Sunday, November 4, 2018

Kansas AD Jeff Long wants to hire next football coach ‘sooner rather than later’

Kansas athletic director Jeff Long looks up into the stands late in the fourth quarter of the Jayhawks' 27-3 loss to Iowa State, Saturday, Nov. 3, 2018 at Memorial Stadium.

Kansas athletic director Jeff Long looks up into the stands late in the fourth quarter of the Jayhawks' 27-3 loss to Iowa State, Saturday, Nov. 3, 2018 at Memorial Stadium.


University of Kansas athletic director Jeff Long wasn’t able to introduce the football program’s next head coach Sunday night, hours after informing acting coach David Beaty he won’t be retained for a fifth season.

But during a 30-minute press conference inside Hadl Auditorium in the Wangon Athlete Center, Long shed more light on the search at hand and how he will handle his first significant hire since becoming KU’s AD a little more than three months ago.

If Long had a leading candidate in mind, he didn’t reveal as much. But he indicated he was pleased with the direction in which the process is headed.

“Just in the last few hours, there have been a number who aggressively sought out to make sure I knew that they were interested, some of them I was thinking about before the announcement today,” Long revealed. “But there really isn’t a frontrunner. I’m going to be looking for a leader of young men, someone who has maybe a history and track record of building a program, because we have to build a program and it’s really important to do that.”

How quickly Long will land KU’s next football coach remains to be seen, and the AD said there is no timetable for doing so because candidates interested in a head coaching job tend to dictate how that goes.

Still, Long would prefer to hire someone “sooner rather than later,” and said it will be important to act “shortly after the season, if not before.”

While Long said he will have “advisors” as he sifts through the best and most interested candidates, he clarified that a search committee won’t be necessary.

“I think this decision rests with me,” Long said. “I think the chancellor (Douglas Girod) has trusted me with this decision and I think that’s one of the reasons that he hired me, and has expressed that belief in me to be able to do the job. Now, it doesn’t mean I won’t use people to advise me as I move forward. But it won’t be a search firm as others have used in the past.”

With Long in charge, it appears probable that KU’s next head coach, unlike Beaty, will arrive with head coaching experience, because Long thinks that’s what the program needs. While he couldn’t rule out a scenario in which KU was unable to attract someone who fit that bill, he emphasized his hope to do so, instead of hiring an up-and-coming assistant or coordinator.

“These jobs are too big to learn on the job,” Long said. “And I’d like to be able to attract someone who’s been a head coach.”

It doesn’t appear that Long is looking to pluck one from the NFL ranks, either, though he wouldn’t completely rule it out.

“I think it’s very difficult to hire a coach from the NFL who doesn’t have significant college coaching experience,” Long said.

While the first-year Kansas AD described the fundraising for renovations to David Booth Kansas Memorial Stadium as being “on simmer” while efforts are focused to improve the football program’s personnel, from assistants to analysts, he also delivered a plea for KU football fans to come support the team in the meantime.

“They’re going to be part of the solution,” Long said a day after an announced crowd of 15,543 watched Iowa State beat Kansas. “They need to come back and support this team for the Texas game (Nov. 23). I hope they come back and support these seniors who laid it on the line for them over the last four and five years.”

As much as anything Sunday night, Long seemed intent on getting across his message to the program’s followers that “change is on the horizon” with KU’s next head coach.

“We are going to find a proven leader, a tenacious recruiter and a developer of young men on and off the field. As I have routinely said, we will break the cycle,” Long asserted. “My expectation is that the football program should be a bowl-bound program on a regular basis. I believe, with the players currently in our program and the recruits who will commit in the coming months, we will be close to annual bowl berths and long-term competitiveness in the Big 12.”


Steve Corder 2 years, 3 months ago

Intriguing thought on Mitchell, what would you say to Miles and keeping Hull too?

Gerry Butler 2 years, 3 months ago

That has been my thoughts 100%. - - Bring in Miles and considering his age -long said age isn't playing a role. - So I've been saying Bring Miles in like to a 5 year contract , keep Tony on staff - - - - let Les tutor Tony during these 5 years and then at the end of the 5 years if then Les retires Tony then step on and take over.

Having Les AND Tony on board - both with ties to Louisiana would be sweet. - -ROCK CHALK ALL DAY LONG BABY

Dane Pratt 2 years, 3 months ago

I hope they can keep Tony but he has less coaching experience than Beaty.

Jeff Coffman 2 years, 3 months ago

Leach if he is interested in the B12. He runs the air raid, so we have the personnel, we'd have the coach to actually run it. Miles, name alone will solidify a recruiting class. Doeren would be a long term solution, but would have some tough logistics.

Not sure of any others that should be on the list. However, I hope the new coach has a complete coaching staff ready to go.

Andy Godwin 2 years, 3 months ago

“sooner rather than later,” and said it will be important to act “shortly after the season, if not before.” Based on this statement then unlikely to be an active head coach in a successful program, unless the person plans to leave his team before their bowl game would take place (in mid to late December). If no search committee, then Long has already identified his candidate(s).

Robert Brock 2 years, 3 months ago

  1. Leach needs to stay on the Paloose Prairie

  2. KU needs to get rid of the Air Raid (squirrelly offense)

Eric Eakins 2 years, 3 months ago

I'm not into football deep enough to suggest a system or style of play but it seems in my 40+ years of watching that the best coaches have a FLEXIBLE plan (even if they do have an overall style that they shoot for). Players change constantly and other teams adjust to your style as well. I watched the LSU / Bama game Saturday and they were talking about all the adjustments Saban has made this year to his team to adjust to new talent. If anyone could be dogmatic it could be him but he knows how to be successful. This is even more important at KU where the talent swings in far greater wave lengths then the traditional power houses.

Beaty literally had to have the air raid system beat out of him over three years. Not the only thing he was very stubborn about. I'm not going to say it cost him his job because even if he had come in flexible, his game management is his weakest link in any system. This year feels more like he is trying to play to his talent but sometimes it feels like his talent is playing in spite of his calls (which still seem highly questionable in my opinion).

Hopefully we can beat KSU, get a great coach, send Snyder into B12 memories and start down a path to fun football again.

Not trying to brag but I did call it a few weeks ago that Long would announce Beaty not returning but coaching the remaining games while new coach search was on. I was just a week off on when it would happen (I said after KSU game). Sorry, just needed something related to KU football to brag about. RCJH

Jeff Kallmeyer 2 years, 3 months ago

If Miles is the man, could he put together a quality coaching staff with being away from the game as long as he has?

Gunnar Hays 2 years, 3 months ago

Lot of really good potential candidates out there, even if some don't have the big name of a Les Miles. Just thought I'd throw another one out there that I haven't really heard being talked about.

Bo Pelini. I don't know if he would be interested, or necessarily KU's first choice, but I give him credit for what he did at Nebraska. He took over an absolute dumpster fire, and won 9-10 games every year.

He brings Big 12 experience from time at Nebraska and OU, he's also well connected in Ohio which produces a lot of talent. I think the most interesting aspect of Pelini his is defensive coaching experience. I think he could do a nice job developing some of the younger defensive players on the roster.

Again, maybe not the first choice, but I think worth taking a look at.

Mike Hart 2 years, 3 months ago

Bo Pelini... now that was a "CLASSY" departure from Nebraska. I'd prefer someone who doesn't embarrass himself with how he acts and what he says.

"F you.. and F the fans":

Go read his Wiki for the number of times he has said and done stupid things. Just the class kind of guy we want representing our University.

David Robinett 2 years, 3 months ago

I don’t want to hear the term Air Raid ever mentioned again in the context of KU football as long as I live ...

Joe Joseph 2 years, 3 months ago

Is this a play on the word "SOONER"?


Kirk Garrett 2 years, 3 months ago

Is Bob good enough for KU though? He lost some big games.

Lance Cheney 2 years, 3 months ago

You beat me to it Joe. I had to delete my comment above...

Ryan Shelton 2 years, 3 months ago

Perhaps he's mad at OU for canning his brother and now he wants his revenge. Yep, that's far-fetched, but it's nice to dream about getting somebody as good as "Big Game Bob."

Brad Watson 2 years, 3 months ago

GENE CHIZIK CHECKS ALL THE BOXES...national champion..undefeated SEC season..great recruiter with ties to fertile recruiting regions of Fla. and Tx....great family......wants to coach and very very smart!...much better than Les.

Waylon Cook 2 years, 3 months ago

Ya he can bring his NCAA violations and Cam Newton with him?

Eric Eakins 2 years, 3 months ago

I went to the Alabama/Auburn game several years ago in Tuscaloosa with Cam Newton in town. Bama up 21 at half. Newton throws 4 TD's second half to win game. Crazy atmosphere. 100,000 inside the stadium with another 100,000 immediately outside the stadium and the biggest 6 block radius party you ever saw. I would almost give up the basketball program for that atmosphere at KU. ALMOST.

Tim Orel 2 years, 3 months ago

If he brings his violations, then the heat might be off the basketball team and their national championship this year.

Jeff Coffman 2 years, 3 months ago

Nick Saban...if he wins at KU a National Championship, no one would ever doubt that he is the greatest college coach to ever have coached the game.

Eric Eakins 2 years, 3 months ago

That's what I always tell my wife (whose family is from Tuscaloosa and are all big Bama fans). If Saban is so good, prove it at Kansas. I could get 10 wins coaching Alabama!!! AL only put a statue of him in front of the stadium. KU would name the entire school after him....University of Saban. /s

Dane Pratt 2 years, 3 months ago

I don't think there is any doubt he already is the greatest college football coach ever but sure why not. Let's dare him to come to Lawrence.

Dennis Strick 2 years, 3 months ago

I am so glad that Jeff Long is making this selection (which was already done in August/September by the way) and not any of you idiots. And yes I realize some of you have your big fat tongues in your cheeks.

Joe Black 2 years, 3 months ago

Are you in bed with Long? Please enlighten us to your inside knowledge of his choice already being made in Aug/Sept.

Eric Eakins 2 years, 3 months ago

LOL. I wouldn't make the selection if they offered me the chance too. It's a no win situation but a lot of fun to Monday Quarterback on.

Brad Watson 2 years, 3 months ago

Chizik or SWEATER them Mr. Long!

Commenting has been disabled for this item.