Coaching Search 2011: 5:08 p.m. - Zenger meets with KU players; talks about correcting problems


Kansas coach Turner Gill talks to his players after Missouri's failed field goal attempt in the second half Saturday, Nov. 26, 2011 at Arrowhead Stadium.

Kansas coach Turner Gill talks to his players after Missouri's failed field goal attempt in the second half Saturday, Nov. 26, 2011 at Arrowhead Stadium. by Kevin Anderson

5:08 p.m. Update:

While some members of the coaching staff loaded boxes into vehicles outside of the Anderson Family Football Complex, Kansas University athletic director Sheahon Zenger met inside with the KU football team and a few remaining members of the coaching staff just after 4 p.m. Monday afternoon.

The meeting lasted about 20 minutes and, according to sophomore running back James Sims, was about nothing more than getting the program back on track.

“He just basically talked about getting stuff corrected,” Sims said. “That’s pretty much what he was giving to us.”

Sims said Zenger did not talk about what might come next in the coaching search to replace former KU coach Turner Gill, who was fired Sunday after two seasons.

“No, sir,” Sims said. “Not yet. It was just about all the stuff that was going on and how we need to get our stuff corrected and turned around.”

According to Sims, the Jayhawks soaked up all of the information shared by Zenger, who himself is a former college football coach.

“It was received real well,” Sims said. “We all respect the AD and the decision that he made and we’re just looking forward to whoever’s coming in next.”

More to come. Stay tuned...

3:28 p.m. Update:

Just got off the phone with KU athletic director Sheahon Zenger. I'll have more from our conversation later. For now, here's a quote that Zenger gave to earlier today.

"I am looking for someone with a strong pedigree. It could be a former head coach, current head coach or a coordinator. I think it is important that a coordinator comes from a highly successful program and he's been in that role for some time... I want someone that has strong football values and knows X's and O's. He must have a level of discipline above most."

None of what's in that quote is much of a surprise and it falls in line perfectly with our list of coaching candidates.

My initial read? These names should rise to the top: Leach, Mark Stoops, Mike Stoops, Venables, Fedora, probably in that order...

Gonna head up to the football complex again to see what's happening. Be back soon.

Stay tuned...

3:09 p.m. Update:

Starting to hear about a 4 p.m. meeting between KU athletic director Sheahon Zenger and the KU football team.

Clearly this is no surprise and, based on what I'm hearing, I'd expect this to be a doozy of a meeting. These players likely will hear exactly what Zenger expects out of them and the program in the future and that message will be very different than anything they've heard during the past couple of years.

We'll head up there for reaction. Stay tuned...

2:51 p.m. Update:

Couple of quick nuggets while I'm waiting for some phone calls back...

  1. There's been a lot of talk/speculation/wondering about former Ohio State coach Jim Tressel having a shot at the KU job. Cross him off the list. Not only is Tressel not likely to be interested in the gig, I'm also hearing that he won't even be contacted by KU. No surprise there, really, but, at this point, all options have to be considered.

  2. Regarding Leach and the opening at UCLA, don't panic just yet. I know it's been reported that Leach would be a slam dunk at UCLA, which just fired Rick Neuheisel, but I'm hearing that UCLA might not see Leach as the right fit at this time. Look for the Bruins to throw the bank at Boise State coach Chris Petersen, who was on their short list four years ago and could emerge as UCLA's top candidate very soon.

More to come. Stay tuned...

1:47 p.m. Update:

Not surprisingly, KU men's basketball coach Bill Self had some great things to say about the situation surrounding the KU football program currently.

Here's a quick recap of his comments.

First and foremost, Self expressed sympathy and appreciation for Gill and his family:

“I think yesterday was a sad day," he said. "Everybody likes and respects Turner and his staff, without question. A lot of times in business you make decisions that are hard. But I know that we’ll be in good hands moving forward. I have total confidence in the administration to bring in a good guy, the right guy, and I certainly wish the best for Turner and his family.”

When asked about the attractiveness of the football job that's now open at Kansas, Self talked about it being a great opportunity.

“I would rank it definitely as a good job. I don’t think that the football job at KU is the equivalent of the basketball job at KU because there’s not as much history and tradition. But I do think this; we’re still selling the same product. We’re selling the school, the education, the conference. I think it’s really a good job. And I think it will definitely attract a lot of people. It’s been proven that you can win big here.”

Beyond his love for Kansas, Self talked about KU football having an important role in the way of life for the entire university.

“It benefits everybody on our campus. It benefits our athletic department. It benefits our budget. It benefits baseball or volleyball or tennis. Everybody needs to have a good football program. There’s no question about that.”

“There’s no revenue stream that this university can create that’s greater than putting people in the seats over there (Memorial Stadium).”

“Regardless of how people may see it, it is a business and you’ve gotta generate income. I don’t know exactly where we’re at, but I think basketball is close to maxed out as far as what we can generate. So I think it’s very important for our football program to be successful. We need football to be good also because football brings you an element of enthusiasm and energy to your campus.”

Back to the search. Much more to come.

Stay tuned...

11:23 a.m. Update:

About to head over to KU basketball coach Bill Self's weekly press conference. Self's always great about talking about what's best for KU and I'm sure he'll have some wisdom about the football situation. More to come on that later.

For now, here are the highlights from this morning's chat with interim head coach Reggie Mitchell:

• Mitchell said he, Buddy Wyatt and David Beaty would be the only staff members who would continue to go on the road to recruit...

• Mitchell said all recruits who planned to come in for visits this weekend are still coming... Also said the fortunate thing was that he was the lead recruiter for all of this weekend's visitors and that the stability that he's still here has helped calm these kids' nerves...

• Mitchell on recruits: He talked to all who are on board on Sunday & none had decommitted. Key now is to make sure they let new coach sell them. Trio who will go on the road expect to be in these guys' homes in the next 24 hours...

• Mitchell said he'd like to remain at Kansas with the new staff.... Also understands it's a business...

• Mitchell said Turner Gill was disappointed but remained upbeat and classy to the end... No surprise...

• Mitchell on hiring a new coach at Kansas: "It sells itself." Also said coach should be hired in 10-15 days... The guess here is that it'll be sooner.

More to come this afternoon, from all angles of the search.

Stay tuned...

10:06 a.m. Update:

By now, it seems obvious that most people with an interest in the coaching search to hire Kansas University’s newest football coach have identified former Texas Tech coach Mike Leach as the top candidate.

The reasons for this are plenty and include everything from Leach’s proven track record as a winner to his name and personality being sexy enough to boost both the interest and the image around KU football.

There are a million things we already know about Leach: solid record at Tech (84-43 overall, 47-33 in Big 12 in 10 seasons) quirky personality, uncermimonious firing, affinity for all things pirate-related....

But when you’re talking about hiring the next Kansas football coach — and when you’re talking about hoping this will be the guy that (a) finally gets it going and sustains it and (b) will be here a long time — I don’t think you ever can know too much.

With that in mind, below are a few links for you to look at, all designed to give you a better, deeper look at Leach the man, the coach and the potential KU candidate.

Rumors ran wild during the past 12 hours that Leach was in Lawrence or on his way to Lawrence to interview for the job. That’s possible. But we haven’t been able to confirm anything yet.

A late-night trip to the Lawrence Municipal Airport to track a plane from Key West, Fla., that was rumored to have Leach on board turned up nothing more than a family returning from vacation. Inquiries at The Oread hotel about a man named Mike Leach checked into a room there also turned up nothing. Then again, they would, wouldn’t they? No way Leach checked into a Lawrence hotel (or any other hotel for that matter) under his actual name.

Leach has emerged as the top candidate at KU for a couple of reasons.

First, he and KU athletic director Sheahon Zenger have history and have worked together in the past. When Zenger was the publisher of a football magazine he helped start in the 1990s, Leach often was involved in some of the articles. In addition, the two nearly worked together on a couple of different football staffs back when Zenger was still coaching.

This doesn’t make it a slam dunk, as Leach will have a ton of other suitors, but it should give KU a leg up.

Another thing that gives KU a leg up is its standing in the Big 12 Conference. Leach believes he was wrongfully terminated at Texas Tech and most speculate that Leach would love the opportunity to come back into the conference and play Tech every year.

We’ll have more on Leach as things progress. From all aspects, he very much looks like the favorite for the job, so long as he’s interested in taking it. That said, I’ve been told that Zenger is open to exploring anyone who shows interest in the job and will take all candidates very seriously.

One little nugget about coaching lists: Zenger has one. He had one when he was hired by KU. But it’s important to remember that things change and lists don’t always wind up being the end-all, be-all.

When Zenger hired longtime Purdue assistant Brock Spack to be the head football coach at Illinois State a few years back, Spack’s name was nowhere to be found on Zenger’s intial list.

Go figure.

Here are a few more links to familiarize you with Leach. We’ll try to bring you these types of looks on all the candidates throughout the week.

60 Minutes interview:

Recent interview with folks at Arizona:

Recent article in the New Orleans paper:

9:39 a.m. Update:

Good morning... Lots of good stuff coming your way today — and every day until this thing is done — but, to kick things off, we'll start with a statement from former KU football coach Turner Gill, who was fired on Sunday after two seasons.

"I would like to thank the University of Kansas for the opportunity to be its head football coach. On behalf of our staff, I want to thank the players for putting their heart and soul into this football program the past two years. I hope nothing but the best for all their future endeavors, both on and off the field."

KU recruiting coordinator Reggie Mitchell has been named as the interim head coach and he spoke with reporters this morning for about 10 minutes. I'll have more from Mitchell soon.

Stay tuned...


moliemolie 10 years, 2 months ago

Just what you would expect, classy until the end.

justinryman 10 years, 2 months ago


To bad some of the KU fans couldn't have been.

waywardJay 10 years, 2 months ago

still not convinced Turner was given a fair shake. This year was terrible, sure, but Gill didn't even really get a chance to Coach his own players.

Leach proves me wrong and coaches Jordan Webb into Kliff KIngsbury, Then I will say it must have been the coaching, but honestly. I would sooner expect Bobby Knight Join a Rastfarian Band on stage than I would expect Webb to be a Dynamo.

hawk316 10 years, 2 months ago

molie, you're exactly right. This man was pure class.

ahpersecoachingexperience 10 years, 2 months ago

Pretty easy to be classy when you're handed 6 million to NOT work.

justinryman 10 years, 2 months ago

Let it go dude. It's over you got what you have wanted for 2 years now. You should try and be classy, just once. Just once.

LAJayhawk 10 years, 2 months ago

He didn't write the contract. If someone offers you a sweet deal, are you going to pass it up? You are talking about security for his family. The $6 million pay out is all Lew's fault, and has absolutely nothing to do with Gill being a class act, which he 100% is.

ahpersecoachingexperience 10 years, 2 months ago

Just saying stop acting like the guy will be standing in line at the soup kitchen next week.

tical523 10 years, 2 months ago

. . . .nobody was acting like he will be standing in any line, molie simply stated he was classy, not a good coach or treated unfairly, just said he was classy til the end. Get over yourself man.

Dave Cook 10 years, 2 months ago

class has nothing to do with it.. He was hired to do a job for a very large amount of money and he failed.. yet he walks away with a VERY large amount of money. Nice guy, sure.. Good coach for KU? not at all.. don't let the door hit you in the butt on the way out.. just my 2cents..

Chris Condren 10 years, 2 months ago

Agreeing to release a statement written by a PR person means the guy is classy? What a joke. The only things he should be remembered for are two years of miserable football and taking a mountain of money for doing nothing to improve Kansas football. If accomplishing all of this is classy then we have really lowered the bar to measure a coach.

justinryman 10 years, 2 months ago

Matt, any names being tossed around?

And please no Mike Leach.

hawk316 10 years, 2 months ago

Let's hope Brent Venables is on Zenger's short list.

gchawk 10 years, 2 months ago

I definitely agree with you, justinryman. I am not a proponent of Leach or either of the two Stoops brothers. I'd like to see Venables or Fedora as possible candidates, but have to think the rumors that Venables is biding his time for when the job at KSU opens up might be true. I have full faith in Sheahon's decision in this matter, but will be waiting by the phone just in case he wants my opinion!!

ghostofrealityspeaks 10 years, 2 months ago

I wish you the best TG. Unfortunately, the losses and the season were historically bad. A change had to be made. I attended every home game and it was simply embarrassing to see how poorly the team was coached. Kudos to Zenger for taking swift and appropriate action. Now on to the search.

Andy Tweedy 10 years, 2 months ago

My guess is Turner Gill will succeed somewhere, probably as an assistant or a non-BCS head coach, but this clearly wasn't working out. But, as molie said, classy 'til the end. And while people have stewed about the $6 mil we owed him, it wouldn't surprise me if a good chunk of that is going to a very worthy charity somewhere. He's just a good guy!

hawk316 10 years, 2 months ago

You might be right, rock. Gill might need to take a lesser job for the short term before trying again later in a more visible and demanding position. I don't think we've heard the last of Turner GIll. He's such a tremendous person, how can you not help but root for him? I truly hope he experiences great success elsewhere.

Bud Stagg 10 years, 2 months ago

TG is a good man, bad coach. He probably won't be able to coach in college for the next 3 years if he accepts the money.

rob4lb 10 years, 2 months ago

"From all aspects, he very much looks like the favorite for the job, so long as he’s interested in taking it."

I haven't seen anybody address the last part of the sentence. Is KU even on his radar screen? I keep hearing that he would want to come to KU because it would give him a change to "stick it to Tech" every year. Is that a reason to hire someone?

How do the law suits play into any decision to hire Leach? Does Zenger consult with ESPN before giving an offer? I believe our basketball rights (ESPN pays KU $40M over 6 years) are due to expire in a year or two. Does that factor into the decision? Or does ESPN like the fact that having Leach will make KU games more interesting so that more people will watch. I'm sure ratings for KU-Tech would be very high if Leach were Tech's coach. I doubt that anyone outside of Lubbock or Lawrence cared about this year's game.

Robert Brock 10 years, 2 months ago

Why would he be the slightest bit bitter? He walks away with a lump amounting to six million dollars. I thought I heard him mumbling, "So long, suckers!"

jay381 10 years, 2 months ago

I had the opportunity this morning to stream a radio show I listened to while living in OK hosted by a 2nd generation sportscaster with about 25 years experience and a former successful coach at OSU. I totally respect both of the people on the show. Both have known Mike Leach for years from his days at OU and personally like him. The general consensus was ML is an excellent coach however; the coach and the University have to be a fit to be successful. Both saw KU and ML as an almost oil and water combination. I also learned a lot of things I did not know about his abhorrence to alumni and fund raising contribution activities, the fact he may show up late at for example a fundraising event or just blow it off and never show up. Both said if UCLA becomes available it would be a perfect fit for Mike Leach to return to the west coast.

The name they both mentioned if he could be obtained would be Brent Venables. BBJ even said he thought his temperament, organizational and motivational skills and his recruiting abilities would make him an even better head coach than assistant. Would he take the job if offered, they both said they did not know. He is a KSU guy but grew up in KS. However he was totally ignored as a candidate by KSU when they hired Prince much to the disappointment of some on the OU staff.

Personally, I am glad Gill is gone and if the choice becomes Leach I would support enthusiastically. I was impressed with the background of Zenger and I am sure he knows a lot more than I do. I just hope this time we make a choice we can all at least understand unlike the Gill hire.

hawk316 10 years, 2 months ago

jay, thanks much for sharing this info. Although, unlike you, I was a big Gill supporter, it's now time to look ahead. I agree with you that Leach may not be the best fit. But Brent Venables, on the other hand, could be an excellent choice from the little I've read. Perhaps, the fact that Zenger and Venables both share some history at KState could prove beneficial.

tahawk81 10 years, 2 months ago

My only question on Venables is does someone like that take a better job? You look at what Muschamp was offered as a Texas Assistant. Would Venables get the same chance at a big time program? I have no idea on this, would be interested to hear what others thought.

texashawk10 10 years, 2 months ago

I haven't read much about UCLA making a run at Leach, but I have heard that Washington State is likely to make a run for Leach if Paul Wulff is let go.

Aaron Clopton 10 years, 2 months ago

And UCLA just opened up . . . according to

Gordon Penny 10 years, 2 months ago

+1. I really hope they make a decision that we can understand. The Gill Experiment was a mystery to everyone on the planet except Gill and Perkins. I will gladly support Leach or Venables in the future. Please, though, no more lower division coaches, or coaches from low-major schools. We have failed the last two times we have gone this route (Gill and Allen). Pedigree, at this point, is far more important than potential, IMHO.

David Meredith 10 years, 2 months ago

Leach would be a sexy hire, Kansas would be good on offense for sure, but probably still suck on defense for years to come. I kind of like the dude from Southern Miss, Doherty I think... with the fan base so apathetic, I worry that the sexy hire may not wind up as the right one. Where a good young coach ready to emerge may be overlooked.

jay381 10 years, 2 months ago

The SO Miss coach you mention is Larry Fedora. He was the former offensive coordinator at OSU (Oklahoma State U). I do know he was highly respected for his work on the offensive side of the football. I have not seen his teams since he left OSU. However, I will say he is one of the candidates most prominently mentioned in Memphis by some grads for the Old Miss job. His team played Memphis a couple of weeks ago and won something like 40-7 (anyone can beat Memphis in football). I just looked at the So-Miss schedule and he has 10 wins and 2 losses in and will play Houston in the C-USA championship game. I think he has taken the So Miss team to a minor bowl almost every year since he arrived. It would not be a “sexy” hire but based on my limited knowledge he is a competent coach and had the reputation of recruiting good talent (notably at the QB position) especially in Texas with a winning record.

David Meredith 10 years, 2 months ago

Thanks for the correction on the name.... He would be my choice, someone of his ilk... I worry too much about Leach being a sideshow. Don't make a hire just to create a buzz or sell tickets.

Ethan Berger 10 years, 2 months ago

His best recruit if im not mistaken was Brown? (name might be wrong) the 6'6 wideout. I want to say he was something like a 4 star. Pretty good reel in considering its SO MISS.

purplesage 10 years, 2 months ago

Lots of money doesn't make athletes and coaches superhuman. They still strike out, throw bad passes and miss free throws. They even have losing seasons.

We will never know if Coach Gill could have pulled it together and turned it around at KS. Remember, there's $3 million in go away money paid ony 2 years ago to the polar opposite personality that was Mark Mangino. Gill was still playing with Mangino recruits. Wonder if time to build his own team would have made a difference?

Be careful that the $$$ signs don't get in the way of remembering that KU hired a first rate individual as head coach. Sometimes, we are just jealous. Who wouldn't like $6 million to go away? The money solves certain problems taht we all face. I'm sure that the competitive nature of a person like Turner Gill or Mark Mangino is still hurt by the dismissals they have experienced.

Jeff Coffman 10 years, 2 months ago

During the fall we had conference for the holiday season we get Coachgate.

I'm so excited that a wrong has been corrected. From most of the names I have seen, I don't think we will go wrong. There are better names than others.

The one I had heard Jim Tressel, I've heard some pros/cons, but the question I have wondered, is if in 6 years when conference realignment might pop back up, having Jim Tressel, would that help or hurt as the Big Ten was always our dream.

lama 10 years, 2 months ago

He may get a show-cause penalty from the NCAA -- probably can't touch him until that investigation is resolved.

Ethan Berger 10 years, 2 months ago

I don't see him coming back to college ball for another 5 years or if ever.

KGphoto 10 years, 2 months ago

"I’ve been told that Zenger is open to exploring anyone who shows interest in the job and will take all candidates very seriously."

Understatement of the year! Perhaps I should answer that want-ad myself, because no coach in there right mind would look at our recruiting base and schedule and decide 2 years is enough to get it done.

Leach is indeed the only guy crazy enough, or vengeful enough, to take it. Good luck with Davy Jones Zenger, but I sure hope you have a hidden gem on that list.

LAJayhawk 10 years, 2 months ago

I keep hearing this "2 years to get it done" line, but the problem with that line of thought is that a new coach wouldn't have two years to get it done. Gill could have even had more than two years to get it done. What they DO have to do in two years is not have the worst college football program in all of the FBS... both offensively and defensively. They have to have a team that looks like it has been coached and is not desperately lacking even the most fundamental of fundamentals. Gill didn't need to make a bowl this year to keep his job. He needed to field a team that looked like it had a chance to in the next year or two. Even more simply, he needed to field a team that wasn't a complete joke. Two years is not enough time to build a successful program. But 2 years is plenty of time to build an embarrassment.

The new coach won't be judged on a 2 year window unless he is completely and utterly failing. In which case -- as it was in this instance -- he should be let go.

KGphoto 10 years, 2 months ago

I know it's frustrating, but there are too many examples of coaches needing 4 years to get their own players into their system before they have any real success.

I'm not Gill's biggest fan. In fact sometimes listening to him speak really grinded on me. But despite the convenient claims, we certainly were not the worst team in the FBS, we just had one of the toughest schedules.

Think about what he was up against. First year here, he loses everybody. No QB, no WRs, no LBs with any experience. He coaches a completely different style of offense, so the players who were here had to basically start over.

Second year he gets a slew of talent in place, but they are young and inexperienced. He loses his best WR for the year, and former QB Kale Pick becomes the #2 WR. The thin KU team is peppered with injuries week to week, including the hottest WR (Shepherd) and a carousel of RBs. His DC gets cancer and steps down, leaving nobody with any DC experience and the team switches to a 3-4 because he was unable to land a blue chip DL. His best DL coming into the season, Jamal Greene, went crazy along with talented LB Vernon Brooks and got kicked off the team. Then he loses DL John Williams on a team with few to no options there. Toben was never going to start at RB with the talent Gill brought in so he turned Opurum into a fine but raw DE, ready to have a breakout year in 2012. None of the QBs on this team are worth a crud, and his big QB recruit had to miss the year because of unforeseen problems.

All that said, with all those obstacles, he showed what a Gill coached team in it's second year could do when we beat Baylor for all but about 3 plays. Yeah, we lost, but don't tell me we looked like the worst FBS team. We played Oklahoma tough too. We should've beaten an Iowa St. team, that went on to beat a national title contender the next week!

We were a Christian Matthews away from being 6-6 this year, despite all of that. If Gill could've had time to coach his own recruit at QB, or not too stubborn to hand the reins to Matthews, he could've been very successful at KU. Forget the recruiting rankings, he brought more talent to KU in one year than I've ever seen. That alone gets him year 3.

Some small school with more time on there hands will land Gill, give him the time required, and he will have success.

LAJayhawk 10 years, 2 months ago

"We were a Christian Matthews away from being 6-6 this year, despite all of that."

He had Matthews and went 2-9. Are you saying it's because Matthews wasn't playing? Who's fault it that?

This team was terrible. And I'm talking fundamentally. They were poorly coached, and it was excruciatingly evident. I am really quite surprised you are trying to defend it. Injuries?? Really? You're trying to tell my the complete lack of anything on the field was due to injuries?

So you don't like them to be called the worst FBS team because we played well against a Baylor team that was so unbelievably off that day that they let us receive the kickoff to start BOTH halves? RG3 played like he just had a frontal lobotomy before the game... and still beat us. And Landry Jones had the accuracy of drunk Ray Charles the entire game. OU played TERRIBLE.... and we STILL lost by 30!!!

But you are right, we weren't the WORST team in the FBS. We were dead last defensively (120th), but only 95th offensively. Not the worst. Just really, really, really close to it....

waywardJay 10 years, 2 months ago

Incredibly well said.

You don't take a spread offense Run Offense and turn it into a power running team overnight....

YOu gotta get the players in place to play there... So what is the big name on our fans list... Mike Leach, a Spread Pass offense coach..... back the other way again, which means longer growing pains.....

droppinplates 10 years, 2 months ago

Completely wrong. Two years is typically not long enough but this is not typical. Gill took over a team with Orange Bowl experience and was beaten in record fashion almost every single Saturday. Opposing QB's set personal records, teams set scoring records, yards gained, points scored, margin of name it. Every single weekend. The fan base lost interest, nobody showing up at games. The AD could not afford to let this go another year. Other coaches will understand the situation.

KU_Alumn_2000 10 years, 2 months ago

Urban Meier just announced as Ohio States new coach.

Spencer Goff 10 years, 2 months ago

Had that predicted right down to the day.

They just waited until Thanksgiving was over so as to not start up paperwork, media camping his doorstep, and official announcements and press conferences until the holiday was past.

My buddy from Penn State is absolutely livid, as he sees this (accurately) as Ohio State realizing that Urban Meyer was the only guy that could possibly save Penn State's program, and with the recent firings Ohio State realized they could not wait another year to move (the original plan). Kudos to Ohio State for staying ahead of the curve.

Jeff Coffman 10 years, 2 months ago

Penn State should Hire Turner Gill; talk about a perfect fit. Plus PSU would love those power run formations. On top of that, they wouldn't have to worry about a coach coming in and putting names on the back of their jerseys.

Spencer Goff 10 years, 2 months ago

I'll tell my buddy that. First he'll laugh, but then he'll likely throw up after awhile from sheer fear that it happens.

HIMYM 10 years, 2 months ago

This is just a random thought, but I would like to throw another name out there for the sake of discussion: Mike Singletary. He's a mix of Mangino and Gill, a religious hard a$$ who will tell it like it is. He was somewhat successful with the 49ers, at least they had a solid defense but a crappy offense. They were never blown out, they just couldn't quite get over the hump and really the niners didn't give him very much time either before canning him. I know he doesn't have head coaching experience in college, but you never know. I'm not saying he's like these guys, but Sabin, Spurrier and Petrino sucked in the NFL but are great in the college ranks. Like I said, its just a thought that popped up in my head and thought I would post it. Thoughts?

KGphoto 10 years, 2 months ago

"Cannot play with them. Cannot win with them. Cannot coach with them. Can't do it."

Jeff Coffman 10 years, 2 months ago

Did you notice that they were 6-10 last year, and with a different coach they are already 9-2. I know they have a couple of player changes, but for the most part that is the same team.

That guy can't coach, and he shouldn't have been hired.

HIMYM 10 years, 2 months ago

Yeah, trust me I know, I'm a 49er fan, but I figured what the heck. You never know. Bobby Paterino was 3-10 with the Falcons (dude walked out with 3 games left), they made the playoffs the next year with an 11-5 record. Like I said, just a thought that randomly popped in my head.

Jeff Coffman 10 years, 2 months ago

No worries. I'm a 49er fan as well. I'm glad to see there is more than one 49er/Jayhawk fan in this world. I thought it was a small and limited group.

I'm glad that the 49ers found a coach, now let's hope that the Jayhawk football team can find a coach with the same intensity.

HIMYM 10 years, 2 months ago

I will withdraw the Mike Singletary thought. Chalk it up to a random thought. Sorry, I believe Perkins was trying to channel through me.

142466 10 years, 2 months ago

No problem. Most every name is being considered. To me anyway, most NFL guys are risky because it's difficult to forecast their ability and willingness to recruit.

John Mueller 10 years, 2 months ago

Yeah, i have a thought. Look at what he accomplished at San Fran and what a first year coach (Harbaugh) did with the identical talent.

What the hell is wrong with you? You a Mizzou grad? TERRIBLE IDEA, DUDE or MADAM.

Matt- Just a fantastic job with these posts. This to me, is the epitome of web-site journalism. very real time, quick hitting, some speculation, some rumour, but just alot of fun to read.

So far, this is as well done as the realignment journey, which was just exceptional work on your part and very, very informative and entertaining. well done!

HIMYM 10 years, 2 months ago

Dang dude, chill out. KU grad here btw. Yeah two different coaches (Harbaugh and Singletary) with two different styles. One happens to fit with the players that are there. One got the defense put together and now Harbaugh got the offense going, which as a 49er fan, I'm lovin. But really, so somebody's a Misery grad if you don't agree with them? Like I said, discuss, not castraite. Take a pill.

bradynsdad 10 years, 2 months ago

Alright jayhawk nation I need some help. My office guys have an expensive pool going on the next head coach. I get two picks. Help me out.

Ethan Berger 10 years, 2 months ago

That's hard. Leech looks like the favorite now, but with all the drama surrounding him, I just don't know. Fedora might be the top guy quietly. He just beat us last year, young guy, no drama. And if he beats Houston this week, look for his name to sky rocket. They other guy I say would be venables. We already took a coach from stoops. He is part of the Snider then Stoops tree. He might use us as a stepping stone.

KU_Alumn_2000 10 years, 2 months ago

I'm afraid that leveitt or Jones could be named. I hope it's either Venables or Leach.

Dillon Davis 10 years, 2 months ago

Reggie Mitchell absolutely needs to be retained by the new staff. He has had multiple RB's go on to be very productive NFL players. He's a players coach, he's great at recruiting obviously. We need him here to keep some of our committed players too.

TTUHutch 10 years, 2 months ago

Mike Leach does have many pros and cons. I think KU would be in error if they thought he would change his ways after Texas Tech.

I think, just as TTU is finding out, it comes down to a realistic view of exactly how competitive can KU be in recruiting. 4 and 5 star recruits are actually very few as a total and lump together at traditionally elite programs. The actual talent level between a #1-5 ranked recruiting class and 10-20 is far greater than the small space on the chart.

Since that is the case, KU better get a coach in there that has something unique to offer.

In Leach's case it was his ability to take mid talent players and create a team who was a constant threat. His D was certainly sub par but I think he embraced something that many schools simply refuse to accept. He knew if he threw everything into recruiting simply the highest ranked position players he could get, he would still never beat UT, OU, A&M on a head to head basis of pure natural ability. % wise he would lose.

Instead, he picked players that were a fit for his system. He excited the fan base, scared every team that played at the Jones, and was rewarded with above average returns and one chance to take it all the way.

I'm not pimping Leach, but honest recruiting possibilities are something schools should take much more seriously imo.

142466 10 years, 2 months ago

Yes, recruiting ability is essential. Leach can do it. Recruiting is a somewhat slimy, shadowy process. Some might say that a lawyer (which Leach is) is perfectly suited for that.

The essential thing is to not violate any NCAA rules. I don't recall Leach ever being accused of recruiting violations.

griffey2 10 years, 2 months ago

Mike Leech is all about Mike Leech. I lived in Lubbock for all of his years as head coach. He is very self promoting. He routinely missed or was late to booster events and other speaking engagements.

griffey2 10 years, 2 months ago

Mike Leech is all about Mike Leech. I lived in Lubbock for all of his years as head coach. He is very self promoting. He routinely missed or was late to booster events and other speaking engagements.

John Mueller 10 years, 2 months ago

We run the stepping stone risk with almost any coach we hire. If you build a winning program/ football cutlure at Kansas , you've accomplished something second only to Bill Snyder with regards to your resume.

Having said that, if we hire somebody who fits with KU and we continue to support his vision with facilities / compensating his staff and make sure he is compensated at market, that is about all we can do.

Lets worry about one of our coaches getting hired away later. That's a rich man's problem.

First, we need to hire a coach who's had enough success to be desirable to others.

From where we sit right now, i would almost be glad to tackle that problem!

My top three: 1. Kevin Sumlin 2. Brent Venables 3. Dan Mullen

actorman 10 years, 2 months ago

It would be a great accomplishment to build a program at KU, but it would hardly be second only to what Bill Snyder did.

How about Oregon State? They were almost as bad as KSU when Dennis Erickson (I think, although it could have been Mike Riley first) took over and made them into winners. I'm sure if I did more research, I could find other programs that were close to the horrendously bad level of KSU and OSU. As bad as KU has been, I wouldn't say we're quite at the depths that those programs were.

KU_alum_2001 10 years, 2 months ago

Well I was ashamed of the KU athletic department when it fired Mangino and now I'm ashamed again. I'll say again (although it's old, irrelevant banter) that Mangino should have never been fired. So then they bring in Gill, though, and all the Mangino-haters errupted in joy talking about his character and blah blah blah.

So then Gill gets a 5-yr contract, yet only 2 to prove his worth. Two years??? So that's how long we're giving coaches these days to turn around one of the worst historical major programs in the country?

First off, Mangino regressed in his third year. Thank God we didn't fire him then. Then he regressed in his last and did get fired. So... who honestly thinks Gill had a shot to prove himself?

Second, what kind of coach is KU going to attract when that individual believes they have two years to turn around a program like KU? This isn't Notre Dame. It's KU and no coach is going to come in and simply turn us into a champion overnight.

Third, Mike Leach??? Look, I think Leach is a good coach and, like Mangino, think it was ridiculous that he got fired but with that said, the KU AD is going to fire Mangino due to conduct and then hire Leech? You realize what hypocrites that makes us look like?

I was never a big Gill fan simply because of the Mangino situation but even I disagree with this decision. Firing a guy with three years left on his contract, taking over a program in turmoil after Mangino's ousting, and who was trying to be successful with one of the worst programs in conference history? Disagree entirely and think our athletic department is losing all perspective. Not only did we come across as lame ducks in the fearful Big 12 realignment, now we've fired a coach less than halfway into his contract, have footed the bill, and are interviewing a guy that was fired for the same reason we fired (unjustifiably) our prior coach. You know what, just call up Mangino and offer him his job back.

coolhand357 10 years, 2 months ago

Many fans agree that Mangino didn't deserve it, however, the Mangino/Gill/Perkins fiasco is now officially over. Perkins is laughing all the way to the bank 3 times a day in a stretch limo. If the new AD Zenger thinks Leach can give KU success, money and notoriety, then I am 100% behind that notion. After all, re-allignment is all about the money, isn't it? Your "2 year" thing was addressed well by LAJayhawk in an earlier comment that I happen to agree with. Scroll up and take a look. I think we should be more concerned about the track inside the stadium, and how it gives the impression KU isn't taking football seriously enough.

Andy Tweedy 10 years, 2 months ago

I understand how you feel, so as someone who dearly wanted Gill to succeed, here is how I'd address those thoughts: 1) Two years isn't very much time, but to me that's because you expect a slow growth toward the ultimate end. This team regressed in so many ways, I think a change had to be made now as opposed to later. 2) They did regress record-wise, but they only allowed like 20 points a game, so they weren't getting blown out on a weekly basis. 3) I totally agree with you about some candidates not wanting this job, but money always ends up winning the day, and KUAD clearly is putting some money on the table. 4) I'm not sure why everybody thinks Leach is such an awesome hire either. Just my thoughts...

Mandie Eutsler 10 years, 2 months ago

84-43 at TTU, bowl game EVERY year, before Leach they had 2 TV games per season. They were terrible, just like us and he really turned them around. What have they done since he left? Not much... I didn't say he is the guy I would pick, but he needs a shot at redemption and so do we. Having him here will sell tickets right away, and we'll start scoring points. I can handle losing, but being flat out embarrassed every game is a little much. I can't see a Mike Leach team losing 61-7 every week or blowing a 28 point half time lead. I have every confidence he could do it with Terry Allen talent...

texashawk10 10 years, 2 months ago

You have no idea what in the hell you are talking about. Until this season, Texas Tech was the only team to be bowl eligible in every season of the Big 12's existence and had a streak of 18 straight years of being bowl eligible going to back to 1993.

droppinplates 10 years, 2 months ago

Get a clue. Mangino wasn't hired or fired by the current AD. Gill was not hired by the current AD. No wonder KU football sucks, most of the fans are abolutely clueless and have settled for sh*tty football. And anyone not associated with KU thinks Leach would be a bad hire because they are afraid of him!!! DUH!!!

KU_alum_2001 10 years, 2 months ago

Silly rabbit, ignorance is for kids. Then again, you may be some undergrad freshman for all I know. So... let's go ahead and pick apart each of our mistakes. I can admit mine.

So first off, my bad in that I typed "AD" (in all caps) when I meant the athletic department, not the Athletic Director. Laziness on my part given this is well... a fan comment section. With that said, our athletic dept fired Mangino so the thought of us hiring Leach seems like a bit of hypocrisy. And then you'll naturally come back with your "different AD" comment which is fair to a degree. With that said, the KU program is the KU program and it looks bad when the program fires one guy for "misconduct towards student-athletes" and then hires another that was fired for the same reason. It just shows inconsistency, regardless of whether it's a new AD or not.

With that said, let's go ahead and discuss YOUR mistake: the suggestion that KU football sucks because fans have no clue. No... fans are rather apathetic towards KU football because they haven't produced consistent success since the 40's, not because KU fans are clueless. KU has been bad since before your parents were probably born so don't go blaming their lack of success on your perceived view of fans.

And if everyone is so fearful of Leach, then why has nobody else hired him yet? I mean he's been mentioned as a choice for Maryland, Minnesota, and Miami and yet here he is still available. Go figure.

Joseph Kuebel 10 years, 2 months ago

Uhh, Perkins fired Mangino for several claims by several players. Preach got canned in a witch hunt against him because he didn't get along with higher UPS at TT.

Who in the world do u think would be better?

KU cannot afford to hire some halfbutted "up and coming" unproven loser like Gill. If they accepted mediocrity they would have kept Gill.

Leach has proven that he can win, Leach has proven hr can compete in the Big12, and can build a football program in Lubbock, TX... He certainly can do better in Lawrence, KS...

Any other coach, in particular Ron Sooo would be th biggest mistake possible. I would also hate to see Venables - an slightly above average defensive coach with top tier talent at Oklahoma... Leavitt wouldnt be bad as option 1.B... But can he recruit Texas???? We need a coach that has proven he can win in the Big 12..

Leach is this proof. If we don't get Leach we shouldn't have gotten rid of Gill. We are obviously shooting for a big name coach, and are willing to spend... Any other coach would be a failure. Sumlin I don't agree with either, he is basically a Turner Gill reincarnation. GET LEACH.

KU_alum_2001 10 years, 2 months ago

I agree with some of your points but others I certainly do not. First off, the idea that KU cannot afford to hire some "halfbutted up and coming unproven loser." Uhhhhmmmm... you're entirely wrong on this. Terry Allen and Gill proved themselves to be winners as head coaches. You can argue that they weren't at major programs but they did win. Meanwhile Mangino was at two major programs (if we call KSU that) but he was an asst coach. He had never run a team (aside from a high school team) prior to KU yet proved himself a winner. Glen Mason came from Kent State when he arrived at KU and barely had a winning record there. So what is this banter about KU needing a winner? We've never once had a winner and there's a reason for that: winners aren't jumping at the chance to be the KU football coach.

And please don't push the claim that Mangino was fired due to conduct but Leach was fired because of politics. Come on. Either both were fired because of conduct or both were fired because of politics, pick one. Their situations were not that different. Mangino poked a kid in the chest, said a lot of unpleasant things, and made one guy get blisters on his hand and that's the "stated" reason for his firing. Leach locked a kid in a closest, and that was the "stated" reason for his firing.

The fact is, though, that Mangino had lost 7 straight games while Leach was due for a contract renewal. Either way, both were likely pushed out over politics. And don't say that Mangino was pushed out for performance. He's still to this day the only winning coach (even if barely) that KU's had in 40+ years so I don't buy the idea that those losses justified his firing. So please don't try to push the idea that Mangino's issues were relevant when Leach's were not, or vice versa.

Finally, I'm not saying Leach wouldn't be a good coach and wouldn't be good for the program. I'm simply saying that it will make us look like a bunch of hypocrites for hiring a guy that was fired for "misconduct" less than 60 days after our coach was fired for the same type of behavior.

Ben Kliewer 10 years, 2 months ago

I hear Rick Neuheisel's looking for a job... ;)

142466 10 years, 2 months ago

He's in that situation every 2 or 3 years.

John Mueller 10 years, 2 months ago


sorry, i might have pounced on you a bit harshly.

But, Singletary? I think he was a stud as a player, but clearly a dud as a coach.

Btw, so was Turner Gill.

Just a dumb suggestion based on his performance as a coach, but sorry for the pounce.

I have no problem with somebody having a different point of view, but for crap sakes, give it some thought first.

Singletary was every bit as awful as what we just lived thru, maybe worse.

Enough of that crap.

HIMYM 10 years, 2 months ago

No problem, and yeah I didn't think much on it. It just popped in my head for some reason and I thought I'd throw it out there. Not just from you, but from a couple posters as well, it's looking like a non-favorable thought, so I'll take it back.

Ethan Berger 10 years, 2 months ago

I see us staying away from Leech and Levit. They have reputations against players. Recruits know this.

I'm not sold on Venables, his defense have always been average to me. It seems they get in alot of shootouts. I think we need to take a good look at the Texas cords. That offense did well considering they were a freshman run team. That defense strait up balled. Their defense is a joy to watch.

Nick Cole 10 years, 2 months ago

Agree w/everything except the first part. If a player can't take being cussed at by his coach, or put in a gym by himself during practice b/c he was being a little b!t@#, then I don't want that player at KU. We need players who want to be mean every single play of every game, and that is exactly what Leach and Levit preach.

pepper_bar 10 years, 2 months ago

The LJW really needs to stop relentlessly pimping the very mediocre Leach as the only viable candidate.

actorman 10 years, 2 months ago

How exactly is Leach mediocre at all, much less very mediocre? Because he got accused of abusing ONE player (who happened to have connections to an ESPN hotshot)???

There's certainly nothing about his record at TT that in any way makes one think of the word "mediocre."

rob4lb 10 years, 2 months ago

I think it comes down to trusting our AD. In general, the national press is saying that KU did not give Gill enough time to put his stamp on the program. Of course the national press did not see alot of KU games. I wavered over whether or not Gill should be given a third year until I read an article in JayhawkSlant where some of the players implied Gill was too easy on them which allowed them to ease off at times in practice.

I think there are pros and cons for all of the candidates. Jay381's comments about Leach blowing off fundraisers and alumni events is big red flag for a school like KU.

It looks like from this blog that 'public opinion' is coalescing around Venebles, Leach, and Fedora and possibly Sumlin. Venebles inteviewed for the KU job when Mangino was hired and seems to be have been on the short list for good jobs for ten years. I don't know why he hasn't left OU. He certainly has been considered for better jobs. Sumlin is rumored to be going to ASU. There was a big discussion about that on a sports talk show here in Houston today. I don't know enough about Fedora, but he looks great on paper.

Jack McEnaney 10 years, 2 months ago

So Jim Tressel has been seen on the campus at the University of Akron, and is rumored to be considering going to coach the Zips. KU should take a shot and see if would be interested in coaching immediately. If he is interested in coaching Akron U, y wouldnt he want to coach KU? If you had the choice, which would you choose? The NCAA isn't going to further penalize Tressel, he was already penalized by the Colts to preempt the NFL. Tressel has been involved with the Colts, talked with the Browns and now Akron? He obviously wants to have his name in the hat still. Let's get a big time coach at a decent price. When is the next time KU will have a chance to land a national championship coach with multiple BCS bowl victories? If I go to the stock market it makes no sense for me to buy when the stock is at an all time high. Buy when the stock is low!

Kevin Randell 10 years, 2 months ago

I am all excited about the names being thrown around, but something just jumped to mind. Though I would love to get a Big Name coach, the concern that hits me is hiring a guy like Leach, Tressel, etc who left on bad terms and is looking for a chance at redemption. Say he turns the program around and we go 10-2 or 9-3 or even a decent season after our 2-10 season. Will this guy bolt for after one or two seasons for a team like Texas after Mack Brown gets the boot?

142466 10 years, 2 months ago

He might well bolt, but it would be worth it because I don't see him giving us an eye popping W-L record until year 4 or 5.

average 10 years, 2 months ago

It's certainly a concern, but not one worth concerning ourselves. I don't think there's any question that if Mangino had weighed about 100 pounds less, we would have had a bidding war for keeping him (and probably lost) after the 2008 season. Unless there's someone great with other strong KU ties (and there isn't), it's going to happen. Pick for the best you can get, not 'pretty good'.

Alex Berger 10 years, 2 months ago

Let's get to 10-2 first before we worry about coaches bolting...

coach43 10 years, 2 months ago

please dont verbally attack me. but what about neuihisal(spelling) from ucla? I am just wondering if he is someone that zenger is looking at? or if he is someone we would possibly want?

Andy Tweedy 10 years, 2 months ago

I would never verbally attack anybody on this forum, but I'm always amazed at how much name-calling goes on here. Pretty lame! Good luck avoiding the wolves!!!

coach43 10 years, 2 months ago

thanks..haha...i personally didnt follow ucla much, but just saw that that he got fired, despite a bowl appearance....

Hammertoe 10 years, 2 months ago

KU is 1-23 in conference in the last 3 years under Gill and Mangino. Gill made $10 Million for one conference win. One could argue Gill is the worst hire in the history of college football. The football program at KU isn't going to be turned around in the short term. Any school recruiting against Mike Leach...just go to You Tube and type in Mike Leach. Lots of Moms would not approve.......

Michael Maris 10 years, 2 months ago

With all due respect Hammertoe, you have to not listen to everything that Kevin Kietzman says, Keitzman math is not exactly correct. I guess that Kietzman and yourself forgot that Mangino won the first Big XII game in 2009. Then, KU went on a 7 game losing streak.

Not that it would make much of a difference. But, KU did beat Iowa State in 2009. By the way, mothers are not the individuals that will be playing football (last I checked anyway). I supported Coach Gill. But, I will say this going forward. in the past 30 years, KU only has success when KU has a military style coach running the football program. But, the fan base seems to not like the military coaching style in Lawrence, Kansas. Mike Gottfried, Glen Mason and Mark Mangino were all good coaches. Gottfried was lured away by Pitt. Fans couldn't stand the fact that Mason was not a Fan Pleaser. Players turned on Mangino after KU won an Orange Bowl. I will say this, Mangino must've had issues with his Assistant Coaches (as well). Cause, when KU lost Bill Young to U. of Miami, that was what hurt Mangino more than anything. Can't run off high caliber Coordinators. So, would Ed Warinner and Bill Young like to come back to KU. Well, probably not. Warinner is at Notre Dame and Young is back at his Alma Mater. Toughen up Players. They don't train wooshy military men in the Army or the Marines. You want to play football. Then, expect your butts to get yelled at and a finger shoved in your chest from time to time.

In watching ESPN's documentary on Coach K. The one thing that I will take away from watching that documentary, Coach K talked about his mother and him having a conversation about how Coach Knight was constantly yelling at him and pushing him to get better. Coach K's mother informed Coach K ''at least the Coach is still talking to you''. At least if the coach is yelling, cussing or poking you in the chest and you are not in the back of the pool of players that are not getting yelled at. Consider yourself luck and get your rear in gear and perform to the coaches expectations.

BCRavenJHawkfan 10 years, 2 months ago

Interesting that Leach is rumored as the next ONE.

Way back when the wheels at Texas Tech removed him I tried to explain it was not about Craig James' son but really about how Leach out manouvered Texas Tech in his contract renewal. And those West Texas sheephearders resented it. And now all can read it for themselves. There is a book just out laying out the purely legal wranglings that took place, "Double T, Double Cross". A short weekend read I highly recommend. Let's also note that Leach has NOT had one suiter during his time after the incident. Many reasons for that, not the least of which is no one wants to get into those messy contract negotiations which are the real crux of his removal.

As to Gill and who may follow. Gill was indeed a decent man. I will even go so far as to say he was a decent coach - IF the game were still being played as it was when he was a player. That game has long gone, just as leather helmuts no longer aford any real protection.

Kirk 10 years, 2 months ago

With the exception of tOSU (who knew they had Meyer in the bag), every program that's looking for a head coach seems interested in Leach about now.

To further contradict you, I'll post this recent report on research that leather helmets may offer even better protection against concussions than contemporary ones:

And finally, I agree Gill seemed to be a decent man (as did Tressel and Paterno, among other celebrities we don't know personally), but he's no head coach for any era.

FSUJHAWK 10 years, 2 months ago

At a place like KU the only big name football coach we'll ever see is one with a tarnished reputation of sorts. At a place like KU it will take 4-6 years to be competitive in football, regardless of who is at the helm. Of course this doesnt mean we shouldnt shoot for the stars and expect excellence, but unfortunately at a place like KU patience is not the order of the day.

PS, sometimes in life, sports and business, one has to move backwards in order to move forward and be successful.

BTW, I think we should hire 100 as our offensive and recruiting coordinator while Apherse alter egos would be perfect as defensive coordinators.


John Mueller 10 years, 2 months ago

Slightly off topic.....

But, is there a single solitary soul you would rather have coaching our beloved Jayhawks than Bill Self?

I mean, the guy is not only a winner, but is just such a tremendous ambassador for the University and the KU Athletic department.

I remember when he first started, I wasn't sure about his public speaking, but his humility is just unbelievable and he always seems to say the right thing.

To say the KU football job isn't quite the KU basketball job is the understatement of all time, but it was well said. His comments about the importance of football to a university, dead on.

Just very, very thankful to have Bill Self as a Jayhawk leader!!!

rob4lb 10 years, 2 months ago

He needs to continue to play Missouri

rob4lb 10 years, 2 months ago

Because his statement that KU fans don't care about playing MU is completely false and all the spokepersons for the universities have come across very negatively to KU's reaction to MU's move to the SEC.

Bill Self has served as the university's spokesperson to the fan that need red meat. Sometimes it's effective and sometimes it's not.

Jabberhawky 10 years, 2 months ago

His statement is not at all false - some (perhaps many) KU fans really don't care if the BB team plays Mizzery.

I'm one of them.

texashawk10 10 years, 2 months ago

With the way the Missouri administration behaved during the entire realignment process, I couldn't care less if KU plays them again any time in the near future. If KU plays Missouri in a bowl game or tournament, that is beyond the KU administrations control but I would be very disappointed if KU went out of their way to help Missouri at this point.

Eric Dawson 10 years, 2 months ago

"Sometimes it's effective and sometimes it's not."

In this instance, he was very effective, and has captured the mood of every KU fan that I personally know.

It was mOO's issues with the conference and their subsequent actions last year and this that initiated the seismic uncertainty. Now they want to mollify the folks in western MO and their fans that will miss the KU rivalry by trying to continue to have KU on the schedule.

Not only no, but hell no!

Self got it in one.

Mandie Eutsler 10 years, 2 months ago

I thought the way Mizzou left was low. It drug on for way too long and really seemed to me the Big 12 was getting pretty sick of it too. Notice how they added WVU without waiting to see what MU did? They have wanted out for so long and didn't get into the conference they really wanted but managed to squeeze into the same situation they left behind. Mad at Texas? Great now you can be mad at Alabama. Couldn't get a conference championship? Good luck with that now. They get to complain about not getting what they want and now it's our fault the rivalry won't continue? I don't think so, and we shouldn't do them any favors. "You can't have your cake and eat it too."

actorman 10 years, 2 months ago

You are so right, springtx. And it's not just his humility, but the fact that he says it like it is. I love that he doesn't just resort to coach speak and that he tells us what he's really thinking.

A class act all the way and, unlike TG, someone who can also actually coach a little.

ahpersecoachingexperience 10 years, 2 months ago

The thing about ucla is their facilities are a dump! Combine that with high cost of living and crazy state taxes and the job really isn't that attractive. Sure it's la and there is potential to build facilities and talent galore all around but there is a reason ucla has struggled for so long.

ASU is also a possibility for leach. However they seem to really want Sumlin over leach. Not much instate talent in AZ and have t do battle with the Oregon and USC for la talent when you don't have strong recruiting ties in the area would be difficult.

ahpersecoachingexperience 10 years, 2 months ago

Did sheahoRn just show his cards by leading with " could be a former head coach..."

jhawkjunkie 10 years, 2 months ago

Offense sells tickets and puts butts in the seats, but defense wins games, so BRENT VENABLES!!!!! Kansas boy, Stoops isn't going anywhere, K-State passed him over once before, Big 12 ties and Texas recruiting ties, multiple Big 12 championships, young, exciting and charismatic, and young enough that if successful, makes it his and around for a LONG time!

Bville Hawk 10 years, 2 months ago

If you read the Barry Trammel(sp) article about TG that also makes mention of Venables as a candidate here, it is instructive to read the message board comments below. It seemed to me that most the posters were anxious for someone to hire Venables away from OU. Apparently they feel that he is not up to the task. Just saying...

texashawk10 10 years, 2 months ago

My list of qualifications for the next KU coach are as follows:

-Emphasis on defense and special teams. It is so much easier to be competitive and pull off upsets when the opposing team is only scoring an average of 20-25 points per game. Special teams plays can really swing the momentum of games and non-offensive TD's make games much easier to win

-Ability to recruit Kansas, Texas, and JuCo's. Keeping in-state talent at home is very important for schools like KU and KSU because of the limited number of D1 prospects the state produces. Texas is where most of the core of the team is going to come from so obviously that is important. JuCo's are important because they fill in the gaps of the incoming freshmen.

-Winning track record at previous schools. Being around winning programs should be a priority because that means that the coach knows what winning looks like off the field which has been a problem for the past few years at KU.

-Someone who won't leave in 3-4 years for a better job. This probably rules out most of the big name coaches, but it's very difficult to build a consistent program when the staff is always turning over and we have all seen this over the past 5 years with all of the turnover on both Mangino and Gill's staffs.

-Someone who will come to KU for $1-1.5 million per year. Most coaches currently making $2+ million dollars are doing so because of a combination of on-field success and longevity at their current school. If the next coach does not have a track record of success at a BCS school, they should not be making more than $1.5 million until they prove they can win at KU.

-55 or under. Since I want a coach that could be at KU for the next decade, I don't want a coach already in their 60's on the verge of retiring in the next 5 years because that doesn't help KU build long term success any more than a big name coach looking to use KU as a springboard job. Someone who is 55 or under likely has at about 10-15 productive years as a coach left and could lay a good foundation that allows KU to go for a homerun hire.

The last 2 are not absolute necessities depending on who the candidate is, but would be big pluses and should be deciding factors if two candidates are very close to each other.

-Previous head coaching experience. Someone who has always been a winner as a head coach at their previous stops would be a huge benefit, but if one of the elite assistants such as Venables or Smart show an interest in coming to Lawrence, they have to be seriously considered and I would be fine with that.

-Ties to Kansas. Someone who has ties to the state or university would be a huge benefit for KU and could end up being used as a kind of tie breaker is two candidates are very similar to each other. Because there are many good coaching prospects with connections to KU, I would also look for people with ties to some of the D2 Kansas schools or to the KC area.

ahpersecoachingexperience 10 years, 2 months ago

9 paragraphs!?!?

Is there a cliff note version of this post I can get somewhere?

texashawk10 10 years, 2 months ago

Nope, you're just going to have to tough it out and read.

VaJay 10 years, 2 months ago

I wouldn't put offense behind special teams as a priority by any means & if we can make a "big-time" hire, lets do it, even at the risk of them leaving in a few years (who knows, if they're successful - they can be a legend here, like Snyder at KSU). Other than that, I like your shopping list.

texashawk10 10 years, 2 months ago

I don't think special teams is more important than offense, but coaches who lean more on having great defenses also place a very high premium on great special teams play as well so special teams is basically something that will come with a defensive minded coach. I'm also not completely opposed to a big time coach, but I personally would just hesitate before doing that because of the risk of having to find another coach very quickly and having another senior class that will have played under 3 different head coaches like the next couple will have.

actorman 10 years, 2 months ago

You make a lot of good points, texashawk.

My quibble is that I think it would be okay to hire an offensive-minded coach (say, Mike Leach?) as long as that coach brought in an outstanding defensive coordinator and an outstanding special teams coach. If the head coach were someone with the cache of a Mike Leach, I think he could lure some excellent assistant coaches away from other programs so we wouldn't have to worry about suffering on the defensive or special-teams ends.

d2psugrad 10 years, 2 months ago

Willie Fritz who is at SHSU fits the guy who has won every where he has been. He has ties to Kansas, won 2 juco national championships at Blinn so he has ties to juco's everywhere which could be the key to getting better fast. He is in Texas and has guys on his staff with Texas ties. He has a career winning percentage of near .700 and in his second year at SHSU has them seeded 1st in the FCS playoffs. I would be all for going with a lesser known guy like this if he was an x and o guy, and you don't get a .700 winning percentage and win championships at any level without being an x and o guy.

texashawk10 10 years, 2 months ago

Fritz is someone I listed in another article as a lesser known name worth taking a look at, but he does have one huge drawback and that is that he has never been a coach in any capacity at the FBS level and that will probably scare off any BCS conference school for now. He is definitely someone to keep an eye on if he gets a crack at an FBS school in the next couple of years to see how he fares, but he's someone I wouldn't have at the top of my list of even the lesser known candidates.

kuilander 10 years, 2 months ago

matt, i gotta say ... you are an absolute asset. thanks for all the work you do to keep us informed on a higly involved level.

Benjamin Simon 10 years, 2 months ago

i was reminded at work today about the michael ovitz fiasco at disney a few years back. he signed a five year deal, just like coach gill, but ovitz was fired after only 14 months. his buyout cost disney $130 million.

just think about that. makes the $6 million gill is walking away with a little less painful.

Noweigh 10 years, 2 months ago

Texashawk 10-----good list and I've got your man.

Mangino. Fits 'em all, and then some.

git 'er done.

texashawk10 10 years, 2 months ago

Not a snowball's chance in hell would I ever want to see Mangino as the head coach at KU ever again. He completely fell flat on his face in trying to sustain what success he did have at KU and was running the program into the ground at the time of his departure. I have absolutely no desire to see that fat turd wearing crimson and blue ever again.

actorman 10 years, 2 months ago

Thank you for being the voice of reason amid the endless blather about bringing back Mangino. I am SO sick of those idiots!!!

Mandie Eutsler 10 years, 2 months ago

After years of not letting anyone get in his way, that's exactly what he ended up doing. The scuffle with the b ball team sent it all south. People forget that he lost most of his defense from the Orange Bowl team, and his best offensive players were playing hurt. For some reason Perkins gets to have a meeting with his players without Mangino present and after that they weren't the same. Say what you want about the guy, but he ran a clean program. I don't want him back either, but the way he was pushed out was dirty...

actorman 10 years, 2 months ago

Good point. Common Matt, stop being so lazy and get to it!

actorman 10 years, 2 months ago

"'It was received real well,' Sims said. 'We all respect the AD and the decision that he made and we’re just looking forward to whoever’s coming in next.'"

That quote should be required reading for all TG apologists, and especially for those who say they feel bad for the players. I ask you guys, do you see the slightest amount of sorrow or regret in that comment??? It sounds like the players are perfectly fine with the decision and looking forward to have their hard work actually mean something.

If you should feel sorry for the players for anything, it's that they had to waste two years of their eligibility playing for that joke of a coaching staff. (And I say that as someone who supported Gill's hiring. Boy was I wrong! And I'm man enough to admit it.)

Jeff Coffman 10 years, 2 months ago

I must say that I am all in with Leach, but after reading about Chris Peterson, I would take him in a heartbeat. The fact he is only making $1.5MM and next year he could end up in the Big East screwed up BCS conference that is scattered literally across the country, I could see him having some interest.

There are some great candidates out there.

The best thing about this compared to Conference Realignment is that KU will come out ahead.

David Atchley 10 years, 2 months ago

Chad Morris OC at one season, has Clemson a legitimate program....did the same at Tulsa. player's coach and he's the King of Texas High School Football.....Kansas can catch this rising star at the right price, and more importantly, at the right time.

John Mueller 10 years, 2 months ago

Mr. Norris, I am not questioning your label, but please explain why Morris is the King of Texas High School football?

I am not familiar with him.

squawkhawk 10 years, 2 months ago

"I am looking for someone with a strong pedigree. It could be a former head coach, current head coach or a coordinator. I think it is important that a coordinator comes from a highly successful program and he's been in that role for some time... I want someone that has strong football values and knows X's and O's. He must have a level of discipline above most."

So I guess this means Leach is officially out of contention. He does not have strong football values nor a high level of discipline. He's a whack job.

griffey2 10 years, 2 months ago

I grew up in Kansas and now live in Lubbock. I am not a Texas Tech fan but was here for all of Mike Leeches years as head coach. Mike Leech would be a good hire for offense and exposure only. He made a habit of being late or not showing up to booster events, he was late or just didn't show for speaking engagements. He showed zero interest in doing anything other than coaching offense with the football program. I think he would make a great OC, but I have many reservations about him being a head coach.

bigXIImatters 10 years, 1 month ago

Has there been any mention of Charlie Strong from U of L showing interest in the job at KU, or KU expressing any interest in him?

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