Column: Beaty's approach — If you can’t beat ’em, hire ’em

Defensive coordinator Clint Bowen, left, laughs with newly-hired Kansas head football coach David Beaty before Beaty is introduced to the Allen Fieldhouse crowd during halftime of the JayhawksÕ game against Floriday on Friday, Dec. 5, 2014. Beaty is the 38th head coach in the programÕs history.

Defensive coordinator Clint Bowen, left, laughs with newly-hired Kansas head football coach David Beaty before Beaty is introduced to the Allen Fieldhouse crowd during halftime of the JayhawksÕ game against Floriday on Friday, Dec. 5, 2014. Beaty is the 38th head coach in the programÕs history.

Saturday, December 27, 2014

As we wait for Kansas University football coach David Beaty to fill out his coaching staff, a quick glance at a lesson from Beaty’s past provides a hint for the direction in which he might be going.

Clint Bowen, Reggie Mitchell and Louie Matsakis have been retained from the previous staff. And, although nothing has been made official, sources have indicated Kevin Kane (linebackers) and Gene Wier (off-the-field staff position) have been added to the program.

Those looking to predict any future additions might do well to look at guys who have defeated teams Beaty has coached for in the past.

It was that concept that got Beaty hired at Texas A&M three years ago. When Kevin Sumlin took over the A&M program after a heck of a run at Houston, he sought to fill his staff with guys who had beaten him. Beaty, while serving as the offensive coordinator at Rice, was one of those guys, and he joined an staff of guys who had that in common.

“Not one man on his (Texas A&M) staff came from any place other than a team that he lost to,” Beaty said of Sumlin. “And particularly a team that overachieved in an area. His guys on his staff are all guys that beat him somewhere.”

The concept is something near and dear to Beaty’s heart. Even though Beaty has been successful during most of his coaching stops, he’s an underdog at heart. And even though the chance to join Sumlin’s staff when he was in need of a job was enough of a blessing, jumping on board for the reasons he was asked made it that much better.

“I have respect for people that do something with less,” Beaty said. “And (Sumlin) was the first one to articulate that to me. That’s when I went, ‘You know what? That kind of follows what my thoughts are.’”

Because Beaty has coached at three schools under four head coaches during the past nine years, looking back at all of the guys who bettered him on the field is an extensive exercise. But you can bet Beaty has done it. And you can bet he found some of his future assistants during the process.

The rest of the crew, however, came into the picture years ago, back when Beaty and his coaching buddies first started dreaming of their first head-coaching jobs.

How many guys did Beaty have in place before he even interviewed for the KU job?

“Half of ’em,” Beaty said. “We’ve had conversations that went back and forth between us in that regard. You know, you have people that you respect and you have a relationship with. And, to me, that’s the big deal.”

For Beaty, that word — relationship — carries as much weight in putting together his staff as it does in recruiting, with the fan base or coaching the players on his roster.

“I’m not overly concerned with what they know,” Beaty said of his assistants. “I care about who they are. Because I can teach ’em what I want ’em to know. I can’t change who they are. And if they disrupt our chemistry, we’ve got no shot. That chemistry is so important.

“We’re together a lot. This job’s too hard to not laugh and smile and have fun and do the things that we need to do together and have each other’s back. It’s just too difficult to not have that type of environment if you can create it.”