Thursday, February 18, 2016

Beaty: Kansas drawing interest of coaches

Kansas football coach David Beaty holds a news conference Wednesday, Feb. 3, to discuss the Jayhawks' 2016 class of signees.

Kansas football coach David Beaty holds a news conference Wednesday, Feb. 3, to discuss the Jayhawks' 2016 class of signees.


With four full-time assistants recently leaving his first coaching staff, second-year Kansas University football coach David Beaty sounded upbeat about the prospects of replacing them Wednesday afternoon before speaking to a crowd of roughly 150 KU football supporters at the Ramada Inn Topeka Convention Center.

“It’s amazing, the people that have reached out to us who want to come coach at this university,” Beaty said. “It’s a great place, unbelievable tradition, and I think they see the vision. The list is a mile long of people who have contacted us without us even reaching out to talk to anyone, so that’s encouraging.”

Two of the four spots have been filled. Todd Bradford came in to replace former linebackers coach Kevin Kane, who left to become the defensive coordinator at Northern Illinois, and Jason Phillips, formerly the wide-receivers coach and co-offensive coordinator at SMU, will replace wide-receivers coach Klint Kubiak, who will join his father, Gary Kubiak, in Denver with the Broncos.

That leaves openings at the running-back position, where longtime assistant Reggie Mitchell left for a similar job at Arkansas, and special teams, where former coordinator Gary Hyman left for Indiana State after initially being reassigned within the KU program.

“Bringing Jason Phillips on was not a mistake,” Beaty explained. “I kind of had a feeling that some things might happen, and I wanted to make sure we had that continuity, so to speak. He’ll take over the wideouts, and these next two positions, both will be very flexible. One of them will be a running-backs coach, and then we’ll take a real hard look at a special-teams coordinator.”

Regardless of what positions are filled and which coaches fill them, Beaty said the staff would operate much like it did in 2015.

“You’d rather not (lose coaches),” he said. “But here’s the way I look at that: If nobody’s coming after your guys, you don’t have the right guys. We can sit here and whine about the continuity and all that kind of stuff, but the things that we do, the core elements of our program, are not going to change. We’ll just plug in the right men that will help us continue moving forward.”

In addition, Beaty confirmed that co-defensive coordinator Kenny Perry also would handle the recruiting-coordinator role surrendered by Mitchell.

“Him and Reggie were basically doing that together already,” Beaty said.

As for Wednesday’s event in Topeka, the second in a series of Football in February receptions around the state, Beaty said he appreciated the chance to promote his program and was not there to sugarcoat anything about where the Jayhawks were heading into Year Two.

“We laid a foundation. It hurt. It wasn’t comfortable,” he said of last year’s winless season. “But that’s where the hard work lies. We’ve done that. We think that’s behind us. And we’ve gotta continue to build it now.

“That’s one of the messages,” Beaty continued. “The other is, ‘Hey, we’ve gotta do better for you. You deserve that.’ We need your support, and we need you to grab people and bring them to the games, because that’s gonna be important for our recruiting moving forward. But, hey, we’ve gotta earn it. We’ve gotta produce something better on the field for you than we have been. And, you know what, we’ll do that.”

For Beaty, that goes beyond improved fundamentals in practice or more points on Saturdays and starts with events like Wednesday’s, a few weeks before spring practices begin and months before the start of a new season.

“I love Jayhawks,” Beaty said. “And if I can get two of ’em to come out and hang out with me and let me get to know ’em a little bit better, it helps me recruit our kids by making them understand what it’s like to be a part of that fabric of being Jayhawks.”


Andy Tweedy 6 years, 4 months ago

Man, I really like this guy! I wish all my co-workers and friends were this positive!

Jim Stauffer 6 years, 4 months ago

He is either crazy or terrific. I choose to believe the latter.

John Boyle 6 years, 4 months ago

Maybe a little of both. Still like the guy either way.

David Williams 6 years, 4 months ago

It is interesting that re WR coaches, he did not apparently address what he stated earlier, ie that Air Raid should have two WR coaches. Wondering if that was for cover in case Kubiak left. Will there be another WR coach to join Phillips, and is it truly necessary to have two WR coaches?

The special teams hire and subsequent execution in that phase on the field will be extremely important this year.

John Boyle 6 years, 4 months ago

"The special teams hire and subsequent execution in that phase on the field will be extremely important this year." That and execution of an offense and defense and maybe they can get things turned around! (sarcasm intended).

Matt Tait 6 years, 4 months ago

David... The Kubiak thing came out of nowhere but I do think Phillips was brought in (a) because Kubiak is so young and (b) because Phillips is such a strong recruiter.

I think Beaty is comfortable going with just one WR coach now because Phillips is more of a veteran.

Having said that, if they can't find a special teams coordinator they love (which shouldn't be a problem) they could still bring a second WR coach on to the staff.

It seems to me that the position is a little bit irrelevant and that the main focus will be finding the right fit for KU and the current staff and another strong recruiter.

Michael Maris 6 years, 4 months ago

Matt, what was the issue with Hyman? I thought he was highly thought of (and respected). Yet, now he's now at Indiana State? Something just doesn't seem to add up with Hyman's situation?

Micky Baker 6 years, 4 months ago

Given that this just occurred this week, I wouldn't be surprised to see Beaty add a second one, but probably won't be done before spring practice starts. In 11 days after the Super Bowl, Kubiak leaves and Denver may not have known about the departure of some of their coaches until after the game. It's quite fluid.

Maybe Denver did know, but Klint didn't know. Maybe Klint did know but Beaty didn't know. Lot's of possibilities here... but when a team is about to play the big game these things usually are kept quiet to prevent from distractions.

Terry N Tom Denner 6 years, 4 months ago

I know my son would crap for me even thinking this but I wish Coach Beaty would dangle some money in front of some of the SEC or ACC coaches and snag one or two from those conferences.

Micky Baker 6 years, 4 months ago

There was a lot of improvement on the defense last year, particularly getting pressure on the QBs including a more than respectable total of sacks for the team.

No way I would change that without giving Beaty time to recruit. In case you missed it, we lost some guys to the NFL from our defense the past couple of years. It wasn't Beaty's problem or even Bowen's. Bowen, quite frankly, has only been there with these guys for one season. I know, some don't like him and have their biases. They were rooting for Bowen to fail, even if that was not their intention.

Aaron Paisley 6 years, 4 months ago

Defense will be better next year. It all starts with getting pressure on the QB and KU has players that can do that. KU had 26 sacks last year (tied for 56) and returns 19.5 of those sacks next year. 9 of those sacks from returning freshmen and 12.5 of the from the DLine.

KU's DLine is in good shape, hopefully Thibodeaux stays can continue to build and develop this DLine which will help the back end of the defense because they won't have to cover opposing receivers as long and give them better shot at INT's

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