Coaching Search 2011: Day 6, 9:09 p.m. - Can KU still snag Fedora? Plus more on Sumlin, Fedora's similarities to Bill Self and other interesting nuggets


Southern Miss coach Larry Fedora.

Southern Miss coach Larry Fedora.

9:09 p.m. Update:

Just got done with the men's basketball game and figured I'd update you with a quick recap of where we're at heading into Sunday.

• For starters, even though Houston lost to Southern Miss in Saturday's Conference-USA title game, there still seems to be a strong belief that Sumlin is Texas A&M bound.

• In addition, USM's huge victory and the impressive way in which it came, seemed to make Larry Fedora a much more popular man than he was when he woke up. This quick blurb from CBS Sports indicates that Fedora will interview at North Carolina. It also shows who else might be on the Tar Heels' wish list.

Having said all that, don't think for a second that Fedora to Kansas is out of the question. With Ole Miss out of the picture, it seems to come down to three or four schools in the mix for Fedora, unless someone else pops up late. Those schools are: UNC, KU, Arizona State and Illinois, with Texas A&M possibly still in the picture.

Sources indicated earlier this week that Fedora, who is from Texas and has strong ties throughout the Big 12, may favor the Kansas job over Illinois and Arizona State. UNC seems to be a new player here and probably got involved because of what Fedora's team did today. I don't know where he would rank the Carolina job.

Bottom line is this: If Fedora believes he can win at Kansas and if Kansas pays in the same neighborhood as all of those others, I think Kansas still has a great shot. His Texas ties will serve him better at KU than at any other school we've mentioned.

I felt pretty good about Fedora to KU as of Friday night. I've softened a little, but still think there's a great shot that he ends up in Lawrence. Let's see what A&M does and roll from there.

More to come. I'll keep an eye on things the rest of the night but unless something big happens, I'll be back at it in the morning. Tomorrow could be a big day for a lot of coaches and a lot of schools.

Stay tuned...

5:38 p.m. Update:

Just came across a link from 24/7's Ole Miss site that has the following headline: "Fedora Out at Ole Miss."

It's a pay site and I'm not a member, but that headline has to be promising for KU fans who want Fedora to be their next coach.

I'll make some calls and see what more I can find out.

Stay tuned...

2:41 p.m. Update:

Here's my quick take on this Southern Miss upset of Houston in the Conference USA championship game... I'm not saying it changes everything, but it could make things a little more difficult for KU to land Fedora - if he was, in fact, a target.

Heard Fedora gave a rousing pregame speech. I'm gonna keep an eye out for that to see if I can find it to post it here.

As for the ramifications, if Texas A&M wanted Sumlin, I think they still want him. Obviously, someone wanted him and he had something lined up enough for ASU to just completely drop out of the running for him. There's no way a school would do that if they thought they still had a shot at him. Furthermore, there's no way Sumlin's people would tell ASU he's not going there unless he absolutely, positively had something lined up somewhere else.

Why would he give up the leverage of their offer?

My guess is that A&M is still going to go after Sumlin, but if there's a school out there that could let the emotional swing of one football game completely throw them off course, it's probably A&M, which has shown just how crazy and unstable in can be in the way it handled the move to the SEC and the firing of Mike Sherman.

More to come on this in a while. And I'll be keeping my eyes and ears peeled for news from Sumlin or Fedora's camp now that their big game has ended.

Stay tuned...

12:21 p.m. Update:

Just doing a little more digging into Fedora and I found this link... Sound familiar?

Very similar to what Bill Self does here for the women who are fans of KU basketball — or just Bill Self the man, ha! — and there are many people close to the program who have long believed that the blueprint for what KU needs in its next football coach is a guy with Self's demeanor, charisma and personality.

That's probably why Harbaugh was such a solid candidate in 2009. Not saying Fedora's exactly the same kind of guy, but, clearly, there are some similarities.

Stay tuned...

11:56 a.m. Update:

Just a couple of quick notes about the past before moving on to the future again.

Just saw a statement from Arkansas that confirmed that UAB has hired Arkansas assistant Garrick McGee. Former KU coach Turner Gill was reported to be a finalist for that job.

Also, for those who care, here's a good look at how the Mike Leach hiring at Washington State went down.

Stay tuned...

10:16 a.m. Update:

Not a lot of new news to report as of this morning, but I can assure you that the search is going to be rolling along today and tomorrow.

Before I dive into a deeper look at the Kevin Sumlin situation, let me hit you with a couple of quick nuggets that I've learned in the past 12 hours.

• Hearing that KU athletic director Sheahon Zenger has visited Laramie, Wyo., which makes it likely that he has at least talked to Wyoming coach Dave Christensen about the job. I don't think I'd put Christensen in the top tier just yet, but this means he's definitely on the list of Zenger's 6-to-10 candidates.

• Also hearing that Dave Doeren continues to be a long shot because of his limited experience. I do believe that Doeren has been contacted, but it sounds like the hire will go elsewhere before it gets to Doeren. Now... if things fall apart with a couple of names above his, Doeren could jump right back into play in a hurry. He's not dead in this. But I'm hearing he's not likely.

For those who missed it elsewhere on the site, here's our updated list with a new favorite (Fedora), three strong candidates, a bunch of forget-me-not guys and three deep reaches.

OK, moving on, let's look at the Kevin Sumlin situation a little more since that could have a major impact on what happens at KU.

As you probably know by now, Sumlin is out of the Arizona State race. ASU revealed yesterday evening that they were no longer pursuing Sumlin.

Logical thinking seems to indicate that that makes Sumlin to Texas A&M a shoe-in, but things aren't always logical in these coaching searches. I'm sure A&M will go after Sumlin like crazy, but I'm told he's not the two-handed, break-away slam dunk we all think.

Here's a interesting read about why it's too early to put Sumlin in A&M gear.

And here's this examination of why A&M wants Sumlin from Chuck Carlton of The Dallas Morning News.

For those not following, or who have been out of the loop these last few days, the reason the Sumlin to A&M news is worth tracking is because if Sumlin elects NOT to go to A&M, that bumps Southern Miss coach Larry Fedora up a notch or two in the Aggies' search.

Carlton originally listed three candidates ahead of Fedora when the news of A&M's opening broke: Sumlin, Charlie Strong, of Louisville, and Kirby Smart, the Alabama DC.

Ironically, Sumlin and Fedora will face off against each other at 11 today in the Conference USA championship game. Houston is undefeated and ranked No. 6. Fedora's Golden Eagles are 10-2 and ranked 24th.

Here's a preview:

The good news about the game is it's early. The sooner Sumlin and Fedora can get their seasons behind them, the sooner A&M, Kansas and possibly others can move on in their pursuit of both men.

Like I said already, Saturday and Sunday are gonna be wild.

Stay tuned...


Jim Jackson 8 years, 4 months ago

Tait, first off, you do a great job for KUsports. com so keep up the good work! The Chicago Tribune should be all over you!

I did want to ask, why the hesitation to bring on Venables from OU?

I know he's a KSU alum but couldn't we put a clause in his contract stating he couldn't go there once Snyder is done, etc?

He's a tough, young, hard nosed intense coach who can recruit and he's from the state. What do you think? Thanks!

Matt Tait 8 years, 4 months ago

Venables will get his shot someday and probably will be a solid coach.

But based on what Zenger's looking for, Venables is missing a couple of ingredients.

Thanks for the kind words!!!

John Myers 8 years, 4 months ago

Matt, I think your auto-correct got you and typed 'relentless' instead of 'worthless and pathetic'

flyingfinn 8 years, 4 months ago

Alright this may be a first, I agree with ahper if we hire a no name from a no name school with Mizzery ties I am done with KU football including season tickets

Bville Hawk 8 years, 4 months ago

Definitely seems like scraping the bottom of the barrel.

The_Real_Hawkman 8 years, 4 months ago

NO to Christensen also just because he is from misery, remember the grandma in Outlaw Josey Wales "everything from misery has a taint to it" and they only went 3-9 last year

ahpersecoachingexperience 8 years, 4 months ago

I was so worried we were going to hire leach and all of these t-shirts were going to go to waste.

TwistedFish31 8 years, 4 months ago

I'm sure you own a "We Beat The National Champions When They Were Just The Jayhawks" tshirt back in '88! Hahaha, all the little purple-headed K-state losers had those.

escaped_labrat 8 years, 4 months ago

Agreed, here it is 12/3/2013 and he's gone 5 - 17 and only won 2 Big 12(10) games, both in overtime again an 0 - 11 Iowa State squad and a 2-10 BU squad. He's had more than enough time to at least make progress....makes me miss the TG days

refugee 8 years, 4 months ago

Is there any chance at all that KU gets Sumlin?

jayhawkfan45 8 years, 4 months ago

Matt, I know you guys said not to read into that letter to much, but when he talked about naming the next coach real soon I really think it is going to be Fedora and it will be announced sometime after their game today. Maybe sunday that Larry Fedora is the next head coach of the Jayhawks and he will get somewhere around two million. I am probably wrong but I don't think he would have sent out a letter without having a coach in the bag, he probably just finalized the deal yesterday before the letter was sent out and they didn't want to take anything away from the game today.

Matt Tait 8 years, 4 months ago

I truly believe that Fedora's a man of his word and hasn't probably negotiated any kind of deal with anyone yet because of his focus being on today's championship game.

That said, Zenger and possibly other ADs have probably talked to Fedora's people and have been able to gauge what kind of interest there may be.

The letter from Zenger is pretty common in these deals and is more of a common courtesy and rallying point than an indication of where the search is at.

That said, your scenario would not surprise me at all...

We'll see.

Dirk Medema 8 years, 4 months ago

Some people think that the letter is as timely, and up to the minute as your posts are Matt. My guess is the letter was written the day they fired TG, and planned to be delivered x days later.

jhawkjunkie 8 years, 4 months ago

Matt, is there any news on Venables? I'm surprised he wasn't on the Top 5 list after a couple posts has said he is very interested in the job here. Some Oklahoma newspapers and national sites say he would be a perfect choice, and that there was a rift between him and Kansas State. So like was said was appealing with Leach, a chance to get back at a team once a season.

lahawkfan 8 years, 4 months ago

Venables should have had a head coaching job years ago. Something is wrong with that guy. I would remain far away from him.

Matt Tait 8 years, 4 months ago

That's putting it pretty well.

He'll get a shot someday, somewhere, but I don't think it'll be at Kansas, at least not under Zenger.

johnnyhrdwd 8 years, 4 months ago

Yea he's worked on one of the most successful staffs of all time, something definitely wrong.

Andrew R. Gaylor 8 years, 4 months ago

Matt, is the time right for the percentage wheel yet!?!?

JayDocMD 8 years, 4 months ago

If he waits much longer, he can just give 100% to whoever they've already hired...

Matt Tait 8 years, 4 months ago

Well, you got me there. I'll see what I can throw together. Don't want to wait 'til it's obvious and then lose my street cred!!!

The_Real_Hawkman 8 years, 4 months ago

so who else is going to watch the So. Miss game to see our new coach*

*-maybe only Zenger knows for sure

Robert Brown 8 years, 4 months ago

I am but I am cheering for UH. I live in Houston and want Houston in a BCS bowl. Shorts and sandals weather down here, by the way.

ack 8 years, 4 months ago

Mike Ackerley should be on the KU football "radar screen" Great Recruiter!!!!

James McGuire 8 years, 4 months ago

Matt, I appreciate waking up Saturday morning and seeing the latest on the situation. Thank you and keep up the good work.

David Meredith 8 years, 4 months ago

So basically we have to wait on the Aggies to make a move first. I hope it is soon, this waiting is killing me... I really hope it is Fedora.

Matt Tait 8 years, 4 months ago

That's not necessarily true, but getting that job off the board will help clear things up for Kansas quite a bit.

There's still definitely the possibility that KU could negotiate and snag a guy like Fedora even with A&M still searching. KU's just more likely to benefit if the A&M job is off the table...

Time will tell.

David Meredith 8 years, 4 months ago

True, but being from College Station, one would wonder that Fedora would wait on that one, before accepting another job...but I guess behind the scenes he would know whether he is a serious candidate or not.

Dirk Medema 8 years, 4 months ago

A&M '11 reminds me of KU '06 - Their leaders seem like 10 yo's, or the last screw up crew in bug-ville.

Jeff Coffman 8 years, 4 months ago

I guess I don't see the bright spot of either of these two coaching choices. Fedora and Sumlin both seem to have limited experience as head coaches and they have one good year with their respective teams.

If SZ announces Christiansen he should than hand in his own resignation. Fans will not be happy with a no-name coach that has ties to a traitor.

Doeren, is clearly the backup choice.

I'm still a fan of Fulmer or Venables. Haven't seen too many other names that really cut it.

Mark Lindrud 8 years, 4 months ago

Apparently you didnt know Fedora has taken sm to a bowl game all four years he has been there.

texashawk10 8 years, 4 months ago

So apparently it's not okay to hire someone who is former Missouri assistant, but a lot of you would be fine with having a Missouri alum patrolling the sidelines at KU. All of you who are against Christensen and because they're former Missouri coaches, but ha e no problem with Jim Leavitt, a Missouri alum, need to quit being a bunch hypocrites. Dave Christensen is one of the few candidates that has actually had some success at a place that traditionally isn't that good and taken them to a couple of bowl games in his 3 years at Wyoming.

lothario64118 8 years, 4 months ago

I'd go with Christensen as well. He was the main architect behind MU's offense when he was there. So what if he was at MU. He has no allegiance with that school. It's a freaking j-o-b. If he is the guy that would be a very nice hire.

Jeff Coffman 8 years, 4 months ago

I'm officially off the Jim Leavitt wagon as well. I would have taken him, but finding out that he was associated with Missouri is an easy scratch off the list.

Don't worry...if they guy coached, was an assistant, or is alumni from Missouri, I believe he should be removed from the list.

Dirk Medema 8 years, 4 months ago

Your description of DC sounds a lot like TG, except that the bug-boyz weren't 50-50 against us while TG was coaching there.

Dan Pawlowski 8 years, 4 months ago

"Success at a place that traditionally isn't that good"...sounds familiar hmm lets see....oh yea we just fired him.

Lanny Welch 8 years, 4 months ago

Hope it's Fedora but would be happy with Dykes or Christensen.

tbbucboy21 8 years, 4 months ago

any jack del rio talk? also heard the chi bears o-coordinator wants to coach college if offered...

Dan Pawlowski 8 years, 4 months ago

Well Martz wil probably be available next year because the Bears will not want him anymore. He gets his quarterbacks killed. Kansas should not want him either or they need to start recruiting track stars that can throw on the run.

Jeff Coffman 8 years, 4 months ago

I now am developing a conspiracy theory...see SZ really is devoted to KSU and if he took Venables away, than KSU would not be able to go after him in a couple of years. So he won't consider Venables in fear that it will ruin his real roots.

Matt Tait 8 years, 4 months ago

No, no, no... That's not the deal at all. There are other issues in play that have encouraged a lot of different schools from staying away from Venables during the past few years.

Kirk 8 years, 4 months ago

Venables has a rep for getting busy with the coeds.

peter56321 8 years, 4 months ago

If that's all it is, then it's insane that we don't go after him. After Pitt, nobody will care one bit about that "scandal". At least coeds are consenting adults.

Jeff Coffman 8 years, 4 months ago

My wife points out that there are Coeds at KU that probably wouldn't mind a date or two.

Robert Brown 8 years, 4 months ago

Not sure why you are so stuck on Venables? He has been available to become a head coach for ten years. If I recall correctly, he was considered for the KU job when Mangino took the job. I have never understood why has not taken a HC job. Has it been his decision or did schools decide he wasn't the right guy.

Jeff Coffman 8 years, 4 months ago

Technically speaking Leach was my favorite, but I was worried about the lawsuits. If the rumors were true, than that wasn't so bad of a thought.

Next come into the world of who is available and who are we going after. Fulmer was rumored two years ago, and should have been one of the finalist, if not the choice. However, we went with a fairly new HC from a mid-major like we have several times. The coach usually has some type of 6 degrees of separation from the Big XII or even better KU.

I like Venables in the fact he has been with a BCS team for 12 years and has been solid throughout. I think Venables has wanted to stay in the Big XII or at least the midwest. I really thought he was going to KSU, but they didn't want him. Everyone knows he'll bring the energy. And no one would disagree that he would give a better press conference than Turner 'The worst coach in KU Football history" Gill.

I guess I am more disappointed with the names that are given more than that Venables isn't on it.

I couldn't have spelled Dykes let alone Doeren (and I'm not even sure if I have it right yet). Fact of the matter, is I'm afraid we will end up with the Illinois State Coach rather than actually come up with a plan to actually get a coach here.

Sumlin and Fedora are pretty close to the same story as TG. One good season at a mediocre college/conference. In addition, both of those schools have an advantage in their conferences because they sit in fruitful recruiting grounds. KU you have to be an X and O guy because you aren't going to get 4 and 5 star recruits consistently. You have to have a great strength and conditioning coach, because most of your recruits are going to be red-shirted.

Eric Williams 8 years, 4 months ago


Sumlin AND Fedora have had 4 good seasons in a row. Copy and pasted from another article:

let's see... C-USA > MAC

Fedora (in 4 seasons at S. Miss) 7-5, 7-5, 8-4, 10-2 Sumlin (in 4 seasons at Houston) 8-5, 10-4, 5-7, 12-0

Fedora (1-2 in bowls, will go to his 4th straight) Sumlin (1-1 in bowls, will go to his 3rd in 4 years)

Conference records: Fedora: 20-12 Sumlin: 24-8

The point is either of these guys are good coaches. KU is not a premier program that is going to get the Venebles or Smarts (the premier coordinators).

Personally, I prefer Fedora given his penchant for winning records.

Jeff Coffman 8 years, 4 months ago

On Fedora, I'll give you 4 winning season and that is good, but it is in a horrible conference. Last time I checked Mangino was a OC from the same school Venables was from. We could get him.

Fedora, I would actually take over Sumlin (even before today), but neither one was one of those that would have made me enthusiastic. One thing for sure, I want either one of them more than TG.

One advantage that I haven't heard, is he actually has some ties to Mississippi and Bama and Louisiana. I'm not saying he will get a lot of them, but if he were to get one or two a year, that would be one more than historically we've got.

johnnyhrdwd 8 years, 4 months ago

He's only 40, if he was 50 that would be true, Venables will be kstates next coach.

jmsuther 8 years, 4 months ago

I really hope fedora is our next head coach. Would be an absolute slam dunk hire. I was hoping we would have a better shot at mark stoops but from what I can tell it seems he has fell off the radar.

Jeff Coffman 8 years, 4 months ago

What makes fedora a good coach? I don't get it.

Kirk 8 years, 4 months ago

Smart and tough. The two things Gill wasn't.

David Meredith 8 years, 4 months ago

I think Fedora has had success as a coordinator, success as a head coach, is still young, and also has good recruiting ties into Texas where he coached in high school.

Jeff Coffman 8 years, 4 months ago

I guess I had heard that he hadn't recruited one player from Texas in the past 3 years to his team in USM, so the Texas recruiting ties seem a little blown out of proportion, since that is where he coached High School. The coordinator might be all right, but don't know much about that. As a football coach he has the one year of 10-2 (this year), but has been average for the other three years. Sounds a little better than Gill, one mediocre year in his tenure at Buffalo.

Smart and tough, seem fairly abstract qualities (response to Kirk, not to Dallas).

Kirk 8 years, 4 months ago

Sorry to test you with abstractions. Fedora's halftime speech to his team against ECU mentioned similar qualities. His team somehow seemed to grasp it.

We could use A LOT of this at KU. Along with Fedora's proven success at every level both inside and outside a BCS conference.

texashawk10 8 years, 4 months ago

Larry Fedora's brother is currently a HS coach in Navasota, TX which is located between Houston and College Station so I'm guessing his brother has some connections to other coaches and can recommend players to scout when his team plays someone who is pretty good. Larry Fedora himself may not have the direct ties to Texas high schools he once had, but I'm guessing he still knows plenty of good assistant coaches who do have ties to Texas schools. It's also going to be important for him to find someone who has ties in Kansas and Missouri to keep the local talent in the region.

jmsuther 8 years, 4 months ago

I see him as a guy who has been sucessfull every step of the way across he also has been extreemly consisten at southern miss which is obviously something KU needs. He also isn't a polorizing figure like leach which will fit in with the culture of kansas better. He is a coach that I would trust with a 5 year contract.

Jay Hawkinson 8 years, 4 months ago

So here's a question. Southern Miss is currently up 7-0 on Houston after 1 quarter. If Fedora pulls out a win, does A&M waiver on Sumlin and think about Fedora instead?

Robert Brown 8 years, 4 months ago

It's now 14-0, but I doubt that one game will change anyone's perception. Both teams could be distracted by pending coaching changes which is sad given how this is the biggest game in the careers of most of the players on the field.

David Meredith 8 years, 4 months ago

14-0, uh oh.. obviously being from College Station, Fedora would covet that job.

David Meredith 8 years, 4 months ago

Furious Bradley with the punt block. No doubt named after the dad character in Boyz in the Hood...

JayDocMD 8 years, 4 months ago

A couple of thoughts re: the article Matt posted about WSU and Leach:

  1. "He offered the job to Leach on Monday, fired Wulff on Tuesday and sealed the five-year deal with Leach on Wednesday."

  2. I know this happens all the time, but really surprised he admitted to formally offering a job without firing the previous coach 1st.

  3. "Moos noted that this is the first time Washington State has hired someone who was a head coach at a BCS-level program. The school’s last four coaches were Dennis Erickson (Wyoming), Mike Price (Weber State), Bill Doba (WSU assistant) and Wulff (Eastern Washington)."

  4. This sounds familiar doesn't it? WSU realized it needed to break that cycle - I hope we do too.

Micky Baker 8 years, 4 months ago

I'm watching Southern Miss at Houston, and it appears that Fedora knows how to prepare for a game, and a big game like this one. That is something Gill doesn't have on his resume.

Remember, Fedora beat Gill!

sportjunky 8 years, 4 months ago

Error in the title-- should say 12:21 Pm., not a.m.

Matt Tait 8 years, 4 months ago

Thanks!!! Can't tell you how many times I've done that. Trying to go too fast!!! Thanks again for pointing it out.

Stan Unruh 8 years, 4 months ago

Matt, Is Terry Bowden even being considered? Fedora is probably going to A&M.

irvan moore 8 years, 4 months ago

tg was a candidate for a head coaching job?

pepper_bar 8 years, 4 months ago

Matt, why would Fedora leave a top-25 program to come to KU? Is there something besides piles and piles of money that makes KU a good coaching job?

Kirk 8 years, 4 months ago

Southern Miss isn't a top-25 program.

Neither is KU, but it could be. Remember, Mangino got us to the Orange Bowl and won it, finishing in the top ten. Southern Miss won't ever do that.

pepper_bar 8 years, 4 months ago

Currently #24, will move up if they beat Houston. Thanks for your comment.

treed14ku 8 years, 4 months ago

So according to your logic, Texas isn't a top 25 program b/c they aren't currently ranked in the top 25. Just b/c a team is currently ranked or currently unranked doesn't make one a top 25 program. Thanks for your comment.

pepper_bar 8 years, 4 months ago

Texas is currently #22. Thanks for playing.

treed14ku 8 years, 4 months ago

They aren't ranked in either poll, you were looking at the BCS rankings which I wasn't referring so thank YOU for playing. So b/c Cincinnati is ranked #25 in the AP poll, does that make Cincinnati a top 25 program? You see the fallacy in your logic? Currently USM might be ranked in the top 25, but it isn't a top 25 overall program.

Kirk 8 years, 4 months ago

pbar has no idea what you're talking about

treed14ku 8 years, 4 months ago

Yeah, pepper_bar is definitely not the sharpest guy around. I don't think he understands our point that just b/c you are ranked in the current top 25 doesn't mean your program has the prestige of a top 25 school. And THAT is what this whole thread was about. For instance, I would rather have the Texas job as a coach than the Houston job. The fact that Houston is temporarily ranked higher doesn't make it a better job long-term. Thus, KU SHOULD be a better job long term than USM. Simple logic, but difficult for a simpleton like pepper to understand.

pepper_bar 8 years, 4 months ago

Human polls are merely a component of the only rankings that matter. Thanks, this has been a delight.

johnnyhrdwd 8 years, 4 months ago

Kansas has always been a dead end job, name one coach who has coached here that moved on to bigger and better things. Fedora wants this job like he wants a hole in his head. It will be a risky up and comer or a has been like Franchione. To get a good coach it will need to be a second chancer like Leavitt. How about that Mangino guy that used to coach at Kansas, he was pretty good.

Robert Brown 8 years, 4 months ago

Going way back: Pepper Rogers- moved from KU to UCLA Mike Gottfried- moved from KU to PIttsburgh Glen Mason- turned down a move to Georgia and eventually left for Minnesota

Mangino probably could have moved. Terry Allen, Bob Valesente and Turner Gill were bad hires.

pepper_bar 8 years, 4 months ago

In an interview back in May, Mangino said that he'll never coach at a basketball-first school again.

David Meredith 8 years, 4 months ago

of course that was over 100 years ago, when he went on to MIchigan.

Eric Dawson 8 years, 4 months ago

And going back not quite as far, George Sauer, who lead KU to two conference titles in 1946 and 1947 before becoming the head coach for the then national powerhouse and prestigious Naval Academy program.

michael anway 8 years, 4 months ago

KU is way too proud to admit that they made a mistake in firing Mangino and hiring Gill. There is no chance he returns.

VaJay 8 years, 4 months ago

I think Fedora's price tag just went up. So. Miss is up 42-21 over Houston after 3 quarters. Pretty impressive stuff by them - both offensive & defensively.

JayHawkFanToo 8 years, 4 months ago

What is the scoop on Venables's recruiting skills? I have read in several articles that it is his weak spot. However, an article on the KC Star by Blair Kerkhoff indicates that "...He’s been described as a “maniacal” recruiter" which would seem to indicate the opposite, wouldn't it?

Also, in reading OU football sites, it seems that many (if not most) Sooner fans think that OU has not had a decent defense since Mike Stoops left and would be glad to get rid of Venables. Is Venables just an average DC whose product does not look good in the offense-happy Big 12?

Any thoughts?

texashawk10 8 years, 4 months ago

Southern Miss has looked very impressive today. Their defense has been very aggressive and tackled very well in the open field and the offense has not relented at all today. Davis has been very solid and their running game has completey gashed the Houston defense and they're doing it on a national stage with a big game atmosphere surrounding it. I want Fedora!

JayHawkFanToo 8 years, 4 months ago

Start of 4th quarter: So. Miss 42 - Houston 21 So. Miss. with the ball in position to score again. Barring a miracle comeback, looks like Fedora's contract price will go up.

tanntann01 8 years, 4 months ago

Fedora is looking pretty good right now. But why not June Jones with Randy Shannon as D coordinator, any possibility ?

I would be okay with Fulmer or maybe even Mark Stoops...but anyone else doesn't make too much sense.

jay381 8 years, 4 months ago

I do not understand the love for Fulmer on this site. I currently live in TN where he was in essence forced out. His reputation was he got lazy and living off prior success. I really do not think that is the formula that is needed to re build the KU program.

tanntann01 8 years, 4 months ago

I'm definitely not loving Fulmer, but I do like his resume over some of the other candidates. I have some other favorites over him, but he has got to be a top 5 candidate for rebuilding the KU football program. RCJH

Cora Smith 8 years, 4 months ago

I would guess that with Southern Mississippi upseting number 6 Houston that Fedora will move up the food chain to a program better than KU. Zenger really is checking Wyoming for a coach? Oh, the humanity!

jay381 8 years, 4 months ago

I posted something like that last evening if SO Miss won. I have been a strong in my belief of Fedora ever since the opening. I lived in OK and watched the job he did moving the offense at OSU from about 100 to a top to in just a matter of a couple of years. He has also shown he can hire a defensive coordinator based on the hitting I have seen so far today.

Well lets hope Zenger has already done some work behind the scenes to interest Fedora and built a connection. I posted early in the week he was my first choice (above Leach because I of "baggage" not coaching skills) that was available. I hope Zenger felt the same way and some connection with his agent is already in process. As I posted a couple of days ago. Absolutely nothing has changed my mind regardless of the final outcome of the C-USA championship game today.

Kirk 8 years, 4 months ago

BGL blew it for KU, as I knew she would.

SPORTSbyBROOKS SPORTSbyBROOKS Let me qualify that last Mike Leach Tweet: Zenger wanted Leach. Kansas administration blocked it.

AcesWild 8 years, 4 months ago

this sounds like asuse .lets not forget nobody country figer out how kansas hire a.d, he is not bcs. i have said kansas needs to clean house top to bottom get 12 ku fans supporters tell bgl this isnt brother for a job kansas has spent million because there screw up thes wright this stuff you need to be little more truthfull because you sight source in another 3years when k'u playing missou valley big east you steel be sight source source nothing to do with facts, the a,d, bgl are screw up

AcesWild 8 years, 4 months ago

i talk to o.u. osu fans they wanted to no about mike leach i told them what happen with lawsuit we wanted him to drop it, they laughed .reply no else in the big 12. would care they had chance to hire coach like that but you guys our bunch of dogooders and lossers. yes we are but with this coach it will be differnt i could do a better than are a.d. hes a clown.

babyjay1 8 years, 4 months ago

Southern Miss is 5 minutes from a win... Let's be 10 minutes from hiring our next fb coach!!

babyjay1 8 years, 4 months ago

Nope... That's not what I mean... Nothing is done until it's done! I know it might be a long shot, but any coach who is more "proven" will be a long shot for KU

JhawkalumJB 8 years, 4 months ago

I know its human nature, but its kind of funny how a lot of people are all for Fedora now that he's taking care of Houston's BCS dreams. What if he had lost this one?

Try not to judge him on one game. His resume is solid, judge him on that. Personally, I'm all for him.

He has the look and demeanor of a winner. His team has looked great today.

William Daniels 8 years, 4 months ago

Interesting perspective on fedora back in march 2011.

After watching that unbelievable win by southern miss in the conference USA champ game, If fedora comes, let's bring in the DC too.

bradynsdad 8 years, 4 months ago

It is shocking how many people are still crying about leach. While we're at it let's start the whining again about how Roy left us. I know, I still can't believe Paul pierce left early for the nba. Let's go even further, why are we hiring Roy Williams? He isn't even a head coach.

blackhawkjayhawk 8 years, 4 months ago

Glad to hear that Z was in Wyoming. Legitimate coaching prospect there.

Could care less about Leach, never a big fan in the first place. Made-up stories trying to "blame" the chancellor or the AD for not hiring a fruitcake are a waste of time.

Lots of good coaches out there even if Fedora goes to A&M. Bill Snyder was an assistant at Iowa, Gary Pinkel was the head coach at a MAC school, as was Jim Tressell. A will find the right guy for the job - regardless of whether or not the fan base thinks it's a sexy pick.

texashawk10 8 years, 4 months ago

Jim Tressel came from a Missouri Valley school, not the MAC.

Joe Ross 8 years, 4 months ago

Matt, in your 2:41 update I'm not clear at all how Houston's loss is a game-changer. You give "ramifications", as you say, but your explanation doesn't tie in the Houston loss. Confused...

Kevin Randell 8 years, 4 months ago

Yep, this game pretty much puts Fedora out of reach. If we still have a chance at this guy, it will be a miracle. I kind of chuckle a little bit at those who say they didn't want Fedora because he lost to Marshal and UAB this year. That's like a University saying they don't want Bob Stoops because he lost to Texas Tech and Baylor this year.

ampthatman 8 years, 4 months ago

Or not wanting Doeren solely based on his team losing to Gill.

ampthatman 8 years, 4 months ago

You forgot the part about Doeren being a successful defensive coordinator at one of the top schools in the country... Of course you did! Mangino had NO HC experience. Surely you remember Mangino and what he did forgive me if I still think that argument is ridiculous.

Clarence Haynes 8 years, 4 months ago

Heard an interesting twist on TV. Someone mentioned that A&M might go after Baylor's Briles or TCU's Patterson and that could really open pandora's box.

Robert Brock 8 years, 4 months ago

And so it was, that Larry Fedora is much too good for Kansas. Who knew?

bjejayhawk69 8 years, 4 months ago

Full court press on Fedora. Don't even look at Sumlin - not just because of this game but with Keenum gone I don't think the rest of his coaching game will stand up in the Big 12.

If we can't get Fedora then look toward Stoops or Venables. If not see if Leavitt could work out. Last choices would be Doeren or Dykes.

No to Christensen. Fan base would hate that move. I know Leavitt is MU alum but with his head coaching experience and success plus his relationship with Zenger he would be a good choice.

Eric Dawson 8 years, 4 months ago

Hope it's accurate, increases our (still slim at best?) chances of getting Fedora.

Brian Skelly 8 years, 4 months ago

People here need to be realistic. And this was before Fedora won today's game convincingly.

After Leach, I think Fedora and Sumilin are the two guys most the other programs are looking at. I know UCLA has mentioned Peterson at Boise St. But there's still 3-5 schools now that I'd consider "ahead" of KU in the pecking order. We cant be blind to that.

That doesnt mean one of those guys cant be convinced or fall in love if Zenger hits the right buttons. Zenger could still hit all the right buttons and not have that as well. Quite frankly Im still convinced almost anyone will be a step up from Gill.

Regardless of whomever it ends up being, we simply as fans and alums need to a better job supporting the program. Yes, when your team stinks (as it did this year) its tough to do. But we've not had a good showing in the stands for at least 2-3 years now. We need to be better than that, even if the team isnt.

blackhawkjayhawk 8 years, 4 months ago

It's a tough balance between being realistic and, at the same time, believing in your school and what KU has to offer. Though many seem to think that KU is not a "football school", two of our last 4 coaches went to multiple bowl games, won multiple bowl games and, in large part, were successful.

Regardless of what the most smarmy and annoying broadcaster on radio or tv (Scott Van Pelt) has to say, this job is no worse than any currently available with the exception of A&M (and that includes WSU).

While many on here still seem to think that Leach is equivalent of Nick Saban, there are very good reasons he's been without a job. Fedora is legit. Christiansen is legit. Jones is legit. Dykes is legit. Any of these four would be strong hires for KU. Zenger will get his man. I don't think that Leach was ever Z's target.

blindrabbit 8 years, 4 months ago

BPSkelly et al. Face it, KU football fans are among the most fickle of any in the nation. I've followed them since 1951, win or mostly loose. The few years we have had decent teams, the attendance rose the following year or so, only to plument again once we have had a "off-year". As to an explanation, who knows, but the addiction and facsination with the basketball program no-doubt has a lot to do with this. Also, from my observation we have a rather naive crowd (especially students) when it comes to understanding the more complicated game of football.

irvan moore 8 years, 4 months ago

i still want an apple off the snyder coaching tree, venables and stoops are 2 of the best candidates out there if we don't count mason (and i don't think we do)

Mandie Eutsler 8 years, 4 months ago

No doubt. Snyder develops more head coaches than he does NFL players...

pepper_bar 8 years, 4 months ago

Fedora-to-Kansas rumors are starting to hit Twitter.

BorderBattleKU21 8 years, 4 months ago

Matt: What do you take of Dennis Dodds tweet?

dennisdoddcbs Dennis Dodd Kansas may have just gotten the it coach of the moment. Larry Fedora

The_Real_Hawkman 8 years, 4 months ago

I asked him that on twitter he said "Simple observation more about Fedora's big moment than anything else..."

Eric Williams 8 years, 4 months ago

I believe Dodd is a MU alum, so tread carefully...

Eric Dawson 8 years, 4 months ago

Matt has repeatedly said that Zenger will try to land the best coach that is the best fit for KU. So with Fedora we gotta ask, does the hat fit?

Sorry, know he has to have heard that forever in his life, but just couldn't resist.

I like what I saw in Southern Miss v UH today. Lots of fight, lots of smart. Hope we can get him.

Kevin Randell 8 years, 4 months ago

From what I saw today he runs a very similar offensive system to what we have ran the past few years. Also, I LOVE what I saw in the defense today. All of this with the talent that he could get in Conference USA.....just think what he could do with Big XII talent?

DCJayhawk0208 8 years, 4 months ago

Those defensive backs were FAST, relentlessly pursuing the ball, and picking their spots to jump routes. But they never once seemed to be waiting for the receiver make the play and then go for the tackle.

Kevin Randell 8 years, 4 months ago

I've played and have coached secondary and I tell ya, THAT is how you play! What I saw our guys do this year made me cringe.

milehighhawk 8 years, 4 months ago

Tait - It's been like, 2 HOURS since your last update!

You know everyone expects you to not sleep or take any time off until we land a coach, right?

Board rats need to be fed around the clock.

Read: Thanks for your diligence throughout the process, MT.

Daniel Kennamore 8 years, 4 months ago

Well since he is likely covering the bball post-game stuff we'll give him a pass...

for now.

Jeff Coffman 8 years, 4 months ago

Nearing 3 hours...people are texting rumors of Fedora to KU...let's get some updates please Mr. Tait.

At least give us a percentage wheel, just so we can start talking about something.

Stan Crown 8 years, 4 months ago

Here's a shot from way out in left field, which means it's probably irrelevant, but I'll ask anyway. Any mention or consideration of Herm Edwards?

Jayhawk1116 8 years, 4 months ago

I've thought about that too. I think he could be a great college coach. ...But I wouldn't want to take that chance.

Clarence Glasse 8 years, 4 months ago

Herm's a bundle of energy. Even with the KC Chiefs failing under his watch he never lacked for enthusiasm. Don't know if the college game will lead to his being much more successful than at KC or not.

Micky Baker 8 years, 4 months ago

The more that we see these other games play out, it is validating how bad a job it was that Turner Gill did this year.

Baylor beat us by 1, and beat Texas by 20.

Iowa State beat us by 3, and lost to Kansas State by 7. (we had better talent on our team than K-State had and that can be verified by examining the last three or four recruiting classes for both teams).

bjejayhawk69 8 years, 4 months ago

It is hard to compare scores of common opponents but I have thought the same thing all year long. I had about 3-4 KSU friends that think if you switched the rosters Synder would have KU's players in a similar position. Gill with KSU players would be the same.

When KU did start well the opponent adjusted and KU/Gill never did. I was shocked he was considered for UAB. Again nice guy but over his head at this level.

Time to move on though - Lets hope for Fedora.

olathefbfan 8 years, 4 months ago

You're kidding about the hawks having more talent, right? Did you even watch BOTH teams this year? Talent out of high school often doesn't translate to success at the college level. Even if you want to give value to the ratings of recruit classes, what you're missing with KSU is the fact annual recruit class ratings don't account for the D-I transfers that KSU seems to regularly get. Instead of comparing how each team did against Iowa State, you should look at the scores of the KU - K-State games the past two years. That wasn't all coaching.

texashawk10 8 years, 4 months ago

Where to begin with this post. Let's start with this, no KSU's roster is not necessarily more talented than KU's roster. The recruiting rankings actually do give a pretty good picture of where teams are at because if you bother to check out who the top teams are every year on Rivals, it's the same teams that are still in the national title picture come November just about every year. For every 4 or 5 star kid that ends up being a bust, there's a 2 or 3 star kid who exceeds his ranking out of high school. On paper KU does have a better roster than KSU's, but the reason why KSU's roster ends up being better than KU's roster is the development of that talent by the coaching staff. Bill Snyder's staff does a far better job of developing players than Turner Gill's staff did. Based on Arthur Brown's accomplishments at Miami, I don't think very many people expected him to look like the elite recruit that he was this season, but the strength and conditioning coaches, LB coach, and defensive coordinator all helped turn him into a player that looked like the top 10 recruit coming out of high school that he was. It's because of the job KSU's coaching staff does in the weight room, film room, meeting rooms, and practice field that KSU's roster looks so much more impressive on the field than KU's roster does. Keep in mind that most people picked KSU to finish 8th or 9th this year in the Big 12 and they end up finishing 2nd. It sure wasn't the talent level that made KSU as good as they are this season, it's the coaching staff and I have absolutely no doubts that Bill Snyder would have this KU team in a very similar position to where KSU is this year and that Turner Gill would have KSU in a very similar position to where KU is this season if their jobs were flipped.

hawksfanatic 8 years, 4 months ago

+1. Our former coach was in la-la land. It felt to me like he was sleepwalking through the last two years.

bjejayhawk69 8 years, 4 months ago

  • 1,000,000 to both above posts. Not only Synder and his staff are so far superior to Gill and company but the fact that Gill thought Chris Dawson wasn't needed and brought in John Williams as strength and conditioning coach was the first of his coaching blunders.

Mike Kendall 8 years, 4 months ago

Please Coach Fedora---come to KU---we need you! Rock Chalk!

FreddyinLA 8 years, 4 months ago

Matt, thanks for the late night hit. Your last update was wearing off fast and I was starting to get the shakes.

What’s a guy with your mad skills do to take your game to the next level? Don’t worry we won’t tell Keegs.

JayDocMD 8 years, 4 months ago

A lot of online buzz for Sumlin to Houston.

I'm sure Zenger is in the process of laying groundwork with several candidates and since I'm of the belief Fedora is the best obtainable candidate, Im cautiously optimistic Fedora is one of them. However, Zenger's apparent trip to WY calls into question any advanced discussions or pre-arranged agreement.

kureader 8 years, 4 months ago

Matt, your work continues to be just outstanding.
I wonder how many others, like me, run to their computer several times a day to check up on things. We all appreciate how many hours you're putting in right now to share with us the latest news about KU's football coach search. Whatever they pay you, it isn't enough.

Mike Kendall 8 years, 4 months ago

When this is all over, Matt you need take a well-deserved vacation---maybe like Triple X---go to Boro Boro!

FreddyinLA 8 years, 4 months ago

Article and short video with Sumlin saying he hasn’t even talked to A&M. Didn’t say what he agent was up too.

Gus Johnson is blowing up calling the B1G game.

jay381 8 years, 4 months ago

As I watch the OU-OSU game I certainly understand why so many of my friends from my time in Oklahoma want Venables the H___ out of the program and replaced. IF, and we do not know for sure, he was ever under serious consideration I would think this debacle of a defense should remove him. I know one game does not a career make however: I think he is considered more for the school he coaches at than his ability. This is not the first time his defense could not even be competitive against a good passing team.

Fedora was on my list close to the top on Monday and I am even more convinced he would be an asset at KU. The team he put on the field today was well coached in every facet of the game. As one of the sportscasters on local radio in Memphis said after the game, Fedora out prepared, out schemed, out motivated and flat out out coached Sumlin period. (paraphrased but 95% accurate at least). Position by position Houston had the better players however the Houston coaching deficiency was obvious.

Jayhawk1116 8 years, 4 months ago

It has become clear to me that we need to follow the "headgear" rule when considering college head coaches. Any coach that wears the dreaded golf visor must be elevated to the top of the list. There's something about the visor that sets the good coaches apart.

Bville Hawk 8 years, 4 months ago

I think you may be on to something, 1116. More research needs to be done, but early clinical trials look promising.

ahpersecoachingexperience 8 years, 4 months ago

Geesh, put two big 10 teams inside away from the frozen tundras they usually play on and they become arena football teams.

SuperJayTNT 8 years, 4 months ago

Matt, if you're still up, anything of substance at all behind the Dennis Dodd tweet?

Marcia Parsons 8 years, 4 months ago

Interesting article on CJSports about Zenger's style of recruiting coaches.

Mike Kendall 8 years, 4 months ago

Very interesting read, bville_hawk. Thanks for your post and link.

Ashwin Rao 8 years, 4 months ago

Loved the article! Hope Zenger is sitting across the table with the next coach right now! :)

ahpersecoachingexperience 8 years, 4 months ago

Good stuff...if it was 1942! Today it's about private jets, corner offices, country clubs, and what kind of car the coaches wife will get. Get with the times sheahoRn!

BayPark 8 years, 4 months ago

I hope I'm wrong but I think we're destined for a second or third-tier guy. In the end, it's a crap shoot anyway. Who's to say Christensen or Doeren won't be a better choice. I'm afraid all the Fedora talk will seem silly in a couple days.

Mary Frances Stortz 8 years, 4 months ago

Ku is really doing a foolish thing passing on Mike Leach. Regardless of whether you like him or not, he IS a winner! Ku must have some buddies at Tech to have demanded that he drop his lawsuit.There is nothing about the Lawsuit that would involve KU. I live two hours from Lubbock. I can assure you that most us feel that Leach has every right to pursue this lawsuit. Craig James' son is a whiney, pretty boy. He complained if he didn't start every down . I have no doubt that this was a witch hunt. Everyone in the stands booed him because he really isn't that great a reciever.He's average at best. Leach did the right thing putting the best players on the field. Everyone in Lubbock is furious with Tech. Heck...Craig James would have never been a big name if he hadn't been in the same backfield as Eric Dickerson. This just smacks of Tech buddying up to the James clan.Just because daddy is a commentator, and certainly not the best either. I personally hope that they've shot themselves in the foot so badly that no coach worth his salt will want to coach there. If you guys were smart, you'd pursue him. He's got a really fire to win, motivation to put a winner on the field to prove to himself and everyone else that he isn't a fluke., AND to make Tech feel like a bunch of fools for running him off. The vast majority of those who have played for him think he is a great coach. Whoever doesn't hire him will regret it if they have to field a team against him. Whoever IS smart enough to do so will have one hell of a coach. Ku definitely doesn't need another touchy-feely sort like Gill. You guys need a fiery coach that can get a team red hot !!! I am a Jayhawk fan in a sea of Tech and longhorn fans. I also root for the Aggies. I have family over there. Go Hawks.

Steve McGillivray 8 years, 4 months ago

Wow!! You have no idea what really happened do you.

Lance Cheney 8 years, 4 months ago

Haha. No kidding. Google "Mike Leach" and see what comes up.

kgrad99 8 years, 4 months ago

Lol- Did he already get fired again?

Mary Frances Stortz 8 years, 4 months ago

Yeah, I do have an idea...and that brat asked for it. He was disruptive and got in the way of constructive practices taking place, and if he did have a concussion, had no business being on the field anyway. I have absolutely no sympathy for him. If he was as big a jackass as he sounds like he was...I might have done the same thing. Oh...Washington State finally pulled the trigger and signed him to a contract. They will be something to reckon with after a couple of recruiting classes.

kansaspike 8 years, 4 months ago

Fedora rejected Ole Miss? Interesting.

Sources told Saturday Southern Miss coach Larry Fedora rejected an offer from Ole Miss. A source said late Saturday Ole Miss was expected to make one final pitch to Fedora before turning its full attention to Freeze.

Fedora led the Golden Eagles to an upset of Houston Saturday, giving USM the Conference USA championship. Fedora is also considered to be a leading candidate at North Carolina and Kansas and could emerge as a top candidate at Texas A&M if Houston coach Kevin Sumlin decides to pursue the vacancy at UCLA.

I wouldn't want to coach in the SEC West either.

Jeff Coffman 8 years, 4 months ago

I'm so disappointed. I went to sleep finally, and waking up about 11 hours after the last update, hoping to get some type of article...and nothing.

I think probably half of the Jayhawk nation is going through Jones' until we get another update.

SZ is keeping this so quiet, that even sites like football rumor mill or ESPN can't even get a tidbit to throw out there. All we have his speculation amongst friends.

Give us some type of update...please

hawksfanatic 8 years, 4 months ago

Fedora, Fedora - let me count the ways. Love the way his players took apart Houston. Love what I saw on defense. Loved the offensive mix. Love that he MIGHT come to KU. May seem silly in a couple of days, but I can dream, can't I?

David Atchley 8 years, 4 months ago

If any of "boarders" here happened to watch the Big 12 Conference games yesterday, you clearly observed how far behind the Kansas program has fallen behind. Pick a category, coaching, administration, government, recruiting, facilities, talent evaluation and development....and the list unfortunately staggers on....

Those of you that did see Big 12 play yesterday, saw first-hand how the brain-trust known as the OU defensive coordinators allowed Oklahoma State to embarrass them on national TV. You really want to get Venables in knowing that Oklahoma State's program has moved ahead of them?

Meanwhile, and on a more "realistic" level for who might remotely want to be saddled with all of the categories I pointed-out earlier, did you happen to see the effort turned in by Clemson yesterday? Did you happen to see the "offensive" execution by OC coordinator "Chad Morris?" IN the one season Morris has been the OC at Clemson, they have only won the ACC Championship! In addition to that, Morris is very deep-rooted in Texas High School Football and he personally won several State Championships as a Texas High School Coach.

The fact he's only been at Clemson doesn't have him so heavily coveted as a Larry Fedora. After Southern Miss upset Houston yesterday, it appears Fedora will be given a chance to either take the Texas A&M or another SEC school of his choice. I can't imagine him lowering his sights for a Kansas job that has been run into the proverbial ditch.

Coach Morris is the choice now. A year from now, he'll be on everyone's radar and in another year, Morris could have his pipeline up and running for Texas high school talent to Kansas. Oh and by the way....possibly restore Kansas to some relevance in the Big 12 Conference.

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