David Beaty learns less sometimes more for head football coach


Kansas football coach David Beaty offers instructions to his offense, including LaQuvionte Gonzalez (1), during Saturday's game against Iowa State on Saturday, Nov. 12, 2016.

Kansas football coach David Beaty offers instructions to his offense, including LaQuvionte Gonzalez (1), during Saturday's game against Iowa State on Saturday, Nov. 12, 2016. by Mike Yoder

New Oklahoma head football coach Lincoln Riley received advice from, among others, David Beaty on how to make the transition from assistant coach to top dog.

“The phrase I shared with him was these next few days will be like drinking from a fire hose,” Beaty said. “If you’re not careful, you’ll drown. So you do have to go be a normal person. I know you’ve got a lot to do right now, but believe it or not, you’ll be better with less if you’ll go and grant yourself that vacation because the time just won’t be there.”

It’s not the only area where Beaty learned during his first two seasons that less can mean more. He’s also applying that philosophy to his involvement with the offense.

In his first season as head coach, Beaty was very involved in trying to get offensive coordinator Rob Likens to implement his version of the Air Raid offense. It never happened, so Beaty demoted Likens and took over OC and quarterback coaching duties and then also took on coaching the punt return team early in his second season on the job.

Now that veteran OC Doug Meacham is on board, Beaty said his days as a helicopter hovering over the offense have ended.

“One of the positives about bringing Meach here it allows me to do more of the head-coaching stuff rather than having to do both,” Beaty said. “Now, it’s being done throughout the country and it’s being done at a high level. Ideally, though, if you have a guy who knows what you want to do and he knows it as well as he knows it, then that’s ideal. And he just happens to be one of the best in the world at what he does. So it’s a big-time bonus for us.”

Beaty has done a terrific job at promoting the program, developing relationships with key boosters and in general spreading good will, all important facets of a head coach’s job as face of a major rebuilding project.

“My schedule will change a little bit in that I’m not going to hover over him,” Beaty said. “I don’t have to. I mean, Doug Meacham has done it. I’m not going to sit here and proclaim that I know more and am better than Doug. Offensively, his record and the things that he’s done speak for themselves. Why wouldn’t I trust that man?”

Beaty’s not the only Big 12 head coach surrendering play-calling duties this season. Seventh-year West Virginia head coach Dana Holgorsen won’t be calling plays for the first time. Offensive coordinator Jake Spavital, back on Holgorsen’s staff for the first time since 2012 when he was quarterbacks coach, takes over that responsibility.


John Fitzgerald 12 months ago

If Meach can't get this offense rejuvenated then we truly have a curse. Maybe Mangino was a witch on his free time? Needless to say the program has put in it's time and has paid it's dues. It's about time to collect the pay off.

Dillon Davis 12 months ago

This was the best thing that Beaty did this offseason and it was absolutely necessary. One of Beaty's biggest critiques and deservedly so, is his use of timeouts, clock management, and halftime adjustments. He now has the freedom to focus on those things. On the field this should make a big difference as long as he continues to trust Meacham to run the offense.

John Brazelton 12 months ago

Getting the offense going in fall training camp for a change with a declared starting QB and not waiting until mid-season to click. Getting those necessary pre-conference wins and starting the conference competitive with other Big 12 teams will determine whether KU has arrived as a team. If that happens, we'll have a good chance of signing our top recruits and winning as many games as possible.

Bob Bailey 12 months ago

Hay, Keegan, Both you and your staff pretend we have no Womens Basketball. Even a routine article would acknowledge they exist! Things like did the coach spend his 10 hrs a year with them, individually. Are they playing together in the summer -- 0rdinary but acknowledge they are here.

Randy Bombardier 12 months ago

Good article, yes, it's the ole diminshing margin of return. Worse, don't know what it's called but when you keep up those 80 hour weeks you start getting less and less frim the first 40 so not only are additional hours less effective than the first, overall productivity cycles downward. I like the coach being an ambassador, a recruiter and a big picture guy and strategist. He doesn't need to put in ungodly hours day after day. He needs to be sharp and that requires rest.

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