big12 is perhaps facing implosion in the near future, and KU needs to have a decent FB program on its resume. The firing of Zenger is about football.

John Fitzgerald 3 years, 5 months ago

Beaty should definitely be nervous but there's no way the new AD fires him before game one. He needs to go at least 2-1 to start the season or it's over.

Jeff Coffman 3 years, 5 months ago

3-0 or he should be gone...we should not lose to FBS or non-P5 teams. If we aren't 3-0 at the bye week, we say bye bye to Beaty.

Dirk Medema 3 years, 5 months ago

Except that Rutgers is a P5/Big10 School, and the bye week isn't until week 7.

At Baylor and WVU sandwiched around OSU is not an easy way to start the season, but that's life in the Big12.

Good chance we'll know by then if there's a change coming. The other would be ISU 11/3 or at Manhattan 11/10.

Either way, Coach Beaty knows he's got to earn it as well.

Lance Hobson 3 years, 5 months ago

Zienger seemed to be a solid leader, but the Weiss hire was just absolutely devastating. He probably should have weathered the storm and let Turner Gill have another year. If/when that didn’t pan out he just needed to hire anyone else.

Michael Sillman 3 years, 5 months ago

Who is “ and why is he the only anonymous poster on the site?

Tim Orel 3 years, 5 months ago

I agree that the rules for signing up were broken with that person. I've seen some other commenters who used obviously fake names as well, but not for awhile so either those accounts were eventually removed or the people went elsewhere.

Andy Godwin 3 years, 5 months ago

Very smart choice by our chancellor to lead the search for the new AD. Drue Jennings is a very loyal, knowledgeable, and influential Jayhawk. As a reminder Drue Jennings hired Bill Self, when Roy Williams decided to part for bluer pastures.

Aaron Paisley 3 years, 5 months ago

Looking at the football schedule, KU plays 6 games, has a bye, then 6 more to end the year. After game 6 is likely when Beaty will be fired unless there is significant improvement in the W-L this year.

Brad Sherp 3 years, 5 months ago

The sooner a new coach is in place the better. When changes are made after the season, a coach doesn't have enough time to go after the recruits he wants in that first year. If a new coach had 6 months to recruit, there is greater opportunity to recruit players that fit a new coach's systems in his first class.

Lance Meier 3 years, 5 months ago

Most of U on here have no F ing idea how to run a program, that includes me. Look at the poor choice the last(just fired) AD made in (inherited) Gill/Weis hire, they both set KU FOOTBALL back 8 years in recruiting, you have 1 bad year recruiting that = 4 years... I've posted on here before, Mangino did not recruit his last year at KU, actually was at golf course in Guthrie, OK Tuesday and told patron that Mangino did not recruit his last year, he almost came unglued... He was about the best thing to happen to KU FB as much as anyone, but it was time for him to GO!!! With all his BS crap that people had to put up with when he acted like he didn't have to do what other people did, "he was the FB coach"... Couldn't believe when his vehicle got ticketed when it was left in a "NO PARKING", spot... He treated other KU employees like trash. NOW, they were having a losing season and losing has an effect, just like winning does(you can do NO wrong). Beaty has been trying to P U L L KU FB out of a black hole that was given to him from previous 2/3 coaches and last 2 AD's... I want a FB winner at KU as much as the next guy but "TIME", is needed and you need stability. Fire Beaty, then you start all over again... He does not have 85 scholarships and never has, they need all "85", just to compete... You keep changing coaches and this thing NEVER get's turned around... EVER.

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