Records of Kansas athletic directors' football hires, from Q to Z


Charlie Weis, 55, waves to media members at the Lawrence Airport on Thursday night around 8:30 p.m. after arriving in town with Kansas athletic director Sheahon Zenger, at right. Weis has agreed to become the 37th head football coach in KU history.

Charlie Weis, 55, waves to media members at the Lawrence Airport on Thursday night around 8:30 p.m. after arriving in town with Kansas athletic director Sheahon Zenger, at right. Weis has agreed to become the 37th head football coach in KU history. by Mike Yoder

I learned in my years of covering baseball that umpires often had keen insights into players and managers. They saw them perform up close, under pressure, night after night. Many umpires, in off-the-record conversations, would share opinions on what impressed them about players and managers.

Based on his ability to hire successful football coaches at Kansas, not an easy thing to do, Ernest Cosmos Quigley must have been one of those umps who knew what made successful men tick. Born in Canada in 1880 and reared in Concordia, Quigley played basketball for James Naismith at Kansas. Quigley was a college basketball referee and Major League Baseball umpire for decades. He also served as AD at KU, where he hired George Sauer and J.V. Sikes, two winning football coaches.

Quigley might not have been as good at keeping a coach happy as he was at identifying the right one to hire. After going 15-3-3 in two seasons at KU, Sauer bolted for Navy, where he went 3-13-2 in two seasons. From there, he went to Baylor and posted a 78-55-9 record.

Of the 14 men to hire a KU football coach or coaches, Quigley ranks first with a .636 winning percentage compiled by his hires. Current AD Sheahon Zenger ranks last with a .154 winning percentage. The good news for Zenger is that if the Jayhawks can finish the season strong enough to become bowl eligible, he could tie or even pass Lew Perkins to move into 13th place. If KU goes 5-2 the rest of the way, Perkins and Zenger will be tied with a .208 winning percentage. If KU goes 6-1 or 7-0, Zenger drops Perkins into last place, but a 4-3 mark the rest of the way would still leave Zenger behind Perkins.

By cross-referencing the list of athletic directors and football coaches, here is what I came up with for the combined records of each AD's football hires at Kansas.

Combined record
Winning pct.
Ernie Quigley
1944-49 George Sauer, J.V. Sikes
50-28-2 .636
W.O. Hamilton
1911-19 Ralph W. Sherman, Arthur Moose, H.M. Wheaton, Herman Alcott, Jay Bond
36-20-4 .633
Al Bohl
Tom Hays*, Mark Mangino
51-50 .510
Phog Allen
1919-37 Leon McCarty, Phog Allen, Potsy Clark, Franklin Cappon, Bill Hargiss, AD Lindsey
70-77-21 .485
Wade Stinson
1964-72 Pepper Rodgers, Don Fambrough (first term)
39-47-1 .454
Dutch Lonborg
1950-63 Chuck Mather, Jack Mitchell
Bob Frederick
1987-2001 Glen Mason, Terry Allen
67-87-1 .435
Bob Marcum
Don Fambrough (second term)
17-24-2 .419
Karl Klooz*
1943 Henry Shenk
11-16-3 .417
Clyde Walker
1973-77 Bud Moore
17-27-1 .389
Monte Johnson
1982-87 Mike Gottfried, Bob Valesente
Gwinn Henry
1938-42 Gwinn Henry
9-27 .250
Lew Perkins
2003-10 Turner Gill
Sheahon Zenger
2011-present Charlie Weis, Clint Bowen*, David Beaty


John Fitzgerald 11 months, 2 weeks ago


I have a question, or a few.

I know it'll cost KU $3 million to let go of Beaty early, but what about Zenger? And will it cost to let go any of the assistants as well (Meacham, Hull, Bowen)? And with that, how much would it cost KU total to move on from Zenger and the entire coaching staff?

Not that I think that's a good idea or even an idea, I'm just curious. I've learned on this site that the few rabid KU fans that hang around this site chomping at the bit ready to spit all over any opinion anyone has are impossible to reason with. So, I won't say what I think should happen, because unlike them, I'm not a professional and I have no clue. But what I will say is I want wins. I don't care what happens to Zenger, Beaty, Meacham, Hull, Bowen, etc., I just want to watch a team that acts like they've played before and that is competent enough to be competitive. Because at the end of the day, winning is the ONLY thing that matters.

Joe Ross 11 months, 2 weeks ago

SZ = 600k annually.

Meacham should not be seen as incapable, however. Tony Hull is an exceptional recruiter. His coaching might be in question. Im not sure about Bowen, but I think there are better DCs out there. It would be hard to retain Meacham, I think. No matter what happens. We do need a jump start in the program, however; and it's my thinking that the new stadium will provide the shock to the system that we need to start attracting recruits.

Dillon Davis 11 months, 2 weeks ago

Tony Hull is in question? Khalil Herbert has been one of few bright spots on this team and Tony is his position coach...

Tom Keegan 11 months, 2 weeks ago

When Zenger received extension, pay increased to $700,000 with two-year buyout, so that would be $1.4. Without looking it up, I seem to remember Beaty being $1.6 with two-year buyout.

John Fitzgerald 11 months, 2 weeks ago

Isn't it weird that the guy hiring the coach makes less than the coach? How awkward is it to draw up a contract extension for a guy that makes double what you do, and then he fails, eventually leading to your demise?

Bryan Mohr 11 months, 2 weeks ago

BGL upgraded Zenger's base salary to $700,000 annually just before she left. Contract buyout, without cause termination, is Zenger's base salary for every year remaining on his contract, but not to exceed $1,400,000. So, basically, KU would owe Zenger $1.4m.

Bryan Mohr 11 months, 2 weeks ago

I haven't a clue on the assistant coaches' buyout terms. The total annual salary of the 9 KU assistant football coaches is somewhere around $3m according to Jesse Newell of KC Star. You can see what each assistant makes in Jesse's article:

Steve Corder 11 months, 2 weeks ago

Tom, what happens to athletic department personnel when words describing the football program (after 3 seasons) are "embarrassing", "lack of effort", "empty seats?"

Clara Westphal 11 months, 2 weeks ago

I feel sorry for all of the players who have had to and arel dealing with this kind of a program. They deserve better and so do the fans who put out the money to go see the games.

Pius Waldman 11 months, 2 weeks ago

Tom, it appears you are encouraging removal for the AD. Should we look at the success of the other sports. I guess if you are the top dog whatever happens is your fault whether it being success or failure. Now just what should KU do to improve the football situation. Would a change in AD, coaches bring victories. Right now I feel simple encouragement might be best and after the season considerations than made.

John Fitzgerald 11 months, 2 weeks ago

My question to you would be did he hire the coaches that are now having success at their sports or were they here before him? Not asking to be a smart arse I'm truly not 100% sure. I know he hired Schneider, the woman's bball HC, but that's not a positive on his record as they haven't posted a winning season with him yet. Also, I realize there's a lot more than hiring coaches that goes into being an AD, but having a bad football team takes away a large amount of potential revenue for the school.

Joe Ross 11 months, 2 weeks ago

In my opinion, Zenger whiffed on the women's basketball hire. With John Ontjes already in the state and primed for the picking, he got looked over. That's nearly unforgivable in my book. I mean COMPLETELY unforgivable.

Brad Sherp 11 months, 2 weeks ago

Last time I checked, football and basketball drive the bus in terms of revenue. At most P5 schools, it is only football that people care about. Zenger is lucky to have Bill Self. Unfortunately, you cannot credit Zenger for Self. I like other sports, but other sports don't affect the bottom line.

Also, with Zenger's hiring record, do you want someone with Zenger's record replacing Self someday? I hope Self stays at KU for another 20 years, but if he were to leave, I wouldn't want Zenger picking his replacement.

Brad Sherp 11 months, 2 weeks ago

You gave Zenger credit for the non-FBS opponents. If you excluded them, Zenger's record looks much worse.

Joe Ross 11 months, 2 weeks ago

Without discussing the chances of a MM return (which we would probably all agree is unlikely for many reasons, not the least of which are the myopia of the AD as regards football and what I would presume to be disinterest on Mangino's part), I'm curious as to opinions regarding what you think would be the direction of the program if Mangino returned NEXT season, hypothetically speaking.

I'll give my opinion. Four to five wins. Three in the non-con, outside chances with respect to both Iowa State and Baylor.

In a second year I think you'd get to bowl eligibility.

John Fitzgerald 11 months, 2 weeks ago

At the mercy of how the football program has performed the last 8 years I can't see any coach getting us above 3 wins. It's not because I don't think the coach is good enough, it's because I forgot what it feels like so it's out of the realm of possibility in my mind.

Brett McCabe 11 months, 2 weeks ago

Joe, it's an interesting question. First off, I'm not a Mangino worshiper like many on this site - he was a solid coach and had a brief upswing with arguably the prolific passer in Kansas history.

However, he would be inheriting approximately 90% of the two-deep. Now, that two-deep hasn't done a lot, but they'll have a lot of game experience, two-to-three years of D1 weight training, etc.

Looking ahead at the schedule, further evidence of Zenger's incompetence in the football department has us playing away at CMU and a home game against a Big Ten school in Rutgers. Plus Nichols State. The question is this: could Mangino beat those three schools? I think, yes.

After that, the only possible win might be vs. Baylor depending on what happens to them. So I'd put the over-under at 3.5 for betting purposes. I'll give the Phat Man the benefit of the doubt and put him at 4 wins.

After that, who knows.

Brett McCabe 11 months, 2 weeks ago

And Joe, I'll match your hypothetical with my own. If we are going to hire a rehabilitation coach, would you pick Leavit or Mangino?

Joe Ross 11 months, 2 weeks ago

Id pick Mangino, but Im tainted. I was around when Mangino resurrected the program here before, so Im perhaps not an objective enough party to ask for a reliable perspective. I can see arguments made for Leavitt though.

Joe Joseph 11 months, 2 weeks ago

To be around long enough to hire a third football HC is literally unprecedented in the modern era of KU athletics.

No way Zenger gets that opportunity. His longevity will be determined by Beaty's success, or lack thereof.

Robert Brock 11 months, 2 weeks ago

The price of admission to KU football games will soon be one can of soup (for the local food bank).

Brett McCabe 11 months, 2 weeks ago

My big hope is that David Booth is saying privately to the Chancellor: Give me a list of coaches, I'll recommend three, you pick one and have him hired by Monday after the last game. Otherwise, no stadium.

[''] 11 months, 2 weeks ago

Easy fix! Go get Dave Doeren from NC State! KC native. One of the hottest coaches in the country right now. Former KU coach. Proven success.

Makes $2.2 right now. Pay him $3M. Done deal. You heard it here first.

Brett McCabe 11 months, 2 weeks ago

If only. I won't bad-talk our program but it's difficult to see him leaving NCSU for us. I think he's headed up, not down.

John Brazelton 11 months, 2 weeks ago

First of all, I doubt that any poster on this page contributes $100,000 or more to the KU Athletic Department, so your comments can be printed out and taken to the bathroom with when you do your next #2. This includes Tom Keegan's sports articles, unless you contribute the big bucks, your comments mean nothing more than hot air and your own personal ego. AD Zenger's main contributions to KU Athletics has been an massive increase in all KU Athletic facilities and athlete's dorms. Every sport, including the upcoming improvements to women's volley ball area and the football stadium have given KU some of the finest athletic facilities in the Big 12. Women's basketball is just getting started and unfortunately, KU football is still a work in progress. Yes, there are better football coaches out there, but how long will they stay at KU after their first winning season?

John Fitzgerald 11 months, 2 weeks ago

What does contributing $100,000 to the athletic department have anything to do with people giving their 'opinions' on this site?

Brett McCabe 11 months, 2 weeks ago

Who cares how long they stay? Give me a winning season and a sound structure, and I'm happy to hire the next guy. Thank you and so long.

On another note, I'm not sure if you recognize the hypocrisy of your posts. You berate pretty much anyone with an opposing view, and say that their opinions are worthless, while you go on to post your own opinions.

Fritzell handed Rock Chalk to Zenger on a silver platter, so don't go there. Nothing of consequence has happened with the football facilities, the taj mahal is due to Bill Self. At least be credible in your comments.

Zenger is 0-fer in hiring coaches. That's a pretty big part of the job. He's swung three times and hasn't even had a solid single. I want a successful football program, not a bunch of excuses, upon excuses upon excuses.

Austin Lopez 11 months, 2 weeks ago

John Brazelton nobody on this page has to contribute $100,000 dollars or more to the KU Athletic Department for them to listen to us. The KU Athletic Department will listen once there is no fans in the stands and they aren't making any money of football! Hey John how many fans filled the Kansas football stadium last game around 25,000 fans? Wow that's just about as many as the Buffalo Bulls football team get here in Buffalo, NY. Ticket sales are declining and seats are getting emptier by the week.

Joe Ross 11 months, 2 weeks ago

You're giving Zenger too much credit for signing the checks when upgrading facilities is a no-brainer, and something that any one of us armchair quarterbacks could have come up with from the comfort of our own living rooms. Do you realize, for example, that the contract with adidas alone (over 14 years) coupled with the contribution from free-spirited David Booth pays for the 300 million stadium BY ITSELF without a DIME coming from any other booster? To say NOTHING of the lucrative conference royalties or what other donations might be tallied or the brand marketing or ticket sales from AFH. I mean upgrading facilities is really not a genius move.

The fact is Zenger has whiffed on the WBB coaching hire (ignored John Ontjes nearly completely) and not one but TWO football hires.

I mean holding a torch for Zenger at this point is like nailing your opinion to a wall that doesnt have a stud behind it.

Joe Ross 11 months, 2 weeks ago

NOTE: I just checked my math and it's off a little bit, but you get the point. (Contributions from Adidas and DB amount to some 240M+, leaving a ways to go before the stadium reno is completely funded.) Kansas would still have to come up with 50M over 14 years which is like 4M per year, but that pales in comparison to the annual conference take. The point is, the math is easy and straightforward enough that you know you have the budget to upgrade facilities, and when you look around at other schools who are upgrading, it doesn't take a genius to jump on the bandwagon...

Randy Bombardier 11 months, 2 weeks ago

Interesting article. Think we all knew it but glad it was said.

Susan Hesser 11 months, 2 weeks ago

Please fix your chart and put every coach who worked under an AD and the record of that coach under that AD. The chart above distorts the truth. Coaches didn't necessarily win under their hiring ADs.

Joe Ross 11 months, 2 weeks ago

...they didn't necessarily lose under them either though.

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