David Beaty firmly on the cold seat as head football coach at Kansas


Kansas head coach David Beaty smiles as he walks across the field during the 2017 Spring Game on Saturday, April 15 at Memorial Stadium.

Kansas head coach David Beaty smiles as he walks across the field during the 2017 Spring Game on Saturday, April 15 at Memorial Stadium. by Nick Krug

As evidenced by the two-year contract extension and raise he received this past December, the University of Kansas is pleased to have David Beaty as its head football coach.

Sure, the Jayhawks have yet to escape the Big 12’s cellar in Beaty’s first two seasons leading the program. But the progress being made — both in recruiting and in terms of the on-field product — under Beaty’s watch have been a welcome sign for athletics director Sheahon Zenger, who knows better than anyone how boosters view the culture change being spearheaded by Beaty and his staff.

That’s why those long-suffering followers of the program won’t be as surprised as outsiders at Beaty’s standing, as presented in Dennis Dodd’s College Football Hot Seat Rankings at

An uninformed observer might see the 2-22 record next to Beaty’s name and assume another losing season could put his job in peril. But what kind of athletic department would be able to announce a $300 million stadium and facilities renovation project with a lame duck or loathed head coach in place?

No, Beaty isn’t leaving Kansas anytime soon. Take a look at Dodd’s hot seat rating scale, with 0 defined as “untouchable” and 5 falling in the category of “win or be fired.” KU’s third-year coach sits firmly on a cold seat.

While Beaty didn’t crack the upper stratosphere of un-fireable coaches, populated by the Nick Sabans and Dabo Swinneys of the college football world, KU’s coach came close, earning a 1 on the hot-seat scale — or “safe and secure” — at the same level as 65 other FBS coaches.

Within the Big 12, Beaty’s job is as certain as those of first-year coaches Tom Herman (Texas) and Matt Rhule (Baylor), Iowa State’s Matt Campbell and Oklahoma State’s Mike Gundy. He’ll have to accrue many more victories at KU before reaching the “untouchable” level of Kansas State’s Bill Snyder and TCU’s Gary Patterson. But because Beaty is in the early stages of a serious rebuilding project at a low profile program, his job is safer than those of new Oklahoma coach Lincoln Riley and Dana Holgorsen at West Virginia, both of whom landed in the realm of “all good … for now” with a 2 rating. Meanwhile, Beaty’s old buddy Kliff Kingsbury finds himself in the unenviable spot of “start improving now,” with a hot-seat rating of 4.

Ultimately, no coach is completely un-fireable — even recent national champions Swinney and Saban. But assuming everyone is abiding by the laws of the land and the NCAA, most of the nation’s coaches have to feel secure in their jobs entering this season.

A three- or four-win campaign at KU this fall actually qualifies as further progress, so Beaty is in a pretty good spot for at least another year. Expectations likely will rise for KU in 2018. Still, Beaty and his staff appear equipped to keep steering the program toward better days as long as their supporters have realistic expectations for the steady restoration of the program.

Check out the complete hot seat rankings: Evaluating job security of all 130 college football coaches


Chris DeWeese 5 years ago

I think the 1 rating is appropriate. Given the fact we are seeing slow, steady progress on and off the field, I can see Beaty not getting much higher than a 2 even if we only win 2 or 3 games this year. I'm not ready to jump on the bandwagon of 6 wins and a bowl birth this season, but 3 or 4 wins is realistic considering the experience and talent of our players (and coaches). Is a backslide possible? Yes, but considering the fact that several teams in the B12 will be going through significant transitions (Baylor, Texas, OU), it's also possible KU sneaks past some opponents with unexpected wins. If that happens, Beaty will stay at a 1 or even move to a 0.

Steve Jacob 5 years ago

5 home conference games and Southeast Missouri State, is 3-9 even good enough?

Chris DeWeese 5 years ago

It would be disappointing, no doubt. But given the state of the program, I think it's more realistic than 6-6. I'm perfectly fine with this team surprising me though.

Phil Leister 5 years ago

We all know he's safe now, and no one is reasonably expecting a bowl in 2017. But what if 2018 serves up a 3-4 win season, does that equal a hot seat in 2019?

John Brazelton 5 years ago

Get those 3 pre-conference wins as K-State has done for years and a 6-6 season is very doable with all the home games at Lawrence.

Brett McCabe 5 years ago

Glen Mason at KU: 1-10, 4-7, 3-7-1

Mark Mangino at KU: 2-10, 6-7, 4-7

Bill Snyder: 1-10, 5-6, 7-4

Dave Beaty: 0-12, 2-10, ???

Snyder was smart by softening his schedule when he only had to play 7 conference games. Mason could have and should have done the same thing. So should have Beaty.

So? The O/U for Beaty should stand at 3.5 using only KU, non-hall-of-fame coaches as a measuring stick. To me, three wins would be a bit of a disappointment. Four wins feels like real progress.

Michael Maris 5 years ago

I don't believe that Coach Beaty has much control over the scheduling these past couple of seasons. Remember, Rutgers was scheduled during Weis Tenure.

And, yeah I remember a lot of post mentioning that Weis wouldn't be coaching by the time that trip to New Jersey rolled around. So, let's see what's on the schedule in the future years (with Coach Beaty guiding the ship). Please remember, the NCAA is setting guidelines to get rid of the SEMO type games (and schedule against teams on the FBS Level).

Bryce Landon 5 years ago

No Benton, a three-win season this year would not be progress; it would be more of the same old crap. A four-win season would be progress. We haven't won four games or more since Mangino's final season.

Freddie Garza 4 years, 12 months ago

I think it's been established that the guy is, at the very least, competent. This is a step up from his 2 predecessors, who were clearly INcompetent.

That said, now that we have a guy who is making progress, he needs to be given PLENTY of time to get this thing off the ground. We can't forget who we are from a football standpoint. We are historically one of the weakest programs in power conference college football. We can't have these expectations that we're going to become a league player overnight, ESPECIALLY not in the Big XII.

I'd say that if he can turn us into a .500 team in the next 5 years, that's OUTSTANDING progress and he'll have earned every dollar he's made and probably be deserving of a pay raise.

Freddie Garza 4 years, 12 months ago

You all need to temper your expectations. Maybe this will help:

Texas, Baylor, TCU, Texas Tech, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, K-State, West Virginia, Iowa State


3 non-conference opponents

Who are we going to beat to become a .500 team?

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