Monday, November 28, 2011


Sheahon Zenger has guts to hire Mike Leach


You can’t hire a football coach who is suing the network that holds the rights to some of your conference games and is suing a school in your conference.

Why not? You just can’t. Oh, OK, just like you can’t fire a football coach two years into a five-year, $10 million guaranteed contract.

Kansas University athletic director Sheahon Zenger weeks ago determined adhering to the standard way of doing business and giving a coach at least three years to prove himself didn’t apply in this situation. So why should anyone think that Zenger will put his own convenience ahead of a chance to turn the KU football program from a national laughingstock into a winner? He won’t.

Zenger will pursue controversial former Texas Tech football coach Mike Leach unless Leach puts up a hurdle in front of himself that’s just too big to clear. Zenger will pursue him because he knows Leach has the sort of pushy presence that can get recruits to come to Lawrence and has the know-how to develop them into better players once they get here.

The fact Leach isn’t afraid to say anything about anyone at any time makes him all the more appealing to a football program that has fallen so far so fast since winning the Orange Bowl and going 12-1 four years ago. These days, finding the cure to the common cold presents a far easier challenge than trying to sell season tickets to KU football games. Zenger lands Leach and in an instant those tickets become hotter than it was cold Sunday night at the Lawrence Airport.

So strong is the pull of the name Leach that more than just media members who get paid to turn over every stone shivered standing outside the Lawrence Airport terminal, waiting for the landing of an airplane that originated in Key West, Fla., where Leach lives. It turned out to be another Geraldo Rivera vault-opening. No Leach.

Leach’s “Air Raid” offense turned Texas Tech into such a force it had a 47-33 record in the Big 12 in his 10 seasons. And that record was built playing five games against the stronger South and three against North squads. Overall, he went 84-43. The new Big 12 schedule that has every team playing the other nine every year won’t scare Leach.

He had a winning record every year at Texas Tech, peaking in 2008 (11-2, 7-1).

Along the way, he offended many. Imagine that, a football coach saying things that upset people. In a popular YouTube video, Leach in a postgame presser after a loss to Texas A&M;, referred three times to the players’ “fat little girlfriends.”

“As coaches, we failed to make our coaching points ... more compelling to them than their fat little girlfriends,” Leach said. “Now, their fat little girlfriends have some obvious advantages. For one thing, their fat little girlfriends tell them what they want to hear, which is how great you are and how easy it’s going to be.”


Texas Tech is located closer to a rich football pool of recruits than is Kansas, but Leach would have a couple of advantages recruiting to KU as well. For one, state-of-the art facilities. Also, recruits who visit Kansas will learn that the Jayhawks’ girlfriends tend to be in much better shape than the Red Raiders’ girlfriends.


ahpersecoachingexperience 10 years, 5 months ago

If sheahoRn hires Leach then the theme song from the godfather will be played where ever he goes.

Jayhawk1116 10 years, 5 months ago

Dude, it's been well documented that you didn't like Gill. Who should be our next coach?

ahpersecoachingexperience 10 years, 5 months ago

In order

I love some mike leach but don't know if we will have the coin to afford him. With all of these openings across the country he may pull in 3 mill a year somewhere and that's a lot of money. Especially at Kansas where our football team has a glass celing of 6-7-8 wins a year at best. If leach is hired for big money it will tell all of us that conference realignment isn't over.

Fedora seems like a guy that we could get on the cheap and have a lot of upside for a lot of years. Major ties to Texas recruits and a wide open offense.

Stoops with brother Mike as dc. Talk about intensity on the sideline! And Mike would work his tail off to build a defense that would possibly land him another head coaching job in the future.

To be honest, everyone on the list is pretty decent. Except dude from air force! That guy must be Taits uncle or something. How's he on the list?

AirCapJay 10 years, 5 months ago

The fact that big money has shown up to get rid of our last 2 coaches shows that KU is very serious about getting a good coach. I don't believe money should be a factor if KU is serious. If KU does not turn the football program around, in 5-6 years when the Big 12 starts imploding again, we won't have a BCS conference to go to. We will be stuck in a non-BCS conference making millions less each year.

LAJayhawk 10 years, 5 months ago

"With all of these openings across the country he may pull in 3 mill a year somewhere and that's a lot of money."

With 2 lawsuits pending, one against THE major broadcaster of all of college athletics, specifically the cash cow of all college sports cash cows, college football?

I'm sure there are schools that would take Leach, but lets not go crazy here. His baggage is quite heavy and will cost him more than the $25 per item fee at American Airlines.......

ahpersecoachingexperience 10 years, 5 months ago

Remember he has one "carry on" full of game film of wins over stoops, gundy, brown, Snyder, etc.

LAJayhawk 10 years, 5 months ago

I agree, which is why I do think he has plenty of interest from other schools. I just think $3 mil of interest is waaaaaaaaaaaaaay over-selling it.

$3 mil a year would make him somewhere around the 7th highest paid coach in all of college football... just behind where Tressel used to be.

pooflingingmonkey 10 years, 5 months ago

He has to check the bag filled with pirate paraphernalia, roller blades, and a life-sized skeleton.

baldwinjhawk 10 years, 5 months ago

A couple of checks arrived in the mail to buyout gill. What makes you think they won't come up with the money to hire a big name coach this time?

ahpersecoachingexperience 10 years, 5 months ago

I would love for leach to be the next coach and obviously he is my favorite. But what I'm saying is even with leach we are still going to have a hard time with UT, OU, TCU, KSU, OSU, etc. So I wouldn't fault sheahoRn if he saw more value in fedora or brothers stoops to essentially get us the same amount of wins each year.

Remember all most fans ask for is to put a decent product on the field and we will fill the stadium. 7-5 6-6 are considered good years at ku and if we can get there and save 1-2 million a year on coaches salary...

ahpersecoachingexperience 10 years, 5 months ago

If I had a dollar for every time someone said that to me on this site...I'd...well...I'd have...uh... 1 dollar!

actorman 10 years, 5 months ago

Okay now that's funny! I haven't given you much credit in general, ahperse, but I do like that one.

Mike Barnhart 10 years, 5 months ago

It's not our money! Go boosters! Go boosters! Go boosters!

Max Ledom 10 years, 5 months ago

Keegan shut up already. Turner is fired we get it you win. Second, hiring Leach would be the worst move for this program. The guy is a weirdo, more people dislike him then like him, and got chased out of his job the same way Mangino did.

Zenger will not hire Leach because he is not an idiot like you and knows what this program needs. A solid, fresh for the picking coach. With a solid image and the football pedigree to back it up. No softy though. He will be a "the ol ball coach" type of coach.

Stop posting articles on people who aren't our head coach yet in the city paper. I used to stick up for you, you now just make me sick to read your articles.

Do not hire Leach.

johnnyhrdwd 10 years, 5 months ago

This comment was removed by the site staff for violation of the usage agreement.

ahpersecoachingexperience 10 years, 5 months ago

Why do I have a feeling you own a "believe" t-shirt?

Jamaal25Chiefs 10 years, 5 months ago

Hiring Leach would make us as a program look like hipocrits. . . Did we not fire Mangino for the same thing? Being to aggresive? . . .WOW, you people are so, so, so dumb, I agree with Hawksboy88. . Do NOT hire him. . Why not go after, Bill Cowher? John Gruden, names like that. . . Even though it won't happen. . I KNOW they would do good and bring fire to the flame.

Carter Patterson 10 years, 5 months ago

We fired Mangino for a lot of reasons, but being hard on players was NOT one of them. Physically maming them with bear crawls and running off good assistants was the main reason. Also, his last recruiting class laid a huge egg and we lost our last 7 games...but that's ok with you because you stopped watching after the Orange Bowl. Leach would be fine. Leavitt would be fine. Fedora would be fine. Dr. Z will make a good choice.

Ben Kliewer 10 years, 5 months ago

Okay, let's get this straight. Mangino was fired for political reasons. Perkins didn't like that Mangino was a Bohl hire, and bumped heads with him often. Granted, he did run off assistants, but this whole physical abuse thing... I know the system backs this down, but just imagine the next sentence is in all caps.

every football coach uses bear crawls as disciplinary action.

I played college football, and did bear crawls, on hot astroturf, the same surface we played on, and I didn't play at KU or under Mangino. It is used by every freaking football coach in the country. There is nothing even close to "maming" in bear crawls and any football player who gets blisters on his hands and then cries about it is not a football player at all, but in fact, likely, a cheerleader.

What do you think getting smashed on the bottom of a pile of 300lb linemen on hot astroturf for 60 minutes is like? A lot more painful than bear crawls. Should we fire football coaches for abuse because they make football players play football?

Sam Constance 10 years, 5 months ago

When you guys say "bear crawls" are you referring to this incredibly innocuous activity?

If so, than anyone who says the words "physically maiming" and "bear crawls" in a sentence needs their head checked.

LAJayhawk 10 years, 5 months ago

Bill Cowher?? John Gruden??

Why stop there? We should hire both as position coaches, Bill Belichick as offense coordinator, Knute Rockney as defensive coordinator and Vince Lombardi as the our number 1 guy.

Oh, and Mike Ditka and Buddy Ryan can share the position of video coordinator.

57 straight undefeated seasons, here we come!!

Mandie Eutsler 10 years, 5 months ago

I may be dumb, but I spell better than you can... I know! We should have a spelling contest!

actorman 10 years, 5 months ago

No, we did not fire Mangino for even REMOTELY the same thing! As I posted elsewhere, one person was accused of abusing a number of people, including non-players, and was infamous for his horrible temper. The other one was accused of abusing one person, who happened to be the son of a powerful ESPN broadcaster.

One person had countless people stepping up and making accusations; the other one had two: the player and his father.

It goes on and on, but you get the idea. There is simply no comparison between the two situations.

hawk316 10 years, 5 months ago

I tend to believe that Leach would not be the best choice. The more I hear about Brent Venables, however, the more I like him.

AirCapJay 10 years, 5 months ago

What would happen if we hire Venables and Bill Snider retires and Venables goes to KSU? Or Stoops retires at OU? I think we would be looking for a new coach. Leach has loyalty. He has been married for over 29 years. I think Leach would be loyal and stay at KU for the rest of his coaching career.

hawk316 10 years, 5 months ago

Granted, that is a possible risk, but hard to say how big of one. But do we hire the best guy for the job or the one most likely to stay the longest?

fatlittlegirlfriends 10 years, 5 months ago

Fat little girl friends is nice. But I suggest you YouTube "Mike Leach Profane Locker Room Rant"

And can we stop with all the "plane is flying in" and "staying at the oread" stuff. I already know he's coming to Lawrence because the Black Pearl was sighted at Clinton Lake.

Andrew Bary 10 years, 5 months ago

Bro, that made my morning. I was laughing the whole time. Personally, I love this. Unfortunately, I know a lot of people think KU is too high class for that. I say if we can hire a 600 lb mean guy we can hire a 250 lb mean guy lol

Nick Cole 10 years, 5 months ago

Personally, I think that rant is pretty tame for a football locker room. I wrestled and ran cross country and track in HS and also ran cross country and track in college and I've been in much worse locker rooms. Sounds to me like Leach might be a little soft for what KU needs ;)

Theutus 10 years, 5 months ago

I think it's hilarious how ignorant most fans are to this fact... Apparently people believe that college athletics is a walk in the park, and people don't get screamed at with every profanity in the book...

I'm sorry, but that's just how it works. You find a coaching staff somewhere that doesn't do this, they would be the 1%. The only difference here is that for whatever reason Mangino and Leach won the bad luck lottery and got crucified for something every other coach in the country does.

Chris Bailey 10 years, 5 months ago

Pretty sure that was the coaching staff we fired yesterday! They are/were the 1% how did that work for us? I agree with you they happened to draw the bad luck card! I think Leach would be a good hire. I also think SZ will hire the right man be that Leach or be that whoever. He has to hit a homerun on this one!

Sam Brockert 10 years, 5 months ago

My wrestling coach didn't do that....he just made us run a lot. Or, after a tournament that we wrestled at all day, he decided we didn't do as well as he thought we should, we would have a full practice...but no yelling. This was in college by the way, a college that won the NAIA National championship, it is no NCAA div 1, but it is sdtill a national title.

ahpersecoachingexperience 10 years, 5 months ago

Lol! This was after his team had just WON a game!

JhawkalumJB 10 years, 5 months ago

Yea, that's something I noticed as well. Wonder what the speeches sound like after a loss?

cobweb 10 years, 5 months ago

So you run off Mangino for being an abusive bully and hire a guy who was run off from Texas Tech for allegedly being an abusive bully? Interesting.

Dirk Medema 10 years, 5 months ago

Leach wasn't run off for being an abusive bully. He was run off for insubordination - because he would not sign his name to a lie/letter written by the head of the university.

cobweb 10 years, 5 months ago

Didn't he lock the James kid in a closet?

actorman 10 years, 5 months ago

According to James and his father, he did. As far as I can recall, no one else corroborated it.

Sam Constance 10 years, 5 months ago

Well, it was reportedly a "shed", but since the original controversy, it has come to light that...

"The shed turned out to be an equipment room, complete with ice maker, fan, ventilation, and exercise equipment." (from Bleacher Report article cited below)

And then he was confined to an "electrical closet" on a second occasion--under guard, except for the fact that...

"The "electrical closet" turned out to be a spacious press room with video monitors and stationary bikes, and the "guard" turned out to be trainers who were checking on his head injury." (also from B/R article)

Read the rest of the B/R article if you really want to see why any reputation Leach has as an abusive coach is completely undeserved:

I personally like the way he dealt with an entitled, never-had-to-work-for-himself kid (Adam James). He made it clear that the kid's last name wasn't going to get him any special treatment.

Ironically, Mangino's rep is probably also a little unfair, at least in terms of having committed a fireable offense. The only sure-thing we ended up finding out about Mangino is that he's a bit of a jerk to players and colleagues alike, he says some pretty offensive things to his team for motivation, and that he can't coach the last 5 minutes of a football game. Nothing that most people would find worthy of firing with cause, and the fact that Mangino walked away from a "With Cause" with a $3 million buyout is a huge sign that there wasn't as much fire as the smoke would have led us to believe.

cobweb 10 years, 5 months ago

Maybe it was Leavitt, the other guy we are targeting.

Kenny Nall 10 years, 5 months ago

I'm all for giving people second chances, but after the dubious Perkins racket, the Mangino incident and an ineffective Turner Gill, you would think they would want to go with a fresh start. Not someone who already has a poor reputation.

eastcoasthawk 10 years, 5 months ago

TG was a fresh start. Didn't work out. Time to get back to basics and win.

AcesWild 10 years, 5 months ago

well the talk our ad would hire leach is a joke he would check withbig 12 then ksu to make sure he do what they want after all there problem at ku when you recruits something not write my self i thing self

will move on kansas baskball will go threw floor kan will say what happen our ad use car sellman from ksu.

Andy Tweedy 10 years, 5 months ago parents used to tell me nothing good ever gets written after midnight!

Dan Harris 10 years, 5 months ago

reading that gave me brain freeze! Dude get some sleep!

Chayse Patrick 10 years, 5 months ago

This comment was removed by the site staff for violation of the usage agreement.

Kent Wells 10 years, 5 months ago

Maybe dude is speaking pirate as a sign of respect to Leach. Or maybe it is speak like a pirate day. And ksu basketball beans piece of meat popsickle. .

hawkdiek 10 years, 5 months ago

Dude....I think yes ad ur google translator is ad broken

LAJayhawk 10 years, 5 months ago

...Can't see... tears in my eyes... funniest... thing... ever....

or as you might put it...

KaN no I lok... wadder in c soket... haba... my self I thing self... weed.

Sam Constance 10 years, 5 months ago

"something not write my self i thing self"

That just about says it all...

Alex Berger 10 years, 5 months ago

Oh man, this post is awesome. I've been laughing for like 3 minutes.

blackhawkjayhawk 10 years, 5 months ago

Not sure why Leach is such a clear favorite over Leavitt or Sumlin. The ASU job just opened and I wouldn't be surprised to see that Leach might prefer the warmer climate and easier conference. The single-division format of the Big 12 will make it more difficult to hire a coach.

John Strayer 10 years, 5 months ago

Huh??? He basically already played the new format...played the tougher south round robin and only played three north "patsies". For a former south coach, the new format is easier...more "patsies" especially now that Nebraska is gone.

sevenyearhawk 10 years, 5 months ago

... but adding TCU (two BCS bowls) and West Virginia (thumped Oklahoma in the Fiesta)

LogicMan 10 years, 5 months ago

It could work. If Leach (or Mangino) really wants to get back to the Big 12 as a head coach, he'd be wise to offer the following:

$1 per year salary, plus $100,000 per regular season win. Plus $200,000 for a minor bowl win, etc.

Drop the lawsuits.

Agree to routine anger management counseling and observation -- basically KU hires a psych to follow him around.

AirCapJay 10 years, 5 months ago

Not very logical. If he goes undefeated he would get $1.4 million assuming he would also win a bowl game.

I say pay him what Gill made, but with a buy-out clause.

LogicMan 10 years, 5 months ago

Maybe he can find a gig, but if he's too hot-headed to employ he'll have to make concessions. Might as well go big with them to get his foot in the door. And maybe just a two year contract so that he can be paid the big bucks when he turns the team's record around, and proves he's learned his lesson on professional behavior.

LAJayhawk 10 years, 5 months ago

I believe Leach would respond with the finger... pirate style.

squawkhawk 10 years, 5 months ago

Yeah, sounds like a perfect fit for KU! Really?

Ben Kane 10 years, 5 months ago

I really like Leach and thought he got hosed at TT.

at least our pressers will be nationally entertaining.

Ben Kane 10 years, 5 months ago

Looks like we can scratch Urban Meyer off of our list...

Shawn Otrimble 10 years, 5 months ago

Any of you that talk bad about Leech and not remember watching Texas Tech games are fools. That was some of the most exciting football I have ever seen. I would love to see KU have the "Air Attack". If you want to build a Competitive football program and sell tickets to games, he would be the best hire. (if we can get him)

Andy Tweedy 10 years, 5 months ago

Personally, I'd rather have a defensive guy, but if SZ were to get someone like Leach, I would be hard-pressed to be disappointed! We could put a cannon in the end zone like the Bucs, fly a pirate flag over Memorial stadium and maybe flood out the track and have little pirate ships floating around the field. Anything to get rid of that damn track, now that we've wasted $6 million that might have gotten it done!

rockchalk_dpu 10 years, 5 months ago

the track will never get removed. posters have gone over this numerous times and it doesn't make sense because you couldn't add seats without lowering that really expensive field they recently installed. in summation, this won't happen.

jayhawkintexas 10 years, 5 months ago

Hire Erin Andrews for head football coach!! No problem getting recruits then!!! Lee Corso could be the offensive coordinator. He could wear Big Jay's head while calling the offensive plays!!!

Martin Rosenblum 10 years, 5 months ago

Why don't these contracts have some sort of performance criteria built in? If the W/L numbers are not within a prescribed ratio in year one and two, then the buyout amount is substantially reduced. To structure a contract that can bring such profit to an under-performing coach is ridiculous. Buyout amounts should be for issues other than wins vs. losses.

Would any corporation expose themselves to such a financial threat for a leader who failed in his first two years of service? I hope the State of Kansas can justify such a scenario to it's taxpayers that makes the six million dollars seem more palatable in a payment to Turner Gill than for essential services in the multitude of areas that struggle to get budgeting for their programs and to maintain projects of a socially conscious nature.

vd 10 years, 5 months ago

I agree, but I'm guessing coaches wouldn't sign such contracts. Agents wouldn't allow it.

Clarence Haynes 10 years, 5 months ago

Could have been written that way, but Lew did not have the wherewithall.

rockchalk_dpu 10 years, 5 months ago

pretty sure the athletic department is different than the state kitty so we aren't drawing from taxpayers in the way you are suggesting.

LAJayhawk 10 years, 5 months ago

TG's contract was terrible, but you cannot structure a new contract based on wins and losses. Why? Because no coach in their right mind would agree to such a crappy deal.

You have to contract to what the market dictates. No coach is going to take such limited security as, "you lose, we don't pay you."

actorman 10 years, 5 months ago

"Would any corporation expose themselves to such a financial threat for a leader who failed in his first two years of service?"

You are kidding, right??? Right!?!?!?

Have you been in this country for the last 10 years? Have you heard of golden parachutes? Have you heard of Wall Street? Compared to what's happened there, Gill's money is peanuts -- literally!

Dyrk Dugan 10 years, 5 months ago

memo to memhawk: the taxpayers will pay zero. it's all donors.

Leach is not the right fit. i will be stunned if we hire him. for us to hire him, he'd have to get the lawsuits settled....or drop them completely. You can't have that hanging overhead. Plus, what new lawsuits could emerge here? Just think if he has a struggle season.....(high probability, especially year one)...what reservation would he leap to then? some high volume tirade at the student union? on the sidelines? at his secretary in the office?

KU is a good school, with good traditions...a lot to offer. we need a head coach who treats people the right way, and is only thinking of one thing: how to win football games. He's out there.....SZ, go find him.

Sam Constance 10 years, 5 months ago

I'm not getting all the comments about Leach and tirades and anger management.

The only tirades that have been publicized are ones directed at his team, and I think you'd be hard-pressed to find many big-time programs with coaches that didn't go on a tirade from time to time in order to reach his team. I think you'd be hard pressed to find another big-time program on the KU campus that refrains from tirades.

Everything about Leach's reputation as a "hothead" is based upon the situation with Adam James, and even a casual review of that situation would show that Leach did nothing any normal coach wouldn't do when dealing with a spoiled, self-entitled, lazy kid like James.

The fact that there are so many people here at KU, in the midwest, where we are most likely to have the close-up story, think Leach was some kind of anger-fueled hothead sorta goes to prove Leach's point and why he's suing the James family and ESPN. They've totally ruined his reputation as a person.

Leach would be a great fit. He's quirky and different (has anyone looked at our mascot lately?), he's now a bit of an "underdog", given the TT situation (hey, we're perpetual underdogs in football!), he has no problems winning in unconventional means and is adaptable enough to be successful at a program that is in a difficult place.

Oh yeah, and the pirate thing is just cool.

Not sure when we decided that we needed altar boys coaching our teams, or when anyone got the kind of information they needed to declare that Leach doesn't treat people "the right way". From what I can tell, he's an anti-establishment type who ran up against the wrong "establishment", and his rep has been taking a beating ever since. I don't see anything that pegs him as a "bad" guy, just someone who isn't going to back down from what he feels is right.

newmedia 10 years, 5 months ago

KU is too PC to hire Leach. Boy do I hope I am wrong!

troutsee 10 years, 5 months ago

We need a guy who is well grounded on how to build a strong defensive unit.

Displayhawk 10 years, 5 months ago

I am liking Dave Doeren as the new coach for the following points. He is a Kansas guy - he went to Bishop Miege in Kansas City, so he should have some ties there. It's also unlikely that he will want to go anywhere else if he does turn the program around. He was an assistant on Mangino's staff, so he knows how to rebuild a program, and he was the lead recruiter for most of the players on KU's Orange Bowl team. He was the defensive coordinator at Wisconsin, AND he recruited most of their current players. (Note: Wisconsin is 2 plays away from being undefeated and potentially playing for a NC.) He almost beat KU this year with players he did not recruit, and players that were not as athletic as those at KU. (according to recruiting sites.) He has done a good job and has a winning record this year at Northern Illinois with those same players mentioned above. It's a pretty good resume' if you ask me.

JHC 10 years, 5 months ago

And Kevin Kane is currently on his staff, also a KC/Rockhurst kid.

Jeff Coffman 10 years, 5 months ago

I was waiting for the reason why he should be our next Head Coach, but didn't see any.

I like the words he "almost" beat the worst coach in KU football history.

Of all the names mentioned, I think this one is near the bottom of the list. This would be the desperation move.

Displayhawk 10 years, 5 months ago

How's this for a reason, or should I say about 1.5 million reasons ...... He would be cheaper than Mike Leach, without all the baggage. Some of you people have delusions of grandeur on who we could get with what we have to offer. BTW Jhawkrulz, you can take just about any sentence out of context and get a different meaning. For instance "he should be our next Head Coach". My point was that he lost to KU by 3 points with players of lesser athletic ability that he didn't recruit, and had only the spring and fall practices to prepare; and he did it on the road.

Robert Brock 10 years, 5 months ago

Not a bad thought. KU needs to interview him.

Brak 10 years, 5 months ago

So basically if you want to come coach at the football powerhouse known as KU then you got 2 years to get us to a bowl game or you are OUT

Nick Cole 10 years, 5 months ago

I bet if Gill went 5-7 this season he would still be here. So no, you're wrong.

Now, setting the wrong kind of school records then claiming your team is improving each week is what got Gill fired. And I don't think any other coach would do that with the talent we have for next year.

average 10 years, 5 months ago

3-4 wins, be not quite the worst team in all of college football, and try a little dramatic flair to at least act like you're a little angry when you're losing, not just acting like a deer in the headlights. That's all we're asking. Had Gill done that, he'd be here a third year. But, since he wasn't likely to be renewed after 5 years, and the horrible contract paid him exactly the same either way, he didn't bother to even do that.

newmedia 10 years, 5 months ago

Or at least show a little improvement the second year!

Sam Constance 10 years, 5 months ago

Nope. That is not an accurate portrayal of the current situation at all.

But hey, it sure makes it sound like you have a good point when you intentionally make the opposing argument sound over-the-top and ridiculous.

I was a Gill supporter until the KSU game. He didn't need to make a bowl game to keep me interested in giving him more time. Hell, he didn't even need to win any more games than he did to keep me supportive.

All he had to do was:

1) Be competitive on a consistent basis, even in losses... 2) Show improvement, if not week to week, then at the very least improvement between Year One and Year Two

He did neither, and most would argue that he failed spectacularly at both.

Also worth mentioning--if you come here and don't get us to a bowl game in two years, you will still get to keep your set-for-life payday of $10 million. I'm so tired of people acting like Gill got a raw deal. It's idiotic.

DueFan 10 years, 5 months ago

Leach will NOT come to KU.

He will have better offers, better programs to coach.

We should pray that we land some up and comer who will not cost us much and will keep us going 6-6 every now and then.

Ethan Berger 10 years, 5 months ago

"Texas Tech is located closer to a rich football pool of recruits than is Kansas, but Leach would have a couple of advantages recruiting to KU as well. For one, state-of-the art facilities. Also, recruits who visit Kansas will learn that the Jayhawks’ girlfriends tend to be in much better shape than the Red Raiders’ girlfriends."

Keegan Deserves a pay raise just for this statement. As a Texan, this comment made my heart giddy.

squawkhawk 10 years, 5 months ago

You call our stadium "state of the art"? Wow, I guess I need to adjust my standards.

RaiderPower 10 years, 5 months ago

You would be very lucky to have Leach at KU. I know you think KU is some type of Stanford, but everybody else realizes you are just a state school in Kansas. Leach was run off because TT is run by a bunch of Good Old Boy's (GOB's) and Leach doesn't play that game. KU has sucked at football forever, with the exception of the Fat Boy, and Leach will win. How can you seriously think a high profile coach would want to come to Lawrence to compete every year against UT and OU?

Ethan Berger 10 years, 5 months ago

If he went to lubbock, he would go to Lawrence.

CardHawkFan 10 years, 5 months ago

Well, if we plan on hiring any of the top names available, we better move fast. The Illinois job is now available and there is also a vacancy out in Tempe. Not sure what KU has to offer over those two, but I would guess that it is about the same. Make the move before we find ourselves scrambling forward. No Doeren or June Jones. Remember, Doeren lost to us and Jones' teams tend to under perform when up against top-level talent (run-and-shoot will not work consistently in the Big 12). I think both are great coaches, but if we can't get Leach, we need to go after a top coordinator that has proven he can put together a game plan to defeat top tier teams.

Displayhawk 10 years, 5 months ago

We need someone who can still recruit as well as coach! It's not the X's and the O's, but the Jimmy's and the Joe's! - Barry Switzer. I still say Dave Doeren would not be a bad hire for the reasons in my post above. Supposedly, June Jones is being well paid at SMU. But I will agree that we need to move fast if we want to get our #1 option.

hawkfan30 10 years, 5 months ago

It did not take "GUTS" for Sheahon Zenger to fire coach Gill it would have taken "GUTS" to keep him and do the right thing by giving him time to prove himself. However Zenger lacks the leadership to do what is right but instead caves into the media & fan pressure. Zenger didn't stop once to think of the players who came to play for Gill, continue to support Gill and those that have already "started over" when Gill came to Kansas. But we all know that athletic$ isn't about the college athlete anymore or doing right by them. It's about them making universities $$$. Congrats you all got what you wanted good luck getting a coach to come in now after demonstrating that KU football fans & media run the program.

Jeff Coffman 10 years, 5 months ago

Get over it.

Coach Gill was the worst coach in KU history and now that is a fact.

Let's move on to an exciting new era.

hawkfan30 10 years, 5 months ago

actually the worst coach in KU history would be Gwinn Henry who was given 4 years and went 9-27 (4-16 in conference)

jayhawks71 10 years, 5 months ago

If you're basing it on win percentage, Gill's 5-19 (.208) is worse than 9-27 (.250). Gill's 1-16 in conference is obviously worse than 4-16 in conference.

hawkfan30 10 years, 5 months ago

You forget that Gwinn's Record was over a four year period. He averaged 2.25 wins a season over those four years. Gill over two years averaged 2.5.

Some statistics are a bit misleading since the coaches played a different number of games in the same time period. There are things we can't accurately compare.

However Gwinn was 4-13 in his first two years at KU with a 1-9 conference record. He also didn't win a single conference game in his 2nd year as coach.

ZDKC 10 years, 5 months ago

Wow where have you been hiding for the past few years? Under a rock? In support of my statement I present you exhibits A through Z (Nebraska, Colorado, Texas AtM, methzouri, W Virginia, TCU, etc). If you don't like it, write a letter to your local congressman and/or the NCAA. Better yet, stick to watching intramural sports on Metro Sports.

hawkfan30 10 years, 5 months ago

ZDKC I'm confused by this post. I think you should read posts before you get all riled up. I believe I stated that college athletics is about money now. So no need for your exhibits since I already agree with you.

Sam Constance 10 years, 5 months ago

He had time to "prove himself", so long as the only proof you were looking for was improvement.

That's all I was looking for. Meager, steady improvement. Gill had a low bar to clear and couldn't even do that.

Zenger chose the only option available to him that would save the KU from digging into a hole that it couldn't climb out of. You're delusional if you thought Year Three was going to come and all of a sudden a switch would flip and Gill's teams would be competitive and successful.

Displayhawk 10 years, 5 months ago

Hawkfan, if we had shown improvement over the course of the season, I would agree with you, but that didn't happen. There were some that were calling for KU to get rid of Gill before the season started, but I wasn't one of them. I wanted to give him the benefit of the doubt, but there had to be improvement, or a tiny spark or glimmer to get excited about ....... and that didn't happen.

gojhawx 10 years, 5 months ago

I enjoy a little elbow room at ball games, but having an entire row to myself is a little sparse. Gill is gone...his performance worse than horrible. Has anyone seen a coach so in over his head? Maybe Valesente (spelling?)...maybe. Yes, the rule of thumb is and should be at least 3 or 4 years - this coaching tenure is the exception to the rule and should be. I will happily park my butt, cheek to cheek with the next guy for whoever the next coach is.

Jayhawker111 10 years, 5 months ago

Please go talk to the KU players off the record.

Gill and other Coaches were not tough enough.

You have to say more that Okay --let's get them next week.

Sometimes helmets have to fly around the locker room to get the players attention.

As in business, you cannot treat every player / employee the same.

Some you have to kick in the butt and others you have to talk to softly - it all depends.

Gill is a good man, but Coaching staff needed to be more forceful with the players.

Ethan Berger 10 years, 5 months ago

In his defense, their intro to English class hardest book is Clifford.

squawkhawk 10 years, 5 months ago

Last I knew Lubbock is still in Texas and Lawrence isn't. That's what makes the difference.

FLJHK 10 years, 5 months ago

While many are addressing the trivial matter of who our next football coach will be, I'm taking on the headier task of proposing needed changes to the KU Fight Song.

I proposed a similar version to the below a year or so ago. It retains our historical base and keeps the same syncopation of the current song. I propose it only as an interim solution. Eventually we need a song that doesn't acknowledge MU or NU.

"Got a bill so powerful it made the Tigers wail Husked their corn and watched those sorry Cornhuskers bail" Cuz I'm a Jay, Jay, Jay, Jay Jayhawk...

(Just something to lighten up the discussion a bit).

actorman 10 years, 5 months ago

I like it! It retains the original flavor and acknowledges the changing circumstances. I'm not sure it would have be only an interim version.

FLJHK 10 years, 5 months ago

Thx actorman. I think it has some merit, but I guess there are more immediate issues to catch our attention.

Ludwig Supraphonic 10 years, 5 months ago

Your post is a tutorial in literary quality.

actorman 10 years, 5 months ago

LOL!!! (I think if many people got a look at hihawk's English "skills" and thought he was a KU graduate, that could cost KU pretty dearly too.)

Bion Ostrander 10 years, 5 months ago

What is Keegan's obsession with Leach!!

This will be the most important coaching hire that KU has made, and will make, for a long long time. Zenger cannot let emotions or a prior working relationship with Leach affect the final decision, because Zenger will be the next person gone if he makes a bad hire. Let the chips fall where they may, if Leach is the best guy then so be it, but a very objective and detailed evaluation needs to be made instead of the kind of the spare no expense gut calls that Lew made during his tenure.

For all the supposed good that Lew Perkins did in increasing KU's athletic budget, his legacy will be the string of terrible decisions and actions his last few years on the job and out the door! It is hard to calculate the dollar impact, but I'm guessing the negative goodwill and long-term implications of his bad decisions (TG hiring, Bonnie hiring, ticket scandal, exercise equipment ethics issue, the $2 m phantom payment to Bonnie, signing most of KU's coaches for other sports to long-term contracts at significant pay increases as he was walking out the door (and many of these coaches should not have been rewarded and should have been on the firing block) are now offsetting the gains in the athletic budget.

And the coup de grace, giving TG a contract that actually rewards him for inferior performance. Lets see, should a contract require dedicated hard work for 3 more years to incent the earning of $6 m, or should a contract incent incompetence by guaranteeing the payment of $6 m within 90 days after termination - - not hard to figure this one out!

Lets just hope a much better process is in place for making this next football coach hire.

Randy Bombardier 10 years, 5 months ago

If this is the way it is going to be then KU better learn to accept him the way he is and not try to mold him into something he is not.

Robert Brock 10 years, 5 months ago

Does Leach have the guts to accept the Kansas job?

Displayhawk 10 years, 5 months ago

Now that was funny! I don't care who you are. That's funny right there!

Bville Hawk 10 years, 5 months ago

Funny, yes, and also a valid and serious question we should be asking ourselves.

Jay_Hawkeye 10 years, 5 months ago

I hope we can win a coach like Leach. Having been a Tech fan before starting @ KU, I followed the whole Leach story. Its amazing what happened and how many people are ignorant of the facts. To bad it doesn't stop them from spouting off though. Sucks in TX you can break any contract for any reason and stomp on workers rights as long as you are the government.

Leach is a system coach. Other than Crabtree, name a player of his in the NFL. His record setting QBs? They were all told they sucked and were just a part of the great Mike Leach's system. If he is really as good as all the "experts" claim he is (by word of mouth, TTUs history and by the comments about his players) then who else could fix Kansas football up better?

The only drawback? Just make sure you say NO! to any more James' kids. No need to recruit students who lie to the press to make headlines, then quietly tell the truth in a courtroom.

okiedave 10 years, 5 months ago

Top 8 reasons Zenger will not hire Leach:

  1. He will run over Zenger and Gray-Litttle (who are "nice") with his spikes.
  2. He has the propensity to say what is on his mind and will embarrass the University at least once every year in a losing year and once each month in a winning year.
  3. He won't want to coach Football at a tradition rich basketball school in a traditional basketball state.
  4. He will most likely produce a winning team and his up-line supervisors will not be able to fire him without incurring the rath of the Jayhawk Nation.
  5. Everybody will think he is honestly halarious, except his supervisors.
  6. If he is ever fired, tradition says he is likely to sue..
  7. Zenger will realize the true reason Keegan is pushing Leach is because it will give Keegan better and juicier writing material.
  8. The only persons likely to be invited over to Leach's home will be local barristers and judges and Keegan.

Top reason Leach takes the job: 1. He needs the money to finance his lawsuits.

**Note to Leach: the above represent merely the rambling opinions of the author and are, more or less, based on satirical thought processes.

Jay_Hawkeye 10 years, 5 months ago

1) Maybe 2) `A little nonsense now and then is cherished by the wisest men.' -Willy Wonka 3) More challenge for one of the only coaches almost equal to Snyder in the do more with less category. 4) Why fire a winning coach except out of envy? 5) See above 6) He only sues if written contracts are broken and carried out in the most incompetent manner. Fired with cause and due proces's he is fine with. Back door deals with PR companies (Spaeth) and companies who lack of journalisitc integrity (ESPN) demand a lawsuit. 7) Any press is good press. Except maybe more blowout losses 8) Who wants to see his home anyway? I just wantt o see him carried off the field after a victory!

actorman 10 years, 5 months ago

That's hysterical, SaltLake. Did you come up with that one all by yourself? Not bad for a seventh grader.

Roger Seward 10 years, 5 months ago

I can only hope the biggest yacht in the KU nation is currently pulling into Key West port, flying the Jolly Roger.

WilburNether 10 years, 5 months ago

What kind of moron would rush out to the airport to see if Leach was on that airplane?

Bville Hawk 10 years, 5 months ago

Apparently that is normal behavior for sports writers. Draw your own conclusion...

mikehawk 10 years, 5 months ago

For the life of me I can't figure out why the KU faithful (maybe it is because they look at things from inside or around Lawrence and not from my vantage point living in Oklahoma) believe top flight coaches want to come to a basketball school with a terrible (one good team per decade) history in their football program that gives their coaches two years to make good. Chris Petersen wants to leave Boise and come to Kansas? Sumlin who is red hot wants to leave Houston and come to Kansas? Really! Please people. Lighten up on the crack. We are either landing an up and comer who is desperate for a head job with his eyes on bigger fish down the road, a retread who has been a head coach and has been fired from a much better program (take Tressel off of that list because we have no chance to get him), or a coach with a tarnished reputation like Leach. Can anyone name me one KU head coach since Pepper Rogers who has left KU for a better job? Glen Mason to Minnesota? Not really! Let's get real here. We have to hire the best we can and for the love of the Lord, let's get behind him instead of imagining you wave a magic wand and turn KU into a year and year out football powerhouse. Somehow people seem to think we do it in basketball, so that means we can do it in football. How many and how often is Kentucky, Duke, Indiana, and North Carolina a powerhouse in football? How often is OU, USC, Alabama, LSU a powerhouse in basketball? Sometimes. How about Texas you say? My brother lives in Houston and has always reported you read very little about Texas basketball in the papers even when they have a good team. No one really cares about basketball there unless they have a super winner going late into the tournament. Oh, yea! Speaking of Kentucky football, I think the last time they had a good team Mike Leach was the offensive coordinator.

Randy Bombardier 10 years, 5 months ago

I don't agree at all. KU is not what K-State was before hiring Snyder. We are a .500 school which is middle of the pack in the second best football conference. You are probably not a true KU fan anyway the way you are putting us down. I don't agree with your neer do well thinking here. If Fulmer wants to get back into football he would come, probably same for Leach and Leavitt. I don't see Petersen coming East but if he is interested in moving to the next level and UCLA does not grab him I think he would come. Sumlin is not that hot of a commodity. Who do they play? Now when it comes to Basketball, you think OU and Texas say, Oh were not a basketball school. We will never field a competitive bball team?

squawkhawk 10 years, 5 months ago

KU hasn't been a .500 school for years.

actorman 10 years, 5 months ago

Good point, jjjjj. And let's not forget that Mason originally had a chance to leave KU for Georgia, before he changed his mind and came back to KU for another year. (Okay, we may not know the true story there, but the point is that Georgia at least thought enough of Mason to originally offer him the position.)

Kirk 10 years, 5 months ago

Couldn't agree more. Instead of wasting our breath on some hotshot big name guy, we should aim for an up-and-comer in the MAC with a losing record.

Randy Bombardier 10 years, 5 months ago

Okay Keegan, I am going with this. don't make me change my Avatar. Supposed to Say the Crimson Raider.

BillSelf4Prez 10 years, 5 months ago

Chalmers wants Mangino back!!! Im on board!!!

Paul Christiansen 10 years, 5 months ago

Leach is almost a total genius.

In fact, the New York Times once wrote a huge article about him.

We desperately need a miracle coach (the likes of Bill Snyder) to turn this program Around and reinstate the University of Kansas' credibility.

Credit the chancellor and the Athletic Director for coming to their senses and making a change at Head Coach.

harleyjspoon 10 years, 5 months ago

"By Tom Keegan

You can’t hire a football coach who is suing the network that holds the rights to some of your conference games and is suing a school in your conference.

Why not? You just can’t. Oh, OK, just like you can’t fire a football coach two years into a five-year, $10 million guaranteed contract.


Charles Bell 10 years, 5 months ago

The comment has already been made that the program is at rock bottom and will take years to repair. How many? The comment has also been made that a six or seven win year is acceptable at KU. This is going to be fun!!!!!! So just to make sure I understand this, the new coach will definitely not be African American (Kevin Sumlin) and he will be given at least four to five years to rebuild a program Gill left in such horrible shape. This is going to be fun! The chickens will definitely come home to roost like always and I expect Turner Gill will be blamed for everything for the next decade or so because KU will not win in the new big twelve with TCU and West Virginia and I for one can not wait. I mean the first African American coach in our history and he inherits a program that suffered seven straight losses and lost their starting offensive weapons and he was expected to win in arguably the best conference in the nation in two years! I can not wait for the next two years because the excuses will start to roll in . Wait I forgot the new coach who will no doubt be white will be given four or five years like Stoops at Arizona and Neuheisel at UCLA. How about Hawkins at Colorado who took over a bowl team and was still given four or five years. I forgot KU is traditionally a bigger powerhouse in football than those schools and the expectations are greater. I am an ex-KU fan and will be cheering against them in the future. The chickens always come home to roost!

Commenting has been disabled for this item.