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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 17 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

Who’s in and who’s out: KU football coaching search bracket down to 16 candidates

Just as University of Kansas athletic director Jeff Long, no doubt, has been able to cross certain names off his list of possible football coaches to hire, the program’s long-suffering supporters are weighing in on which candidates they would back at David Booth Kansas Memorial Stadium.

The fan base has spoken, and 16 potential coaching candidates have been eliminated from contention in KUsports.com’s 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

Only the most promising names survived. But now the choices start to get a little more difficult. Major Applewhite or Willie Fritz? Bryan Harsin or Matt Wells?

These aren’t easy decisions. Imagine how Long feels.

Here’s a look at our Round 2 matchups. Make your selections Thursday, before we move on to the Elite Eight on Friday.

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 coach head coach vs. Greg Schiano - Ohio State defensive coordinator

• Chris Klieman - North Dakota State head coach vs. Neal Brown - Troy 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. Jim McElwain - Former Florida and Colorado State head coach

• Major Applewhite - Houston 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. Scott Satterfield - Appalachian State head coach

• Bryan Harsin - Boise State head coach vs. Matt Wells - Utah 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. Troy Calhoun - Air Force head coach

• Jim Leavitt - Oregon defensive coordinator 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

Reply 6 comments from Micky Baker Lloyd Kinnison Karen Mansfield-Stewart Spk15 Dane Pratt

Alabama QBs coach Dan Enos reportedly a candidate for KU football job

FILE - In this Sept. 5, 2015, file photo, Arkansas offensive coordinator Dan Enos walks the sideline during a timeout in the second half of an NCAA college football game against UTEP in Fayetteville, Ark. Enos left a head coaching job at Central Michigan to become the offensive coordinator at Arkansas. (AP Photo/Samantha Baker, File)

FILE - In this Sept. 5, 2015, file photo, Arkansas offensive coordinator Dan Enos walks the sideline during a timeout in the second half of an NCAA college football game against UTEP in Fayetteville, Ark. Enos left a head coaching job at Central Michigan to become the offensive coordinator at Arkansas. (AP Photo/Samantha Baker, File)

If the name Dan Enos didn’t immediately grab your attention while poring over potential candidates to become the next head football coach at the University of Kansas, it might be time to double back.

Currently the quarterbacks coach and associate head coach on Nick Saban’s staff at Alabama, Enos could have an in with KU, as highlighted in a Wednesday report from Football Scoop.

According to the website, which specializes in football coaching rumors, sources told Football Scoop that KU Athletic Director Jeff Long considers not only Les Miles, but also Enos as candidates to take over the long-struggling program.

From 2015-17, before he moved on to Alabama, Enos worked at Arkansas as the offensive coordinator and QBs coach on Bret Bielema’s staff. Bielema, as you will recall, was the last football coach hired by Long, the former Arkansas AD.

Enos possesses head coaching experience, too, one of the qualifications Long emphasized earlier this week.

Before moving to the SEC, Enos led Central Michigan’s football program for five seasons, from 2010-14. Enos went 3-9 in each of his first two years with the Chippewas, before going 20-18 in his final three.

Oddly enough, his final season with CMU included a 24-10 loss at Kansas. Enos left Central Michigan with a 26-36 head coaching record, three seasons of six or more wins and two bowl appearances, with a 1-1 postseason mark

Arkansas ran a pro-style offense under Enos. He coached both Brandon Allen (2015) and Austin Allen (2016) to 3,000-yard passing seasons. Brandon led the nation in QB efficiency and threw for 3,4440 yards and 30 touchdowns as a senior in 2015.

Before being hired at Central Michigan, Enos spent four seasons at Michigan State as an assistant coach. There, he coached quarterbacks in 2006 and running backs from 2007-09. KU’s senior associate AD for football, Mike Vollmar, worked at Michigan State from 1996-2007.

— Who should be KU football’s next coach? Make your choice here: Fill out our KU Football Coaching Search Bracket.

Reply 19 comments from Brad Avery Brett74 Texashawk10_2 Jeff Coffman Dirk Medema Onlyoneuinkansas Michael Maris Curtis Hedrick Freddie Garza Ination and 3 others

Pick Kansas football’s next head coach from a 32-candidate bracket

The internet loves a good coaching search. And KUsports.com is about that life.

As University of Kansas athletic director Jeff Long narrows his field of football coaching candidates, KU fans will have the chance to do the same.

By scouring lists of potential coaches from various publications, our staff compiled a list of 32 nominees for your consideration. Plus, to add to the fun, we’ve seeded them and placed them all in a giant 2018 KU Football Coaching Search Bracket.

You can cast your votes anytime Wednesday for the first-round matchups in the bracket’s four regions — Riggins, Hadl, Sayers and Reesing.

Does the growing Les Miles to KU buzz make him the clear favorite?

Do Dave Doeren’s Kansas ties mean he’s the man for the job?

Could Seth Littrell be college football’s next big name be turning KU around?

Would Jeff Monken bringing the triple option to the Big 12 speed up a rebuild by slowing the game down?

Maybe you love one of the other candidates. It’s your call.

Here’s a look at who’s going head to head in the Round of 32.

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 coach head coach vs. Mike Locksley - Alabama offensive coordinator

• Greg Schiano - Ohio State defensive coordinator vs. Lance Leipold - Buffalo head coach

• Bret Bielema - Former Arkansas and Wisconsin head coach vs. Chris Klieman - North Dakota State head coach

• Mike Norvell - Memphis head coach vs. Neal Brown - Troy 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. Butch Jones - Former Tennessee and Cincinnati head coach

• Mike MacIntyre - Colorado head coach vs. Jim McElwain - Former Florida and Colorado State head coach

• Todd Graham - Former Arizona State and Pitt head coach vs. Major Applewhite - Houston head coach

• Ed Warinner - Ohio State O-line 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. Tim Beck - Texas offensive coordinator

• Scott Satterfield - Appalachian State head coach vs. Ken Niumatalolo - Navy head coach

• Bryan Harsin - Boise State head coach vs. Jeff Tedford - Fresno State head coach

• Chris Creighton - Eastern Michigan head coach vs. Matt Wells - Utah 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. Frank Wilson - UT-San Antonio head coach

• Brian Bohannon - Kennesaw State head coach vs. Troy Calhoun - Air Force head coach

• Craig Bohl - Wyoming head coach vs. Jim Leavitt - Oregon defensive coordinator

• Dan Enos - Alabama quarterbacks coach and associate head coach vs. Jason Candle - Toledo head coach

— Voting for Round 2 begins Thursday, Round 3 is set for Friday, Monday will take us to the final four and Tuesday the bracket will be decided between the last two potential KU football coaches left standing.

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

Reply 13 comments from Dane Pratt Cmdradama Kall3742 Joe Ross Karen Mansfield-Stewart Kirko Dillon Davis Jim Stauffer Matt Lindaman Mlbenn35 and 1 others

Les Miles to KU rumors heating up

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)

Just two days after University of Kansas athletic director Jeff Long informed David Beaty he wouldn’t be around for another season, the idea of Les Miles becoming Beaty’s replacement is beginning to seem more feasible.

Bruce Feldman of FOX Sports and The Athletic reported Tuesday a source told him “a lot of momentum” exists for Miles to become the program’s next head coach. What’s more, according to the report, Miles has emerged as a “frontrunner.”

Later in the day, Tim Brando, national commentator for FOX Sports, posted on Twitter that he spoke with Miles Monday night and their conversation led Brando to “feel confident that he embraces coming to KU big time.”

Brando, who began working with Miles at FOX when the former LSU coach began dabbling in broadcasting in 2017, also pointed to Miles’ decades-old relationship with Long. For a six-year stretch beginning in the late 1980s, both worked at Michigan — Long as an assistant athletic director and Miles as an offensive line coach.

Brando characterized their connection as “strong,” adding the “credibility factor is huge.”

When someone replied to Brando’s post, doubting Miles’ ability to win at KU, a program that has experienced nothing but three-, two-, one- and zero-win seasons since Mark Mangino left nearly a decade ago, Brando didn’t hold back.

“You couldn’t be more wrong,” Brando replied, pointing to Miles’ time as Oklahoma State coach (2001-04).

“He’ll recruit Texas better than (it’s) ever been recruited at KU,” Brando added.

Of course, Miles’ reported $9.6 million buyout from LSU in 2016 included a stipulation that he must seek another college coaching job. So it remains to be seen what type of fire exists beneath all this Miles to KU smoke.

Miles has a 142-55 career coaching record and won the national championship at LSU with a 12-2 season in 2007. Miles turns 65 next week.

None by Tim Brando

None by Tim Brando

Reply 9 comments from Rockchalk1990 Kirko Freddie Garza Dane Pratt West_virginia_hawk Inteldesign Brett McCabe Dale Rogers David Meredith

Former KU LB Ben Heeney: Beaty thrown into program left in shambles by Weis

Kansas senior linebacker Ben Heeney (31) slaps hands with returning alumnus as he walks into the field before the start of Kansas' game against Oklahoma State on Saturday afternoon at Memorial Stadium.

Kansas senior linebacker Ben Heeney (31) slaps hands with returning alumnus as he walks into the field before the start of Kansas' game against Oklahoma State on Saturday afternoon at Memorial Stadium. by John Young

Former Kansas linebacker Ben Heeney didn’t spend much time around David Beaty. Just here and there for a few months, after wrapping up his college career, in fact.

But Heeney was around for all of the Charlie Weis era — a two seasons and change stretch that saw the Jayhawks go 6-22 under Weis’ watch.

And it was with that firsthand knowledge of the program’s inner workings that Heeney took to Twitter on Tuesday to voice his opinion of the job Beaty has done.

KU’s fourth-year head coach, of course, was informed Sunday by athletic director Jeff Long he won’t be retained for the 2019 season.

Even though Beaty is 6-39 coaching the Jayhawks, Heeney tweeted that he doesn’t think “there’s a coach out there that could have been thrown into that ---- storm and done a better job,” adding he has “nothing but respect and admiration” for Beaty.

In other posts, Heeney went on to say only coaches and players who were in the program when Weis was in charge truly understand how the former KU coach, fired four games into the 2014 season, left the football program “in shambles.”

According to Heeney, Beaty was starting from “ground zero,” when he took the job in December of 2014.

None by Ben Heeney

None by Ben Heeney

None by Ben Heeney

None by Ben Heeney

— A previous version of this post incorrectly overlapped Heeney's playing career with Beaty's time as head coach at KU.

Reply 18 comments from Carsonc30 Dane Pratt Ination Jeff Coffman Spk15 Brjam Brad Sherp Kuhawkhead Dale Rogers Marcus  Balzer and 8 others

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