Arlington, Texas — When Les Miles heads into his first preseason camp as the head football coach at the University of Kansas in a couple of weeks, he will do so with a quarterback competition to resolve.
As Miles indicated at the end of spring practices, he reiterated Monday at Big 12 Football Media Days that he has not yet decided who will open the season as KU’s No. 1 QB.
However, just as the coach referenced in the spring, junior transfer Thomas MacVittie will enter camp with a slight lead on fifth-year senior Carter Stanley.
“One thing I’ve never felt comfortable about is making an early declaration on who the starter was and who wasn’t,” Miles said. “So we’ll let it play out. I promise you the guy who takes the field in the first game will give us the best opportunity to win.”
Miles and his staff recruited MacVittie from Mesa Community College (Ariz.), presumably to become the starting QB. But Stanley enters August in the mix for the job.
“He can throw the football,” Miles began, when asked what Stanley has done to stay in the race. “He’s going to have to study the offense, make sure that he’s ready. But I think he’s potentially a guy that we could turn to.”
If the season began tomorrow, based on what Miles saw from both quarterbacks in the spring, the coach said MacVittie would get the edge.
“He’ll be the one that takes (first string) snaps,” Miles said.
At 65, Miles holds the distinction of being the oldest coach in the Big 12.
“If it’s not the oldest coach then what is the alternative?” Miles replied, when asked for his thoughts on that title. “I think I’ll take being the oldest coach.”
So how long exactly does Miles want to keep coaching football?
“I could see a comfortable five-year stint,” he said. “But if you get it going, at some point in time you’d like to think you’d stay.”
Miles’ deal with KU is for five seasons, concluding in December of 2023.
“I have surely enjoyed my days,” Miles said of being considered an older coach in his profession. “I’m having fun, and that to me is hard work, early to late, but an opportunity to go win ball games, which I look forward to.”
After Miles replaced David Beaty, fired with three games left in the 2018 season, the former KU coach filed a $3 million lawsuit against Kansas Athletics for not paying him his buyout.
With the matter still unresolved, Miles was asked whether he has experienced any fallout because of the ordeal.
“We haven’t had anything that involved him fall onto my desk,” was all that Miles offered in response.
KU’s lawyers filed a motion in May that aimed to dismiss the lawsuit. Beaty’s lawyer called that measure a “delay tactic.”
A spokesperson from KU said when Beaty’s lawsuit became public knowledge that the university withheld payment on money owed to the fired coach because of alleged violations committed when Beaty was at KU, leading to an NCAA investigation.