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More talk about the ongoing search for KU's next defensive coordinator

Now that the NFL regular season is over, it’s time for all of those coaches who are or soon will become available to find new jobs.

More importantly, it’s time for Kansas University to fill out its football coaching staff.

The search for KU’s next defensive coordinator very much has resembled the search to land Charlie Weis as the school’s new head coach. Quiet, deliberate and full of speculation are just a few of the similarities. The other has been incredible interest from a suddenly football-crazed fan base.

I understand the excitement and the desire to know what’s happening. In many ways, I love it and think it’s exactly what KU football needs. But know this: Nobody knows definitively what’s going on with these hires right now. Maybe not even Weis.

This much we do know: Reggie Mitchell (RBs), Ron Powlus (QBs) and Tim Grunhard (OL) are in. Buddy Wyatt (DL) also seems safe. Beyond that, it looks like Bernie Parmalee (TEs) and Rob Ianello (WRs) will be joining Weis’ staff at some point in the near future. Both would be good hires because of their experience and familiarity with Weis and both figure to be solid on the recruiting trail.

There also has been some increased talk lately about the strength and conditioning job, with Florida assistant Scott Holsopple and former Notre Dame assistant Ruben Mendoza’s names popping up most often. The only hint I’ve been given here is that it’s not likely to be Mendoza.

As for the defensive coordinator position, it remains a mystery. An announcement could come as early as this week or still could be a couple of weeks away.

The only rock solid information I’ve been given about the job in the past few days is that Weis has been waiting for some dominoes to fall before he can actually move on this. I’m sure he’s been putting together lists and talking to whomever he can, but, in a lot of ways, his hands have been tied for the past couple of weeks.

So what dominoes could we be talking about here? Just about everything is on the table.

• Could have been waiting on a coach and/or coaches to get fired
• Could have been waiting for college team to play its bowl game
• Could have been waiting on NFL regular season to end
• Could still be waiting on NFL playoffs to end

The names that have come up most often here have been: Greg Manusky (San Diego DC), Mike Nolan (Miami DC), Al Groh (Georgia Tech DC), Romeo Crennel (interim coach at KC) and Jim Leavitt (San Francisco linebackers coach). As I’ve told you before, I’ve heard that Manusky, Nolan and Groh each were offered the job at some point. I’m not sure I believe that entirely, but that’s what I’m hearing. If that’s true, I don’t know the order of when each was offered.

I think Nolan will search for and find an NFL DC job, perhaps even with the new staff in Miami. I think staying in the NFL is his preference.

I think Manusky could still be in play here. Even if Norv Turner is retained by the Chargers, it looks like Manusky’s out in San Diego.

I also think that Jim Leavitt could still be in the mix. Early on, I was told he would not be a candidate. But that’s been three weeks ago now. Things change.

From where I sit, Leavitt would be by far the best hire Weis could make. He has a solid mix of NFL and college experience, knows Kansas, knows the Big 12 and could be the perfect guy to take over one day if this staff gets things rolling again.

The 49ers are slated to play their first game of the postseason on Saturday, Jan. 14, so if we’re waiting on Leavitt, we could be waiting a while. In fact, if this thing isn’t nailed down this week, I would think that the odds of it being Leavitt increase substantially.

If I had to rank that list in terms of who would be best, I'd go: 1. Leavitt, 2. Crennel, 3. Nolan, 4. Groh, 5. Manusky.

One more thing to mention before moving on, let’s make sure we take a lesson from the coaching search. All that speculation, all those lists, all wrong. Weis’ name was not being mentioned anywhere and he would up being the guy.

If that were to happen here, it would not surprise me at all. That’s just the nature of these types of hires. Charlie Weis is the only guy who knows completely what’s going on right now and he’s not talking.

So we wait. But don’t sweat it. I’ve been told by a couple of people who know how this works — guys who have been a part of it — that Weis could wait until March to hire his DC and it wouldn’t have a negative impact on the program.

Happy New Year, everyone. Is this going to be a fun year or what?

Oh, two more things:

First, don't forget that tomorrow (Jan. 3) is the day that South Bend, Ind., wide receiver Gehrig Dieter is supposed to announce his college decision.

And, second, although we still don't know which KU players won't be back next year, I'm hearing that it's more and more likely by the day that running back Darrian Miller will return.

;

Comments

Kevin Long 2 years, 3 months ago

I see KU is getting a visit from a JUCO all-american RB! Not to complain, but I would like to see some more action on the def. side! That's were most the improvment is nedded. Any new leads on possible DC's???

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bbj 2 years, 3 months ago

Good to hear the Miller is coming back, I thought he had a good year as a freshman. On the coaching front I would love any of these guys. Romeo Crennel (Cheifs), Jim Leavitt (49ers) or Greg Manusky (San Dog). It looks more and more that Romeo will get the job in Kansas City, so that leaves the other two and I would not be mad at that. Looking forward to spring ball, Rock Chalk!

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Calijhawk 2 years, 3 months ago

Mike Clark, the Strength Coach of the Chiefs is a KU grad, and may be in flux because of the staff turnover there. Weiss should know him from the year he spent there. He is also very well known as one of the best in the business...being at A&M for all that time, then the Seahawks. His leg complex workouts are legendary...

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clarkentsman 2 years, 3 months ago

Gehrig Dieter commited to SMU today.

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JayHok 2 years, 3 months ago

Dieter has confidence, he has great hands and just received first team status! His tweets are all in good fun. Most of the tweets to his friends giving support, that's what a good teammate does. He has a lot of Jayhawk followers.

He tweeted a few minutes ago that Dayne Crist contacted him today, which to me is great news. Also he's wanting to read tweets from the fans in the next few minutes, either, "Rock Chalk Jayhawk" or the other schools' saying "Oh You Go!"

I like this All American's spirit!

His twitter is---- gehrigd4

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blackhawkjayhawk 2 years, 3 months ago

Has anyone seen Gehrig's tweets? Not sure about the 'tude......

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blackhawkjayhawk 2 years, 3 months ago

College

Throughout his career, Groh has been a friend and protégé of Bill Parcells, working with him for over 13 years in both collegiate and professional positions. Groh was an assistant under Parcells in two Super Bowls, including a 1990 Super Bowl XXV victory with the New York Giants and a 1996 loss in Super Bowl XXXI with the New England Patriots.

The idea of Groh as heir apparent would be wrong, based on his age. I would guess that the Giants/Pats connection is why he would leave Ga. Tech for KU? Otherwise, it's a straight lateral move at best. I'm thinking that Powlus or Grunhard would be groomed as heirs for Weis.

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JayHok 2 years, 3 months ago

Here's clips of the unsigned #1 recruit in the nation. On one play Dorial Green-Beckham's coach stacks three wideouts on one side and leaves Dorial all by himself on in one on one coverage on the other side.

Weis would have so many different schemes for a player like this. Here's what I'm envisioning---- Triple wideouts with Dieter, Lightening Pierson, possibly Butler and/or our 6'9" Arkansas transfer on the right side. Dorial Green-Beckham on the left side isolated in one on one. Crist back to pass.

If anyone cheats in coverage, Crist will find it, otherwise with four defenders pulled outside, audible at the line and the draw is wide open for Miller, Simms, Bourbon or Lightening Pierson, depending on where Weis puts him.

All speculation at this point, but at least looking at Dieter's twitter, there sure seems to be a lot of Jayhawks as followers and he sure seems to stay in touch with Butler. Hopefully Beckham and Butler have had a chance to study Weis' four superbowl rings along with Dieter.

RCJ

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JayHok 2 years, 3 months ago

First two players listed on the All American high school team Weis surely has been in contact with. One of them is to announce today.

FIRST TEAM OFFENSE

Dorial Green-Beckham, WR, 6-6, 225, Hillcrest (Springfield, Mo.), Undecided The nation’s No. 1 recruit and all-time leading receiver ended his career with a fine senior campaign. Green-Beckham caught 199 passes for 2,233 yards and 24 touchdowns. Videos

Gehrig Dieter, WR, 6-2, 210, Washington (South Bend, Ind.), Undecided A first team all-state selection, Dieter caught 82 passes for 2,181 yards and 24 touchdowns, setting several national records in the process, including 447 yards receiving in one game against Elkhart Central.

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Kansashawk 2 years, 3 months ago

Do you enjoy being cryptic? What is the purpose?

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danno1313 2 years, 3 months ago

How s the search for good DEFENSIVE PLAYERS GOING? I m a little more interested in that. An occasional article reference that would be great. Rock Chalk!

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Steven Gaudreau 2 years, 3 months ago

The DC position has been filled and he is not from the NFL.

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JHWKDW 2 years, 3 months ago

Leavitt Leavitt Leavitt!He has done so good with the 49ers!And has made them better under his guidance!They lost their play maker Willis for a while due to injury and while he was gone helped keep them focused!Hey he is part of the defense of the 49ers that did not allow 1 rushing touchdown for 14 straight games and not 1 Running back got 100 yards against them! Imagine having a defense half that good?Hey I would also love to have the winning 49er way brought to Lawrence Ks.!

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jgkojak 2 years, 3 months ago

The Chiefs would be idiots to not hire Crinnel - since they hired Todd Haley, we know they're idiots. That said, I'd guess Crinnel has the Chiefs job and if he doesn't get it - he is instantly snatched up by someone in the NFL to be their DC.

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jgkojak 2 years, 3 months ago

The Chiefs would be idiots to not hire Crinnel - since they hired Todd Haley, we know they're idiots. That said, I'd guess Crinnel has the Chiefs job and if he doesn't get it - he is instantly snatched up by someone in the NFL to be their DC.

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JayHok 2 years, 3 months ago

Since we'll wait at least another few hours on the DC, I'm currently considering our threats on offense next year in Weis' pro set.

QB----Crist

Dual Runningbacks for misdirection, draws, darting-action with the ball and blocking---Miller/Simms/Bourbon

SlotBack----Pierson {please, please, please get this man the ball in the open field}

Wide Receivers----McCay?, Dieter?, Butler?, Shepard, 5 Star Missouri receiver?

Tight End---6'9" transfer from the Arkansas razorbacks?

Line----entire redshirted large and larger line from last year plus the experienced group already in place, coached by Grunhard.

Personally I can't wait to see what Weis can do with the offense next year.

RCJ Dieter!

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HIMYM 2 years, 3 months ago

As a Niner fan and Jayhawk fan, I am torn over Leavitt. I want him to stay with the 49ers because their defense is solid, but our Hawks really need a quality DC. The Hawks do need him more.... Dang this sucks! How about he splits duties... just kidding.

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Ferd Magellan 2 years, 3 months ago

After all this build-up I'm going to be pretty peeved if it's not a high-profile hire. I know there's a load of money available for the defensive staff, so I'm definitely expecting a successful DC.

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Eric Dawson 2 years, 3 months ago

Ahhhh, another fix... thanks, Matt.

Good news re: Miller. None of the rumors made sense to me. 1. Why would a really good RB not want to play for Weis? 2. If grades were bad 1st semester, he had 2nd to get them right, right? (Good to see grades aren't an issue).

Only thing that would make sense would be if he was Gill's guy, then it would be understandable that he might consider leaving.

Your point about the Weis hiring process indicating that coverage of the DC hiring process is nothing more than an educated guessing game with the potential for no resemblance to the final reality is spot on. Still, since nature abhors a vacuum, it's good to have something talking about it here, especially something that serves to help us keep an even keel in this swirling sea.

2nd star to the right and straight on 'til morning, Mr. Tait!

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Jack McEnaney 2 years, 3 months ago

Coach Romeo Crennel, we have bad news for you, unfortunately you are not in the plans to continue coaching with the Kansas City Chiefs. There are options for you though! You can go coach under Charlie Weis and be defensive coordinator for The Kansas Jayhawks, or go back up to Foxboro for a reunion with Bill Belichick (apparently they are having trouble on defense.) Which option would you like to explore?

Why do I have a feeling he will find a job with someone else?

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wildjayhawk 2 years, 3 months ago

ahpersecoachingexperience, have to agree with you about the Missouri fan, nice to see that.

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ahpersecoachingexperience 2 years, 3 months ago

Last chance to get your money down on osu

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missouricat 2 years, 3 months ago

You guys did the correct thing as getting rid of T Gill and not going another year with that missfit. We are hearing good things about your hire of Weis and things are going to get a lot better for you. Each year will get better and first thing you know it, you will be back in the game with some bowl games. Sure was glad the the cornholes got stomped today.

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Blake McFarland 2 years, 3 months ago

Very happy to hear that Miller looks to be coming back. That kid has a high ceiling and should work very well in the new system Weis will run.

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danmoore 2 years, 3 months ago

Before Zenger hired a head coach the LJW published an extensive list of possible candidates and Charlie was not on that list so it is not safe to assume any of the above will become our next DC.

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Janet Scott 2 years, 3 months ago

I honestly don't understand why Leavitt's name is in the mix - I understood he was fired from his last college head job for alledgedly the same reasons Mangino was let go at KU. How does this possibly compute? I can't image Zenger or BGL would approve.

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Steven Gaudreau 2 years, 3 months ago

I think the DC job announcement would have been a bit more exciting in Geo Tech would have won their bowl game. Whoops, I've said too much.

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danmoore 2 years, 3 months ago

Leavitt is at the top of my list. All the others would be okay but I have concerns about an NFL DC coming to Lawrence and jumping ship the following season. Kind of like what happened with CW. Would not blame him if he did but it would be nice to have more stability.

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edjayhawk 2 years, 3 months ago

Crennel would be awesome but probably wishful thinking.

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JayHok 2 years, 3 months ago

Happy 2012 all.

Does anybody know Dieter's twitter? In talking to an old Jayhawk friend the other day, he mentioned an unconfirmed rumor that Dieter asked explicitly on his twitter "which university should I choose, SMU or Kansas?"

RCJ

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tical523 2 years, 3 months ago

What about coach Beaty??? We have to keep him, the players love him!

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jhawkrulz 2 years, 3 months ago

Just thinking back to HCCW and his days at the Patriots and at ND, I know he does a lot of bubble screens and does a lot of passes to the RB position as well. Thinking back, I can't remember a lot of passing to our RBs this year. With the RBs having been stacked, do any of them have "hands"? I'm not sure if TG actually has plays designed to be thrown to RBs.

Who is our best "receiving" RB?

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LAJayhawk 2 years, 3 months ago

Matt,

Hearing anything more about potential recruits/transfers (aside from Dieter, of course)? You mentioned in your last entry a possibility of a mass announcement on the same day... are you hearing anything about that being a possibility? Any idea about how guys are leaning?

As always, thanks for the leg work.

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johnnyphoton 2 years, 3 months ago

I caught a little bit of the PBA yesterday. Pete Weber nearly rolled a 300.

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kcblkscorpion 2 years, 3 months ago

How about Raheem Morris as Defensive Coordinator / Head Coach in waiting? He is available. Just fired from Tampa Bay as Head Coach.

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Chris Shaw 2 years, 3 months ago

Matt, have you heard anything else about potentially adding Louisville to the Big 12?

By the way, has anybody else boycotted all the Bowl/BCS college football games? I haven't watched one yet and not planning to so till the season ends next week.

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troutsee 2 years, 3 months ago

Let's hope it is Leavitt and if it is, let's hope he is not the HC in waiting for the other in-state job.

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Matt Bowers 2 years, 3 months ago

Matt: You've given us a list of five possible candidates and that is great. Do you have a list of 5-10 candidates, you know, a wishlist of your own? Thanks Matt.

Rock Chalk

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Mike Barnhart 2 years, 3 months ago

In previous statements HCCW has indicated he'll be grooming an OC to take over play calling a few years down the road. Since he's also put a pseudo timetable on the length of his own stay, I'm assuming his DC needs to be a "head coach in waiting." Leavitt's gotta' be the man.

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ahpersecoachingexperience 2 years, 3 months ago

Remember when Turner hired a strength coach from Arkansas State? SMH, I still hate that guy.

And you would think that if Deiter is down to us and SMU that it has to be a lock for us. After the ASU stuff this summer I don't know how JJ will ever get a recruit to sign with him.

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jhawkjunkie 2 years, 3 months ago

What about Raheem Morris? Got fired by the Bucs and was a d-coordinator up the road in Manhattan. Any chance he could come back to the state of Kansas?

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kuilander 2 years, 3 months ago

miller facebook'd he made the honor roll, grades isnt his problem here ...

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Travis Warner 2 years, 3 months ago

Matt: Any truth to the rumor that Miller doesn't qualify academically? If so what would that mean for him returning to the team? Would he be required to sit a year?

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STLJayhawk10 2 years, 3 months ago

what about trying to get spags? just fired and had an awesome NFL DC resume. maybe he'd be interested?

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lv_jhwk 2 years, 3 months ago

As someone who had heard (and shared on this blog) that Miller most likely WASN'T coming back, the report of his possible return is most welcome news.

On the coaching front, Matt, since nothing otherwise has been heard or seen, is it safe to assume that Beatty is not returning/was not asked back to the staff?

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