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New KU football OC Chip Lindsey shares thoughts on Pooka Williams, QBs and more

FILE — Auburn quarterback Jarrett Stidham with offensive coordinator Chip Lindsey in the second half of Auburn A-Day NCAA college football game on Saturday, April 8, 2017 in Auburn, Ala. (AP Photo/Todd J. Van Emst)

FILE — Auburn quarterback Jarrett Stidham with offensive coordinator Chip Lindsey in the second half of Auburn A-Day NCAA college football game on Saturday, April 8, 2017 in Auburn, Ala. (AP Photo/Todd J. Van Emst)

After two years as the offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach at Auburn, a historically successful SEC football program that routinely plays in the postseason, Chip Lindsey arrived Tuesday at Kansas, where the Jayhawks haven’t been to a bowl game since 2008 and have won three or fewer games each of the past nine seasons.

So how did Les Miles sell Lindsey on the idea of coming to KU?

A Journal-World request to interview Lindsey has not yet been granted, but the team’s newly hired offensive coordinator answered that question and more during a one-on-one interview with KU director of broadcasting and play-by-play voice of the Jayhawks Brian Hanni.

During conversations with his new boss, Lindsey shared, he learned why Miles is a “great recruiter,” as KU’s head coach laid out his vision for the program, one that involves the Jayhawks competing for “championships” in the future.

“I think he’s the guy to take us to the next level,” Lindsey said, “and just the opportunity to work with him hand in hand, I think, was too attractive and really made it an easy decision for me.”

Of course, now that Lindsey, the former offensive coordinator at Auburn, Arizona State and Southern Miss, is at KU, he will play a significant role in how the Jayhawks’ fare under Miles.

While Lindsey didn’t paint a vivid picture of what his offense will look like in 2019, the first coordinator to sign on with Miles plans to build the Jayhawks’ attack around their playmakers. He said, in the spring, he will get a better sense of who those players are and what they’re capable of bringing to the field.

“We want to create an exciting brand of football,” Lindsey said, “exciting brand of offense, try to create explosive plays and make us an offense that’s fun and exciting to watch — one that recruits want to come play for — and really put our identity in this league and on this university.”

Kansas running back Pooka Williams Jr. (1) tries to escape Iowa State linebacker Reggan Northrup (9) and Iowa State defensive end JaQuan Bailey (3) during the second quarter, Saturday, Nov. 3, 2018 at Memorial Stadium.

Kansas running back Pooka Williams Jr. (1) tries to escape Iowa State linebacker Reggan Northrup (9) and Iowa State defensive end JaQuan Bailey (3) during the second quarter, Saturday, Nov. 3, 2018 at Memorial Stadium. by Nick Krug

Although at this point Lindsey said he only has watched “a little” footage from the Jayhawks’ 3-9 2018 season, he obviously signed on knowing what kind of weapon KU has in running back Pooka Williams, who rushed for 1,125 yards and seven touchdowns in his freshman season.

“I know about Pooka for sure,” Lindsey said of the All-Big 12 back from Louisiana. “Everybody in the country seems to know about him.”

In the days, weeks and months ahead, KU’s OC plans to get acquainted with the rest of the roster and identify the four or five best playmakers so that he can design creative ways to get them the ball.

At this point it is hard to predict who will be KU’s starting quarterback in 2019. Carter Stanley and Miles Kendrick both have eligibility remaining, while 2018 starter Peyton Bender’s college football career is over.

Kansas junior quarterback Carter Stanley throws the ball downfield to a teammate on Saturday, Sept. 29, 2018.

Kansas junior quarterback Carter Stanley throws the ball downfield to a teammate on Saturday, Sept. 29, 2018. by Mike Gunnoe

Given that Lindsey coached current San Francisco 49ers starting QB Nick Mullens at both Spain Park High (Ala.) and Southern Miss, Hanni asked KU’s newest assistant how he would go about getting a “great” QB to Kansas.

“Obviously. quarterbacks are special people, because they’re going to get too much credit, they’re going to get too much blame,” Lindsey began. “They’ve got to be guys that are tough-minded, and those guys that I’ve had in the past, that’s what those guys are. They’re very tough mentally. I think we’re going to create a product here that I think quarterbacks will want to come play in our system, a quarterback-friendly system that I think will be an exciting brand of football to watch. We’re looking forward to finding guys that want to be here at Kansas and do something special.”

On the same day Lindsey said those words, during his first day on the job no less, he extended a scholarship offer to dual-threat QB Robby Ashford, a four-star prospect in the Class of 2020 from Hoover, Ala. — where Lindsey was the head coach in 2007.

None by Robby Ashford

The past two years at Auburn, Lindsey coached Jarrett Stidham, who was a four-star dual-threat QB in his high school days. Lindsey said he likely will be on the lookout for mobile quarterbacks he can recruit to KU.

“I think, the way the game’s played today, the defenses are so good, so talented, you’ve got to have a guy that can escape, you know, and make plays in and out of the pocket. I think that’s important,” Lindsey said. “But the number one thing for me is, we want guys that are tough, that are smart, that are intelligent, accurate throwers and, obviously, be able to bring something with their feet, as well.”

Reply 11 comments from Jim Stauffer Dirk Medema Jim Keen Daddioku Michael Maris Jayhawkninja Doyle Coons Spk15 Dannyboy4hawks David Robinett

Les Miles left Louisiana, but his name remains influential in ‘The Boot’

Newly-hired Kansas head football coach Les Miles shares the story of how he met his wife between radio broadcasters David Lawrence, left, and Brian Hanni, back right, during the "Hawk Talk" radio show on Sunday, Nov. 18, 2018, at Johnny's West in Lawrence.

Newly-hired Kansas head football coach Les Miles shares the story of how he met his wife between radio broadcasters David Lawrence, left, and Brian Hanni, back right, during the "Hawk Talk" radio show on Sunday, Nov. 18, 2018, at Johnny's West in Lawrence. by Nick Krug

The Les Miles brand grew to the height of its powers in Louisiana.

It’s where Miles coached the football team at the state’s flagship university, LSU, from 2005 to 2016. And it’s a place that he continued to call home for the past two years, during his hiatus from the sidelines.

His accomplishments there — see: Miles’ 114-34 record in 11-plus seasons at LSU, including two SEC titles and a 2007 national championship — are what made his arrival at Kansas this week so buzzworthy on the national college football landscape.

The hope among the suddenly energized KU football fan base is that the coach’s ties to the state affectionally referred to as “The Boot” will reinforce a recruiting pipeline from Louisiana that the program already has in place.

The Jayhawks’ current roster includes nine players from Louisiana: freshman running back Pooka Williams Jr., junior receiver Daylon Charlot, freshman cornerback Corione Harris, junior safety Mike Lee, redshirt freshman receiver Takulve Williams, sophomore safety Ricky Thomas, freshman running back Ryan Malbrough, redshirt sophomore offensive lineman Malik Clark and junior long snapper Logan Klusman.

Most of them relocated to Lawrence because of the connection they felt with KU’s third-year running backs coach, Tony Hull, a New Orleans native with immeasurable recruiting connections down south, in The Pelican State.

Since signing his five-year contract with KU, Miles has appeared open to the idea of retaining members of David Beaty’s current staff.

“When I took the job at both Oklahoma State and at LSU, I kept guys because I wanted to work with them and I wanted to see what their conversation would be about their room, the guys that they coached,” Miles said at his introductory press conference. “I wanted to see how the recruiting end was going.”

Miles plans to sit down and “interview” every current assistant, presumably early next week, after KU finishes its season.

Although Miles told the Journal-World he never directly crossed paths with Hull while at LSU, he definitely heard about the head coach at New Orleans’ Warren Easton High, where Hull’s reputation blossomed.

“I know Tony Hull — not necessarily so much him, but I know guys that know him and I did research on him,” Miles told the Journal-World. “He’s a very quality person.”

Hull, also currently KU’s associate head coach, was the lead recruiter for three of the team’s most heralded signings from the past few years: Williams, Harris and Lee.

According to Miles, he didn’t have any prior relationship with those talented Louisiana prospects when he was at LSU.

“No, I think that they got recruited when I was disposed,” Miles said. “But I can tell you that I watched those guys and they're quality men, and the corner, Corione? Yeah, he's, in my opinion, he's going to grow up to be a really good player.”

FILE — Former LSU head coach Les Miles, center, is mobbed by LSU football alumni of the 2007-8 BCS National Championship team during a halftime ceremony in an NCAA college football game against Auburn in Baton Rouge, La., Saturday, Oct. 14, 2017. Miles became the incoming head coach at the University of Kansas on Nov. 18, 2018. (AP Photo/Matthew Hinton)

FILE — Former LSU head coach Les Miles, center, is mobbed by LSU football alumni of the 2007-8 BCS National Championship team during a halftime ceremony in an NCAA college football game against Auburn in Baton Rouge, La., Saturday, Oct. 14, 2017. Miles became the incoming head coach at the University of Kansas on Nov. 18, 2018. (AP Photo/Matthew Hinton)

During the past several months, Miles repeatedly was spotted at high school games in Louisiana.

And Lee, who remains in touch with those he knows back in his home state, thinks KU’s coaching move created some excitement there, as well.

“Coach Miles, he’s caught a lot of Louisiana guys’ attention. And most of them are going to either commit here or they’ll be thinking about committing here just because Coach Les Miles got the head coaching job,” Lee said, speaking generally on the new KU coach’s name recognition in “The Boot.”

Reply 11 comments from Dirk Medema Jhawki78 Brett McCabe Buck Bukaty Spk15 Karen Mansfield-Stewart

KU players try not to tip their hands when asked about Les Miles buzz

Kansas safety Mike Lee celebrated with fans after the win against TCU.

Kansas safety Mike Lee celebrated with fans after the win against TCU. by Mike Gunnoe

Norman, Okla. — It’s rare to find Kansas safety Mike Lee in a bad mood.

The junior from New Orleans loves to talk, and that makes him all the more affable in a postgame interview setting. Unless you’ve just asked Lee about a specific mistake he made on the field he’ll respond to most inquires with an honest answer and a smile.

Even though the Jayhawks lost at No. 6 Oklahoma, 55-40, Saturday night at Gaylord Family-Oklahoma Memorial Stadium, Lee’s mood perked in the interview area near KU’s locker room because he got to spend a chunk of it discussing the exploits of fellow Louisianan Pooka Williams.

“That guy is tough. I ain’t even gonna lie to you,” Lee said after Williams, KU’s true freshman running back, rushed for 252 yards and two touchdowns, averaged 16.8 yards per carry and even threw a TD pass to Jeremiah Booker.

Naturally, I thought Lee might have an opinion on another prominent man with Louisiana ties. So I asked him what he thought of the growing speculation that Les Miles will become KU’s next head coach.

“I don’t know,” a grinning Lee replied. “I ain’t worried about it. If he come, he come. If he not, he not.”

With contract negotiations between KU and the former LSU head coach reportedly in the final stages as of Friday, speculation only increased Saturday, with the help of Miles’ pal, Tim Brando, who was on the call for FOX’s OU-KU broadcast.

Nothing is official. But it sure seems as if Miles could soon be in charge of KU football. Is that good news?

“We’ll see,” Lee responded, this time laughing.

As much as he wanted to play it off, and surely had been instructed not to talk about the Miles-to-KU smoke, Lee’s face beamed during his answers. Read into his body language what you will.

As for Joe Dineen, KU’s redshirt senior hometown linebacker, who grew up watching winning football in Memorial Stadium, when Mark Mangino ran the program? Even though Dineen won’t ever play for the Jayhawks’ next head coach, you know how this all plays out really means something to him.

What does Dineen make of the Miles rumors and reports?

He all but physically bit his lip.

“Not… Not discussing that right now,” Dineen said, fighting back a smile. “Yeah, refraining from discussing that right now.”

Senior quarterback Peyton Bender took a similar stance when I asked what he thought about all the Miles chatter.

“I’m not really concerned about that right now. Just focused on next week versus Texas and finishing out this season strong,” Bender said in his typically serious interview tone.

I told him it was a well rehearsed answer. The laid back QB flashed a Mike Lee-level grin.

The Jayhawks are doing their best to tune out all the Les Miles buzz. But they’re only human. They know about it. And because they care about the KU football program they’re excited about it, too. Even if they’re not supposed to say so. Yet.

Reply 12 comments from Inteldesign Dale Rogers Doug Roberts Robert  Brock John Brown Jim Stauffer Joe Ross

And the winner is … KU football fans select Dave Doeren over Les Miles

FILE - In this Oct. 6, 2018, file photo, North Carolina State head coach Dave Doeren reacts during the second half an NCAA college football game against Boston College, in Raleigh, N.C. The Wolfpack are coming off consecutive losses to Clemson and Syracuse entering Saturday's game against Florida State. (AP Photo/Gerry Broome, File)

FILE - In this Oct. 6, 2018, file photo, North Carolina State head coach Dave Doeren reacts during the second half an NCAA college football game against Boston College, in Raleigh, N.C. The Wolfpack are coming off consecutive losses to Clemson and Syracuse entering Saturday's game against Florida State. (AP Photo/Gerry Broome, File)

The results are in, voting has closed and the Kansas football fan base has made its choice for the program’s next head coach.

On the final day of voting in our KU Football Coaching Search Bracket, in what may be considered a mild upset by some who have been following along, North Carolina State head coach Dave Doeren defeated former LSU and Oklahoma State head coach Les Miles by the slimmest of margins — 51% to 49%.

Perhaps Miles’ backers within the KU fan base were too busy wondering about flights from Lawrence to Baton Rouge, La., that never materialized to remember to vote in the finals. Or maybe the bulk of our readers just plain prefer Doeren, a former KU assistant (2002-05) who grew up outside of Kansas City.

Either way, KU’s athletic director, Jeff Long, would be fortunate to be able to hire Doeren away from N.C. State — though doing so in reality would include a hefty $6 million buyout.

Currently in his sixth season with the Wolfpack and eighth as a head coach, Doeren, 46, led N.C. State to just its sixth 9-win season in school history in 2017, capping the year with a Sun Bowl victory over Arizona State.

Doeren is 63-37 as a head coach with a 40-33 mark since moving to N.C. State from Northern Illinois. His final team at Northern Illinois was 12-1 and received an Orange Bowl bid before Doeren moved on to the ACC.

Coaching Record Table
Year School G W L T Pct AP Pre AP High AP Post
2011Northern Illinois141130.786
2012Northern Illinois131210.9231622
2013North Carolina State12390.250
2014North Carolina State13850.615
2015North Carolina State13760.538
2016North Carolina State13760.538
2017North Carolina State13940.6921423
2018North Carolina State9630.66716
8 YrsOverall10063370.630
2 YrsNorthern Illinois272340.852
6 YrsNorth Carolina State7340330.548
Provided by CFB at Sports Reference: View Original Table
Generated 11/11/2018.

Eliminated in finals:

Les Miles - Former LSU and Oklahoma State head coach

Eliminated in semifinals:

Jeff Monken - Army head coach

Seth Littrell - North Texas head coach

Eliminated in Round 3:

Chris Klieman - North Dakota State head coach

Willie Fritz - Tulane head coach

Bryan Harsin - Boise State head coach

Jason Candle - Toledo head coach

Eliminated in Round 2:

Greg Schiano - Ohio State defensive coordinator

Neal Brown - Troy head coach

Jim McElwain - Former Florida and Colorado State head coach

Major Applewhite - Houston head coach

Scott Satterfield - Appalachian State head coach

Matt Wells - Utah State head coach

Troy Calhoun - Air Force head coach

Jim Leavitt - Oregon defensive coordinator

Eliminated in Round 1:

Mike Locksley - Alabama offensive coordinator

Lance Leipold - Buffalo head coach

Bret Bielema - Former Arkansas and Wisconsin head coach

Mike Norvell - Memphis head coach

Butch Jones - Former Tennessee and Cincinnati head coach

Mike MacIntyre - Colorado head coach

Todd Graham - Former Arizona State and Pitt head coach

Ed Warinner - Ohio State O-line coach

Tim Beck - Texas offensive coordinator

Ken Niumatalolo - Navy head coach

Jeff Tedford - Fresno State head coach

Chris Creighton - Eastern Michigan head coach

Frank Wilson - UT-San Antonio head coach

Brian Bohannon - Kennesaw State head coach

Craig Bohl - Wyoming head coach

— Review how the bracket played out: 2018 KU Football Coaching Search Bracket

Reply 5 comments from Robert  Brock Layne Pierce Karen Mansfield-Stewart Michael Maris Jeff Coffman

Make your choice: Les Miles and Dave Doeren reach coaching search bracket finals

It all comes down to this.

After dominating their competition in each of the first four rounds, former LSU and Oklahoma State coach Les Miles and North Carolina State coach Dave Doeren are the only two candidates remaining in our fan-driven KU Football Coaching Search Bracket.

The athletic director at the University of Kansas, Jeff Long would consider himself fortunate if his finalists turn out to be as good as these two.

And, realistically, Long would find himself in a pretty enviable spot if he had a shot at hiring either of the other two coaches who cracked the bracket’s Final 4.

Eliminated in semifinals:

Jeff Monken - Army head coach

Seth Littrell - North Texas head coach

But now that the pool has been whittled down to the two football coaches who most intrigue the KU football fan base it’s time for you to get this fictionalized contract with your favorite candidate finalized.

Fans have all day Tuesday to vote for the champion, so to speak.

— Les Miles - Former LSU and Oklahoma State head coach vs. Dave Doeren - N.C. State head coach —

LES MILES

FILE — Former LSU head coach Les Miles watches during the first half of an NCAA college football game against Wisconsin Saturday, Sept. 3, 2016, in Green Bay, Wis. (AP Photo/Morry Gash)

FILE — Former LSU head coach Les Miles watches during the first half of an NCAA college football game against Wisconsin Saturday, Sept. 3, 2016, in Green Bay, Wis. (AP Photo/Morry Gash)

Miles won 114 games and lost 34 over the course of 11-plus seasons with LSU. He was voted Coach of the Year by the AP in 2011, following his second SEC championship and a 13-0 start to the season. Miles’ Tigers won the national championship in 2007.

His name continues to be the most popular reportedly tied to Long’s search, which is officially in its second week.

Coaching Record Table
Year School G W L T Pct AP Pre AP High AP Post
2001Oklahoma State11470.364
2002Oklahoma State13850.615
2003Oklahoma State13940.6922414
2004Oklahoma State12750.58316
2005LSU131120.846536
2006LSU131120.846833
2007LSU141220.857211
2008LSU13850.61573
2009LSU13940.69211417
2010LSU131120.8462158
2011LSU141310.929412
2012LSU131030.7693214
2013LSU131030.76912614
2014LSU13850.615138
2015LSU12930.75014416
2016LSU4220.5005513
16 YrsOverall197142550.721
4 YrsOklahoma State4928210.571
12 YrsLSU148114340.770
Provided by CFB at Sports Reference: View Original Table
Generated 11/11/2018.

DAVE DOEREN

FILE - In this Oct. 6, 2018, file photo, North Carolina State head coach Dave Doeren reacts during the second half an NCAA college football game against Boston College, in Raleigh, N.C. The Wolfpack are coming off consecutive losses to Clemson and Syracuse entering Saturday's game against Florida State. (AP Photo/Gerry Broome, File)

FILE - In this Oct. 6, 2018, file photo, North Carolina State head coach Dave Doeren reacts during the second half an NCAA college football game against Boston College, in Raleigh, N.C. The Wolfpack are coming off consecutive losses to Clemson and Syracuse entering Saturday's game against Florida State. (AP Photo/Gerry Broome, File)

Now in his eighth overall season as a head coach, Doeren has won 63 of 100 games and guided his teams to five bowl appearances — with another one on the way this year.

North Carolina State has won the St. Petersburg Bowl, Independence Bowl and Sun Bowl under Doeren's watch.

Unlike Miles, of course, Doeren is an active head coach, currently preparing his Wolfpack (6-3, 3-3) for a Saturday matchup with floundering Louisville.

Whether Long considers Doeren a candidate or would seek him out to fill KU’s vacancy is unknown at this time.

Coaching Record Table
Year School G W L T Pct AP Pre AP High AP Post
2011Northern Illinois141130.786
2012Northern Illinois131210.9231622
2013North Carolina State12390.250
2014North Carolina State13850.615
2015North Carolina State13760.538
2016North Carolina State13760.538
2017North Carolina State13940.6921423
2018North Carolina State9630.66716
8 YrsOverall10063370.630
2 YrsNorthern Illinois272340.852
6 YrsNorth Carolina State7340330.548
Provided by CFB at Sports Reference: View Original Table
Generated 11/11/2018.

— Now’s your chance. Pick KU football’s next head coach at our bracket: 2018 KU Football Coaching Search Bracket

Reply 13 comments from Len Shaffer Robert  Brock Dirk Medema Forever2008 Kall3742 Texashawk10_2 Seth Nesmith Hosshawk Jim Stauffer Dane Pratt

Just 4 candidates remaining in KU football coaching search bracket

The search for the Kansas football program’s next head coach is nearly complete — at least as far as our online bracket is concerned.

Each of the top four seeds in the 32-candidate field survived the first three rounds of fan voting at KUsports.com, leading to a chalk semifinal round.

Les Miles. Jeff Monken. Dave Doeren. Seth Littrell. Only two of them can move on.

The other two will have to take the same exit route as some very experienced, talented coaches who already have been removed from contention.

Eliminated in Round 3:

Chris Klieman - North Dakota State head coach

Willie Fritz - Tulane head coach

Bryan Harsin - Boise State head coach

Jason Candle - Toledo head coach

It’s safe to assume most KU football fans would actually be pleased if any of those four coaches knocked out in the quarterfinals actually ended up in charge. But in this head-to-head endeavor, even candidates Athletic Director Jeff Long still may be considering are out of the mix.

We’ve reached the Final 4 in our KU Football Coaching Search Bracket, and you, the program’s fans, get to decide which contenders are worthy of the championship round.

Here are our two semifinal matchups. Make your selections throughout Monday. Voting for the title round, which determines the people’s coaching choice, will follow on Tuesday.

— Les Miles - Former LSU and Oklahoma State head coach vs. Jeff Monken - Army head coach —

LES MILES

FILE — Former LSU head coach Les Miles watches during the first half of an NCAA college football game against Wisconsin Saturday, Sept. 3, 2016, in Green Bay, Wis. (AP Photo/Morry Gash)

FILE — Former LSU head coach Les Miles watches during the first half of an NCAA college football game against Wisconsin Saturday, Sept. 3, 2016, in Green Bay, Wis. (AP Photo/Morry Gash)

Coaching Record Table
Year School G W L T Pct AP Pre AP High AP Post
2001Oklahoma State11470.364
2002Oklahoma State13850.615
2003Oklahoma State13940.6922414
2004Oklahoma State12750.58316
2005LSU131120.846536
2006LSU131120.846833
2007LSU141220.857211
2008LSU13850.61573
2009LSU13940.69211417
2010LSU131120.8462158
2011LSU141310.929412
2012LSU131030.7693214
2013LSU131030.76912614
2014LSU13850.615138
2015LSU12930.75014416
2016LSU4220.5005513
16 YrsOverall197142550.721
4 YrsOklahoma State4928210.571
12 YrsLSU148114340.770
Provided by CFB at Sports Reference: View Original Table
Generated 11/11/2018.

JEFF MONKEN

Army head coach Jeff Monken yells to officials during the second half of an NCAA college football game against Tulane on Saturday, Nov. 14, 2015, in West Point, N.Y. (AP Photo/Mike Groll)

Army head coach Jeff Monken yells to officials during the second half of an NCAA college football game against Tulane on Saturday, Nov. 14, 2015, in West Point, N.Y. (AP Photo/Mike Groll)

Coaching Record Table
Year School G W L T Pct AP Pre AP High AP Post
2014Army12480.333
2015Army122100.167
2016Army13850.615
2017Army131030.769
2018Army10820.800
5 YrsArmy6032280.533
Provided by CFB at Sports Reference: View Original Table
Generated 11/11/2018.

— Dave Doeren - North Carolina State head coach vs. Seth Littrell - North Texas head coach —

DAVE DOEREN

FILE - In this Oct. 6, 2018, file photo, North Carolina State head coach Dave Doeren reacts during the second half an NCAA college football game against Boston College, in Raleigh, N.C. The Wolfpack are coming off consecutive losses to Clemson and Syracuse entering Saturday's game against Florida State. (AP Photo/Gerry Broome, File)

FILE - In this Oct. 6, 2018, file photo, North Carolina State head coach Dave Doeren reacts during the second half an NCAA college football game against Boston College, in Raleigh, N.C. The Wolfpack are coming off consecutive losses to Clemson and Syracuse entering Saturday's game against Florida State. (AP Photo/Gerry Broome, File)

Coaching Record Table
Year School G W L T Pct AP Pre AP High AP Post
2011Northern Illinois141130.786
2012Northern Illinois131210.9231622
2013North Carolina State12390.250
2014North Carolina State13850.615
2015North Carolina State13760.538
2016North Carolina State13760.538
2017North Carolina State13940.6921423
2018North Carolina State9630.66716
8 YrsOverall10063370.630
2 YrsNorthern Illinois272340.852
6 YrsNorth Carolina State7340330.548
Provided by CFB at Sports Reference: View Original Table
Generated 11/11/2018.

SETH LITTRELL

North Texas head coach Seth Littrell, center, watches from the sideline during the second half of an NCAA college football game against Iowa, Saturday, Sept. 16, 2017, in Iowa City, Iowa. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)

North Texas head coach Seth Littrell, center, watches from the sideline during the second half of an NCAA college football game against Iowa, Saturday, Sept. 16, 2017, in Iowa City, Iowa. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)

Coaching Record Table
Year School G W L T Pct AP Pre AP High AP Post
2016North Texas13580.385
2017North Texas14950.643
2018North Texas10730.700
3 YrsNorth Texas3721160.568
Provided by CFB at Sports Reference: View Original Table
Generated 11/11/2018.

— Now’s your chance. Pick KU football’s next head coach at our bracket: 2018 KU Football Coaching Search Bracket

Eliminated in Round 2:

Greg Schiano - Ohio State defensive coordinator

Neal Brown - Troy head coach

Jim McElwain - Former Florida and Colorado State head coach

Major Applewhite - Houston head coach

Scott Satterfield - Appalachian State head coach

Matt Wells - Utah State head coach

Troy Calhoun - Air Force head coach

Jim Leavitt - Oregon defensive coordinator

Eliminated in Round 1:

Mike Locksley - Alabama offensive coordinator

Lance Leipold - Buffalo head coach

Bret Bielema - Former Arkansas and Wisconsin head coach

Mike Norvell - Memphis head coach

Butch Jones - Former Tennessee and Cincinnati head coach

Mike MacIntyre - Colorado head coach

Todd Graham - Former Arizona State and Pitt head coach

Ed Warinner - Ohio State O-line coach

Tim Beck - Texas offensive coordinator

Ken Niumatalolo - Navy head coach

Jeff Tedford - Fresno State head coach

Chris Creighton - Eastern Michigan head coach

Frank Wilson - UT-San Antonio head coach

Brian Bohannon - Kennesaw State head coach

Craig Bohl - Wyoming head coach

Dan Enos - Alabama quarterbacks coach and associate head coach

Reply 5 comments from Layne Pierce Jeff Coffman Andy Godwin Dane Pratt

Survey says: KU football fans prefer Les Miles, identify him as most likely hire

Kansas athletic director Jeff Long watches from the sidelines in the fourth quarter of the Jayhawks' 21-17 loss to the Wildcats on Saturday, Nov. 10, 2018 at Bill Snyder Family Stadium in Manhattan, Kan.

Kansas athletic director Jeff Long watches from the sidelines in the fourth quarter of the Jayhawks' 21-17 loss to the Wildcats on Saturday, Nov. 10, 2018 at Bill Snyder Family Stadium in Manhattan, Kan. by Nick Krug

When Jeff Long spoke publicly for the first time about his decision to find a new head football coach for the University of Kansas, the athletic director could only provide some general goals he had in mind for the hire.

“We are going to find a proven leader, a tenacious recruiter and a developer of young men on and off the field,” Long assured a downtrodden fan base. “As I have routinely said, we will break the cycle. My expectation is that the football program should be a bowl-bound program on a regular basis. I believe with the players currently in our program and the recruits who will commit in the coming months, we will be close to annual bowl berths and longterm competitiveness in the Big 12.”

Just whom Long ultimately will hire and whether that coach achieves all of the aforementioned criteria for success remains to be seen.

As his search continues, though, we now have a better sense of what type of expectations KU football followers have for the program’s 39th head coach.

This past week, more than 1,500 readers who visited KUsports.com and self-identified as KU football fans were selected at random to answer survey questions about the coaching search.

Here are the six inquiries posed, and the answers provided.

No. 1: KU is seeking a new football coach. Following is a list of coaches frequently mentioned as candidates for the job. Which coach do you most prefer?

None

A week into KU’s coaching search, 51.1% of fans would be more partial to Long hiring former LSU and Oklahoma State coach Les Miles, the man most often tied with the opening thus far.

North Carolina State coach Dave Doeren, a former KU assistant (2002-05) who grew up outside of Kansas City, was the only other potential candidate with significant fan backing, at 25.1%.

No. 2: Setting aside your personal preferences, which of the following coaches do you think has the highest probability of becoming the next KU coach?

None

An even greater percentage of fans (59.1%) thought Miles will end up being the coach Long actually hires.

And the runner up wasn’t even close. North Texas head coach Seth Littrell garnered 11.4% of the votes.

No. 3: Some of the coaches listed as candidates for the KU job run the triple-option offense. What's your reaction to the possibility of KU running the triple option offense?

None

If KU were to take the zig while everyone else is zagging approach and bring in a head coach, such as Army’s Jeff Monken or Tulane’s Willie Fritz, with a background in the run-heavy triple option attack, it seems most fans would be all right with that — as long as it proved effective.

Although only 13% of those surveyed specifically wanted that drastic stylistic switch, almost half of the respondents (48.8%) said a triple-option scheme wouldn’t bother them if it worked for the Jayhawks and produced victories.

However, 17.1% of fans think the triple option won’t work in the Big 12.

No. 4: Given the KU football program's recent struggles, what is a realistic record to expect of a new coaching staff in 2019?

None

Unless this year’s Jayhawks find a way to upset either Oklahoma or Texas in the next two weeks, the program will finish the season with three or fewer wins for the ninth consecutive season.

However, with a regime change imminent, most KU football fans anticipate 2019 being the first year with four or more wins since Mark Mangino left.

A 4-8 season was the most popular projected record choice, receiving 43% of the votes. Some fans are looking for even better — 13% expect a 5-7 campaign and 4.8% think at least 6 wins and bowl eligibility is a realistic goal.

No. 5: KU Athletic Director Jeff Long said he expects KU football to be bowl-bound on a regular basis. When should the new coach be expected to return KU to a bowl game?

None

Even so, it looks like most of the KU football fan base isn’t about to demand instant success for the Jayhawks’ next head coach.

Only 3.9% of fans surveyed expect the new coach to lead Kansas to the postseason in his first year on the job.

In fact, the 2021 season received the most votes (43%) for the year the yet-to-be-hired coach should deliver a bowl bid. Another 39.1% of fans would like to see the Jayhawks in the postseason by 2020.

No. 6: Kansas has the lowest paid head coach in the Big 12 at $1.7 million per year. What annual salary range do you expect KU to pay its next football coach?

None

Whomever Long lands, KU fans expect the first-year AD will have enough financial support from donors in place to pay the football coach significantly more than the $1.7 million base salary David Beaty’s contract called for this year.

Among the respondents, 42.6% think KU should pay the football coach in a range that could be double Beaty’s salary, somewhere between $3 million and $3.9 million annually.

Another 30.9% called for a less expensive number, between $2 million and $2.9 million.

— Now’s your chance. Pick KU football’s next head coach at our bracket: 2018 KU Football Coaching Search Bracket

Reply 18 comments from Dane Pratt Hawkfan9675 RXDOC Dirk Medema Curtis Hedrick Brjam Robert  Brock Chicagohawkmatt Carsonc30 Jim Stauffer and 2 others

Louisville football latest Power Five program to join KU in coaching search

FILE — Louisville head coach Bobby Petrino during the first half of an NCAA college football game against Boston College in Boston, Saturday, Oct. 13, 2018. Louisville fired Petrino on Sunday, Nov. 11, 2018. (AP Photo/Michael Dwyer)

FILE — Louisville head coach Bobby Petrino during the first half of an NCAA college football game against Boston College in Boston, Saturday, Oct. 13, 2018. Louisville fired Petrino on Sunday, Nov. 11, 2018. (AP Photo/Michael Dwyer)

A week after University of Kansas Athletic director Jeff Long officially began looking for David Beaty’s replacement, another potential competitor has entered the coaching search fray.

News broke Sunday morning that Louisville’s administration decided to fire football coach Bobby Petrino, effective immediately.

So any coach looking to move on from his current job or upgrade to a Power Five conference now has three programs to ponder.

Even before Long decided to fire Beaty, the football job at Maryland opened up, following a tumultuous year for former head coach D.J. Durkin. Now that Louisville is actively looking to make a hiring splash, too, it’s possible Long’s pool of candidates could overlap with those of athletic directors in both the Big Ten and ACC.

Louisville’s struggles this season — the Cardinals (2-8 overall, 0-7 ACC) have only defeated Indiana State and Western Kentucky — led to Petrino’s demise. However, the program overall has remained quite successful this past decade, even as it transitioned from the Big East to the American to the ACC.

This will mark the Cardinals’ first losing season since 2009, ending U of L’s streak of eight consecutive bowl appearances under, first, Charlie Strong and, then, Petrino.

In fact, the only significant lull for Louisville football in the past 20 years came and went relatively quickly, with three losing seasons under Steve Kragthorpe from 2007-09. Louisville has played in 17 bowl games since 1998, including the Orange Bowl, Sugar Bowl and Citrus Bowl.

So if you were a football coach fielding interest from Louisville Athletic Director Vince Tyra and KU’s Long, which program would look more attractive?

The Jayhawks (3-7, 1-6 Big 12) might be slightly better this season than the Cardinals, but KU football hasn’t won more than three games in a season since a former administration forced out head coach Mark Mangino following the 2009 season.

Then, there’s Maryland. Despite the public perception hit that the program took the past several months with reports of bullying and abuse under Durkin’s watch, it remains a viable landing spot for respected coaches. Maryland (5-5, 3-4 Big Ten) may reach a bowl this season. It would be the Terrapins’ fifth postseason appearance since the start of the 2010 season, a stretch during which the program is 47-63.

KU is now 18-88 in the post-Mangino era. Louisville, in that same span, is 73-41.

Long is running a confidential search, so it’s tough to decipher who is really on his short list and who isn’t. Still, it’s possible these job openings — and any that follow at other Power Five schools before he makes his hire — could limit Long’s options.

The other aspect of Petrino’s firing that’s at least worth mentioning, even if it doesn’t end up substantive, is that Long used to work with the now-available coach. When Long was at Arkansas, he hired Petrino, and the football coach led the Razorbacks to a 34-17 record from 2008-11, as Arkansas played in the Liberty Bowl, Sugar Bowl and Cotton Bowl.

Long had to fire Petrino in 2012, though, after the coach’s motorcycle accident eventually revealed Petrino had hired his mistress to work for the program.

Although Petrino, 57, owns a 119-56 career coaching record between his two stints at Louisville (2003-06 and 2014-18), a one-year run at Western Kentucky and four years with Arkansas, it’s extremely improbable Long would consider a reunion at KU.

When Long announced Petrino’s firing in 2012, he said, "In short, Coach Petrino engaged in a pattern of misleading and manipulative behavior designed to deceive me and members of the athletic staff, both before and after the motorcycle accident."

The entire debacle at least played a part in Arkansas moving on from Long as its AD in November of 2017. He would have zero motivation to reconcile that ugly divorce.

Reply 24 comments from Jeff Coffman Forever2008 Robert  Brock Jim Stauffer Len Shaffer Rockchalk1990 Layne Pierce Dane Pratt Daddioku Spk15 and 4 others

And then there were 8: See who’s still alive in KU football coaching search bracket

How close we are to reaching the finish line in Jeff Long’s search to find the Kansas football team’s next head coach remains to be seen.

But here at KUsports.com, our tournament-themed quest to land on the best possible candidate is humming right along.

Some coaches with serious promise and/or experience didn’t survive the second-round voting.

Eliminated in Round 2:

Greg Schiano - Ohio State defensive coordinator

Neal Brown - Troy head coach

Jim McElwain - Former Florida and Colorado State head coach

Major Applewhite - Houston head coach

Scott Satterfield - Appalachian State head coach

Matt Wells - Utah State head coach

Troy Calhoun - Air Force head coach

Jim Leavitt - Oregon defensive coordinator

It’s now Day 3 of our KU Football Coaching Search Bracket, and you, the program’s fans, have trimmed the list of candidates down to eight. The tightest Round 2 matchup was between Tulane’s Willie Fritz and Houston’s Major Applewhite, with the veteran Fritz edging the young Applewhite, 51% to 49%.

Thus far, the top seeds from each region, Les Miles, Jeff Monken, Dave Doeren and Seth Littrell, remain in the mix as we’ve reached the regional final round of our interactive hunt for the Jayhawks’ next coach.

Here’s the rundown of our Round 3 matchups. Make your selections Friday, and Final Four voting will begin on Monday.

RIGGINS REGION

FILE — Former LSU head coach Les Miles watches during the first half of an NCAA college football game against Wisconsin Saturday, Sept. 3, 2016, in Green Bay, Wis. (AP Photo/Morry Gash)

FILE — Former LSU head coach Les Miles watches during the first half of an NCAA college football game against Wisconsin Saturday, Sept. 3, 2016, in Green Bay, Wis. (AP Photo/Morry Gash)

• Les Miles - Former LSU and Oklahoma State head coach vs. Chris Klieman - North Dakota State head coach

HADL REGION

Army head coach Jeff Monken yells to officials during the second half of an NCAA college football game against Tulane on Saturday, Nov. 14, 2015, in West Point, N.Y. (AP Photo/Mike Groll)

Army head coach Jeff Monken yells to officials during the second half of an NCAA college football game against Tulane on Saturday, Nov. 14, 2015, in West Point, N.Y. (AP Photo/Mike Groll)

• Jeff Monken - Army head coach vs. Willie Fritz - Tulane head coach

SAYERS REGION

FILE - In this Oct. 6, 2018, file photo, North Carolina State head coach Dave Doeren reacts during the second half an NCAA college football game against Boston College, in Raleigh, N.C. The Wolfpack are coming off consecutive losses to Clemson and Syracuse entering Saturday's game against Florida State. (AP Photo/Gerry Broome, File)

FILE - In this Oct. 6, 2018, file photo, North Carolina State head coach Dave Doeren reacts during the second half an NCAA college football game against Boston College, in Raleigh, N.C. The Wolfpack are coming off consecutive losses to Clemson and Syracuse entering Saturday's game against Florida State. (AP Photo/Gerry Broome, File)

• Dave Doeren - North Carolina State head coach vs. Bryan Harsin - Boise State head coach

REESING REGION

North Texas head coach Seth Littrell, center, watches from the sideline during the second half of an NCAA college football game against Iowa, Saturday, Sept. 16, 2017, in Iowa City, Iowa. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)

North Texas head coach Seth Littrell, center, watches from the sideline during the second half of an NCAA college football game against Iowa, Saturday, Sept. 16, 2017, in Iowa City, Iowa. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)

• Seth Littrell - North Texas head coach vs. Jason Candle - Toledo head coach

— Now’s your chance. Pick KU football’s next head coach at our bracket: 2018 KU Football Coaching Search Bracket

Eliminated in Round 1:

Mike Locksley - Alabama offensive coordinator

Lance Leipold - Buffalo head coach

Bret Bielema - Former Arkansas and Wisconsin head coach

Mike Norvell - Memphis head coach

Butch Jones - Former Tennessee and Cincinnati head coach

Mike MacIntyre - Colorado head coach

Todd Graham - Former Arizona State and Pitt head coach

Ed Warinner - Ohio State O-line coach

Tim Beck - Texas offensive coordinator

Ken Niumatalolo - Navy head coach

Jeff Tedford - Fresno State head coach

Chris Creighton - Eastern Michigan head coach

Frank Wilson - UT-San Antonio head coach

Brian Bohannon - Kennesaw State head coach

Craig Bohl - Wyoming head coach

Dan Enos - Alabama quarterbacks coach and associate head coach

Reply 5 comments from Layne Pierce Micky Baker Gerry Butler Jeff Coffman Robert  Brock

Hiring an ol’ ball coach with years (and years) of experience seems best move for KU

FILE - LSU head coach Les Miles ponders a reporter's question's following an NCAA college football game against Mississippi in Oxford, Miss., Saturday, Nov. 21, 2015. Mississippi won 38-17. (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis)

FILE - LSU head coach Les Miles ponders a reporter's question's following an NCAA college football game against Mississippi in Oxford, Miss., Saturday, Nov. 21, 2015. Mississippi won 38-17. (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis)

Whether the next head football coach at the University of Kansas turns out to be Les Miles or someone else, the man charged with turning around the Big 12’s worst program seems more likely to be long in the tooth than one of college football’s up-and-comers.

Ideally, athletic director Jeff Long wants KU football’s next leader to arrive in Lawrence well-versed in all that goes into running a college program.

Theoretically, the coaches who have been around the game the longest would be most equipped to deal with whatever unforeseen challenges pop up at KU.

How exactly would KU’s AD view a candidate’s age — as a positive or negative — while searching for a replacement for David Beaty, 48? Long was asked one such question during his press conference earlier this week.

“Well, by federal laws I’m not allowed to have age be a factor in my search,” Long was quick to point out.

Through his next words, though, it seemed the athletic director wouldn’t mind hiring a coach who was closer to the retirement stage of his life than his football playing days.

“Age, you’re only as young as you feel,” Long said. “I feel a lot younger than my 59 years — it’s hard for me to believe it when I say it. But it’s not about age and years. It’s about energy. It’s about passion. It’s about commitment. It’s about eagerness to get out and turn the program.”

The most prominent name tied to KU’s job opening the past several days, former LSU and Oklahoma State head coach Miles also happens to be the oldest candidate being mentioned among Long’s potential hires, theoretical or otherwise.

Miles turns 65 on Saturday and hasn’t coached in a little more than two years, when LSU fired him four games into the 2016 season, despite his .721 career winning percentage and national championship with the Tigers.

Currently the defensive coordinator and inside linebackers coach at Oregon, Jim Leavitt, 61, has spent the better part of the past four decades in college football. True, Leavitt hasn’t been a head coach since 2009, but he did leave South Florida with a 75-44 record and five straight bowl appearances to close out his run there.

A three-time FCS national champion as head coach at North Dakota State, Craig Bohl, 60, is now in his fifth year at Wyoming. Bohl's Cowboys are currently 4-6, and they’re 26-35 since he took over in 2014. Still, it’s his stellar 104-32 run over the course of 11 seasons with North Dakota State that makes him an intriguing coach for a Power Five program in KU’s position.

| PODCAST: Beaty’s out — what’s next for KU football? |

A few other names featured in our 32-candidate coaching search bracket at KUsports.com are approaching 60.

Tulane’s Willie Fritz, 58, worked his way up through the ranks. This year marks his 26th as a college head coach and 22nd in charge of a Division I or Division II program. Fritz has Tulane at 4-5 this year. He’s 31-27 over the past five, thanks to an 18-7 mark in two seasons at Georgia Southern, before he moved on to Tulane (13-20).

Jeff Tedord, 57, has amassed a 100-62 record during his close to 13 seasons coaching at the FBS level. Tedford’s Fresno State team is off to an 8-1 start this year. From 2002-12, Tedford’s Cal teams went 82-57 overall and 5-3 in bowl games.

Now the receivers coach at Michigan, former Florida and Colorado State coach Jim McElwain is 56. The Florida job, like most in the SEC, is a beast, often accompanied by unrealistic expectations. McElwain led the Gators to a 10-4 record in 2015, 9-4 in 2016 and then was fired at 3-4 in 2017. Previously, he went 22-16 in three seasons at Colorado State.

Considering what KU football has endured since Mark Mangino was forced to resign following the 2009 season, any of those veterans, grizzled or not, signing on with Kansas would signify a change for the better.

| 2018 KU Football Coaching Search Bracket |

Reply 3 comments from Doug Wallace Karen Mansfield-Stewart Steve Corder

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