David Beaty outlines long process it will take to turn KU football into a winning program


Kansas head coach David Beaty takes his seat before speaking to reporters during the Big 12 NCAA college football media day in Frisco, Texas, Monday, July 17, 2017. (AP Photo/LM Otero)

Kansas head coach David Beaty takes his seat before speaking to reporters during the Big 12 NCAA college football media day in Frisco, Texas, Monday, July 17, 2017. (AP Photo/LM Otero)

Frisco, Texas — David Beaty didn’t accept the head football coaching job at the University of Kansas to finish at the bottom of the Big 12 standings every year. But Beaty made it clear Monday morning at the Ford Center, during the conference’s annual media days, he understands the program has quite a way to go before it’s humming along in the manner he envisions.

In Beaty’s first two seasons, KU has gone 2-22. It’s a difficult to convince people the program is on a successful path without the tangible evidence of victories. Asked during his press conference how he and his staff judge success and what benchmarks they try to hit season to season, Beaty laid out his philosophy on slowly building toward an on-field product in which the fan base can take some pride.

“Before we look at the benchmarks we’ve got to look at how we’re going to get there,” Beaty began. “And the benchmarks are not going to be any different, really, for us than they are for other programs.”

As far as Beaty is concerned, Kansas should have some big-picture goals that aren’t necessarily immediately attainable.

“We want to win championships. We want to play in bowl games,” the third-year KU coach said. “We want to produce productive men, who are good for our society — and that is what is going to cause the byproduct of winning championships.”

That’s the most challenging part of Beaty’s massive reclamation project. He and his staff have to notice and take pride in the small gains made behind the scenes, with the idea that those will one day pay off in the form of wins in front of fans at Memorial Stadium. And they have to help the players value those baby steps.

“We say it at all the time. We talk to our kids daily about every day we need you to wake up and be the best man you can possibly be, from the time you wake up to the time you go to bed,” Beaty said. “And the byproduct of that day will be something you, we, our program can all be proud of — and it will be called production.”

The message Beaty hammered throughout his Q&A was no different from what he has said since taking over. He hit some of his favorite talking points, including the phrase: It’s a process; not an event. The always-positive coach said players and staff have to get wrapped up in that concept.

“Our championship hopes and dreams are going to hinge on us continuing to understand that it will be a byproduct of the work and what it means to be a good man every day, because that really encompasses what it means to be committed to a program and doing the things necessary to win championships,” Beaty said. “People want to talk about championships. Not a lot of people want to do what it takes to get one.”


Bryce Landon 1 year ago

I don't expect a bowl game from KU football until at least 2020 - not with the shape the program is in. I do expect this season's team to go 4-8. Two of those wins need to be Big 12 wins, and one of the wins needs to be a road win.

Stephen Burtin 1 year ago

4-8 would be great and is achievable, but if two of those wins have to be Big 12 wins, then that means we have to lose one of our non-conference games. I am hoping we can get back to beating teams outside of the power 5 again. It would be a big boost to the morale and might lead to those two Big 12 wins we've all been missing.

Karen Mansfield-Stewart 1 year ago

When are we going to see the proposed construction plans for Memorial Stadium's remodel?

Benton Smith 1 year ago

Should be in next couple weeks. Looking forward to checking them out. And obviously we'll share what we get here.

Dirk Medema 1 year ago

Thought Dr Z said early August when he announced they were coming, also known as - what Benton said.

Dave Roberts 1 year ago

Nope. Two or three weeks into September.

Fred Whitehead Jr. 1 year ago

"not with the shape the program is in."

And one must ask the question.... "Why is the program in the shape it is in?" As some of you know I am an Oklahoma fan, have been for many years. But as a resident of Lawrence, I have always wondered why the local university continues to field such a poor example of a sports team. They certainly do well in basketball, there is a great celebration of the basket ball team even before the end of football season. Where is the university's support for the football team??. I do not see it.

At OU as you probably know, football is a religion in Norman dating from the Bud Wilkinson days of the 1940's. Other major football schools, Alabama, Ohio State, USC, Florida State have great success in fielding a great team almost every year. What is wrong at KU? Why does the university do some research as to why their team is the yearly doormat of the Big 12 Conference?? It always seems to make me wonder how this program can be so flawed and unsuccessful year after year.

Len Shaffer 1 year ago

For years the commitment to football was not there, but things have been changing in the last few years, starting with a huge commitment to updating the facilities (and continuing with a huge upgrade to the stadium coming soon).

I would also argue that it's extremely rare for a school to be consistently great in both football and basketball, and schools tend to be one or the other. OU has been a football school forever, but although they've had some years of success in basketball, they certainly haven't been consistent at it.

I do think that Beaty is the right guy for the job of turning around the KU football program. And certainly one sign of that turnaround is that recruiting has been on a tremendous upswing. it's a long, slow process, but things do seem to finally be moving in the right direction.

Fred Whitehead Jr. 1 year ago

Thanks, Len for your reserved comment about OU basketball!! Actually......there used to be people in Norman that were only vaguely aware that they made balls that did have points on the end! BB has not been much of a barn burner there. I do remember the year some time ago that OU and KU ended up I the national finals, Wayman Tisdale was the big star in the game for OU back then. We don't get too many players of that quality. I wonder whatever happened to him?

Greg Ledom 1 year ago

Wayman passed away May 15, 2009. Was a fantastic BB player. As Kansas fan I always enjoyed watching him play. He had a smile as big as Magic Johnson and a game to go with it. Kansas won the game that mattered in 88 : -) OU had beat us twice that year.

As for football, I can't explain the lack of consistent support. Inconsistency breeds the ups and downs that we see at Kansas. I believe for the first time in a while, we have full support of this program. I also feel we have the right coach. Those two things breeds success (as you know) and I think it's just around the corner. Having said that, you can't compare OU football to KU football, anymore than you could compare OU BB to KU BB. That said, we can be very competitive and succeed. And we will. Kansas is coming. Rock Chalk!!

Dirk Medema 1 year ago

I believe Waymon was earlier than '88. Wasn't he the start of that coach's regime. Billy Tubbs?

The '88 OU team was led by Stacy King, Harvey Grant, Mookie Blaylock, ...

One of the best games ever - not that I'm partial or anything.

Dave Roberts 12 months ago

That '88 NCAA championship game was one for the ages, wasn't it? Tubbs vs Larry Brown, and overall, I have to say that OU seemed to have the best team on paper. The stunning aspect of the actual game was the way the KU team out and played the 1st half. Supposedly against the pre-game directive of Brown, the players were apparently determined to show that they could "run and gun" just as well as OU.

As a result, we were treated to a 100 point 1st half, the score being 50-50 at the break. Tubbs' style, and the composition of his team, was designed to outrun their opponents and it had proved very successful during the 1988 regular season. I think that they may have come into the game with just two losses in the season,

Two great coaches, teams and a memorable final.

Don Everett 1 year ago

Sad that Wayman passed at such a young age.

Brian Wilson 1 year ago

Len is spot on when it comes to this subject. To add the more recent issue, when has Oklahoma ever had just 60 scholarships to handout with only half of the remaining players on the team even worthy of playing. After Mangino was ran out of town what followed was a close to a NCAA death sentence as you could come. You can only hanout a max of 25 each year, with an overall of 85 and It has taken this long for Beatty to get to where he has the schollies to give and nearly filled. Now its time to develop the depth. IMO, Beatty is one track with 3 wins this year.

Fred Whitehead Jr. 1 year ago

Owen Stadium in Norman has been recently upgraded and improved. The new additions and improvements look really great, at least from what I can see. I have not been there for some years.

Such improvements at KU would be great. I have been in that stadium and similar improvements and upgrades would be really great for the fans and the team. I hope they can get this project off the ground and moving. I do like to go to the KU-OU games here.

Marcus Balzer 1 year ago

While not in comparison to KU of recent years OU did have some lean years with John Blake at the helm. Most of the failure KU has had is due to poor coaching and bad decisions that each of those coaches made. Our facilities have been up to par, not great but not bad either for all of those years.

IMO, the reason why we have been so bad is because we have had bad coaches who made poor recruiting decisions that have set us back to the state we have been in.

Fred Whitehead Jr. 1 year ago

Marcus...........didja have to mention.....John Blake??.... Some really bad memories for us Sooner fans!

Bryce Landon 1 year ago

But some really good memories for guys like me who hate OU. :)

Robert Brown 1 year ago

It is not accurate to say that KU has not been committed to strengthening football unless you are talking about pre Mangino days. During and since Mangino, there has been commitment, but execution has been abysmal.

Mangino was replaced with Turner Gill and Gill was paid probably a little above market. I don't recall any comments from him about not having support or resourcesl. If we really did not care about football, we would have not fired him after two years and would have just let the program flounder. We did not do that; we spent a lot of money to buy out his contract and then we spend even more money on the next coach who turned out to be a worse hire than Gill.

There is no need to revisit all of the things that happened under Weis that we are still living with today. None of these items can be related to the university not caring about football. The scholarship issue is poor management. Maybe stronger oversight would have mitigated this, but then you second guess the head coaches decisions which is also not good. So, we are back to overall poor execution.

Dirk Medema 1 year ago

The non-commitment is actually pre-Lew, not that anyone wants to mention him, and definitely not give him any credit.

I seem to recall hearing rumors that some of the downfall of the first wide coach was a riff with some of the staff over a lack of support for the FB team, but I definitely don't know that for a fact. While Dr Z has taken the overall facilities program to another level, we also must realize that we had the "Crushed Dove" AD in between - in some ways similar to TG/CW.

Jim Stauffer 1 year ago

It is amazing to me that Bryce is suggesting 4 wins and saying it is more important in our growth process to win 2 Big 12 games and lose one non-con. I agree with others who suggest we need to beat teams of lesser rating than the Big 12 first on the upward path and then move on to beating some Big 12 teams.

A couple of notes for Mr Whitehead about OU. Yes Wayman was truly a big star at OU, however, he was gone by the time they played KU in the title game. He has since passed away a few years back from health issues related to diabetes. I guess Mr Whitehead is an excellent example of why schools do not excel in a given sport. They simply do not have the interest to sustain it. We believe KU has turned the corner in its support of the FB program. Now we as fans need to support this staff as they rebuild the Phoenix from ashes.

Brian Wilson 1 year ago

Four wins would be more than I expect. IMO, in effect this is Beatty's first legitimate year with a full complement of scholarship players. If KU get three wins out of any of the 12 games we play this year it's a good year. This rebuild is a 6 year process and I will start paying more attention after this next year.

Greg Ledom 1 year ago

We don't have a full compliment of scholarship players yet and may not for two more years. That said, this will no doubt be our strongest group scholarship wise.

Bryce Landon 1 year ago

The reason I feel that way about our growth process is that we have not won more than one Big 12 game in a season since going 4-4 in the 2008 season, Mark Mangino's penultimate season. As long as we post 0- or 1-win Big 12 records, the rest of the conference and the pundits will never take us seriously. A record of no worse than 2-7 would serve notice that, slowly but surely, KU football is finally on the rise. It would also boost Beaty's recruiting efforts.

Brock Wells 1 year ago

There is no way that HCDB and the Jayhawks don't end up succeeding in his tenure.... “We say it at all the time. We talk to our kids daily about every day we need you to wake up and be the best man you can possibly be, from the time you wake up to the time you go to bed,” Beaty said. “And the byproduct of that day will be something you, we, our program can all be proud of — and it will be called production.”

We never heard this kind of talk out of TG, CW, or IMO the man who hurt us the worse Lew Perkins.

4-8 isn't happening... The Culture has officially and completely changed to HCDB personality.... How do you reasonably or objectively or logically measure that? The scholly numbers aren't full yet but barring injuries we have resemblance of depth.... Who the hell am I or anyone else to doubt the goals set for this year by HCDB and the players! They expect to go to a bowl game!.... So, I'm jumping on board with the guys and bowl game or bust this football season! My official (and un-important) ruling is 7-6 record in year 3 for HCDB and crew!

Bryce Landon 1 year ago

7-6 and a bowl game?

Whatever you're smoking, give me some of it.

Brock Wells 1 year ago

Let's it Bryce? Average can only image average. The program is currently in a lot better shape then you think. I choose to be optimistic and believe in the goals stated by HCDB and the Jayhawks.

Seth Nesmith 1 year ago

Brock you said it- Lew Perkins destroyed KU football and the progress it had made. His ego was horrible for KU athletics.

Dirk Medema 1 year ago

Lew did plenty of things wrong, but he far from destroyed the program. He was the first AD that showed the necessarily strong commitment to the program. Most of the facility improvements that allow us to be considered by top recruits were at least initiated, if not built with his guidance.

It's reasonable to feel frustrated by all that's gone on and want to blame it on someone, but it's shortsighted to not recognize the many things Lew did right for the program.

Brock Wells 1 year ago

Completely disagree. He fired Mark and the rest was downhill. He had absolutely nothing to do with the million plus dollar locker rooms which recruits have commented on being pretty awesome.

Micky Baker 1 year ago

It is hard to say how long it will take, but I can say that Beaty's staff is working real hard and some of the players we saw last season from Beaty's first partial recruiting class made an impact. Not all of them, but no doubt Beaty has the right mindset in my opinion. I would say that a realistic goal for getting 6 wins could be 2018, maybe 2019. But if Beaty get's the kind of kids he's getting for 2018 in 2019 and 2020 the league isn't going take Kansas lightly any more.

John Brazelton 1 year ago

KU's problem with football was as soon as a coach (Rogers, Godfried, Mason, and Mangino, an exception) developed a winning record, they took off for greener pastures and KU had to start over with a new coach, who was usually unsuccessful. Sucessful KU coaches didn't like having to play and recruit against Oklahoma, Nebraska, and Texas every year.

Bryce Landon 1 year ago

Let's imagine for a moment that David Beaty turns the program around and makes it a winner. How can we be sure he won't depart for greener pastures and start the vicious cycle over again?

Dave Roberts 12 months ago

Of course, anything is possible with coaches, Bryce. Major successful programs lose coaches too, and they hire some who fail. But there's been a seed change in KU football. It's been evident from the progress that was made in the latter half of the 2016 season.

Now with Meacham as OC along with player talent upgrades all over the field, plus good coaching at every position, KU is simply going to win. It's been a tough road since MM essentially fired himself, and Perkins miscalculation caused us to miss out on Harbaugh. Beaty will stay because we gave him his first chance to be a HC, and he's bought into KU.

Most importantly, Zenger is an excellent AD who's leading us out of the mess we fell into. Ever part of KU's football facilities have been upgraded to top notch, and only the stadium remains - the least important aspect as far as recruiting players is concerned. Now, in September, we'll see the plans for this huge and long needed update. The coaches salaries are on par with what they could expect elsewhere, just look at how quickly Zenger responded to tie Tony Hull down after his early 2017 recruiting coup.

It's reasonable to aim for a bowl game this year. It may be touch and go making it, but I think that we're in a position to at least come close to it.

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