Saturday, November 17, 2018

Notebook: KU coaching search was hot topic on national stage

Oklahoma head coach Lincoln Riley, back, and Kansas head coach David Beaty, front, meet mid field following an NCAA college football game in Norman, Okla., Saturday, Nov. 17, 2018. Oklahoma won 55-40. (AP Photo/Alonzo Adams)

Oklahoma head coach Lincoln Riley, back, and Kansas head coach David Beaty, front, meet mid field following an NCAA college football game in Norman, Okla., Saturday, Nov. 17, 2018. Oklahoma won 55-40. (AP Photo/Alonzo Adams)


Norman, Okla. — Before Saturday night’s nationally televised matchup between Kansas and No. 6 Oklahoma on FOX, analyst Dave Wannstedt discussed all the buzz surrounding KU’s coaching search.

Jeff Long, now KU’s athletic director, hired Wannstedt to coach Pitt when the AD oversaw the athletic department there. The one-time Long hire was on board with the growing buzz that KU will lure Les Miles to Lawrence.

“It would be a good hire for Jeff Long. He would win the press conference,” Wannstedt said on the pregame broadcast. "They're trying to raise a lot of money for facilities there. Les brings credibility from that standpoint with his résumé. And Les recruited in Texas, keep in mind."

Sports Illustrated reported on Friday that KU and Miles, the former LSU and Oklahoma State coach, are in the final stages of negotiating a contract that would make Miles the Jayhawks’ next head coach.

Near the conclusion of the FOX broadcast of KU’s 55-40 defeat, play-by-play announcer Tim Brando, who knows Miles well, hinted an announcement regarding the future of KU football was “more than likely” coming on Sunday.

SVP eying Miles to KU smoke

Already a public supporter of Miles finding his way to the sidelines at Kansas, ESPN’s Scott Van Pelt had more to say about that growing speculation on SportsCenter late Friday night.

"I'm not saying he's going to be as good as he was at LSU," Van Pelt said. "That would be ridiculous. But they cannot be worse. And at least they figure to be interesting."

In 11-plus seasons at LSU, Miles went 114-34, before being fired four games into the 2016 season.

Bledsoe’s night

Prior to kickoff Saturday night, OU honored its 2018 senior class, which included a name well known by football fans back in Lawrence.

Former Lawrence High standout Amani Bledsoe, now a junior defensive end with the Sooners, will be a part of the team’s graduating class this year.

Rated a four-star prospect in the Class of 2016, Bledsoe chose OU over Kansas.

Saturday night versus the Jayhawks Bledsoe contributed one total tackle but also made three pass deflections.

Rare production

KU’s 40 points at Oklahoma were the most scored the program has scored against the Sooners since 1996, when KU put up 52. It was also the most points KU scored against a Big 12 opponent since 2010, when the Jayhawks scored 52 against Colorado. KU's 40 points at Oklahoma were the most on the road against a Big 12 opponent since 2007, when the Jayhawks had 43 at Oklahoma State.

Coaching connections

A tight ends and fullbacks coach this season at Kansas, assistant coach Garrett Riley, of course, is the brother of Sooners head coach Lincoln Riley.


Michael Maris 2 years, 2 months ago

Dave Wannstadt was very supportive of the hiring of Les Miles. However, Robert Smith and Matt Leinart just ridiculed the prospect of the hire. And, Dave Wannstadt ended the conversation by saying that Smith and Leinart already have Miles being fired (before he's even hired).

David Kemp 2 years, 2 months ago

Miles is getting us a lot of attention on the national scene which is good exposure. Could be a real plus on the recruiting front.

David Kemp 2 years, 2 months ago

Fox game guys were also supporting Bowen to stay on as dc. Wow I am not sure about that!

Dirk Medema 2 years, 2 months ago

David - You were also the person perpetually complaining about the D during the livestream, right? LBs and DBs always out of position among others? Do you actually know what D they're running and where the players are supposed to be or just missing that OUs offense is really good?

It is true that new coaches rarely keep existing assistants, so keeping anyone is a stretch. My guess is that all the coaches land new jobs for next year if they want, because in spite of the frustration over losing all phases of the program are improving as the roster has been rebuilt.

Jeff Coffman 2 years, 2 months ago

Les is a win. The coaching staff is next and is one area where Beaty struggled. I would be supportive of cleaning house, but not sure of all the logistics. The only three that I would consider are the following and the why:

1) the offensive line coach...Riddick? We lost three OL and had a hodgepodge of pieces. In fact we didn't have a starting center heading into summer camp. Generally he has protected the QB and last night's performance shows better than expected progress in a key area. 300 yards of rushing doesn't hurt either.

2) Miller, defensive coach, the past four years have been abysmal, but this year's defense markedly better. It wasn't Bowen, it was Miller check the history

3) hull, but I'm not as sold on him. He was a high school coach that brought the people he coached; however not sure long term. He likely is worth it, but options might be better.

Michael Maris 2 years, 2 months ago

Not every kid from Louisiana was coached by Tony Hull. But, they knew of him and what he did for Warren Easton High as their head coach.

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