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With new AD in place, KU football players continue to back Emmett Jones

Kansas football interim head coach Emmett Jones addresses the Jayhawks at the team's indoor practice facility on March 30, 2021, the first day of KU's spring practice schedule.

Kansas football interim head coach Emmett Jones addresses the Jayhawks at the team's indoor practice facility on March 30, 2021, the first day of KU's spring practice schedule.

The University of Kansas athletics department filled one of its two major vacancies on Monday, as Travis Goff became the new athletic director. And while Goff’s plan for the KU football job remains to be seen, several Jayhawks didn’t waste any time backing interim head coach Emmett Jones.

The Jayhawks started spring practices under Jones’ guidance last week, and the popular assistant, who is now in his third year as the receivers coach, impressed the players.

“I wouldn’t be surprised if they just stay with him as the head coach,” super-senior linebacker Kyron Johnson told reporters last week, “because he’s just great like that.”

Goff will have time to observe Jones and the KU football program through much of the spring schedule if he so chooses, having missed only the earliest sessions. But some players, who don’t yet know the new AD’s intentions, made sure via social media Monday evening to let their voices be heard.

One of the first Jayhawks to endorse Jones on Twitter this week was redshirt freshman tight end Will Huggins, who wrote that Jones “is my head coach.”

And it wasn’t long before other players weighed in. Sophomore running back Daniel Hishaw Jr. posted: “I’m all the way in with (Jones) this season,” adding, “we got who we need over here.”

Sophomore receiver Luke Grimm’s message read: “Gotta keep rolling with Jones.”

Veteran leaders backed the assistant, who also serves as KU’s passing game coordinator, as well. Junior safety Kenny Logan Jr. proclaimed: “I’m rocking with (Jones) all the way,” and “we rolling right now.”

Super-senior receiver Kwamie Lassiter II, who has learned from Jones for two-plus years and emerged as a key contributor, wrote, “We trynna ride out (with) Jones.”

The support for Jones from the players was no surprise, as a nearly identical outpouring came a few weeks ago, after former AD Jeff Long stepped down.

A tweet Monday night from redshirt freshman running back Amauri Pesek-Hickson seemed to sum up the way many players feel at this uncertain time for the program.

“Coach Jones is the perfect fit for this team,” Pesek-Hickson wrote. “We want him as our head coach.”

Goff is set to have an introductory press conference on Wednesday morning.

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Reply 24 comments from Inteldesign Glen Jeff Coffman Dirk Medema Robert  Brock Armen Kurdian Brett McCabe Plasticjhawk John Strayer Doug Roberts and 2 others

With head coaching job vacant, Jayhawks endorse Emmett Jones

Kansas receivers coach Emmett Jones slaps hands with Steven Parker at the start of practice on Thursday, Aug. 8, 2019.

Kansas receivers coach Emmett Jones slaps hands with Steven Parker at the start of practice on Thursday, Aug. 8, 2019. by Nick Krug

With the future of the Kansas football program in limbo, some Jayhawks on Wednesday night began publicly drumming up support for Emmett Jones to become the team’s next head coach.

The endorsements for Jones, KU’s third-year receivers coach, began hitting the Twittersphere hours after Jeff Long stepped down as athletic director and two days removed from KU parting ways with Les Miles.

Having those two mammoth vacancies coincide made what will come next for the head coaching position all the more unpredictable, perhaps prompting players to voice their preference for Jones.

The social media movement began with freshman cornerback Jacobee Bryant tweeting, “(Jones) for head coach.” That simple recommendation picked up backing in the form of quote tweets from KU safety Kenny Logan Jr., as well as cornerback Valerian Agbajw Jr.

One of Jones’ position players, sixth-year senior Kwamie Lassiter II, also made his thoughts on the matter clear, posting, “Put Jones in that spot and (let’s) get to it!” Lassiter’s tweet was soon after retweeted by running back Velton Gardner, receiver Takulve “T.K.” Williams, defensive end Marcus Harris and other Jayhawks.

More calls for Jones, who also serves as KU's passing game coordinator, to take over would follow, too. Receiver Lawrence Arnold wrote, “As a player at KU we need a coach in office right now that (knows) the players and (has) a relationship with the players.” Jones followed that opinion with a hashtag in support of Jones.

De’Kedrick Sterns, a freshman offensive tackle who just enrolled at KU this semester, shared a similar tweet to Arnold’s.

Yet another receiver, Luke Grimm, posted a game photo of him and Jones, with the caption, “Y’all know what to do.”

On Tuesday, before he left KU, Long stated he planned on naming an interim head coach within the next couple of days. While the specifics of the new plan and timetable for naming an interim haven’t yet been made public, it’s likely KU Chancellor Douglas Girod and Kurt Watson, a KU alumnus and prominent donor whom Girod named interim A.D., will decide with current KU assistant will be the interim head coach.

It might be as soon as a few weeks, per Girod, that KU has a new athletic director in place. But it won’t be until then that the next steps for finding the permanent KU football coach will be solidified.

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Reply 6 comments from Austin Lopez Robert  Brock Jeff Coffman Forever2008 Layne Pierce Surrealku

The case for D.J. Eliot as KU’s interim head coach

Kansas defensive coordinator D.J. Eliot shows his frustration during the fourth quarter on Saturday, Nov. 2, 2019 at Memorial Stadium.

Kansas defensive coordinator D.J. Eliot shows his frustration during the fourth quarter on Saturday, Nov. 2, 2019 at Memorial Stadium. by Nick Krug

At some point in the next 24 to 48 hours, the Kansas football program is expected to at least have an interim head coach in place, even if that person ends up merely keeping the seat warm for a yet to be determined replacement for Les Miles.

As KU Athletic Director Jeff Long weighs his options for the present and future of the program, two current KU assistants seem to be the most obvious candidates for the job, either on an interim or permanent basis.

Among the current staff members, only receivers coach and passing game coordinator Emmett Jones and defensive coordinator and linebackers coach D.J. Eliot have played prominent roles for KU throughout the previous two-plus years.

Some of the reasons that Jones would be a sensible hire already have been highlighted by Matt Tait. So let’s also take a closer look at Eliot.

Obviously the Jayhawks’ third-year coordinator has more Power Five experience than anyone on the staff, having also led the defenses at both Colorado (2017-18) in the Pac-12 and Kentucky in the SEC (2013-16). And even before that, Eliot was coaching defensive ends at Florida State (2010-12) in the ACC.

One unique experience that Eliot brings to the table is his time at UK, where he was part of a Mark Stoops staff that turned a football program around at a basketball school. That’s the exact scenario KU’s administration is looking for. The Wildcats were 2-10 the year before Stoops took over. And when Eliot and other coaches joined him on the ground floor in 2013, UK went 2-10 again. But the Wildcats steadily improved from there — 5-7 in 2014, 5-7 in 2015 and 7-6 and a bowl berth in 2016, before Eliot left to work at Colorado.

Rebuilds take time, as KU football fans know all too well. And Eliot just a few years back helped orchestrate one in the SEC.

One major issue for KU since Mark Mangino left following the 2009 season, leading to the program began falling apart, has been the constant turnover throughout the coaching staff. Finding some stability by giving the interim — or permanent — job to someone such as Eliot and Jones could help avoid the Jayhawks taking too many steps backward (again) in this perpetual rebuild.

There’s no learning curve for Eliot or Jones at KU anymore. They’ve been here. They know the players. They know the challenges of coaching and recruiting at KU. The Jayhawks long have been in need of some continuity.

It certainly doesn’t hurt Eliot’s case, either, that entering the 2021 season, many of KU’s most promising young players are on defense. It was the play on that side of the ball that showed flashes of promise for the future in 2020, as Jayhawks such as safety Kenny Logan Jr., cornerback Karon Prunty and defensive linemen Marcus Harris and Da’Jon Terry emerged. Eliot, defensive backs coach Chevis Jackson, defensive line coach Kwahn Drake and safeties coach Jordan Peterson deserve some credit for helping the defense stand out for good reasons at times during a challenging 0-9 campaign.

Eliot came to KU in 2018 as one of Miles’ first few hires. And he took the job with the Jayhawks instead of going to work at a better program, Ole Miss, in the SEC. Following his first year at KU, Eliot turned down an assistant coaching job with the Arizona Cardinals in the NFL. So it seems like Eliot is fond of KU and Lawrence, and willing to see what can become of these young players.

Whomever ends up getting the job, it will take someone invested in the program and serious about rebuilding it the right way — with year after year of high school signing classes — for KU football to finally turn a corner. Eliot and Jones sure look like candidates who would check those boxes.

Reply 1 comment from Keithii Njjayhawk

Meet Jedd Fisch

UCLA offensive coordinator Jedd Fisch, left, talks with quarterback Josh Rosen, center, and head coach Jim Mora during the second half of an NCAA college football game against Oregon, Saturday, Oct. 21, 2017 in Pasadena, Calif. UCLA won 31-14. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

UCLA offensive coordinator Jedd Fisch, left, talks with quarterback Josh Rosen, center, and head coach Jim Mora during the second half of an NCAA college football game against Oregon, Saturday, Oct. 21, 2017 in Pasadena, Calif. UCLA won 31-14. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

A name likely recognizable by only the most die-hard brand of college football fans, Jedd Fisch has become a coach worth knowing as Jeff Long, athletic director at the University of Kansas, continues in his search for the football program’s next head coach.

On Tuesday, Long flew from Lawrence to Colorado Springs, Colo., and back.

This week, the Los Angeles Rams are practicing at the Air Force Academy’s facilities, just north of Colorado Springs.

Fisch currently works for the Rams as a senior offensive assistant.

And there is more to this than connecting dots and making assumptions.

On the same day Long flew on KU’s private jet to Colorado Springs, Angelique Chengelis, who covers Michigan football for the Detroit News, tweeted out that she was “hearing” KU is considering Fisch for its head coaching vacancy.

Back before Fisch worked as UCLA’s offensive coordinator — and, eventually, interim head coach — in 2017, he spent two seasons as the passing game coordinator and quarterbacks/wide receivers coach at the University of Michigan.

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What’s more, Jon Kirby of Jayhawk Slant has had Fisch on his KU coaching hot board for more than a week.

On Wednesday evening, CBS Sports' Dennis Dodd reported Long and Fisch met this week about the vacancy.

So who is Jedd Fisch?

Fisch, 42, doesn’t fit Long’s publicly stated preference for a candidate with head coaching experience at the college level.

Before joining the Rams, Fisch, then the offensive coordinator at UCLA, served as the program’s interim head coach for two games to close out the 2017 season. The Bruins defeated Cal and then suffered a 35-17 loss to Kansas State in the Cactus Bowl. And that’s the end of his head coaching résumé — 1-1.

However, as an assistant, Fisch has worked for a long list of successful head coaches, both with Power Five programs and NFL franchises, including Steve Spurrier, Dom Capers, Brian Billick, Mike Shanahan, Pete Carroll, Jim Harbaugh and others.

Fisch also has worked as the offensive coordinator for the Jacksonville Jaguars at the NFL level and both Miami and Minnesota at the college level.

Long admitted on the day he announced he would not retain David Beaty as KU’s football coach that he couldn’t rule out the possibility of hiring a coordinator with “demonstrated” potential as Beaty’s replacement.

Reply 13 comments from Shorte3355 Layne Pierce Len Shaffer Oklahawk58 Forever2008 Ronfranklin Robert  Brock Dirk Medema Brett McCabe

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

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