What's causing the delay in KU's quest to hire a defensive coordinator?


New Kansas football coach Charlie Weis smiles from the sideline during the KU women's basketball team's game against Kansas State at Allen Fieldhouse. The Jayhawks fell to the Wildcats, 63-57.

New Kansas football coach Charlie Weis smiles from the sideline during the KU women's basketball team's game against Kansas State at Allen Fieldhouse. The Jayhawks fell to the Wildcats, 63-57. by John Young

OK, so here’s what we know about the vacant defensive coordinator position at Kansas University.

It still has not been filled.

There are no known front-runners.

There is no time table for when it might be filled.

Sound familiar? It should. This is pretty much what we’ve known all along and may very well be all we are able to find out until the hire is announced.

During the course of the past few weeks, I’ve received all kinds of information from all kinds of sources about this guy or that guy, this name or that name. So far, despite coming from some pretty solid places, not of a stitch of it has turned out to be accurate.

At one point, I heard that former San Diego Chargers defensive coordinator Greg Manusky was the leader for the job. Around the same time, I heard that Miami Dolphins defensive coordinator Mike Nolan was the man to watch. And that same night I was told that current Georgia Tech defensive coordinator Al Groh was going to be hired. Again, these all came from pretty decent sources and all of them — at least up to this point — proved to be false.

So we move on.

At this point, it’s hard to know exactly what is causing the delay. I’ve been told throughout the process by people close to the situation that there really is no hurry here. As much as it might make fans of the program sleep a little easier knowing who the new DC is — big name or otherwise — new KU coach Charlie Weis is sleeping just fine.

Weis has complete control of recruiting and seems to be bringing in some solid names, both as commitments and for visits. Included on that list are defensive players, thanks largely to the work of defensive line coach Buddy Wyatt and running backs coach and recruiting guru Reggie Mitchell.

What’s more, there’s no coaching to be done currently, as the position coaches cannot have regular contact with their players until spring practices. The one guy who can work with the players — new strength and conditioning coach Scott Holsopple — is here, so there’s no need to worry about losing time or ground in that department.

As for those who say that delaying the announcement could cost the program valuable time that could be used to install the new defensive philosophy, there are a couple of things to remember there. First, it’s safe to guess that several players who will be listed on the two-deep depth chart on defense aren’t even here yet. Second, there’s plenty of time between spring drills and fall camp to install KU’s base defense. Once that is in place, most of the wrinkles that are added to it will come during game weeks, in season, anyway, as the Jayhawks prepare a game plan for each opponent.

One thing that may not be helping KU here is the number of DC vacancies that are out there, both in college and the NFL. A surplus of vacancies means options for the guys that land on most wish lists. And those guys having options means that the rest of us have to wait for things to play out in other places before this candidate or that one actually even can make a complete evaluation of what his next move may be. That could be what’s happening with Oklahoma assistant coach Willie Martinez and may very well have been the case with new Kansas City Chiefs coach Romeo Crennel.

Here’s a short blog about Martinez from the folks who cover the Sooners:

Beyond these names, Texas A&M, Penn State, Tennessee and Auburn — among others — have been or are currently looking to fill the same position. As exciting as things seem around the KU football program right now, Kansas still ranks a ways behind those schools in terms of places most people would want to work.

Other names still worth keeping an eye on include: Jim Leavitt, San Francisco 49ers linebackers coach; Raheem Morris, former Tampa Bay head coach and K-State DC; and all of those you haven’t heard yet, as was the case with Weis during the head coaching search.

I’m as eager as the next guy to find out who the new defensive coordinator will be. A new name — particularly if it’s a big one — just means that many more stories that can be written and angles that can be pursued. That’s exciting. Until we get something tangible about the job, I’ll keep pursuing every angle and trying to find out as much as I can about the names that pop up and even a little about the names that don’t.

Just enjoy the process and trust that the right guy will be brought in. This could end up being like those Heinz Ketchup commercials from back in the day.... "good things come to those who wait."

Stay tuned...


bad_dog 6 years ago

Carly Simon sings: "Anticipation, you're making me wait..."

Oh, BTW Matt, perhaps you should clarify that Tebow isn't a candidate for DC at KU ;-)

Ron Prichard 6 years ago

First AtlJayhawk quotes Bette Midler and now bad_dog quotes Carly Simon. If someone quotes Liza Minelli or The Carpenters I'm heading for the hills because the apocalypse will be upon us.

escaped_labrat 6 years ago

Karen Carpenter sings: "We've only just begun..."

Wow, this is exciting stuff, can't wait to see what the new look Jayhawks have to show on the field (hopefully names on the backs of their Jerseys)....what the heck is that in the sky...some kind of bright light coming down from above? Does anyone else hear that horn in the's like it's coming from everywhere and nowhere at once...weird...

oldvet 6 years ago

Abba says:

"There's not a soul out there No one to hear my prayer

Gimme! Gimme! Gimme! A man after midnight!"

bad_dog 6 years ago

Well rap, in all fairness to me, that was the theme music for the Heinz commercial alluded to by Matt above.

Feel free to refrain from heading to the hills ;-)

Ron Prichard 6 years ago

I have to admit, I love coming on here and discussing things much more compelling than KU sports (still haven't figured out what those things are yet). However, I will now be leaving as labrat has started the apocalypse in motion.

bad_dog 6 years ago

Helen Reddy, Barbra Streisand, Maria Muldaur...

(ducks under desk)

actorman 6 years ago

Say what you want about the Carpenters' music, but no one can deny her voice was incredible.

LAJayhawk 6 years ago

I think the point is more that the perspective DCs have the option to "wait and see." All you can do is offer a guy, which Charlie very well could and probably has done, and go from there. If the guy is keeping his options open, there is little you can do. I'm sure Weis has made a run at the top of the "talent pool," but he may not have much control over whether he can actually "act now."

Ben Kliewer 6 years ago

Wait and see? Jim Henson had a "wait and see" attitude and look what we have now! Wrong sounding muppets!

Jayhawk1116 6 years ago

I'm laughing in spite of myself! Nice one.

levicircle2 6 years ago

One reason to get a DC sooner than later: Recruiting. The kids you want for a 3-4 are different than the ones you want for a 4-3. If the HC knows he wants to run one or the other (and is only going to hire a DC that also wants to do that one), then no problem. If the HC is going to leave it up to the DC, they need to get one soon.

JayDocMD 6 years ago

I understand that no coaching can presently occur, but the absence of a DC has to adversely affect recruiting defensive players. Weis and the others have and will get the attention of some talented recruits (like CB Kenneth Crawley) but wouldn't you want to know who your coordinator is going to be and what type of system you will be playing in? The longer this goes on the harder it will be to recruit impact players on defense.

hawk316 6 years ago

Love him or hate him, you have to admit that Gill picked some good assistant coaches. The fact that Charley decided to keep both Mitchell and Wyatt speaks for itself. And I would have loved to have seen what such a highly respected coach as Torbush could have done with our defense last year.

Looks like Weis is putting together a great staff, too. Go Charley!

pgittemeier09 6 years ago

he also picked a one mr vic shealy

Andy Tweedy 6 years ago

That's probably a bit unfair. Shealy may have excelled as a position coach and was installed as a DC pretty late in the game due to Torbush's health. I can't disagree with your assertion that DC wasn't for him.

63Jayhawk 6 years ago

I thought Shealy had a pretty decent defense by the end of the season. At that point, it was the offense that fell behind.

Joey Meyer 6 years ago

Even as a diehard KU fan that is funny.

6 years ago

Thanks for the update, Matt! In Charlie we trust :)

LAJayhawk 6 years ago

Recruiting Update:

We're going to get a visit from a HUGE (as in physically very, very big) JuCo OL. 6'8", 360lb Carlos Lozano from East LA College. He's already had a visit to KState and has offers from KSU, UCLA, Utah, and Utah St.

Phoggin_Loud 6 years ago

Yes. I saw Tim Grunhard is recruiting him. If KU can land Lozano, Grunny would be responsible for 2 big-time recruits. Not bad for his short tenure as a college position coach.

blackhawkjayhawk 6 years ago

This is where we see if Grunny's influence is as strong as was his play. Close the deal on this, and boy-oh-boy...

blackhawkjayhawk 6 years ago

This is where we see if Grunny's influence is as strong as was his play. Close the deal on this, and boy-oh-boy...

Displayhawk 6 years ago

Anybody know who the All-America JUCO running back is that Rivals is reporting is going to visit KU soon???

Matt Tait 6 years ago

His name is Taylor Cox, 5-11, 205, out of California...

Displayhawk 6 years ago

Thanks guys! ..... I appreciate the info.

Jim Jackson 6 years ago

Why waste scholly? We have 3 sick RB's and a real good one in Sims

middleoftheroader 6 years ago

Maybe because 3 of them are sick and only one is a real good one? I kid I kid!

Jim Baker 6 years ago

Neither is the name "MILFdestroyer"

Jim Jackson 6 years ago

If you mom was hot, I'm sure she would think I'm funny.

Jim Jackson 6 years ago

Not trying to be funny. I used to bang hot moms whern I was single and that's what they called me.

Kevin Long 6 years ago

Thanks for the update Tait. I keep looking every day for something new! Its nice to know your still on it!

bbj 6 years ago

Please don't bring in Radio Raheem Morris. What ever the plan just keep bringing in players, to play at KU. I know it's early but what does it look like for the 2013 clas.

gorilla10 6 years ago


I'm interested in hearing who we're returning for next year. I've heard rumors about players possibly transferring out....any word on any transfers out??

gorilla10 6 years ago


I'm interested in hearing who we're returning for next year. I've heard rumors about players possibly transferring out....any word on any transfers out??

Ron Prichard 6 years ago

I'm guessing that news won't become official until next week when students return for the spring semester. If one of the players doesn't enroll or isn't on campus, I think it would become clear pretty quickly. If they plan on transferring, I think enrolling for the spring semester would set them back a semester when they transfer. Up until then, I'm guessing it's just hearsay.

At the same time, I too, am insterested in who will return. I especially want to know if Darrian Miller and Keeston Terry will be back. I don't want to lose them.

Sean O'Daniel 6 years ago

Matt said in a blog a week or so ago that signs pointed to Miller being back, no updates on the Keeston Terry talk, all the sites I have seen talk about this haven't had an update since early December.

thekansasboy1987 6 years ago

are we still looking for a OF coordinater?

Bville Hawk 6 years ago

Charlie has said that he will serve as OC initially while training someone to take that over in a couple years. Powlus, maybe?

Eric Williams 6 years ago

Isn't Powlus older? I'd guess he'd try to help Ianello get back to an OC/HC job.

JayhawkinNE 6 years ago

Perhaps the reason for a press conference on Jan report those that are not returning????

thekansasboy1987 6 years ago

I have already bought my tickets,I can't wait.Good Things Come For Those Who Wait!!

blackhawkjayhawk 6 years ago

Will buy mine soon. Man, this is really fun!

Micah Mandy Haase 6 years ago

It is hard to remember last year at this time how I got by knowing our football team was going to be the same the next year... oh by this time last year I had forgotten about our football team and was soley watching KU BB.. For all the doubters out there you have to admit.. its january and still are latched on trying to find out news about our Football program long after the season ended.

NebraskaJayhawk 6 years ago

The thing is, any school with a decent football program talk football all year long. I hope this becomes normal for KU soon and we don't have posts like this. Nothing against your post, but it just shows the lack of interest in a program. I'm with you...I'm happy to see it as well.

ahpersecoachingexperience 6 years ago

Tait, can you forward my pencil written resume to the football offices? I know it wasn't good enough to land the "conference chatter" job but maybe it can land me the DC job.

BTW 1-3 in bowl picks. Ouch! I'm going to have a hard time explaining to my wife that her implants and Botox will have to be put on hold.

Bville Hawk 6 years ago

You'll be sorry if you put off the implants (might be sorry too if you put off the Botox!).

THFCandKUsince87 6 years ago

Matt - any news on the future of the conference? Any more additions? What is the interim Big 12 commissioner up to these days? I appreciated all of your reports on the subject in the past.

KU_cynic 6 years ago

" KU coach Charlie Weis is sleeping just fine."

Of course he is. He's on pain meds following his hip replacement surgery.

JayDocMD 6 years ago

What's up with Brock Berglund? I haven't heard if he's planning on using a scholarship.

Mixed feelings about him. Would be nice for him to come, red shirt and if he pans out to be a player possibly be ready as a junior when Heaps leaves.

kugrad93 6 years ago

I think you have five years to use four years of eligibility, so is red-shirting him even an option?

blackhawkjayhawk 6 years ago

Don't love the idea of a JC running back. We have 3 very good backs unless.......somebody is leaving. My prediction of a DC by Monday was slightly off. Until the announcement, I suppose that it is TIC time - Trust In Charlie.

Jim Jackson 6 years ago

Agreed. Would also be foolish for any of them to leave, they would have to sit out a whole year while we go bowling.

Darin Bradley 6 years ago

Delaying the announcement doesn't change the culture as Weis vowed to do. It's more of the same Gill uncertainty. At least that's what it feels like :) C'mon Charlie, get it done.

ChesterCopperpot 6 years ago

Man, if you think this feels the same way it did with TG you have a seriously short memory!

actorman 6 years ago

That's a strange comment, d_bradley. Rushing to pick someone who's incompetent would be more like Gill than taking his time to make the right call. As hard as it is for all of us to wait, I'd MUCH rather wait an extra week or two than find out now that we have the wrong person in there.

Let's at least see who he actually picks before we start comparing him to Gill.

Phoggin_Loud 6 years ago

The longer this DC thing goes, the more I see it being Jim Leavitt. Wouldn't Mike Nolan have been hired by now? I guess time will tell.

blackhawkjayhawk 6 years ago

This would be enormous. I would seriously begin entertaining thoughts of a bowl game next year.

LAJayhawk 6 years ago

That's been my thoughts for a while now as well. It would make sense for the delay, and it seems like the best move for everybody.

Phoggin_Loud 6 years ago

BTW, way to sneak the new football hires at the end of the Tebow article. It looks like the Florida and Texas high school ties just got stronger. Great hires! Go recruit 'em, boys!!

treed14ku 6 years ago

Tomorrow's article: Todd Reesing tells the LJW what Chris Harris overheard from Tim Tebow about who will be the next KU defensive coordinator.

treed14ku 6 years ago

So Darrian Miller just tweeted, "#kufball pullin some grimey ass moves boa thats why I aint even with it". Doesn't sound like he's too happy w/ KU right about now.

milehighhawk 6 years ago

Someone needs to remind these kids that telling your friends something in person won't get you in trouble. Twitter (for all purposes, a public email) ain't the place to air dirty laundry.

treed14ku 6 years ago

He has since posted, "Now the message boards got somethin to talk about: F--- off f@----- lol" Not sure I want this kid back w/ that attitude. Say what you want about Tyshawn's "rants", but he never attacked KU basketball and never told people to F--- off, F@---ts.

drnater 6 years ago

Did you read into why he is so irritated with KU right now? Obviously not! Him and apparently Keeston are both angered with some of the people getting told they'll be dismissed from the team, and especially at such late notice. Completely reasonable, as this is something that happens with coaching changes. They are freshmen and havent gone through this like the vets. Something they need to either roll with the punches or get out. We'll see how it shakes out!

beebe1 6 years ago

Someone mentioned that the kid's problem has to do with a bottle and a bathroom.

blackhawkjayhawk 6 years ago

If true...goodbye Darian. Mr. Pierson, would you like add'l carries this fall?

blackhawkjayhawk 6 years ago

Unfortunate. That kid can flat run. I watched Tony and June.....Darian is better.

parrothead8 6 years ago

Tom Bradley would be a good DC hire.

Bob Forer 6 years ago

Considering what Coach Weis has pulled off in the short time he has been here, I have no worries that he will lure a top notch DC. Relax guys. Its all good.

sgtjhwk1 6 years ago

Per Toben Opurum tweet, Coach Bowen has accepted a position on the KU staff.

hawkcat 6 years ago

Weis sure keeps everyone guessing.

manginodrh00lz 6 years ago

Not really - we all know but decided to keep it from you.

Steve Brown 6 years ago

I am wanting to schedule Mizzou again, like twice a year, here, there, in between.

I hate 'em poosies.

Bellator 6 years ago

Here, there, hell we'll play em in Africa

ColoKU 6 years ago

The longer this takes the more I'm convinced it's Leavitt! Anything less would be disappointing

jhawkjunkie 6 years ago

So maybe to speed things up, we should all be cheering for the New Orleans Saints this weekend?

Mike Barnhart 6 years ago

Okay, the hiring of Clint Bowen as a defensive assistant M U S T mean there's a DC waiting in the wings. You can't hire defensive assistants without a DC can you?

LAJayhawk 6 years ago

Tend to agree with that..... Even more circumstantial evidence to lead one to believe it's Leavitt..........

John Randall 6 years ago

You can, if you want to spend a year getting people on the same page ...

JayDocMD 6 years ago

One football site was tweeting Bowen as the DC - I sure hope they are wrong. I'm good with Secondary/ST but if he's DC that would be a major disappointment.

KU_Alumn_2000 6 years ago

Matt - you mention that it's safe to say that several defensive players that will be on the two deep depth chart haven't made it to campus yet. Who / which players are you referring to ?

KU_Alumn_2000 6 years ago

By the way...there is no way Clint Bowen gets hired on as our defensive coordinator.

rockemchalkemrobots 6 years ago

A post so nice, you said it twice. I love the hire if it is position ( i.e. secondary).

KU_Alumn_2000 6 years ago

By the way...there is no way Clint Bowen gets hired on as our defensive coordinator.

PLKaws23 6 years ago

My sources tell me he is already headed to Lawrence with an announcement coming next week. Ive been told that he will be Deffensive AND Special Teams coordinator. Better start believing it. It's going to happen and if Weis believes in him I don't see why jayhawk nation can't embrace a lifelong Jayhawk. This time around he will be given better tools to succeed. Clint should get another chance, and I think he will do fine.

PLKaws23 6 years ago

To clearify, I have been told of his hire by his parents. However, I do believe that if he gets defensive and specials, then they might bring in someone else in as Co-Defensive coordinator. Just seems to me that holding both might be too much, but mainly im hoping he can learn from someone like Leavitt.

Bangkok_Jayhawk 6 years ago

Clint Bowen needs to be on the KU Football Staff! I would love to hit a home run with a Leavitt, Nolan, or Manusky but if all else failed I wouldn't mind him as DC.

-KU alum and loved by the players -He has done well the past couple seasons as DC -He was co-coordinator with Young when our defense was really good -When he was the only DC, talent was down.

At the very least, he has gained experience.

treed14ku 6 years ago

KU needs to get this done SOON!! Kenneth Crawley, the #21 DB in the country who is heavily considering KU just tweeted, "I believe KU don't have a D staff might switch it up to the 28th weekend I'm real mad". We can't be missing out on players like him b/c we waited too long.

blackhawkjayhawk 6 years ago

Drop him...right now. We don't this from another JaRon.

treed14ku 6 years ago

Why would we stop going for him? Is it that ridiculous for a kid to show a little frustration that one his top schools hasn't hired a defensive coordinator yet? Think about it, KU fans are getting impatient, why shouldn't a kid who would actually be playing in the games have the right to express the same?

Bville Hawk 6 years ago

"I believe KU don't have a D staff might switch it up to the 28th weekend I'm real mad"

Is there a translator in the house?

Phoggin_Loud 6 years ago

He's moving his visit to the weekend of January 28th due to KU's lack of a DC. Oh, and he's mad.

Eric Williams 6 years ago

it sounds like KU might have been the front-runner and he was excited to visit and possibly commit.

the lack of defensive coaches has moved back his visit, but it sounds like KU is still in the hunt.

John Randall 6 years ago

When a prospect thinks it's up to him how soon a coaching announcement needs to made, what kind of disruption would he be when actually on the team?

JayDocMD 6 years ago

4 star prior Tenn commit CB Kenneth Crawley just tweeted that he may move his visit to the 28th because "KU dont have D Staff ... I'm real mad."

Concrete evidence this delay is hurting recruiting.

treed14ku 6 years ago

haha but you were pretty quick as well. Definitely something we need to get wrapped up soon.

Greg Ledom 6 years ago

Per HCCW, the Bowen move is a good pick on several fronts. One is chemistry with the staff and players, plus a solid position coach. Come on home coach Bowen. Secondly, I have close resources that suggest WM from OU will be the next DC at Kansas. Apparently was almost done this past Friday, but Illinois came on strong for their DC job. Word has it their AD offered up big cash and began wiggling about the money. WM has Kansas back in front. Sources say they hope to finalize by the end of this week. Just saying, and we'll see.

Ryan McAtee 6 years ago

Check out WM's profile below... he was a rockstar DC at Georgia... and the SEC knows defense, as we all saw in Field Goal-fest 2 last night... I would be just fine with him as our DC.....

texashawk10 6 years ago

He was also run out of Athens and nearly cost Mark Richt his job because of how bad Georgia's defense was his last couple of seasons for the Bulldogs.

Eric Williams 6 years ago

sorry texashawk10, that's a bunch of crap. The only thing that almost causes Mark Richt his job is unreasonable expectations from a fanbase that has to compete with Florida, LSU and Alabama.

This season, UGA started out 0-2, went on a 10-game streak to win the SEC East, lost their bowl in overtime and Richt is back on the hot seat?! The problem is Georgia fans.

texashawk10 6 years ago

I didn't say anything about Richt being on the hot seat after this season because as far as I know he's not, but after posting 8-5 in 2009 and going 6-7 in 2010, Mark Richt was absolutely on the hot seat at Georgia and the only reason he wasn't fired was if he cleaned house on his coaching staff. Also go read some OU message boards about their opinions of Martinez after OU's defense was lit up at the end of the season.

John Randall 6 years ago

This old fart would rather have a football coach on staff than a rockstar ... just sayin'.

Todd Hill 6 years ago

Maybe I'm spoiled by this rabid off season, but that does not seem like all that impressive of a list.

treed14ku 6 years ago

Are you freakin serious????? Offers from South Carolina, Michigan, Oklahoma State, Michigan State, Arkansas, Virginia Tech, Tennessee, Georgia, Clemson, Miami(FL). UNC, UCLA, Cincy, Purdue, Maryland, Illinois, Louisville, NC State, Rutgers, Ole Miss, etc. don't "impress" you? If so, than yeah, your idea of where KU football is at as a program is completely inaccurate.

Phoggin_Loud 6 years ago

I think SE_Hawk didn't hit the "show all" tab so he only saw 4 teams listed.

treed14ku 6 years ago

Even then, since when is KU in position to stick up our noses at a four star DB who has offers from Michigan State, Maryland and Colorado. That would still be a recruit I would want.

Phoggin_Loud 6 years ago

Did you click the "show all" tab???

Todd Hill 6 years ago

My bad. treed was correct. Did not have my glasses on to see the "show all" tab. Usually when I click on these pages, all the choices are shown and I'm not expecting KU to be listed with 27 other schools.Going to have to get use to the change going on around here.

Pete Nachbar 6 years ago

It will not be a Pro Coach ,
Jerry Sandusky Maybe ?
He is available

Lance Cheney 6 years ago

That might have been funny 2 months ago (probably not even then). You got any Bill Clinton/Monica Lewinsky jokes you want to throw at us while you're being timely with your humor?

danmoore 6 years ago

A&M, Tennessee, Auburn yes. Not sure about Penn State being a more attractive place to coach.

danmoore 6 years ago

Speaking of Penn State, what about Tom Bradley? Too much baggage?

John Myers 6 years ago

Jayhawk Slant just tweeted that it's Dave Campo, Dallas Cowboys secondary coach.

Steve Tramba 6 years ago

What austin said... DC is the new DC... I'm ok w/ that.

Steve Tramba 6 years ago

What austin said... DC is the new DC... I'm ok w/ that.

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