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Relatively quiet offseason bodes well for KU football program

Kansas University football coach Charlie Weis holds a news conference at KU on Wednesday, August 1, 2012, the day before the Jayhawks’ fall camp starts. Weis spoke about the team’s depth chart and his eagerness for the season to start, saying, “I’m more motivated than I’ve ever been.”

Kansas University football coach Charlie Weis holds a news conference at KU on Wednesday, August 1, 2012, the day before the Jayhawks’ fall camp starts. Weis spoke about the team’s depth chart and his eagerness for the season to start, saying, “I’m more motivated than I’ve ever been.” by Mike Yoder

In 2009, fans of Kansas University football watched the unfolding of a witch hunt that quickly turned into the departure of one coach and the search for another.

A year later, a good chunk of the offseason was spent trying to explain what happened under first-year coach Turner Gill while assessing where the program was headed at the same time. That also marked the beginning of the Brock Berglund fiasco, which garnered more ink and lasted way longer than a player who never suited up for a single game ever should have received.

And then there the 2011 season, when KU said goodbye to another head coach and began yet another coaching search.

So what’s the point of rehashing the obvious and somewhat painful past? It’s been a while since the offseason was this quiet around the KU football program. Kind of nice, isn’t it?

Sure, we’ve seen a wild and crazy run of recruiting, and, with the current state of KU football that’s pretty loud news, but it pales in comparison to the kind of noise that’s been made in the past few offseasons around here.

Such stability is imperative to building anything of substance and, with second-year coach Charlie Weis and company determined to make KU a winner again, it’s nice to see that the coaching staff and the administration are dedicated to the cause.

That’s not the case everywhere. Just this week we learned about Oklahoma State defensive coordinator Bill Young leaving the Cowboys’ program. If you remember the name, it’s because Young was KU’s D-Coordinator from 2002-07. And he’s a good one. He won’t be out of work for long, but the mere fact that he’s no longer wanted by OSU comes as a little bit of a surprise.

Wait, it gets better. Or is it bigger?

Midway during the week, news broke that Notre Dame coach Brian Kelly had engaged in talks with the NFL’s Philadelphia Eagles, who have a head coaching opening and are looking at all levels to fill it. If the man who just led the Fighting Irish to a 12-0 regular season and a trip to the national championship game (however ugly it was) is looking around, KU should be awfully thankful that its program and those associated with it have both feet firmly planted on the ground.

The news about Young and Kelly is just the latest example of program unrest in college football, something that’s becoming almost as interesting and certainly as relevant as the bowl games themselves each offseason.

Prior to that, coaching vacancies — a few big ones even — popped up everywhere you looked and that led to a reshuffling of coaching staffs and athletic departments throughout the country. Some programs are built to handle it and barely notice when offseason turmoil arrives. Others can be derailed entirely and spend years trying to recover.

For those who respond better to charts, standings and numbers, here’s a quick ranking of the top KU football stories this offseason:

  1. Class of 2013 recruiting
  2. Seniors preparing for April draft
  3. Memorial Stadium renovation
  4. Former players shine in NFL
  5. Conference realignment

There has not been so much as a peep about coaching turnover or major program changes. That bodes well for the Jayhawks.

Comments

Ron Prichard 1 year, 11 months ago

Matt, thanks for the football article. I love what we have seen with recruiting so far this off-season, but is there any word (truth or rumors) about the last two spots? I was hoping we would have a committment from the lineman from Hawaii (forgot his name), but it sounds like he may be considering Arkansas. Are we still in the mix with him? If not, is the committment we received from the linebacker from his school shaky as well? Finally, who are we targeting for the last scholarship? I had also heard there was a receiver from Hawaii that was committed to aTm that may be in the mix somehow.

Thanks, again!

Matt Tait 1 year, 11 months ago

It's all about patience right now. KU's still in the mix for Reeve Koehler (the lineman from Hawaii) and also is still in on OL Matt Finnin. It's possible they could get both, but landing one or the other would be a nice addition.

I wouldn't worry too much about Goeas (the LB & Koehler's teammate). Sounds like he's sold on KU and the offer from Weis was among his best offers.

Receiver is still a position of need so if there are still any worth snagging out there, that's a possibility to fill out the class.

I'd expect KU's staff to be pretty selective about how it uses these last couple of spots.

Stay tuned...

Dirk Medema 1 year, 11 months ago

Really slow news day/week/month.

Things should at least get a little interesting as we look for the last few recruits.

Dirk Medema 1 year, 11 months ago

Will we get in depth intro's to the new players as they arrive.

jhox 1 year, 11 months ago

Don't look for Kelly to leave. This is the new way big name coaches get their contracts increased and extended.

I thought Chip Kelly might actually leave Oregon but it looks like that too was a ploy for more money.

There is more job security at most of the big time programs than in the NFL and the money is just as good. Unless one of those guys has it on their bucket list to coach an NFL team, they're not likely to leave.

2008KUGrad 1 year, 11 months ago

Matt - Are there any Notre Dame players that Charlie recuited, while at ND, that may be eligible to transfer & play immediately? If Brian Kelly bolts for the NFL, I would imagine it would give some players incentive to leave as well. Great article!

Matt Tait 1 year, 11 months ago

I'm sure there are a couple. I'm looking into that right now.

Reuben_J_Cogburn 1 year, 11 months ago

I don't know how any of us can be fans of the Notre Dame Transfer Train. That didn't really provide the assistance we assumed it would.

B0B 1 year, 11 months ago

Agreed. Unless its a wide reciever. It is impossible for them to be worse than what we ran out there last year.

Clarence Haynes 1 year, 11 months ago

A good capable 5th year WR from anywhere works for me!

PSM 1 year, 11 months ago

Excited to go 11-1 next season and getting Charlie's KU record back to .500.

Phil Leister 1 year, 11 months ago

Matt, does your comment about Memorial Stadium renovations mean there's going to be an article about the topic in the near future? I feel like it's been pretty quiet on that front lately. I've always wondered how Weis feels about it, whether he sees it as important to the program/recruiting/fan base.

KGphoto 1 year, 11 months ago

The successful vote pushing Rock Chalk Park forward is directly related to the Memorial Stadium renovations, in that it was a necessary step. Track and Field needed a home before we rip the track out of Memorial.

Basically it showed us that Zenger and Marchiony are serious about renovating Memorial, and that they're taking the steps to get there. Before this vote, I'm not sure we had anything concrete from which to judge their opinions on the matter. (I could be wrong about that part, but I don't remember seeing anything solid from them.)

"He (Marchiony) said the Rock Chalk Project will allow the university to work on a plan to remove the track from Memorial Stadium, which would allow for upgrades to the football amenities offered in the stadium. But Marchiony said no timeline or specific plans have been developed for that project.

'But now that this piece of the puzzle seems to be on the way to being solved, we’ll be able to focus on that more,' he said."

LAJayhawk 1 year, 11 months ago

Ha. We basically had the same post at the same time. :)

machinegun 1 year, 11 months ago

They have to complete a major renovation of Memorial Stadium prior to the 100th Anniversary. That's a given. Better start a building fund.

LAJayhawk 1 year, 11 months ago

Those of you asking about Memorial renovations have seen the pieces on the new Rock Chalk Park that was approved by the city commission, right? That was step one, as it will build a state of the art track facility, and the way the deal is designed, it will actually allow the athletic department to simultaneously begin working on upgrades to Memorial which, of course, includes removing the track.

milehighhawk 1 year, 11 months ago

Instead of an ordinal ranking at the end of the article, you really should turn that into a percentage wheel (by importance).

The percentage wheel is bigger than all of us. Tait unleashed its almighty power and it cannot be contained.

LAJayhawk 1 year, 11 months ago

PERCENTAGE WHEEL!!!!

Yes, Matt Tait. You must grace us with another percentage wheel. Without it, we are liable to start charging the gates.... ;)

Matt Tait 1 year, 11 months ago

For the record, that "Like" is mine... Love how much love the percentage wheel continues to get. Long live the wheel!

David Leathers 1 year, 11 months ago

p>KUSports.com needs to add a feature where you can see who "Likes" your comments... Kinda like that one website...

texashawk10 1 year, 11 months ago

Something that almost always gets overlooked about successful programs is the continuity in the coaching staff. One of biggest reasons KU's defense has been as bad as it has been is because KU has had 5 different defensive coordinators over the past 6 seasons. What makes that fact even worse, and the biggest culprit in killing recruiting in my eyes, is that KU to has changed defenses each of the past 5 seasons. That means that the seniors on defense that have been at KU for all 5 years did not go a season without learning a new scheme and only had one season with the same defensive coordinator. The players who coming back next season will be better players because they will spend this spring working on getting better as players instead of learning a new defense and the new terminology that comes with having a new defensive coordinator and that will lead to a better performance by the defense next season.

Matt, do you know if Weis has been in contact with either of the Florida kids that announced they were transferring earlier this week?

Matt Tait 1 year, 11 months ago

Don't know that yet, but I'm checking into it. I would think so, at least to feel out where they're at, but don't know yet. Hopefully I'll get a chance to find out more soon.

Boouk 1 year, 11 months ago

The safety who's transferring said his favorite was Louisville.

Ron Prichard 1 year, 11 months ago

He got tired of getting the crap knocked out of him by Louisville in the bowl game and now wants to switch sides. Kind of like kids playing touch football in the schoolyard.

clevelandjayhawker 1 year, 11 months ago

Thanks for responding to posts...pretty cool, its a real bonus as a reader to have a writer that responds to the public.

Boouk 1 year, 11 months ago

Anyone know if TA&M will be able to keep Hawaii WR Jeremy Tabuyo with all their other commitments? If they don't keep him, we should have a good chance at getting him since we recruited him and he's a teammate of Goeas.

CrystalJones 1 year, 11 months ago

Well, I don't disagree that it's nice to have an offseason without controversy.

On the other hand, when merely having a "quiet offseason" is raised to the level of headline material, it speaks volumes about our program, i.e., it hasn't been very good.

On the positive side, with the talent that HCCW is bringing in, I see an immediate turnaround in our future... a Big XII championship.

texashawk10 1 year, 11 months ago

A quiet offseason is a good thing no matter what the record of the team is. It would be nice if KU's offseason was only a couple of weeks old instead of 6 weeks old though. An offseason where the only news is recruiting and not coaches leaving or players being arrested or kicked off the team means stability in the program and program stability is always a good thing no matter how good or bad a team is.

Stan Unruh 1 year, 11 months ago

Nice to read about Jayhawk football any time year! Any word on how the off season strength and conditioning program is going?

W Keith Swinehart II 1 year, 11 months ago

Relatively quiet, boring, stability, patience, continuity.....etc. All the words are music to my ears most of the time.

A key reason for our calm, quiet period is the fact we have an Athletic Director who hired our football coach; one who does not crave the spotlight; one who simply enjoys what he is doing, knows what he is doing, and is doing it.

Zenger and Weis are on the same page. Also, i f you remember, Zenger and Chancelor Gray-Little stood side by side at Coach Weis's hiring announcement, in harmony about the hiring. Coach Weis has lived up to the academic promises. He is aggressive, always pressing forward. He's hit recruiting hard. He demands respect and discipline. He has his men in great condition. He loves the basketball team. Pretty good start, I think.

So let the quiet times rule... until football season starts again. We've still got to prove it on the field.

Kevin Randell 1 year, 11 months ago

All I know is, the ticket office better get on the ball and get our season ticket renewal forms out! This Jayhawk is ready to sign up! Rock Chalk!!

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