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Friday, June 11, 2021

KU football OC Andy Kotelnicki values collaborating when building a play sheet

Offensive Coordinator Andy Kotelnicki coach talks with media members on Tuesday, May 18, 2021 at the Anderson Family Football Complex.

Offensive Coordinator Andy Kotelnicki coach talks with media members on Tuesday, May 18, 2021 at the Anderson Family Football Complex.

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Kansas football offensive coordinator Andy Kotelnicki doesn’t take a dictatorial approach to play-calling.

A longtime Lance Leipold assistant who coordinated the offenses at both Wisconsin-Whitewater and Buffalo before joining Leipold at KU, Kotelnicki recently explained he prefers working jointly with other assistants when he’s compiling a play sheet for any given game.

In the middle of the week, Kotelnicki shared during his introductory KU press conference in May, he approaches the team’s other coaches with the same questions.

“If you were the offensive coordinator, how would you plan out the first 15 plays? What would you do?”

When Kotelnicki pores over the responses, he looks to see which plays are suggested most often, and the ones that his coworkers are most convinced will be effective inevitably make it into the offense’s game script.

KU’s offensive coordinator said he considers that part of the process the starting point for that week’s game plan. He thinks highly of the merging of ideas, because that gives him multiple perspectives — “What do they see with their eyes and the position that they’re working with?”

In the past, while he still worked at Buffalo, Kotelnicki during coaching clinics has presented his philosophies, including his thoughts on building a play sheet. He has shared that the staffs he has worked on might come up with 30 to 40 plays for a game. Additionally, Kotelnicki has gone through the same exercise with his quarterbacks to test their knowledge.

Seeking feedback regarding the best plays to call is a tactic he enjoys, though he didn’t make any false claims about coming up with it on his own.

“Where I stole it from I have no idea, but I stole it — I’m sure of that,” a grinning Kotelnicki said during his recent media question and answer session at KU.

The exercise gives him some “openers” for a game that he and his coworkers think will put the team in a good spot — “scripting for success,” he calls it.

According to Kotelnicki, he values collaborating as a staff, because as he has heard Leipold say on many occasions, “one man can’t do it” all.

“Just like one player can’t get it done on offense or defense or special teams,” the Jayhawks’ O.C. said. “And for us to go through the week and to game plan together and just grow together, I always talk about tributaries to a river. We all kind of need to come together, and by the end of the week it’s all going the same direction, in alignment for what it needs to look like to beat these opponents.”

The 2021 season will mark Kotelnicki’s ninth calling the offense for a Leipold-coached program. He said the head coach’s trust allows him as a coordinator to go into an offensive meeting and pool ideas the way he likes.

“The fundamental foundation of any organization is going to be trust,” Kotelnicki said.

Comments

Andy Godwin 4 months, 2 weeks ago

KU football is exciting and full of promise during the off season. Stories of hope and enthusiasm. Then comes the season and the actual games. I was willing to give Miles 4 years to turn the program around. I am not sure anyone has the patience to wait another 4 to 5 years to be competitive. One hopes that the talent Miles and his staff recruited will give Leipold a leg up compared to the past failed coaches and that his program will show significant improvement after a couple of years. I have my 2021 season tickets and will hope like many KU loyalists to see improvement from last year and the past decade.

Brett McCabe 4 months, 2 weeks ago

Andy, I do believe that we are ahead of where Beaty and Miles started. I think that Weis inherited a reasonable foundation upon which to build but squandered it, and then gutted what was left.

Both Beaty and Miles inherited messes. Beaty left it as bad as he found it. Miles, though, at least stopped digging and started building.

There are three other key differences that put us ahead of the normal schedule.

First, Leipold is coming directly from a rebuild at Buffalo. He succeeded there, but he also likely learned some lessons, made some mistakes, etc. that he will be able to put in place at KU. This should be invaluable in moving the program forward in the fastest possible timeframe.

Second, Leipold brings a staff with him. Again, this will save time, reduce mistakes and help development in so many ways. Just look at the staff turnover that Weis, Beaty and Miles all had. So much wasted time and energy.

Third, the Buffalo transfers. While I hate the last three losses we had to the portal, we picked up six players from Buffalo and a seventh that was headed there. The roster got a nice, solid plus-four in recruiting when there wasn’t really any recruiting to be done.

I’m with you. I am excited. I know we won’t be good this year but I do think we will be good in areas and just below average in total. Competence is a worthy goal for this year. If we get there, I think that we will see a solid recruiting class, smart roster management and significant improvement in year two.

Brian Wilson 4 months, 1 week ago

Way way way off base on Beaty. Why don't you go back and do a roster count. Even with a Freshman class Beatty had less than 50 player. Beatty had to find 60 walk-ons in his first year, and, to make up for the underclass loss he needed 25 transfers to fill holes.....in the end Beatty fixed the roster issue and left KU in much much better shape. I have to agree about Leipold, the staff, and thinking KU will be a better more competent team hopefully without all the stupid game time mistakes seen in the past.

Dirk Medema 4 months, 2 weeks ago

Brett loves to bash Coach Beaty but CDB left the program so much better than he found it. It went from half a roster and no players receiving postseason recognition to many players receiving awards. After the last year of redshirts were factored in, we were also one recruiting class away from a balanced roster. TK in particular also loved to bash him and would make sweeping comparisons of the # of JC recruits but completely ignore the fact that 50% of CWs JCs never saw the field while the majority of CDBs were here for 3-4 years. Some are still on the roster vying for starting positions.

We were also good game day management away from bowling in CDBs final year. Far from the inherited shambles. The roster was there when he left but ultimately the lack of GDM was his demise and he deserved to go.

I was hopeful of Coach Miles when he arrived but did not see the program trending in the right direction. The roster is young (youngest in college football) but not encouraged to have lost Herbert, the WRs, and virtually every upperclassman, not to mention the fact that we were headed to our 4th OC in just over 2 years. That’s gotta be a record! As Brett does accurately point out, it was an unfortunate trait shared by many of the preceding HCs, including back to Mangino.

That’s the most encouraging thing about this staff. They want to be with this head coach, including former staff and coaches that aren’t even coaches anymore. It shows the strong relational trait of Coach Leipold, similar to Coach Beaty, but with proven game day leadership as well.

Andy’s collaborative approach was another good trait of CB, but again with better proven game day execution.

I was in favor of giving Coach Jones an opportunity for continuity sake, but this coaching change actually seems to have minimized any discontinuity and checked almost all the right boxes. Just sad to have lost the 3Ds.

Brett McCabe 4 months, 2 weeks ago

I accurately point out everything. It’s what I do.

Beaty trashed the roster, as Keegan diligently detailed. But hey, this is America. We have doctors who think that forks will stick to your forehead. So having people revise history for the worst coach in the history of college football? Not a great leap.

Dirk Medema 4 months, 2 weeks ago

And yet there’s no accuracy at all. Rather than dealing with facts you shift to a smoke screen of nonsense.

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