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Coaching Search 2011: Day 2, 4:44 p.m. - Couple of rumblings, darkhorse candidates, a timeline, and more...

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Southern Mississippi head coach Larry Fedora

Southern Mississippi head coach Larry Fedora

4:44 p.m. Update:

Starting to hear a couple of rumblings that could impact the coaching search at KU.

The first is out of Ole Miss, where some are reporting that Alabama defensive coordinator Kirby Smart, 35, may be hired by the Rebels.

That would be a great job for Smart, who wasn't really ever a KU candidate. The one way this does relate to KU is this: If Smart is hired by Mississippi, it shows us that coaches can negotiate for jobs even while still working for their current teams, which may or may not be still preparing for games and/or bowls.

That may seem obvious, but I've seen more than a few people questioning this. I checked with the folks at KU for official word and they said it comes down to the discretion of the athletic director and the coach. There usually is no official policy.

The second bit of interest stems from Washington State officially opening its job. WSU AD Bill Moos has said in many places that he will target Mike Leach and Leach will be on his short list of candidates.

The following report sheds a little more light on that thought. It leads with the writer predicting that Leach would be announced at WSU today, but since the 2 p.m. news conference he references has come and gone, that part is out the window. Still, there's some interesting stuff about why WSU wants Leach and may go after him with reckless abandon... Take a look. Or don't.

http://washingtonstate.scout.com/2/1133908.html

More to come. Stay tuned...

2:33 p.m. Update:

There's been a lot of talk out there about what names are out there other than those who many have identified as KU's top tier candidates.

I'm waiting on a couple of phone calls still, but while I wait, here's a quick look at some of the guys who weren't on our original list but could have a place in this whole thing.

Dave Christensen - 50 - Former Missouri offensive coordinator now in his third year at Wyoming. Named top offensive coordinator in the nation in 2007. Knows the area, knows the conference and has had early success at Wyoming. Two bowls in three years.

Dana Dimel - 49 - Kansas State co-offensive coordinator with ties to Zenger from days at Wyoming.

Sonny Dykes - 42 - Louisiana Tech hed coach and son of legendary former Texas Tech head coach Spike Dykes. Great recruiting ties in Texas and 13-11 in two seasons at La Tech, including 8-4 this season and a WAC championship.

Justin Fuente - 35 - Co-offensive coordinator at TCU, now in his 5th season with the Horned Frogs. Before TCU, spent six seasons as QBs coach at Illinois State while Zenger was there.

June Jones - 58 - Currently the head coach at SMU, Jones guided Hawaii to a BCS berth in 2007 and is known as one of the brighter offensive minds in the college game. Will have gone to three bowls in four years at SMU and six bowls in nine seasons at Hawaii.

Jeff Monken - 44 - Georgia Southern head coach who is 19-7 during his two seasons in charge. Key player in helping Paul Johnson develop that wacky offense at Georgia Tech. Once interviewed with Zenger for the Illinois State job.

While these names are good to know, I’d be pretty surprised if one of them emerged as a serious candidate for the job. One or two of them might be granted an interview but it’s hard to see them beating out the list above them.

You never know, though.

Stay tuned...

11:47 a.m. Update:

I've said this on various radio shows and podcasts but it just hit me that I may not have written it here. Based on what I've been able to gather, here's the way I see the timing of this whole search going.

Because of his past connections with him, as well as Mike Leach's sterling resume, KU athletic director Sheahon Zenger knows exactly what he's got in Leach as a candidate. I believe that's where he sets the bar.

With that in mind, he'll do his due diligence here and make sure that he gets the absolute best hire for Kansas in all areas — fit, finances, feel and fan support, among other things.

I haven't been able to nail down the number yet but it's looking like Zenger will interview between 3-5 other candidates during the next 3-5 days. He'll give each one a fair shake and each one will be seriously considered. He'll then see how closely each candidate comes to reaching the bar set by Leach.

If someone reaches that same level or perhaps even surpasses it, that could very well be the next head coach at Kansas. Depending on who it is — if anyone reaches that level — going that direction could save KU money and eliminate the "risk" that many believe comes with hiring Leach.

If none of the "other candidates" reach that level, then I think Zenger's decision is made for him and Leach is the guy.

I'd expect the interviews to take place throughout the week, possibly even into Sunday and Monday. And then I'd expect that a hire may be made sometime mid-to-late next week.

Again, this is just my read on the situation and it is based off of the information I've gotten from a number of different sources.

Leach is a hot commodity and there are a lot of schools going after him, so if he is the guy Zenger ultimately wants and things get hot elsewhere, the time frame could change quickly and this thing could be over sooner.

As for who the other candidates who will get interviews might be.... that's the mystery. Mark Stoops and Larry Fedora seem likely, Brent Venables is a possibility and there may even be a name or two who hasn't been talked about much by those following this thing.

Time will tell. Stay tuned...

9:58 a.m. Update:

Not a whole lot shaking yet today, but as I made a few calls and checked out a few websites, I stumbled upon a couple of interesting articles that you might like to read.

The first comes from the Seattle Times and explores the idea of Washington State hiring Mike Leach.

http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/budwithers/2016875466_withers28.html

The second is Leach talking about his interest in the Mississippi job, albeit in fairly vague terms.

http://thedmonline.com/article/former-texas-tech-head-coach-mike-leach-interested-ole-miss-job

As you can see, this concept of Leach being the front-runner at most openings is no joke. The man has a lot of power right now and is wanted by nearly everybody out there. How that impacts his chances of coming to Kansas remains to be seen. KU continues to possess the one thing that no other job out there can, though, and that's the ability to return to the Big 12 Conference, which many seem to think would be appealing to Leach on several levels.

I do find it interesting that Leach has not said much at all about the Kansas job. Granted it's only been open for a little more than a day, but even in the days leading up to Turner Gill's dismissal there wasn't much out there connecting Kansas and Leach, even on the rumor mill.

That can be read one of two ways: (a) he's not interested and not talking or thinking about Kansas; (b) he's very interested, perhaps even in negotiations, and is trying to keep that off the radar. Hard to say which — if either — is right at this point, but I lean toward option B.

More to come. Stay tuned...

8:28 a.m. Update:

OK, here we go with Day 2 of Kansas University's coaching search. Not a lot happening as of yet, but we'll kick things off with a quick recap and a deeper look at Southern Miss coach Larry Fedora... Here goes:

KU’s isn’t the only college football coaching job that’s open right now, and what happens elsewhere could go a long way toward determining what direction Kansas goes. In an attempt to keep things straight, here’s what the Journal-World learned Monday:

There are a few names you can cross off the list: Jim Tressel, Mike Stoops and Jim Leavitt all appear to be out.

Sources told the Journal-World that Tressel would have no interest in the job. He also never was approached about it.

As for Leavitt, who currently coaches linebackers for the San Francisco 49ers, the timing may be the biggest obstacle for him. Although he has ties to Zenger, he would not be able to join the program for at least two more months because of the ongoing NFL season. Furthermore, the mistreatment of players that led to his dismissal at South Florida continues to be an issue.

With that said, it appears that Mike Leach remains KU’s top target, with Larry Fedora, of Southern Miss, not far behind. Fedora’s name is gaining steam at Ole Miss, and if the Rebels take him off the board, that could eliminate one of KU’s top options.

In addition, UCLA, which long has been rumored to have interest in Leach, appears to have pegged Boise State’s Chris Petersen and Houston’s Kevin Sumlin as its top choices, making a Leach-to-Kansas move more plausible.

That leaves those two, along with Florida State defensive coordinator Mark Stoops, Oklahoma DC Brent Venables and a host of darkhorse candidates as names worth tracking from here on out.

The following comes from Fedora's bio on the Southern Miss web site:

When Larry Fedora accepted the job to become the 18th head coach at the University of Southern Mississippi, he promised that his football team would "attack" in all phases of the game.

That is exactly what the Golden Eagles have done during his three seasons as the program's mentor.

In his first year in Hattiesburg, Fedora's squad broke 36 school records on the way to ending the season with a five-game winning streak to reach a bowl game. The Golden Eagles extended that streak in 2009 to eight games - the longest consecutive winning streak for the program since the 1958-59 seasons - and in the process through the course of the season kept several program streaks intact during the season and now into the 2010 season including:

• 17th straight current winning season, which trails only Florida, Florida State and Virginia Tech • ninth straight bowl appearance • at least seven wins in 14 of the past 15 seasons • appearing in the 13th bowl game in the last 14 seasons

The Fedora era has drawn record crowds. The 2009 opener against Alcorn State set a stadium record for attendance with 36,232 and the overall mark for the year was 184,178. The Golden Eagles averaged over 30,000 fans for the second straight year with 30,696 in 2009 and broke their own record of 30,079 set in 2008. In 2010, the Golden Eagles averaged 29,400.

The Golden Eagles have become an offensive juggernaut during Fedora's tenure and again did not disappoint in 2010. In 2008, one of the school records they established was most total offensive yards with 5,636. They came close to breaking that record again in 2009 with 5,413 yards of total offense. In 2010, the team is on the cusp of breaking the school record, gaining 5,498 during the regular season.

The Golden Eagles finished 31st in the nation in total offense in 2009, after finishing No. 20 the year before - the highest finish for the Golden Eagles since becoming a member of the FBS.

Southern Miss, known for its defense over the years, has seen a return to the "Nasty Bunch" style of days gone by. The "Nasty Bunch" defense was given to those Golden Eagle defenses back in the late-70s and early 1980s for its stingy style and given the name by then former defensive coordinator and later head coach, Jim Carmody. The Golden Eagles have forced turnovers in 35 of 38 games during the Fedora era and two or more in 26 contests. That turnover margin helped the Golden Eagles rank No. 10 in turnover margin nationally for the second consecutive year in 2009.

In 2010, the Golden Eagles had 20 players be cited by Conference USA for their play, including first team performers Cameron Zipp, Johdrick Morris and Danny Hrapmann.

The successes for Fedora for his program have not been limited to just the field. The school was one of 39 FBS institutions in 2009 recognized for its Graduation Success Rate (GSR) by the American Football Coaches Association. The Golden Eagles achieved a rate of better than 90 percent to go along with Notre Dame and Miami - both at 100 percent - as well as Alabama, Boston College, Connecticut, Duke, Navy, Northwestern, Penn State and Rice.

Here's a little more on Fedora, including recent stories about the vacancies out there and a couple of videos...

Fedora focused on C-USA Championship Game: http://blogs.clarionledger.com/um/2011/11/28/larry-fedora-says-he-is-focused-on-c-usa-championship/

Quick Q&A with Coach Fedora: http://www.usm.edu/news/qa/catching-larry-fedora

Excerpt of a Fedora halftime speech from a 2011 game vs. East Carolina. USM led 38-14:

Fedora mic'd up during a 2011 practice: http://multimedia.foxsports.com/m/video/44849347/mic-d-up-larry-fedora.htm?r_src=ramp

Stay tuned...

Comments

Steve Miller 7 years, 11 months ago

I just hope that the hiring powers that be take their time and make a good choice as opposed to a turd in the swimming pool again. Although they do not seem to be penetrated by paying out humongous contracts ?? I guess they are made of money or rather the williams fund is very deep ..

sevenyearhawk 7 years, 11 months ago

Mr. Tait, is there a good reason that Brent Venables never seems to get an interview for any openings ... his name is tossed around a lot.

I've heard veiled references to some major league skeleton hiding in his closet.

And I've heard that from folks from various different places around the country ...

also, what about the Va Tech DC Bud Foster?

Matt Tait 7 years, 11 months ago

Venables will be interviewed for a few of these jobs this time around... maybe even Kansas.

I know he's intense and have heard that some former colleagues may not always have liked his schemes, but the guy can flat-out coach and has the track record to prove it.

Don't know much about Bud Foster. I'll look into it, but I don't think he's in the mix...

sevenyearhawk 7 years, 11 months ago

Thanks!

one more request ... what about Glen Mason coming out of retirement and returning to Kansas?

I've heard that his daughter is currently a student at the University.

hiphopopotamus 7 years, 11 months ago

"...but the guy can flat-out coach and has the track record to prove it."

You think? I'm not saying he's atrocious, but he's hardly been much of a standout either. I've always thought of him as a great prep coach, but a poor game coach. I would be very unenthused about a Venables hire.

Matt Tait 7 years, 11 months ago

Fair enough. He's not the best in the biz or anything crazy like that, but he knows his stuff...

Don't think it's going to be him, but won't be surprised if he gets an interview.

sevenyearhawk 7 years, 11 months ago

Sorry, I just read Keegan's column where he spoke with Mason ...

very cool!

Carter Patterson 7 years, 11 months ago

I just remember the whooping they put on us last year....uggh.

VaJay 7 years, 11 months ago

Matt, I guess he's making close to $1m including his incentives this season. Apart from being able to offer him more money, is our program that much of a step up for him to be interested?

Matt Tait 7 years, 11 months ago

If you're talking about Fedora, the answer is yes. It's a jump to a BCS conference and it's a conference in which he has great ties, a solid recruiting base and past success as an assistant.

It's only a matter of time before Fedora's coaching a BCS program.

Not saying it'll be Kansas, but he's a solid option.

pepper_bar 7 years, 11 months ago

Thanks for finally providing meaningful coverage of one of the alternatives to Leach.

Matt Tait 7 years, 11 months ago

You bet. We'll keep it coming throughout the week... Mentioned that yesterday and started with Leach because he's at the top of most lists. But stay tuned... We'll give all the candidates the look they deserve.

hawk316 7 years, 11 months ago

My thanks, too, Matt. I am not at all sold on Leach, so it's good to learn about some of the alternatives.

Studogg 7 years, 11 months ago

Thanks for the media clips, Matt. LOVED what I saw in those two bits. Intense, focused, challenging. I know it's only a tiny sample size, but really really liked seeing the intensity from Fedora. I think I'd be happy with it if that's the hire.

Michael Maris 7 years, 11 months ago

Sheahon Zenger is going to hire someone that he has some kind of a connection to. Since, Sheahon Zenger is a Football AD (as has been mentioned), he should have plenty of former contacts to rely on.

Speaking of, remember how everyone seemed to be against Bubba Cunningham being the next KU AD. Well, Bubba is now the AD at North Carolina. We will see how well Ole Roy and Bubba get along. Since, Roy didn't like KU hiring a Football AD. Has Roy mellowed enough now that Bubba is going to a solid hire for UNC?

Keep up the good work Matt. You have done a good job of keeping this Male Soap Opera series going on a continual basis.

justinryman 7 years, 11 months ago

What is up with the love affair with Mike Leach? From the press standpoint I get it. He will have quotes to write about everyday of the week and twice on Saturdays. But as far as fans?

He is a winning coach, but not a great coach. He won games on his offense alone, his defenses were never that good. High flying offenses are fun to watch, but they don't win you championships. Defenses do. Look at history in both college and the pros. The cowboys of the 90's had some of the most talented players on offense, but look at the D they had. Same thing with the joe Montana led 49ers. LSU, Alabama and Florida in recent years ad some good offenses, but their D/s were solid and made plays and gave the offenses short fields. Oregon can score and then score again. But they can't beat teams that have a decent D.

Let's face it, Gill and Co. showed at times this past season that they could score, what they failed to show was they could stop anyone. How will that change in a year or two under Leach? Instead of scoring 21points he will aim for 42?

Get an all around coach, someone that cares about both sides of the ball and just isn't in it for the headlines.

David Meredith 7 years, 11 months ago

Good points, Leach has baggage... spread offenses and throwing it all over the field are not as fresh as they were when Leach started doing it.... Leach has such a big ego and all he cares about is building up his offense.

zhawkz 7 years, 11 months ago

Take a look at what Leach did (record-wise...in the Big 12 SOUTH) at TTech and ask yourself if you'd take that at KU. OF COURSE YOU WOULD.

And Matt needs a raise! Or a bonus based on the number of informative updates. Keep up the good work!

justinryman 7 years, 11 months ago

Yes I want to win, but not at all cost.

What issues will the school have with Leach in 2 or 3 years?

There is no guarantee that he can turn this program around.

Will he be able to get all those Texas kids to come to KU and not play at a stronger Baylor team. Sure A&M leaving might help, but a kid might become more visible in the SEC than the Big12 at KU. How many of those kids that could have went to Tech a few years ago, would head North to play at KU and not stop at Okie St and play for a players coach in Gundy???

Again I like to win, but I like to win with class and be able to hold my head high after a victory and not worry about what a coach might say to a reporter that brings up his past after each game.

DSKornkage 7 years, 11 months ago

I don't really think there is ever a guarantee that any coach can turn a program around. Especially a very up and down program like KU Football. When is the last time we had consistently solid years? I would just like to see someone that gets consistent first, then makes runs at bigger things.

LAJayhawk 7 years, 11 months ago

I understand your hesitation. I think it's a valid point to consider about Leach.

That being said, all of what you just mentioned with regards to recruiting Texas is going to be the same obstacles for any coach that comes to Kansas. That won't be specific to Leach. The difference is, Leach has proven consistently that he CAN recruit Texas very, very well. Lubbock is an armpit, and he drew top talent there. Can he do the same at KU? Who knows. But it would appear to me that he has a better chance than just about any other option out there, or at the very least, the same chance.

Ryan Gerstner 7 years, 11 months ago

KU's offense was pretty awful this past year. Worst offense in the Big 12 and not even in the top 100 in the country so one of the 20 worst offenses in college football.

I'll take my chances with Leach. Just make sure he hires a good DC. If we don't get him, oh well. I trust Zenger to make a good hire.

phi4life940 7 years, 11 months ago

Tait,

Percentage Wheel, Percentage Wheel, Percentage Wheel!!!!

Matt Tait 7 years, 11 months ago

Haha! I'm working on it... Finding it to be a bit tougher this time around. I'll unveil it when the time is right, though. Thanks!!!

Jeff Coffman 7 years, 11 months ago

Consider likelihood of a coach going to other schools as well, to help us understand the linkage.

For instance, now that WSU thinks they have leach, I would like to see how that affects our wheel.

Kyle Sybesma 7 years, 11 months ago

Sounds like we have some good options lined up. Let's just hope one is willing to say yes.

Someone help me out. Does Leach and Leavitt have connections? It would be great to have Leach as head coach and Leavitt as D Cord. I know he's with San Fran but I would be a huge recruiting tool to say to a kid, "Leavitt will be here soon. He's finishing up in the NFL with the 9-2 49ers."

Stan Crown 7 years, 11 months ago

I can't resist. An obscure rumor out there is that Leavitt is holding out for the Oregon State job. Leavitt . . .(wait for it). . .to Beavers.

rob4lb 7 years, 11 months ago

Matt- Some questions 1. Has anyone heard from Leach and whether or not he is even interested in the job? Surely someone knows where he's at.
2. Also, one of the posters yesterday made comments of how Leach was not big on fundraising and alumni and fan meetings, is there any truth to that? I would think whoever takes over would have to spend alot of time talking up the program with fans and alumni.
And 3.: Better job- Ole Miss or KU?

Matt Tait 7 years, 11 months ago

  1. Obviously he's not saying anything official but his agent says he's intrigued by all of the openings and is considering all of his options. I know that's agent speak, but it's borderline confirmation that he's interested...

  2. If Leach is the guy who's hired, he'll be hired to coach football and win games. Period. Anything else will be gravy. And with Zenger in place as the AD, KU can get away with that. SZ's fantastic with the fans, donors and alumni and will continue to lead the way for KU in that department.

  3. I really think the two are close. KU is better because you have a better opportunity to win and can heavily recruit Texas. Ole Miss is better because of the league it's in (though, that could be viewed as a negative since the SEC is so tough). KU has better facilities for sure and the support seems to be close to equal. It's a tough call...

I'll see if I can get some more opinions on that. Stay tuned...

karken1992 7 years, 11 months ago

KU has better facilities than Ole Miss? I have never seen KU's facilities but got to tour the Ole Miss facilities for business and was blown away. The Ole Miss place is the only one I have ever seen so maybe it was just "new to me" cool but what makes KU's better (serious question to anyone that knows)

JayDocMD 7 years, 11 months ago

The link provided below shows video of the FB complex. I don't know anything about Ole Miss' facilities but I do know ours includes a "top 10 strength facility in the nation" according to ESPN the Magazine.

http://footballscoop.com/news/5208-kansas

I'd be interested to hear what you think after comparing the two.

karken1992 7 years, 11 months ago

Thanks JayDoc. Pretty similar all things considered. I would give a slight edge to KU though.

KU weight room was bigger (couldn't tell from the video but KU looked like it used free weights more and Miss had a lot of machines and some free weights).

When I was at Miss did not get to see the training room so not sure how it compares but KU's looks pretty cool and not sure it could be topped.

Locker rooms and equipment rooms were about the same for each. Actually very similar to each other as far as looks go.

Trophy presentation area of KU was much, much better. Miss trophies were off to the side where very few people could/would walk by.

Players lounge was quite a bit better at Ole Miss.

Indoor practice fields comparable. Ole Miss had a running track around the edge but KU looked every bit as big

Unless the video did not show them all Ole Miss had a lot more film rooms. Had one big one as shown in the video and a bunch of smaller breakout rooms for QB's, WR. DB's etc. Then a couple of middle size rooms where all the defense or offense could come together.

On a very positive note the partner I went with has been to a lot of colleges and said that the facilities at Ole Miss were some of the best in the country. SO KU is right up there.

Jeff Coffman 7 years, 11 months ago

Thanks for the insight.

I would say we have a running track around our main field instead of our practice facility...let's get a shovel day!

Chris1955 7 years, 11 months ago

I saw OIe Miss play the Vols at Oxford two years ago, when my daughter was making the college tour rounds. The stadium seems much nicer than ours, from my perspective.

One thing to keep in mind is that the culture at Ole Miss is about the polar opposite from Mike Leach. I think this would work in our favor in a direct comparison.

Mike Kendall 7 years, 11 months ago

Matt---

Love all the coverage on KU football. Thanks for all you do at kusports.com.

Rock Chalk Jayhawk!

Matt Tait 7 years, 11 months ago

My pleasure! Thanks a bunch for the note... Fun times!

kupride4u 7 years, 11 months ago

I'm thinking next Saturday, the Ohio State game, would be a great atmosphere to introduce Leach (or whoever) to the KU nation! If it is him, the student could all wear patches/pirate gear. How awesome would that be!

Matt Tait 7 years, 11 months ago

I don't think you're far off there...

Not saying it will be Leach, but I'm saying that it should be done by then and that would be the perfect setting to introduce the new guy to the fans.

Time will tell. Stay tuned...

rob4lb 7 years, 11 months ago

Another question regarding Leach. Are the lawsuits a non- issue? Could ESPN use its heavy hand to dissuade KU from hiring him? How about the fact that he is suing a fellow conference member? Or does Leach coming to KU add value to the overall media package as more people will watch a Leach coached KU team which would be good for ESPN?

I live in Houston and know alot of TT fans who are still steaming that Leach is gone.

Aaron Clopton 7 years, 11 months ago

This was just posted saying that the search looks to be going quickly. This site is one of the most reliable when it comes to coaching changes . . .

http://footballscoop.com/news/5208-kansas

gchawk 7 years, 11 months ago

Matt, thanks for the update, always appreciate your insight. Fedora has been my favorite all along as I think he's the most desireable of all of the truly obtainable prospects out there. However, I sure wouldn't be disappointed with Peterson or Venables. There is something about Leach that just doesn't set well with me.

Kevin Randell 7 years, 11 months ago

The "short list" or we can even call it the KU Christmas list of coaches looks pretty good. Ok, hopefully many of you will see the humor in my post here. With say that, I have a marketing idea. If we do end up with Fedora as a coach, I think opening day next season we should hand out the KU Fedora hat! Could you see the entire student section looking like thousands of Tom Landry's?....lol. Have a great week everyone! Matt...top notch job. I hope LJW really does know what an asset you are.

justinryman 7 years, 11 months ago

I spoke of this about 3 weeks ago. If KU was to fire Gill they needed to have a list in place already and reaching out to them behind closed doors and off the record.

If this is moving as fast as it seems it looks like KU did it's homework and put out some feelers to see what would stick.

Now if Leach is as a wanted man as it seems, UCLS, Washington St., Mississippi, KU and who knows where else, can KU afford him? Will Zenger give him a good contract or a "hey old friend" contract that could burn KU just as bad as the one Gill got.

Or is Mike leach playing the name game, throwing his name in for all of the big name schools just to get his name out there to get him more money? If it looks like he his highly wanted then he may get more money thrown at him.

The second one seems like a Mike Leach tactic, and the 1st I wouldn't put past him either.

jay381 7 years, 11 months ago

Matt I would add a little more on Fedora prior to So Ms (I previously lived in OK). He was one of the first in a line of successful innovative offensive coordinators at OK State. He had an offense at OSU the three years he coached there that tested every defense in the league including Oklahoma. Prior to his OSU position he was the OC at FL where his teams led the SEC in 6 offensive categories in 2004.

I was glad to see your research on the defense he had instituted as a head coach. I will say he will have his hands full with the Houston team in the C-USA championship. Interesting point is that Sumlin (from OU staff) and Fedora (from OSU staff) have both succeeded as head coaches. I think the Zenger comment was so true about assistants that had a track record at a successful program. (Think Bob Stoops from FL and KSU, Snyder from Iowa etc.).

Regardless of the outcome of the So Miss v Houston game either of these two men would be credible candidates although Sumlin may have already been targeted elsewhere.

Fedora will play an exciting type of offense that will put fans in the seats. I note you also indicated that records were broken at So Miss.

I hope (and have confidence) this time KU has an AD that will research and make a credible and qualified choice of the best candidate available KU can attract. That certainly was not the case in the hire of Gill either in the selection or the contract. . Frankly I think you displayed a good selection of candidates. BTW, I would certainly not have an objection to Leach. Zenger has known him for years and knows the "quirky" personality he would bring. Zenger is certainly better able to judge if he could work with him and I would respect his decision. Obviously he can coach. I am beginning to think we may just be very lucky to have Zenger as an AD at this point.

Bville Hawk 7 years, 11 months ago

" I am beginning to think we may just be very lucky to have Zenger as an AD at this point."

+1 and Amen brother Jay

KGphoto 7 years, 11 months ago

Okay, I've been scanning Leach's book and I have to say, it's pretty interesting. I've been ragging on him for the pirate thing, but the premise of his interest is actually pretty intelligent. Overall he seems pretty damn smart. I may be on the Leach bandwagon after all.

NH_JHawk 7 years, 11 months ago

Just my opinion, but I would tend to agree with your comment about Mike Leach being "pretty damn smart." He hosts a daily radio show on XM with Jack Arute called The College Football Playbook that I've been listening to for most of this college FB season. He seems very connected around the country and overall sounds like a very intelligent guy with lots to offer. He certainly has the respect of most of the listening audience which is national, but with a majority of the callers coming from SEC country. Closest thing you can get in terms of getting to know a coach and I like what I hear.

1jhawk2 7 years, 11 months ago

Matt, Besides Leach and possibly Mark Stoops, what do you think the chances are that Dave Christiansen of Wyoming and former MU OC will be considered? He lead a struggling Wyoming program to a bowl game in first 2 seasons and will do so again this year. He won't have to deal with a MU rivalry which may be appealing to him. He knows the Big 12, knows the area for recruiting and has shown early success at a program similar to what KU is. What's the benefit of KU to him? A bigger conference with a program certainly capable of competing with the right leadership in place.

Your thoughts as an option B or C?

Stan Unruh 7 years, 11 months ago

Just listened to coach Leach on his daily Sirius XM radio show with Jack Arute. During the opening they discussed Ohio State, a possible opening at Washington State, Penn State's head coaching search, and more. Nothing about Kansas football. Leach made reference to being in Florida....so he's not flying anywhere as had been rumored.

Micky Baker 7 years, 11 months ago

I have to agree. Matt Tait is far more personable and his credibility rises far above any of the others at KUSports.com. He rises above the "I want to be popular" nonsense and just gets to the point, which is why I have more respect for Matt Tait than for any journalist in all of sports.

Matt Tait 7 years, 11 months ago

Awful kind words. Thanks a lot. Glad you enjoy what I do and appreciate you saying so. Now, back to work!!!

Ben Kane 7 years, 11 months ago

Matt and Jesse are really the only reporters i look forward to reading.

kureignman 7 years, 11 months ago

I don't think the fact that Leach's name popping up at other places means he is the front runner at those places. He is available so of course he will be listed as a possibility. Plus just because other schools are interested doesn't mean he is the best coach out there. I remember a certain coach getting interest from much better programs than Washington St (wasn't it Auburn and Nebraska) and that didn't turn out so well.

I think Fedora is who we should be going after first. Hopefully we can steal him away from Ole Miss.

railer20 7 years, 11 months ago

I would like to see Fedora as well...He has the offensive mindset to fit right in at the Bix XII level but he also knows how to make his guys play an aggressive style of defense, which I love to watch

Lance Cheney 7 years, 11 months ago

I'm with you as well. Fedora would be my first choice. Something about Leach just doesn't get me as excited. I don't know if it's his defenses, or what. Maybe we're comparing apples to oranges when we compare Fedora's defense in C-USA to Leach's defense in the Big 12. But, a lot of people who know a heck of a lot more than I do keep saying Leach is the guy to go with, so I'll take their word for it...

On a side note, where is ahperse? He's been unusually quiet on these forums lately. Maybe a little too quiet... Could we maybe looking at ahperse as the next KU football coach???

mjahawk 7 years, 11 months ago

For what it's worth, Fedora and David Beaty have a relationship that goes back many years.

AirCapJay 7 years, 11 months ago

We should only be looking at guys with BCS conference head coaching experience. Let's not skimp on salary. Offer Leach what Gill was making and let's get-er-done.

kureignman 7 years, 11 months ago

I do like the idea of someone with BCS coaching experience, but don't think that it has to be someone with head coaching experience. If you have head coaching experience but are not currently a head coach then that probably means you were fired. It could be because of baggage (Leach), poor performance (Fulmer), or violations (Tressel), but any way you slice it, they are someone else's garbage. If you want head coaching experience they go after the best from the non-BCS, like Fedora or Sumlin. I also wouldn't mind them tapping a top assistant at a big time program like Stoops at FSU or Venables at OU. It worked out OK going that route with Mangino.

DocBean 7 years, 11 months ago

Matt, Would KU ask Leach to drop his lawsuit against ESPN? Could that affect our TV contract?

Matt Tait 7 years, 11 months ago

Don't know the answer to either of those... I'll try to find out. My guess tells me no on both. Now, could it affect the way ESPN covers Kansas... sure.

I don't think this is a big issue either way, though. I'll try to find out.

Ben Kane 7 years, 11 months ago

As many on here have already said, I would have Leach as my top choice. Not sure I agree with your reasoning that we are a good job opportunity for a football coach though. having new facilities and getting to play TT every year hardly seems worthy of getting Leach over other schools.

  1. no matter who we hire, we will likely have an awful record next year as well, though hopefully less pathetic scores.

  2. Leach would be a national attraction at press conferences which will bring PR and national exposure to our football team.

  3. Leach has proven that his system doesn't require top flight athletes to put an offensive product on the field that will complete.

  4. @TT his defenses stunk so I don't hold out much expectations that he would make us better on that side of the ball.

  5. Most importantly, as you can tell from these boards, Leach will energize a fan base that is desperate for anything. Leach could end up having a similar effect on kansas football that Calislimy has had on Kentucky basketball.

Ben Kane 7 years, 11 months ago

PS. the circumstances surrounding his dismissal from TT have always seemed bogus and unjust to me, not that I have any inside information. It just always seemed like an excuse to get rid of him rather than an acutal reason.

justinryman 7 years, 11 months ago

They maybe unfounded, but there had to be an underlying reason or reasons to get rid of him.

If it's that the administration didn't like him, why?

If it was over his contract, why did they allow it in the first place?

If it was his demeanor or attitude towards alumni and boosters, is that a good thing?

If our Defense stunk bad this year, the only hope for next year under Leach is that KU will score more than 30 points a game, but still allow 44. That's not winning, just not losing as bad.

And the attention that he would bring from the media, sure if your in the news people notice you, but would it be for the right reasons?

The hiring of Mike Leach to Kansas may be passed over by his lawsuits, his past allegations, and so on. How would the week of the TT game go? How would he respond to questions he doesn't want to answer about it? Is that a good thing for KU???

justinryman 7 years, 11 months ago

If we are setting our standards bar at Mike Leach then I think as a football program we are toast.

Bville Hawk 7 years, 11 months ago

re: swunruhawk post above and Leach not mentioning KU on his radio show

That says to me that he and SZ already have a deal in place and he is intentionally NOT mentioning the KU opening, OR he and SZ almost have a deal in place and he is not mentioning us to try and squeeze a little more out of SZ.

I said yesterday we would have an announcement by halftime of the basketball game tomorrow night. I'll stand by that with an introduction to the fan base at the (or is it The?) Ohio State game on 12/10 with the national TV cameras available.

NH_JHawk 7 years, 11 months ago

Funny, I thought the same thing listening to MIke Leach and Jack Arute today. Leach was oddly quiet about anything related to the Kansas opening.

justinryman 7 years, 11 months ago

Altman went from Kstate to Creighton and is now at Oregon.

Gayle Sayers. TJ Pugh. Tim Biere. Ron Kellog. All from Nebraska.

justinryman 7 years, 11 months ago

I know, but sometimes I do it and hate myself, but yet I still do it.

texashawk10 7 years, 11 months ago

You and your "sources" are a bunch of retards.

irvan moore 7 years, 11 months ago

leach could get quality recruits to come to kansas, just go try and hire him before somebody else does

shinanigins 7 years, 11 months ago

I can't wait to see what QB he can bring in to take us to the next level

LAJayhawk 7 years, 11 months ago

"...fit, finances, feel and fan support..."

A little alliteration this morning, Matt? Nice. However, if we are looking to hire an A+ coach, how do you get there with four F's?? ;-)

Great work, as always.

Lance Cheney 7 years, 11 months ago

Haha. I was gonna make a remark about the "4 F's" too.

Matt Tait 7 years, 11 months ago

You'd be amazed how often I try to AVOID alliteration! :-) Guess it's just how my brain works when I'm trying to write fast, furious and funky... Oops! Ha.

d_prowess 7 years, 11 months ago

Fast, Furious, and Funky... the exact same description Tait's wife would give for him!

Brennan Keller 7 years, 11 months ago

Matt: I have always wondered how do coaches make the time to interview for other universities when they still have a football team of their own to coach. For example, how will Fedora be able to come down to Lawrence and interview while he still has a team of his own to coach and also prepare for a bowl game. Wouldn't that not be fair to his current players on Southern Miss if they know he is talking about coaching at KU next season while he still has his own team to coach? Just curious, thanks.

Randy Bombardier 7 years, 11 months ago

Yeah, those kinds of distractions only cost K-State a shot at the National Championship. That was the year that Stoops stole three KSU coaches while K-State was prepping for the Big12 Title game. Venables, Mike Stoops, were two. Mangino the third? Not cool at all. Huge distraction to K-State staff. If we end up with Venables or a Stoops maybe the KSU rivalry will pick up on the hate since we lost the natural hate rivalry with Fizzu.

Mark Lindrud 7 years, 11 months ago

From what I know they have an initial phone interview to test the waters about the interest between both parties. Now a days with Skype and other technology they can speak that way also. Then if there becomes more interest a face-to-face interview is done, but all this depends on how much interest there is by both parties. Rich Rodriquez accepted the UofA job without visiting the campus.

As far as interviewing for another job while at a current school it is done all the time. If you recall Mason accepted the Georgia job when we were playing UCLA in a bowl, but then turned it down.

Randy Bombardier 7 years, 11 months ago

Leach is smart. He will know that our AD cannot give him a sweatheart deal. He will get a fair deal and be in a place where he will be appreciated and will work for someone that he feels he is "working with." All these should add up to a very exciting announcement at the Ohio State game. Then, I think we should put Ohio State on the schedule. Leach vs. Meyer.

justajoe 7 years, 11 months ago

"Then, I think we should put Ohio State on the schedule. Leach vs. Meyer."

Please tell us you were only joking.

Kirk 7 years, 11 months ago

As usual, there's really good reporting here.

I would love for Leach to be KU's next head coach. I can't think of anyone better.

ku_foaf 7 years, 11 months ago

No mention of UH's Kevin Sumlin? His name came up two years ago. If we'd hired him then, we likely would not be looking now.

Randy Bombardier 7 years, 11 months ago

overrated. look at strength of schedule then take away one player and see where he would be. Also, it appears that it is his OC that is the real hot commodity. Why not hire him?

texashawk10 7 years, 11 months ago

Sumlin will either be at Arizona St. or UCLA next season and UH was only 5-7 last year with Keenum out for the season.

Jayhawker111 7 years, 11 months ago

Fedora ar Southern Miss ---He is nothing special

This year So Miss lost to Marshall and UAB --two of the worst teams in the country...

Hard to explain ...Nope I would not want this guy ---

Marshall Loss 26-20

UAB Loss 34-31

If not Leech --then some defensive coordinator....

Quit recycling the same old coaches who lose to Marshall and UAB..

rob4lb 7 years, 11 months ago

By that logic Mike Gundy of Okla State is a pedestrian coach because his team lost to a very average Iowa State team. Do you who Mike Leach struggled to beat during his tenure at Tech? Missouri- he was 1-3 against the Tigers, so maybe he shouldn't be hired.

rockemchalkemrobots 7 years, 11 months ago

At Ole Miss? That's the only open job in Missouri's new league, bud. His record against teams we won't play should be pretty low on the list of considerations when compared to his overall record.

kupride4u 7 years, 11 months ago

ESPN reporting Mississippi State's coach Dan Mullen is top candidate for Penn State. That would make 2 openings in Mississippi that Fedora could go to.

Matt Tait 7 years, 11 months ago

The Leach to Mississippi State rumors would be a lot more dangerous for KU than the Leach to Ole Miss rumors...

Stay tuned...

Bville Hawk 7 years, 11 months ago

liljayhawker makes a good point above in that the other candidates (except Phil Fulmer if he's a candidate) are all likely to be involved in bowl games. Leach is not. I think everything else being equal that that is huge in Leach's favor. SZ wants to get this done quickly so we can be as "out in front" on recruiting as possible under the circumstances.

Lawkan 7 years, 11 months ago

One guy I would like to see if at all possible is Brian Billick. Very smart coach who has won with offense and defensive minded teams.

Steve Williams 7 years, 11 months ago

No bs. Plane leaving Topeka going to northwest Alabama regional airfield...Terry Bowden is the very successful coach at the university of northern alabama

Matt Tait 7 years, 11 months ago

Haven't heard anything but he could very well be one of those names we haven't heard much about yet...

agraves 7 years, 11 months ago

So lets have some fun with this for a second. Hire Leach as the HC...then bring back Mangino as the Offensive Coordinator and then when Stoops lets go of Venables to make a place for his brother then we can bring on Venables as our Defensive Coordinator. Pay Leach 2.5 million a year and pay each coordinator 1 million a year. Want to talk about an all-star coaching staff that would put butts in the seats! Obviously this would be a pipe dream but can you imagine the offensive fire power we would have if you combine Leach and Mangino! Then you would have your passion in Venables as he runs up and down sidelines going nuts! We would immediately show fans and players that we are truly committed to making KU football relevant and respectable! Even at those pay packages...they would still be paying less than they pay the top 4 basketball coaches. Fun to think about...

shinanigins 7 years, 11 months ago

I could see a Leach as HC and Stoops at DC (don't think that he would be there forever but long enough to bring in some recruits that like the Stoops name)

Stan Unruh 7 years, 11 months ago

Terry Bowden is a good coach. Hadn't thought about him since he left the ABC college football scoreboard show. His North Alabama team was 9-3 this year.

cool_beans 7 years, 11 months ago

somebody should get jack del rio on the phone like now. plus the guy went to ku.

justinryman 7 years, 11 months ago

After he was in the NFL and was in KC playing for the Chiefs to finish his undergraduate degree that he started while at USC where he played football and baseball.

JayHawkFanToo 7 years, 11 months ago

Jack Del Rio played FBall at USC. The closest he came to KU is when he played 2 years for the KC Chiefs.

milwaukeeJAYHAWK 7 years, 11 months ago

Rarely do fans get access to reporters the way Matt replies to the message boards here.

We really like your stuff, Matt. Keep up the good work.

Matt Tait 7 years, 11 months ago

Thanks a bunch! Doing what I can... Is this fun or what!?!?

Mandie Eutsler 7 years, 11 months ago

This is fun, better than last time. I just hope we don't hire the first and only guy they interview if he's from an fcs school with a losing record...

baldwinjhawk 7 years, 11 months ago

we want Leach!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

buckleyhawk 7 years, 11 months ago

Appreciate it Tait. I do have to say, however, that your blog today is implying (imo, incorrectly) that KU basically has first pick of anyone, including Leach. It would seem to me that KU will not be getting first pick with some of the other jobs now available.

Matt Tait 7 years, 11 months ago

Agreed. KU does not necessarily have first pick of anyone. I'm not meaning to imply that.

However, in order to track a search like this, where all that matters is the moves that KU makes and the relevance to KU, you kind of have to take that approach and assume that it's understood that the administration is not operating in some sort of a vacuum where outside factors can't get to them.

Sorry for the confusion.

I do contend, however, that the KU job is good enough and on par enough with most of the other openings out there to make it so that KU could have first pick if it moved quickly enough.

Guess we'll find out. Or maybe not. Thanks for reading!!!

buckleyhawk 7 years, 11 months ago

Got ya, fair enough. Agree on that too -- KU job should be (with the right financial incentive) up there. Either way, should be interesting.

Matt Tait 7 years, 11 months ago

That's one word for it... :-) Enjoy!!!

justinryman 7 years, 11 months ago

If your son was being recruited by Mike Leach (and position doesn't matter for this scenario), as a parent would you not ask about some of the allegations that occurred at TT? If you wouldn't, what about your son? Would he be worried about anything that he may have heard?

These are honest questions that Im asking here, as a parent could you just sweep it all under the rug and not worry about it. Sure he could hand you his book to read, but there are two sides to every story. Wouldn't you like answers????

sevenyearhawk 7 years, 11 months ago

Only if my son were a spoiled brat raised with a sense of entitlement by a stuffed shirt with a talking head ...

Craig James can F O.

Bville Hawk 7 years, 11 months ago

Don't sugarcoat it, sevenyear. Call it like you see it...

rob4lb 7 years, 11 months ago

I think it is a legitimate question. Do the allegations affect recruiting? You know that the opposition will use it against Leach.

RockCaCO3 7 years, 11 months ago

See: Bear Bryant Woody Hayes Bob Knight etc. etc

I dont think their behavior negatively affected their recruiting.

justinryman 7 years, 11 months ago

That was all before multi media and 24 hour news and sports services.

In the end it's exactly what hurt Bob Knight in recruiting. He couldn't get the players to stay in Indiana, they were going to Purdue, Michigan St. and other schools. And he didn't recruit real well at TT either.

rob4lb 7 years, 11 months ago

It's not 1970. I'm not sure any of those guys' tactics would last for more than a year or two today.

1jhawk2 7 years, 11 months ago

It's not like Leach made kids do bear crawls while burning their hands on turf in 100 degree weather (Mangino) or slammed a kid against a locker at half time while chewing his a$$ and likely spitting in his face while giving the chewing not to mention the supposed fist to the face. Leach was fired for putting a kid (Craig James' boy) in a dark shed. I don't consider that physical abuse as much as it maybe mental. Leach any day over Mangio and Leavitt.

Look at all the parents that let their kids play for Bobby Knight and you know as well as anybody that guy didn't take it easy on kids for jacking up.

At this point I would say in order: Leach, Christiansen and Fedora

Jeff Coffman 7 years, 11 months ago

Tim Tebow had a concussion. The team put him in a dark room, and read his homework to him so that he could recoup.

James had concussion like symptons. The coach said put him in a dark room. The father of this boy, couldn't understand that his boy was lazy and didn't work hard at practice. When there was no hope for him in the Leach offensive juggernaut he launched his personal story.

I still remember this reporter, who should have been fired on the spot, getting up and saying how as a father, I just wanted what was best for my son. It was on some bowl game, the worst ESPN comments ever to date. Sorry to say, but ESPN hasn't backed off those comments and deserved to get sued for slander (or is it libel), can't remember.

Whether or not Leach is hired, depends on the ESPN lawsuit, not on how he treated this receiver.

LJD230 7 years, 11 months ago

How about a little less speculation! No one knows what Zengar will or will not do. But then again the LJW is all speculation and very little fact.

Bville Hawk 7 years, 11 months ago

Speculation is news if it's by someone who knows something about something. Now if it's by someone who doesn't know anything about something, then I guess it's just gossip.

Matt Tait 7 years, 11 months ago

Exactly. No one's forcing anyone to read this. It's there for the taking, though. And it's there to help you reach your own conclusions about what MAY happen.

Just know that I'm talking to people non-stop on this and most of them are well informed and connected in some manner, be that to the college football coaching community or various administrations.

Your call, though. It'll be here.

JayHawkFanToo 7 years, 11 months ago

Matt, we are all speculating at this time. Most of us do it in between the other hings that we do for a living. You, on the other hand, do this for a living and likely have better - make that much, much better- sources than most of us and hence, your "guesses" are likely much, much better that ours. Please don't stop "speculating," we Jayhawk fans need our daily dose, and you posts are as good as it gets. Keep up the good work.

VaJay 7 years, 11 months ago

However - the vast majority of us would prefer this to a total vacuum! The more tidbits the merrier I say. Thanks Matt!

RockCaCO3 7 years, 11 months ago

Get on out there and get you some facts then!

Dude, its all speculation at this point. I dont think LJW or Matt Tait has said otherwise.

Bville Hawk 7 years, 11 months ago

Precisely. I mean, who comes to a message board looking for nothing but cold, hard facts? I suppose the same person who goes to a Chinese restaurant and complains that they don't have any Tex-Mex on the menu.

LAJayhawk 7 years, 11 months ago

Matt is almost exclusively talking about the coaching possibilities that are out there and their respective backgrounds. He is mixing in other openings and how those could effect KU as it makes this choice..... how in the ever-loving, pickle-snorting, dingleberry-hanging H*ll is that in anyway saying what Zenger will do??

He's giving information. Otherwise known as HIS JOB.

rob4lb 7 years, 11 months ago

Listening to 610 Sports online this morning, there were a couple of interesting tidbits.

1) Zenger is going to control leaks because leaks are the easiest way to derail a negotiation.

2) Bill Self is now the university spokesman which he is very good at, and the next time there is a tuition increase at KU, he will hold a press conference and convince the students that it really is a good thing. By the way, I love Bill Self and don't want to rile up his army zealous supporters. I just thought it was funny.

Jabberhawky 7 years, 11 months ago

Actually, I'd rather see Self working to convince deep-pocketed athletic boosters to pony up $ to construct classrooms 1/2 as nice as the training facilities enjoyed by KU's basketball and football athletes.

Joe Joseph 7 years, 11 months ago

So how much money is KU going to have to offer Leach to even warrant his attention?

shinanigins 7 years, 11 months ago

I was going to say somewhere around $2.5 (what he was making at Tech when fired). Maybe more if he takes interviews elsewhere and we feel pressure.

ahpersecoachingexperience 7 years, 11 months ago

Do we really fire Turner and eat that much money without knowing leach was going to take the job?

ahpersecoachingexperience 7 years, 11 months ago

And can we get another spodcaster up. Got a long run tonight.

Bville Hawk 7 years, 11 months ago

I don't think so. I posted yesterday that I thought SZ already had someone bagged and that all we were waiting on was the lawyers and the Chancellor (and letting a few days go by so it wouldn't appear in bad taste).

ahpersecoachingexperience 7 years, 11 months ago

Hope so! If you think about it hiring Fedora, while he could be a great one, would struggle in his first couple of years in an empty stadium. Meaning we would be paying close to 4 million in coaching salary to go 3-9.

At least leach fills some seats while we struggle.

Kevin Randell 7 years, 11 months ago

This Fuente guy....is he the same one who played High School in Oklahoma and attended OU? If it is, he was an offensive guru back then.

rob4lb 7 years, 11 months ago

Everyone is an offensive guru. I'd like a defensive guru.

1jhawk2 7 years, 11 months ago

According to Footballscoop, KU is going to move quicker than most think. I would personally like to see Leach here. I keep wavering on my 2nd choice between Fedora and Christiansen. Christiansen's defense is currently ranked 100 overall. They are not good against the run and looks like they are 68th against the pass. I just question how well Fedora would do with recruiting in an area he hasn't recruited for some time. Neither name is big time enough, but neither is KU football.

Why bring up Dimel? He's had his chance with a stop at Wyoming and overall is about 10 games under .500. He is a career assistant/coordinator as long as he is under the leadership of Snyder.

rob4lb 7 years, 11 months ago

Fedora is from Texas and used to be a high school coach in the DFW area. I would have to assume that he still has ties to Texas high schools. I did a quick look at Southern Miss's roster and it does not contain alot of Texas players, but he should be fine recruiting Texas which is really the key to recruiting.

texashawk10 7 years, 11 months ago

When the hell did KU become conservative?

texashawk10 7 years, 11 months ago

You clearly have never spent any time on the campus of KU or in Lawrence. Lawrence is one of the least conservative places (politically and culturally) east of the Rockies there is in the United States.

texashawk10 7 years, 11 months ago

So because a handful of people in Strong Hall are resistant to change, that makes the entire university conservative? Have you not seen how many people here are in favor of getting rid of the track at Memorial Stadium or flat out building a new stadium over on west campus. It's not opposition to the idea that has kept it from happening, it's lack of interest in football period among the alumni. Have you not seen how many changes have been made to Allen Fieldhouse over the last decade? Apparently there wasn't enough opposition to prevent those changes from being made. Don't for a minute try and pass off a few people in Strong Hall as being representative of the entire student body or faculty of a university because that is complete and total b.s.

142466 7 years, 11 months ago

The successful alumni, especially those who contribute financially, would tend to be conservative. To the athletic dept, those folks are probably the most important interest group. Also, the Kansas electorate is conservative. So the A.D.'s decision is likely being made within a conservative frame of reference.

I am an old man. Many of my fellow alums are dead. Nearly all those still alive that I talk to switched from lib to conserv long ago. But not me. Never switched. Still blue.

Al Martin 7 years, 11 months ago

Just wondering; is your handle your old student ID? Mine was 210687, and THAT was a while ago...

Matt Tait 7 years, 11 months ago

That's correct. Leach was fired from Texas Tech on Dec. 30, 2009 and Gill was hired Dec. 13, 2009.

142466 7 years, 11 months ago

Two years ago Leach was thought to be a Mangino on steroids. We couldn't fire Mangino for using overly harsh disciplinary methods and immediately hire someone perceived as being worse.

Leach and Mangino were both unfairly lynched by A.D.'s who had agendas other than success on the gridiron. Both A.D.s pointed to the other's school and cried, "See, they fired their jerk. We must fire our's, too." Alas the jerks turned out to be the fire-ers, not the fire-es.

manginodrh00lz 7 years, 11 months ago

agreed. KSU is an annoyance / MU was a rival.

Bville Hawk 7 years, 11 months ago

I think your bigleaguescrew link is broken.

shinanigins 7 years, 11 months ago

What do you think of a Leach as HC / Stoops as Def Coord combo? Can KU come up with enough money? Is Stoops willing to take a DC job?

Mark Lindrud 7 years, 11 months ago

Right now no one wants Stoops as a hc. He needs to be a dc again to prove he won't be out of control on the sidelines.

justinryman 7 years, 11 months ago

Matt, what about doing an "advent calendar" like coaching blog.

Each day you open a door and on the inside of the door it has a picture of the coach, and then his bio???

We could all do this until KU announces it's new coach.

Along with it you could even add your patented "percentage wheel"

shinanigins 7 years, 11 months ago

I hope that would mean we only get a few bios..... I don't think this process will take very long.

Kevin Randell 7 years, 11 months ago

Well guys, just keep this in mind. We are in a pretty good position here. Think of it as a draft. This year there is a lot of good talented coaches out there that I believe will do a great job for KU. If we would have waited till next year I don't think we would have been in as good of shape. It makes me happy to hear that we are being aggressive in the hunt for a new coach. I am confident we will end up happy with who we get. Rock Chalk guys....

ahpersecoachingexperience 7 years, 11 months ago

Phx sports talk radio is all over Sumlin for the ASU job. The AD (who is a lady that someone like leach would never work for) has said they will mostly wait until the end of the bowl season to interview all of the candidates because some potential hires will still be coaching.

ahpersecoachingexperience 7 years, 11 months ago

It's official!

Ahperse is reporting Mike Leach as the new head coach or your Kansas Jayhawks.

okiedave 7 years, 11 months ago

I believe it was the post preceeding yours.

mikehawk785 7 years, 11 months ago

Tait, Why has Solich not been mentioned for the KU job or any other openings?

fatlittlegirlfriends 7 years, 11 months ago

Because he's 82 years old and does not believe in using the forward pass.

142466 7 years, 11 months ago

He might be 82, but he eats right and regularly exercises. Looks to be only 72. Sorry, finger slipped. I meant 27.

Jeff Coffman 7 years, 11 months ago

Haven't we had enough of Nebraska Recycled Coaches...don't you remember that Turner "the worst coach in KU history" Gill was from the NU?

JayDocMD 7 years, 11 months ago

One facet of this that I've not seen mentioned yet: conference stability. Does the appeal of a much more stable conference (i.e. PAC 12 with ASU and WSU) become a deciding factor for someone like Leach? Say five years from now we start this whole conference merry-go-round again. If you're currently an in-demand coach who wants to stay at the next stop til retirement, you've got to be worried about that school staying in a BCS conference.

seagull 7 years, 11 months ago

What is this love affair with Mike Leach? You all are setting yourselves up for disappointment. Isn't Leach the one who dissed his president or chancellor in public when he got fired. Why would Bernadette Gray-Little want such a loose canon for a coach? KU wants coaches who win but win with class. As I recall, Leach doesn't exactly fit that mold. Moreover he's apparently been in the running for several other major university coaching positions and not gotten the job. If he is so great why hasn't he gotten one of those jobs?

Bville Hawk 7 years, 11 months ago

+2 manginorh00lz. "Class" (at least by itself as we have found) doesn't win many football games. Besides whether we like it or not it's all about entertainment and the entertainment dollar and that means butts in seats. Mike Leach would deliver more butts (actually I guess it's not about dollars, it's about butts. Calling Kim Kardashian!)

rockemchalkemrobots 7 years, 11 months ago

His track record of winning, in exciting fashion, in the same conference we play in. Also, he is available, which seems to be a strike against him in your opinion. I would be more concerned about the lawsuit against his former employer than the parting shots at the administration. I would be, but I am not. Because it was a media-sponsored witch hunt conducted by the same university that gave Bobby Knight a safe haven to ply his trade. I guess they developed a moral compass, coincidentally at the same time that a contractual dispute developed with a unapologetic coach that took them to a bowl... Every. Single. Year. And we get excited about back-to-back post-season appearances. We tried to find a coach that would take us to the promised land with the moral integrity of a choir boy. Can't afford that mistake again.

I, for one, will purchase season tickets the day following the presser, if they hire Leach.

mikehawk 7 years, 11 months ago

I really feel bad for our AD. He has to pick someone that will blow everyone's socks off to unite the KU fan base. That is VERY unlikely to happen. If unable to do so, then a percentage of the fan base is somewhat happy, and the remainder is unhappy because they have unrealistic expectations of who we can really get at Kansas, and how long it will take to turn this thing around. We are going to have to endure losses for one or two years before we will see the fruit of what hopefully is a great coach building a great program. In all honesty, I don't see the fan base willing to maintain necessary support and patience while losses pile up and the new coach builds the program. This one is on our current AD who I really like and believe he must have seen the inside of a program he believed would not get us to where we want to go. It is going to be a tough few years ahead no matter who we hire, and we will need to stand behind that person and their staff.

Bville Hawk 7 years, 11 months ago

If you think about it, with Leach's "star appeal" probably most those seats in the north endzone that the Dept has been selling on the cheap might bring $40 or so (of course the rest of us might pay more for season tickets as well). But $40 x 10,000 seats x 6 home games = $2,400,000 makes him look like a bargain at $2.5-3.0 million.

Steve Williams 7 years, 11 months ago

I'm telling you, Terry Bowden. He has proven himself at 4 different jobs, all leach has done is win games 60-53 at one school, plus who do you want to send your kid to, a militant pirate, or a freaking Bowden.

JhawkalumJB 7 years, 11 months ago

Anyone worried about losing out on Leach to Wash. St. read this:

http://espn.go.com/college-football/story/_/id/7294814/washington-state-cougars-fire-paul-wulff-football-coach

Their recently fired coach was only making $600k a year, and their AD is quoted saying they plan to double the next coaches salary (to lure a big time coach). Well $1.2 mill isn't gonna land you Mike Leach. They are at least $1mill. short.

Rest easy Jayhawk Nation, I still like our chances. We can still dream of Leach pacing the sidelines in crimson and blue tonight.

CleanHands 7 years, 11 months ago

Look into Garrick McGee. Offensive Coordinator, University of Arkansas.

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