Coaching Search 2011: Day 9, 8:38 p.m. - Report: Fedora accepts North Carolina job; Where does Kansas go from here and how quickly?


Southern Miss coach Larry Fedora.

Southern Miss coach Larry Fedora.

8:38 p.m. Update:

The Winston-Salem Journal, in North Carolina, is reporting that three sources have told the paper that Southern Miss coach Larry Fedora has agreed to become the Tar Heels next head coach.

If the report turns out to be accurate — and there's no reason to believe it's not — the move likely will spark a fast response from KU, which, according to sources, had held out hope and been in the running for Fedora as late as Tuesday morning.

Where the Jayhawks turn now is anyone's guess. The search has been air tight and nobody from KU is saying much at all about candidates or the location of AD Sheahon Zenger, who has been on the road interviewing candidates since last Wednesday.

Some names rumored to be in the running include:

Dave Christensen, Wyoming
Dirk Koetter, Jacksonville Jaguars OC
Troy Calhoun, Air Force
Gus Malzahn, Auburn OC
Sonny Dykes, Louisiana Tech
Chris Petersen, Boise State

As I've said all along, I still believe there's a better-than-good chance that a name or two that hasn't been mentioned during the past nine days could wind up being the guy.

Working like crazy to come up with a list of guys that could be.

Stay tuned...

3:43 p.m. Update:

Just got a tip from a colleague who said that the name Todd Graham was being thrown around the press box at last night's Pittsburgh Penguins game.

Graham just finished his first year at Pitt (6-6), and although moving so quickly to a job that most would not consider to be better doesn't make much sense, there are a couple of factors that make it worth looking into.

  1. Graham is a native of Dallas, was an extremely successful high school coach in the state and spent a few seasons at Tulsa before moving to Pitt. Obviously, his ties to the Midwest and his Texas roots could benefit him at KU.

  2. Graham just lost three members of his coaching staff to Arizona. All three were former staff members of Rich Rodriguez at West Virginia and they chose to rejoin Rich Rod out west.

I'm making some calls to see if I can track down Graham right now. This could be absolutely nothing but it also could be one of those "unmentioned" names.

Graham makes $2 million at Pitt and he and his wife have six children.

I also have a call into Dirk Koetter. Not sure if he'll call back and won't read too much into it either way, but I'm hoping to hear from him. 

Stay tuned...

1:13 p.m. Update:

Here's a little more on Fedora and UNC... Several outlets are now reporting that Carolina has made Fedora an offer. Doesn't mean he's going to accept it, doesn't mean he isn't. But it's now clear that an offer seems to be on the table for Fedora.

The sooner he decides where he's headed, the sooner the rest of us can move on.

Stay tuned...

1:04 p.m. Update:

Just got a call back from the Florida State athletic department and both FSU head coach Jimbo Fisher and FSU athletic director Randy Spetman said they have not received any requests from KU regarding permission to speak with FSU defensive coordinator Mark Stoops.

Not a huge surprise here. And, because of their past connections, this does not mean that Stoops and KU AD Sheahon Zenger did not speak about the job. Just that nothing formal was done.

Most have moved on from Stoops as a candidate here, but I've seen people out there still asking about him.

It really feels like this thing is heating up and moving closer to reaching the end.

Stay tuned...

11:21 a.m. Update:

Just got done reading some UNC message boards and thought I'd pass along this tidbit for perspective.

Although a bunch of Carolina fans seem pumped by the rumors that Larry Fedora is expected to be named UNC's new coach later today, there seems to be an equal number of Tar Heels who are not impressed.

Many of the complaints go like this: "Four years at a small school, sounds about right. I'd expect that to be the best we could do."

Just struck me as funny how the guy KU fans have been rooting for big-time during the past week or so is only drawing a lukewarm response from the fans of the school that might actually get him.

Again, just for perspective. At the end of this thing, KU will have hired a solid coach, big name or not. Even though the rumors all point to Fedora going to UNC or A&M, I'm not 100 percent convinced he's out of the mix for KU just yet.

Unlikely? Sure. But sources said early on in this thing that he would probably pick KU over Arizona State because of his Texas/Big 12 ties. If it comes down to that, and UNC and A&M go different directions, Fedora could still be KU's guy.

Crazier things have happened.

One more note.... This morning, I also heard back from Patrick Strong, an agent who works at the firm that represents both Fedora and Sonny Dykes. All that Strong told me that I can share was that the company has a policy of not commenting on job openings.

Back to the phones. Stay tuned...

10:14 a.m. Update:

Justin Hopkins, of 24/, is reporting that SMU head coach June Jones has informed his staff, that he will stay at SMU.

Jones, a long shot candidate for KU, was rumored to be in the running for the job at Arizona State.

Here's more on where Jones stood with the Sun Devils from Although this may not seem that interesting to KU fans, it's worth skimming because there's talk in there about how ASU's search has become incredibly quiet in recent days.

One more note of interest: Miami head coach Al Golden has become the latest to say 'No thanks' to UCLA.

Stay tuned...

8:59 a.m. Update:

Although Monday was a pretty quiet day in terms of actual news on Kansas University’s ongoing coaching search, it may have been pretty productive.

Of course, nothing has been confirmed through KU, but multiple sources not connected with Kansas have said that KU may be getting close to making a decision.

While I firmly believe that Southern Miss coach Larry Fedora was a legit option for KU prior to last weekend’s Conference USA championship game, Fedora’s stock rose too fast and too high for KU to be considered a favorite.

Fedora, who has emerged as a top candidate at nearly every major opening in the country, appears to have his pick among Arizona State, North Carolina and Texas A&M. Many believe it’s easier to win at Carolina and Arizona State than it is at Kansas, and A&M, though headed to the SEC next year, is located in Fedora’s hometown and has long been considered a dream landing spot.

So with Fedora all but off of KU’s board, the question becomes who’s left? Plenty of names have been kicked around and most have compelling cases for coming to Kansas.

But as we wrote last night, it seems that Zenger’s desire to hire a current or former head coach, preferably with at least some kind of BCS experience, may be the trump card in this situation. If so, that would eliminate a lot of names right away.

Of course, it’s still possible that talks with those types of candidates could break down or stall, which then would keep small-school coaches such as Sonny Dykes or SMU’s June Jones as well as assistant coaches such as Auburn’s Gus Malzahn, Florida State’s Mark Stoops and even Wisconsin’s Paul Chryst in the mix.

But, for now, let’s go on the assumption that Zenger’s looking for a head coach with BCS-level experience. With all that in mind, here’s my best guess at KU’s current list (no order) followed by another look at their extended bios.

Dirk Koetter
Dave Christensen
Phillip Fulmer
Houston Nutt
Troy Calhoun

• Troy Calhoun, 45, Air Force Academy head coach
Record at school: 39-23 in 5 seasons (4 bowl appearances)
Current salary: $889,095 per year
Why it makes sense: Experience all over the board from Ohio and Air Force to Wake Forest and the NFL. Offensive-minded coach who knows how to utilize multiple running backs, a position that should be a strength at Kansas for at least the next few years. Named Mountain West coach of the year in 2007 and known for creative offensive gameplans.
Why it might not happen: His is not the biggest name of the bunch and he seems to be pretty happy at Air Force, where he starred as a quarterback during his playing days and began his coaching career under the legendary Fisher DeBerry.

• Dave Christensen, 50, Wyoming head coach
Record at school: 17-18 in 3 seasons. (2 bowl appearances)
Current salary: $843,376 per year
Why it makes sense: Record-setting former Missouri offensive coordinator knows the area well and has recruiting ties throughout the Big 12 from his 12 seasons at Mizzou. Took over at Wyoming in 2009 and has led the Cowboys to bowls in two of his three seasons.
Why it might not happen: Could be a reach, and his losing record in the Mountain West Conference might hit too close to home for people still feeling burned by KU’s hire of Gill, who arrived at KU in 2009 with a 20-30 record in four seasons in the MAC.

• Phillip Fulmer, 61, former University of Tennessee head coach
Record at school: 152-52 in 17 seasons at Tennessee (15 bowl appearances)
Current salary: Made $2.4 million in final year at Tennessee (2008)
Why it makes sense: Fulmer was forced out at Tennessee after an uncharacteristic 5-7 record in 2008. All he did before that was win 10 games in ’07, nine games in ’06 and 10 in 2002 and 2003, as well. Oh, he also guided the Vols to the 1998 national championship. Although the Tennessee native has spent all but four years of his coaching life in his home state, the four years away were in Kansas at Wichita State. Expressed interest in and interviewed for vacancies at Louisville and UConn in late 2009 and appears to be interested in the KU opening this time around.
Why it might not happen: Fulmer’s been out of the game for three seasons now and could have trouble adapting to the spread offenses — both offensively and defensively — currently in favor in the Big 12.

• Dirk Koetter, 52, Jacksonville Jaguars offensive coordinator and former head coach at Arizona State and Boise State.
Record at school: 26-10 in 3 seasons at Boise (2 bowl appearances); 40-34 in 6 seasons at ASU (4 bowl appearances)
Current salary: Not Available.
Why it makes sense: Was the man who got Boise State going before handing over the keys to Dan Hawkins and Chris Petersen. Has served as an offensive coordinator at five schools — including Missouri from 1989-93 — and, in 29 years, has developed ties to dozens of coaches, which could lead to him hiring an impressive staff.
Why it might not happen: Not incredibly familiar with Big 12 country and has been away from the college game for five years.

• Houston Nutt, 54, former Ole Miss and Arkansas head coach
Record at school: 75-48 in 10 seasons at Arkansas (8 bowl appearances); 24-26 in 4 seaons at Ole Miss (2 bowl appearances).
Current salary: Made $2.7 million at Ole Miss in 2011
Why it makes sense: Coached 14 seasons in the SEC and finished with more than a handful of division titles and has openly said he’s interested in the gig. Disciplined, understands how to clean up, build and sustain a program and has the respect to do so. Also figures to be able to attract good assistants and is one of few options left for KU that offers name recognition that fans may be drawn to.
Why it might not happen: Finished the 2011 season at 2-10 and was fired by Ole Miss. In fact, Nutt has been fired from each of his past two jobs. Although his experience makes him a solid candidate, is that the message KU wants to send to its fan base?

Source for salary information: USA Today.


kupride4u 10 years, 5 months ago

Any word on whether or not Zenger will be at the hoops game tonight?

Bville Hawk 10 years, 5 months ago

He hasn't been in the office this morning.

JJHAWK 10 years, 5 months ago


Is Dykes no longer in the picture?

baldwinjhawk 10 years, 5 months ago

Fulmer all the way! Big personality and face of football at kansas. I'm impressed that Zenger is keeping things so private! Mizzou, A&M and Mizzou should take lessons. RCJH

Bigdaddy82 10 years, 5 months ago

Hope it's not Graham...PITT SUCKED and I wish BB's Jamie Dixon would sit down on the bench.

The_Real_Hawkman 10 years, 5 months ago

No Nutt Fulmer is climbing on my list, currently #3. Have him get somebody that knows the Big 12 and the Texas ties

BringBackNike 10 years, 5 months ago

With Fedora's stock rising after that Houston beat down, it seems that all of the Kevin Sumlin talk has completly gone away. Any chance KU can get a steal right now and hire Sumlin?

Fred Davis 10 years, 5 months ago

Great name, and I wish KU would bring Nike back, and from people I know here in SE Texas, we don't want Sumlin...

parrothead8 10 years, 5 months ago

I'm thinking that's doubtful. He's already turned down a better job at UCLA, and Illinois and A&M are still in the running for him. If we did, it would definitely be, as you called it, "a steal."

Carter Patterson 10 years, 5 months ago

Matt, I may be mistaken, and I'm not a fan of Houston Nutt, but as I recall, he quit Arkansas for Ole Miss.

Robert Brock 10 years, 5 months ago

He had to be out of his mind to leave Arky for Ole Miss. Maybe he loved to read Faulkner or something...

JayhawkGrad05 10 years, 5 months ago

I think he was about to get canned at Arkansas, but left first.

Marcia Parsons 10 years, 5 months ago

I suspect JayhawkGrad05 is right. The Arkansas boards about that time were full of fans screaming to get rid of Nutt, and while I realize boards are often filled more by discontents than supporters, it seemed to be a fairly general feeling. I didn't see ANY supporters.

Mark Lindrud 10 years, 5 months ago

From what I recall he wasn't getting along with the new AD and felt he needed to leave before they canned him

chipmunk1956 10 years, 5 months ago

Looking at his record, it "appears" as though Nutt is very good at coming in and utilizing players other coaches have recruited, but once the kids he recruits start coming up through the system, there's a steep drop off. In short, serious questions about his ability to recruit.

rob4lb 10 years, 5 months ago

I would be disappointed if any of the five coaches mentioned is the next head coach at KU. Nutt and Fulmer are retreads. Have you watched Jacksonville's offense. Blaine Gabbert is a huge disappointment which I would think is on Koetter. I guess by default Calhoun and Christensen are the best of the five which isn't saying much.

Fedora meets the criteria and it is unfortunate that we can't get him to come to KU.

Jeff Coffman 10 years, 5 months ago

How does Fedora meet the criteria of having BCS Head Coaching experience?

Matt Tait 10 years, 5 months ago

Fedora has both head coaching experience and experience at a BCS school (two, in this case - Florida and Oklahoma State)...

The two do not have to be tied together.

rob4lb 10 years, 5 months ago

Plus Fedora has ties to Texas which is where we have to recruit in order to be successful

Mike Barnhart 10 years, 5 months ago

That's not very p.c.. I think you meant to say, Nutt and Fulmer are "mentally challenged".

Bville Hawk 10 years, 5 months ago

Try reading that again. He said "retreads."

Dyslexic or just mentally challenged? (just joking!)

Ross Cargo 10 years, 5 months ago

Not to mention Koetter failed at ASU. No to this guy. I don't want him.

jmsuther 10 years, 5 months ago

I think the list of coaches without bcs head coaching experience sounds better than the ones that do.

jmsuther 10 years, 5 months ago

I think the list of coaches without bcs head coaching experience sounds better than the ones that do.

actorman 10 years, 5 months ago

I agree too. I'd be much more excited about one of the others, especially if it's Malzahn or Dykes.

rob4lb 10 years, 5 months ago

Matt- I would like your comment on how KU's only giving Gill two years impacts the search. Do you think that makes this a less attractive job? There is a huge coaching fraternity and the prevailing opinion outside of the area is the KU pulled the trigger on Gill to quickly and now has a perception of having unrealistic expectations for their program.

Matt Tait 10 years, 5 months ago

Under normal circumstances, I think that could be the case. But these weren't normal circumstances and I've been told most more than understand why the move was made...

The fact that Zenger wasn't the guy that hired Gill also helps the situation quite a bit.

actorman 10 years, 5 months ago

Thanks Matt.

It would be nice if everyone who keeps repeating the tired mantra about the "2-year" thing would just read Matt's response here and let it go already.

AcesWild 10 years, 5 months ago

matt have coule question coach fedoora lands n.c, they have a,d, that coach self are adm bgl say no and she hireds zengar n.c, a,d, is working ad so wonder bgl called nc told them about bubba there ad they hire but not us bgl has kan million she claims she no nothing about sports k.u needs to put a baord of 12 tell her she has nothing more to do with decione regarding sport looks like somebody has something ans for

texashawk10 10 years, 5 months ago

1-800-ABCDEFG. Call this number, I promise it will change your life for the better.

AcesWild 10 years, 5 months ago

matt have coule question coach fedoora lands n.c, they have a,d, that coach self are adm bgl say no and she hireds zengar n.c, a,d, is working ad so wonder bgl called nc told them about bubba there ad they hire but not us bgl has kan million she claims she no nothing about sports k.u needs to put a baord of 12 tell her she has nothing more to do with decione regarding sport looks like somebody has something ans for

JayHawkFanToo 10 years, 5 months ago

Can you document a single source that indicates that the "prevailing opinion outside of the area" is that KU fired Gill too quickly? Through my travels throughout the country I try to listen to the local sports shows, and most of the tidbits I caught about KU appear to indicate that KU paid way too much and gave a contract that 90% of the coaches in Division one would kill for, to an unproven coach that failed miserably at his job, and whose firing was not a surprise to anyone...except you. The coaching "fraternity" is not as dumb as make it out to be. First of all, and unlike other groups, they do not have a collective bargaining interest; in fact. they are actually competing against each other. Second most coaches are smart enough to know who can and cannot coach. Although no coach will publicly indicate who belongs in what group, I am sure that in private they all agree that Gill was way over his head and his firing had been expected.

Ryan Shelton 10 years, 5 months ago

Sure. Check out the ESPN Sports Nation poll. It was something like 70-30 against the firing.

JayHawkFanToo 10 years, 5 months ago

"There is a huge coaching fraternity and the prevailing opinion outside of the area is the KU pulled the trigger on Gill to quickly and now has a perception of having unrealistic expectations for their program" Your post appears to indicate that it was the prevailing opinion of the coaching fraternity, not that of ESPN viewers/readers. Again. can you cite any source that indicates that the "coaching fraternity" thought that Gill was fires too quickly?

actorman 10 years, 5 months ago

Careful, JayHawkFan, facts can be dangerous things when someone already has their mind made up. Just ask the Tea Party.

ParisHawk 10 years, 5 months ago

Reading "the Blind Side" about Michael Oher, I didn't get a good feeling about Houston Nutt. Seemed like a real redneck. Not KU's style.

Plus (and this may be way off base) I think for him losing is an option - hey, it's happened before. We need somebody like Ed Harris in "Apollo 13": "Failure is not an option!"

AirCapJay 10 years, 5 months ago

You do know that Ed Harris is an actor? Gene Kranz was the fellow you want to quote.

I wouldn't make a coaching decision based on a book or movie.

texashawk10 10 years, 5 months ago

Ed Harris did play a football coach in Radio so he probably is more qualified than Gill to be head coach at KU.

Mike Nicco 10 years, 5 months ago

Didn't Nebraska pass on Nutt just like they did Gill?

actorman 10 years, 5 months ago

I read something a while back about Nutt that didn't make him seem too appealing either. Throw in his recent 2-10 record and I wouldn't be at all excited about him being KU's coach.

Ross Cargo 10 years, 5 months ago

I'll go further. I'll barf if Nutt becomes our coach.

Tomasu2012 10 years, 5 months ago

Over/under Friday @ 6 PM before we have a coach?

Over - after / under - before

I'm going over

James McGuire 10 years, 5 months ago

Over. I'm guessing sometime over the weekend.

BayPark 10 years, 5 months ago

Finally. These names are much more realistic for KU. Although many would be disappointed, this is the state we're in. At this juncture we just can't attract the hot candidates that have been bantered about on this site. Let's get to respectability first, then talk about 10-win seasons, championships, and such.

Jrb09g 10 years, 5 months ago

I'd rather have an up and coming assistant than any of those five names. Dirk Koetter? Houston Nutt? Really? Yikes.

Kirk 10 years, 5 months ago

Don't like these names at all. I'd much rather we find an up-and-comer whom Zenger, with his penetrating insight into football, snatches from the jaws of all the other less imaginative and visionary programs.

Criticism: Tait is not always terribly clear whether he's reporting or guessing.

Matt Tait 10 years, 5 months ago

You think it's not clear to you!!! :-)

Thanks for the note. I'll take that into consideration. Sometimes it's tough to be clear because some of it is a guess based on off-the-record or behind-the-scenes information I'm hearing.

That's especially true in these types of deals.

Kevin Long 10 years, 5 months ago

Matt I think you do a great job! I think it's great that you actually read our comments and relate with us on here. Just keep on doing what you do!

Gregor Southard 10 years, 5 months ago

Oh, please, not another up and comer! How about an established coach for a change? Seriously, Valesente, Allen, Gill...

ccarp 10 years, 5 months ago

My take is if he gets info from others, he states as much, and I assume is a report. All the other stuff, while interesting, is speculation...or guesses. I really enjoy the insight and am really curious to know what "might" happen. I've got a real love/hate with instant media....but I just can't stop checking in. :-)

BringBackNike 10 years, 5 months ago

Zenger and all of the fans knew that after the home thrashing K-State put on us that Turner Gill would not be retained! How was Zenger not prepared to have his guy ready to go? The length of this search is getting worrisome and Papa John really needs a big hire to get my attention. So far I've been disappointed and I have a feeling that the announcement of our next coach will only further my disappointment.

swavity 10 years, 5 months ago

It's a two-way deal. Say the #1 choice has always been Fedora - he wasn't even going to talk until after the Houston game. Now things have apparently changed.

Or it could have been Leach, who also surged in popularity as everyone fired their coaches at the end and raced into the coaching search.

LAJayhawk 10 years, 5 months ago

Or it could have been someone else, and that person pulled back a bit when all the BCS openings came on the table. All good points.

This is a difficult and competitive year to hire a football coach, and we, unfortunately, don't have the most attractive football program in the country....

texashawk10 10 years, 5 months ago

North Carolina has known since they fired Butch Davis that they needed a new coach and they haven't pulled the trigger on anyone yet either.

Randy Bombardier 10 years, 5 months ago

Oh Darn, I for one was really counting on your support. I would sure hate for you to be disappointed.

gripp42 10 years, 5 months ago

Calhoun and Fulmer would be the only ones on the list I would be sold on. Imagine if the next coach is introduced at the half of the OSU game and he gets booed or gets crickets.

Aaron Clopton 10 years, 5 months ago

I can jump on the Fulmer bandwagon pretty easily if I need to.

gorilla10 10 years, 5 months ago

I still believe that KU needs someone who has PROVEN that they can win.....Gill was an "up and coming" coach at Buffalo and look how that turned out. The next coach at KU has to be a proven winner. The fact that Fulmer is interested in KU stands out. With his age it would probably be his last coaching change and hopefully he could bring prior experiences and knowledge to KU football. Proven "big name" winner that is INTERESTED in KU......sounds good to me!

jayhawk02 10 years, 5 months ago

Was Grandpa Bill a "proven" coach before KSU hired him?

gorilla10 10 years, 5 months ago

Not the first time....and he did a great job turning it around. Our case if different though. We know we can win and want to win asap. Turner Gill was a gamble from day 1 and look how it turned out. Two years and done. KU needs someone who's done it before. Not another "experiment"......

Clarence Haynes 10 years, 5 months ago

One of the resons for Fullmer's success was his DC John Chavis who has the same job at LSU. No way he is coming with Fullmer! IMO, that combined with his being away from coaching would lead me to think that we would be back out in a few years looking for a new coach.

RockChalkAtlantaHawk 10 years, 5 months ago

I'm somewhat amazed by the amount of negativity I've seen in these posts over the past 8 days. I know we all have certain preferences as to who we think should lead the Jayhawks next year, but none of us know any facts as to how SZ has gone about finding "the one". We have no idea who we've lost out on, who we've interviewed or who we have offered. The most important thing any coach named or unnamed will bring to Kansas is wins.

Style points don't count, and whomever SZ brings in to lead our program, I will respectfully support. (unless he re-hires Coach Gill). RCJH.

ampthatman 10 years, 5 months ago

Couldn't have put it better myself. And believe me, I've tried.

actorman 10 years, 5 months ago

Well said, and of course I will support anyone that comes in.

A certain amount of negativity is understandable, especially from longtime Jayhawk fans. We've all been through countless times where there's a sliver of hope, only to have it dashed shortly thereafter. We've all seen signs of improvement, only to see the program back down in the dregs again within a short time. So it's hard to get too enthusiastic about things until we see some semblance of sustained success.

On the other hand, a new coach is kind of like spring training in baseball: you always can have the hope that this time things will really be different. (And before all the Mangino apologists get on their high horse, I'll say that I don't consider him a difference-maker in the long run. No question that he brought us the greatest season in KU history and I'll always have some appreciation for that. But in the long run he was a train wreck waiting to happen, and I think he was let go at just the right time -- evidence from the last two years notwithstanding.)

hawkfan30 10 years, 5 months ago

Dave Christensen = NO

2009 - lost to BYU 52-0, lost to TCU 45-10, lost to Colorado 24-0, lost to Texas 41-10 2010 - lost to Texas 34-7, lost to Boise 51-6, lost to TCU 45-0, lost to Utah 30-6 2011 - lost to Nebraska 38-14, lost to Utah St. 63-19, lost to Boise 36-14

Houston Nutt = NO

Nutt's record at Ole Miss is of concern for me. He had a winning record his first two years and a losing record his final two. He brought in a top 25 recruiting class in 2009 & 2010 according to ESPN but couldn't win. This creates a huge cloud of doubt for me about his ability to coach this generation of athletes.

I think Fulmer would be our best get from the list...Best BCS record, recruits know his name, and there would be good coaches that would want to work with him.

jay381 10 years, 5 months ago

Nutt = No X 100

I live in Memphis with a lot of AR, Old Miss, TN, Vandy and Ms State.

I am not a fan of Fulmer but he would be 100 X better than Nutt.

It would be hard to determine if Nutt is hated more by the Old MIss or the AR grads in the area. There is an absolute intensity for the contempt of him by both in this area.

Jayhawk1116 10 years, 5 months ago

I think Zeng is looking for the next Bill Snyder. So the name won't make a big splash at all, but hopefully the coach will build something special and hang around for 10 plus years. Just my guess.

scarletbhound 10 years, 5 months ago

Just to clear up carterpatterson's comment that Nutt resigned at Arkansas. Not really the case. He was chased out because Hog fans simply didn't take to him. He was successful on the field, but never developed a positive chemistry with very demanding UA fans whose whole lives revolve around their football team. As for the ongoing search. I'm sure Zenger realizes that his future career hinges heavily on getting the right football coach. It didn't end well for the two previous coaches. I hate to contemplate what another similar disaster would do to KU. I suspect that conference realignment etc. are not done and I fear KU will be relegated to the college sports netherland -- along with Memphis, Louisville, UConn and other "basketball schools" -- unless we become nationally competitive in football. Let's give Zenger all the slack he needs. Then we can hang him if he messes up.

dancingoutlaw 10 years, 5 months ago

Nutt was not forced out because Hog fans didn't take to him. He is an Arkansas born and bred guy, even serving as ball boy at the War Memorial Stadium in LR. His dad and brother have serrved in various capacities as coaches at Arkansas colleges. He was forced out because he is terrible and because he got completely sideways with the athletic department (and much of the state) with the recruitment/playing of Mitch Mustain and hiring of Gus Malzahn (Mustain's high school coach). Nutt didn't want Mustain and ridiculed Malzahn throughout the year he was there. (BTW, look who is laughing now). He also is the king of pimping himself for other jobs only to get raises, extensions, etc. His buyouts at Arkansas and Ole Miss were egregiously high. He is Jimmy Sexton's greatest sales job.

Nutt had the benefit of pretty good recruits in the state of Arkansas who usually go to Arkansas, no matter the coach. His teams are undisciplined, thuggish and completly unorganized (not sure who wrote that Nutt is "disciplined" in the article above. Please review film of some of his work at Arkansas and Ole Miss -- you've never seen teams with more substitution violations, 12 men on the field, wasted time outs because they can't get the play in, etc.). The guy had Peyton Hillis, Darren McFadden and Felix Jones and still all he could muster was 9 and 4. He is great with other coaches leftovers (as he was at Arkansas and Ole Miss), but the guy is a clown.

I'll go ahead and weigh in on Fulmer as well. The answer is "No." Yeah, the guy avoided NCAA inquiry, but only because he turned states evidence against Alabama. He got very lazy in recruiting after his national championship. His recruitment of thugs contributed to his ouster. 3 of his former players have killed people through their selfishness and recklessness -- Dwayne Goodrich, Donte Stallworth, Leonard Little. He is out of touch with today's college football and would be a square peg in a round hole in the offensive minded Big 12. Plus, I cannot believe he would be satisfied playing second fiddle to Self. Fulmer is an arrogant old school football coach and he isn't going to come into a situation where no matter what he does, his program will be the little brother to KU's big brother basketball team. There is a reason this guy hasn't landed a job since he was forced out.

Jayhawk57 10 years, 5 months ago

Keep Glen Mason on your radar. Knows how to win at Kansas, x's and o's coach who demands accountability of his players and coaches (on and off the field). Understands the recruiting landscape we need to compete in. With Fedora more or less off our board, of the remaining candidates, I will take Glen Mason all day and know he will bring winning back to Kansas!

manginodrh00lz 10 years, 5 months ago

I'll give you that Mason was a good recruiter but he was not great. He finished in the bottom half of the conference most of the time at KU and rarely beat a team with a winning record.

middleoftheroader 10 years, 5 months ago

Dear Santa: All I want for Christmas is a good head coach.

Sayers44 10 years, 5 months ago

Zenger should hire Nolan Cromwell....

KU guy --tons of experience at coaching in all levels.....

I like Nolan Cromwell and I hope he is hired.

RockCaCO3 10 years, 5 months ago

Cromwell is only listed under Kansas as a potential coach:

Makes me wonder if he is one of SZ's options. I could get behind that hire!

FreddyinLA 10 years, 5 months ago

Matt, Rivals has Cromwell as a potential coach. Why doesn't the LWJ?

William Daniels 10 years, 5 months ago

they also do not list fulmer for KS, and do not list fedora for UNC...

William Daniels 10 years, 5 months ago

sorry, should have made clear I am talking about rivals

texashawk10 10 years, 5 months ago

You know how TG never being promoted to coordinator or co-coordinator should've been a red flag, well Nolan Cromwell has been an assistant coach for about 15 years in the NFL and has never been promoted to coordinator. That should be a red flag for him as a head coach.

actorman 10 years, 5 months ago

Thanks for bringing up Nolan Cromwell, Sayers. I've brought up NC's name a few times and still haven't gotten a response. Matt, what's up? Why isn't he on the list? He would seem to be a great fit and he's a KU guy.

Mark Lindrud 10 years, 5 months ago

I would be happy with Sonny Dykes or Mark Stoops. Dykes has head coaching experience and in his second season taking his team to a bowl game. He has been an up and coming coordinator who knows the Big 12 area for recruiting.

Mark Stoops has the pedigree and with his name could get a good staff together. I hope we find out this week so the team can move on with recruiting. Until I hear otherwise I want to believe Zenger will find us a good one.

John Mueller 10 years, 5 months ago


Great job. The reality is that this is more about entertainment right now than reporting (pretty closed loop with regards to facts).

But, the entertainment value is great! It's like People magazine for sports junkies.

Here are my thoughts on coaches:

Philip Fulmer - I think he is a great hire with the right staff. Some negative comments about 61 being old. Disagree. If he wants the job and has the energy for it, he is an outstanding candidate. But, he would have to put a staff together to recruit, something he has certainly done in the past. Peyton Manning, anyone?

Dirk Koetter- His college coaching resume looks very strong. Plus, i assume his experience is the league can be an asset when recruiting. I like him as a candidate.

Just my opinion, but i don't think Doeren has enough experience, Glen Mason, no thanks.

I am still very interested and supportive of any high level Coordinators from big time programs.

Heck, it sounds like he has better alternatives, but i think i would take a look at Mike Sherman. Instant recruiting capabilities in Texas, strong pedigree and ability to speak about the NFL with creditability and a real quality man. But, probably a big step down for him.

johnnyhrdwd 10 years, 5 months ago

Sherman just flopped with a loaded A$M.

dester30 10 years, 5 months ago

I think its very simple for us to still get Fedora. UNC grabs Malzahn, A&M gets Strong. and ASU takes Jones or Stoops or someone like that. I still think it could turn out well for us

FreddyinLA 10 years, 5 months ago

The infatuation with Fulmer by the LWJ is amazing. The guy had completely lost control of his teams in the end. He has absolutely zero recruiting ties to Texas. Go for it Keegs, give us a third Fulmer article tomorrow.

Meanwhile, you have a guy like Nolan Cromwell who credentials as a player and coach in the NFL are unmatched and the LJW has not mentioned his name even once. He leaves A&M as an offensive coordinator and you see what happens after that.

AirCapJay 10 years, 5 months ago

Why does a coach have to be only able to recruit in Texas? I think recruiting nation wide would be better. We only get hand-me-downs from Texas anyway. How about if we keep the good Kansas kids that go to OU and OSU? That would be a great start. Can you imagine how may more games we could have won if we had Blake Bell as our QB? He was a star high school QB in Wichita and went to OU, where all he does it ride the bench until it's time to score a touch down.

texashawk10 10 years, 5 months ago

A coach at KU has to have assistant coaches with recruiting ties in Texas because Kansas/Missouri/Oklahoma do not produce enough D1 talent to sustain a program. I do think it is necessary to have one or two assistants with ties to Kansas/Missouri/Oklahoma because there is some good talent there and it's important to keep in-state talent at home, but Texas is the most important recruiting base for Big 12 schools because Texas produces enough talent to sustain the 10 FBS programs in the state as well as having most BCS programs come in and take a few players as well as having quite a few players from all of the mid major schools close to Texas. I'm not going to go look at all 120 FBS rosters, but I think it's a pretty safe bet that at least 80% of them have at least one kid from Texas on their rosters. I believe about 1/3 of KU's roster (35-40 kids) are from Texas so that's why it's important for the future of KU football to have multiple coaches who can recruit Texas well.

ltownatrain 10 years, 5 months ago

So let me get this straight credentials as a player and NFL coach make for a good coach.....HMMMM.....lets see here I seem to remember a KU coach who was a 3 year starter on Tom Osbourne at Nebraska, played in a national title and was 28-2 as a player, that went on to coach in the pros as well and we all see how that played out.

Fulmer on the other hand may want one last payday but hell if he stays here 5 years and gets KU to bowl games and winning seasons then when he retires the Job will at least be more attractive. Also one thing to keep in mind....Fulmer convinced Peyton Manning to spurn his families alma mater and attend Tennessee

Kenny Terry 10 years, 5 months ago

Hey Matt... I remember reading that a consultant is working with Zenger? Do you know if this person has any ties to or personal interest in Ku?

Matt Tait 10 years, 5 months ago

I'm pretty certain they don't. Independent deal with no KU connection...

bjejayhawk69 10 years, 5 months ago

Would it hurt to contact Chris Peterson at BSU. Or Jim Leavitt. I would be willing to wait for Leavitt since 3 coaches have been retained and are still recruiting. I still think he is still in play because of his past relationship with Zenger.

As far as the leftovers above.

Fulmer - at least he has experience and a name/resume. Been out of football for 3 years though

Nutt - no way - failed at too many other jobs

Calhoun - appears to be a good coach - not sure if he would make much of a splash recruiting wise

Koetter - seems a bit recycled but has a lot of experience.

Christensen - no way - KU fan base would hate this hire

Dykes - Scares me like the hiring of Gill all over again.

Sayers44 10 years, 5 months ago

I cannot believe somebody would even list Huston Nutt as a possibility.

If Huston Nutt is hired, then Zenger should be fired.

Out of all the potentails you list, Fulmer would be just okay, but he is old and out of football.... The rest of the people listed = NO!

I like my guy Nolan Cromwell......

Lets build the program with KU people --not outsiders!

Seth Nesmith 10 years, 5 months ago

Why is 61 so old all of a sudden? Why do KU fans think our next coach will be around for 20 years? If fulmer comes in and gives us 6-10 good years with 4-6 bowl games, we should take that and be happy.

hawkfan30 10 years, 5 months ago

I'm with you jhawkln. If Fulmer can come in give us 8 good years develop and keep a competent staff and groom the next coach to take over when he retires I'd be a very happy Jayhawk!!!

I think he's actually the most realistic "Big Name" that has been thrown out so far as a potential KU coach.

sevenyearhawk 10 years, 5 months ago

Kansas, North Carolina, UCLA ... ALL looking for coaches.

Is there a trend here, Mr. Tait?

Are some schools starting to realize that even a historic men's hoops program isn't enough to ensure security in this new BCS re-alignment era?

Graczyk 10 years, 5 months ago

Except that UCLA and UNC are both much more secure than KU right now.

Ted Adams 10 years, 5 months ago

Matt, if Nutt and Fulmer are now possibilities, why is no one talking about Mike Bellotti from Oregon? There has already been talk that he has expressed interest in getting back into coaching although the report is that UCLA isn't interested in him. He went to 7 bowls in 8 seasons at Oregon. He's the guy who got Oregon to national prominence. So, why not him?

At this point, I think the Jayhawk Nation would be happy with Fedora, Fullmer, Peterson, Bellotti, or Koetter (maybe a bit of a stretch). BTW, although Nutt obviously wants the job, you have to say "no" because he's been fired twice in 3 years. I personally would be upset about that hire. Besides, what about all the Nutt(s) jokes?

Bville Hawk 10 years, 5 months ago

Regarding Fedora, Keegan (I think) mentioned on the spodcast yesterday that despite his strong Texas connections there were just a couple players on his current USM roster from Texas, that there were many more from Florida FWIW.

I think Fulmer and Leavitt are at about the same level on the KU prospect list: both have been consistent successful BCS level coaches. Both come with at least a little baggage.

It seems to me that SZ should visit with Fulmer about his interest. If we could get him on the relative cheap ($1 million per year?) with the idea he could have an extra $1 million to spend on assistant coaches that would help assure that we would get top notch a OC and DC. You could sweeten it a bit for Fulmer by paying an incentive of $100K per BCS win per year in addition to the base of $1 million.

LAJayhawk 10 years, 5 months ago

I like the contract idea, especially the thought of spreading the payroll around to assistants. I still think Zenger needs to go after whomever he feels is the right guy for the program, but if that doesn't work out, I think negotiating a deal like the one you mentioned would be a solid move. It may not be an easy thing to get done, however. Plus, Zenger would undoubtedly face a backlash from the uninformed portion of the fan base when they discovered the new head coach was only being paid $1 mil plus. They would say he didn't offer the big money which is why we didn't land a better candidate...... then would come the "Zenger is in over his head," blah, blah, blah......

RockCaCO3 10 years, 5 months ago

Matt, just curious why Nolan Cromwell isnt included in your wheel of death?

Jeff Coffman 10 years, 5 months ago

He is going to wait for TTU to come available in a year or two.

Jeff Coffman 10 years, 5 months ago

Re-read some of the posts Matt from our KU site...there are a lot of us that were Lukeward on Fedora. He became a hot name from one game (who says timing isn't everything). Also, look at his record, mediocre in a weak conference.

Glad he is not an option with the likes of Fulmer available. I'm glad Fulmer is in the spotlight again; hopefully, this time we lock down a guy like this.

irvan moore 10 years, 5 months ago

hmmmm, maybe this is taking to long, i'm running out of unrealistic expectations

TKHAWK 10 years, 5 months ago

Hey, Matt! What did Patrick Strong tell you that you CAN'T share?!? ;)

Chris1955 10 years, 5 months ago


How about Major Applewhite as one of the potential unidentified candidates. I think his background with UT could prove benficial to KU. Thoughts?

rob4lb 10 years, 5 months ago

He's not even the OC at Texas. That UT went on the outside to hire a new OC this year may be an indication that Applewhite is not ready.

Chris1955 10 years, 5 months ago


How about Major Applewhite as one of the potential unidentified candidates. I think his background with UT could prove benficial to KU. Thoughts?

1jhawk2 10 years, 5 months ago

Funny, I mentioned that last week and not one response. Reality is no head coaching experience. He's young and under the leadership of Big Mac, he has a solid foundation. No head coaching at any level is enough to forget about him.

dgless21 10 years, 5 months ago

I feel like you need to give an example of some crazy shi...stuff every time you use the line "Crazier things have happened."

1jhawk2 10 years, 5 months ago

We can scratch Fedora off the board. Word is that UNC has made the hire according to

Displayhawk 10 years, 5 months ago

So what happened to Dave Doeren??? Did I miss something???

mcrckchlk 10 years, 5 months ago

Phil Fulmer should be staring his third year as the KU football coach.

MDHawk 10 years, 5 months ago

Actually, no...he'd probably still be in his second, preparing for a bowl game.

mcrckchlk 10 years, 5 months ago

You are correct. Thank you for correcting me.

LAJayhawk 10 years, 5 months ago

The case with Fedora is the "herd" mentality. I'm sure all of these schools had him in mind as a possible candidate, but once one of them starting picking up serious interest (whether or not the victory on Saturday was the catalyst), then all the rest had to put on the full court press. Many times this is about the "get" as much as it is about getting the right coach for the job. Most of these schools hiring right now aren't powerful football programs, and they are looking to make a splash. Once Fedora became the "hot name," he became the biggest prize that would make a program look like it got the biggest win... much like landing the top prize recruit.

It's a bit a of a shame what this process has turned to, but it's the nature of "the game." Fan base excitement (whether its getting the "hot" coach or the "hot" recruit, etc) plays a HUGE part into the profit margin of the program and the Athletic Department as a whole. Fedora is an excellent coach, and I am disappointed that we probably won't land him. But this is about much more than him as a coach......

LAJayhawk 10 years, 5 months ago


After your piece on Peterson yesterday, what's your feelings today? I know it was a "call me crazy" option, but have you gotten any indication that he's even a slight possibility at this point?

Just curious.

Ludwig Supraphonic 10 years, 5 months ago

I hoped Boise's lame Maaco Bowl selection vs. 6-6 Arizona State might spur Petersen to seek a BCS position and give us a shot. Today I read Boise is joining the Big East.

Danny Hernandez 10 years, 5 months ago

Sure would like to know what Zenger is up to but I'm glad he's tight-lipped. No leaks so there is more trust with those in contact with him and though this Fedora guy might be wanted by other schools imho that doesn't necessarily disqualify Kansas from landing him. Kansas has the bucks to pay the guy and unless he's afraid of a challenge, he should sign with Kansas. But maybe he wants an easier road in which case The Big12 isn't his cup of tea. And if that's the case, I wouldn't want him. I want men that aren't afraid of challenges and playing the big dogs in our conference.

actorman 10 years, 5 months ago

Excellent post, dannyboy. You make a great point about the benefit of Zenger keeping quiet: with all the leaks out there from other programs, I would think that would have to be a point in our favor.

KUMC81Hawk 10 years, 5 months ago

Phil Fulmer has show from 17 years at TN that he knows how to put a coaching staff together. Part of his staff would all ready be in place at KU with Mitchell and Beaty. Surely with his connections he can find a good OC and DC. Another option that nobody seems to be mentioning is Randy Shannon. As a DC his defenses at Maimi were rated 7th or better nationally 6 of 7 years. As a HC he won about 60% of his games. He was quoted in an ESPN article as being ready to get back into coaching.

haps 10 years, 5 months ago

Rumor on the NC board right now is that Fedora has agreed to a contract with UNC. If true, it would really suck. I do not want a rehashed coach such as Fulmer and definitely not Nutt.

I don't know enough about Zenger to completely trust him, I can only hope he comes back not with the 'best that's available' but with a great coach who can turn KU around.

MDHawk 10 years, 5 months ago

I'm starting to lean toward Fulmer...BCS level experience, several winning seasons including a NC, some experience in Kansas (may not have very many contacts here anymore, but it sure would be nice to get someone who might be able to battle Snyder for some KS kids). The other guys have some positive selling points, but Fulmer is a safe hire, a winner at this level, and a guy who seems to actually want to be here. He's not interested in making a name for himself, just looking for a place to do something he's obviously pretty darn good at. Heck, let Doeren have a few more winning seasons at NIU, and then bring him in as a "coach-in-waiting". He could learn a few more things from a winner like Fulmer, and then be the second coach in a row who wins and actually wants to be here. I'm starting to get "runner-up syndrome" from all the reports that seem like we're functioning as a safety net for these up-and-comers who would rather work somewhere else. I trust SZ, and understand that this is largely a business decision, but of the folks we've talked about my lean is definitely toward Fulmer.

1jhawk2 10 years, 5 months ago

My guess is that the Zenger has hopped on flight to beautiful Boise, ID with about $2.75 million reasons why Peterson should come to KU. Petersen doesn't have the strongest recruiting ties in TX, but his success at a smaller conference school would most certainly carry some value. I just looked at his roster and he has about 10-11 kids from TX. I think he would be successful here in comparison to Hawkins at CU, since Petersen doesn't come across as arrogant/cocky. Another benefit would be if he doesn't have a son who is about to be a college QB. Petersen's choices are to stay in a conference where 1 loss gets him to the Vegas bowl. He could come here and continue his rivalry with TCU and he could have a chance for a better bowl game with 4 losses a year. There is a lot to build here, but I think he has the personality traits to do it in a manner that the old man in the rotten apple is doing it. He will most likely need to start recruiting in other regions with their move to the Big East, so I say come here and make Kansas what you made Boise St.

The Zenger still has a shot to hit a home run. He really needs to sell KU and the opportunity to the best available option which is Petersen. Fullmer and Barnett (guy deserves a 2nd chance for the crap that went on a CU) have expressed interest in KU. What would be the chances of us luring Charlie Strong away from Louisville or hiring Kirby Smart if not hired by TAMU.

I hope I don't sound like I'm asking him to rope in the moon, all I am asking for is a quality coach that makes us competitive.

Boise_Jayhawk 10 years, 5 months ago

Am headed out for lunch here in downtown Boise, we'll keep my eyes open for Zenger.

LAJayhawk 10 years, 5 months ago

Except for the fact that if you read the article JayDoc posted below you will see that Leach, apparently, did not want to have anything to do with the Big 12 again, and ONLY talked to KU BECAUSE of Zenger.

I believe you have just tossed a couple of wild pitches, and the runner on first is now standing on third.....

TKHAWK 10 years, 5 months ago

I've always like Fulmer as a candidate, he is a "name", and that can go a long way. My only concern would be beyond the name, he's not known as an offensive or defensive genius, so I'd have to know who his coordinators are before I could get really excited. But he is a leader of men and we sure could use that.

JayDocMD 10 years, 5 months ago

Forgive me if this is a repost, but the linked KC Star article today had a couple of interesting info nuggets attached below the link:


"When Mike Leach agreed to a deal with Washington State last Wednesday that would pay him $2.2 million a year, it was natural to wonder whether KU had been outbid for Leach, who had emerged as a top candidate.

The sources said Leach chose Washington State because he did not want to coach in the Big 12 again. Leach has a pending lawsuit against league member Texas Tech for breach of contract.

“The only reason he was talking to KU was Sheahon,” one source said, referring to the longstanding relationship between Zenger and Leach."....

"Other names that make sense for Kansas are Wyoming coach Dave Christensen, Missouri’s offensive coordinator for 12 seasons, and Florida State defensive coordinator Mark Stoops, who coached with Zenger at Wyoming.

Northern Illinois coach Dave Doeren, a Kansas City native who coached at KU before becoming the defensive coordinator at Wisconsin, has expressed interest in the job, according to the sources."

RockCaCO3 10 years, 5 months ago

Thanks for posting. Interesting article.

I guess Lew wasnt familiar with performance based contracts.

TKHAWK 10 years, 5 months ago

If Peterson comes, do we get a blue field? Maybe crimson and blue alternating.

Mike Kendall 10 years, 5 months ago

Names on the back would be a good start!

texashawk10 10 years, 5 months ago

Since when did names on the back of the jersey's make any bit of difference in the way kids play on the field. If a kid really cares so much about having a name on the back of his jersey, let that self-absorbed ego case go somewhere else because that's not the kind of talent that brings positive attention to a school.

Mandie Eutsler 10 years, 5 months ago

It's not for the kids, it's for the fans. Especially fans who don't want to have to refer to a program after every play. Most people are proud of their name and want to display it on their jersey and I think that's okay. It's not about player's ego and the Hawks aren't the Yankees...

sportjunky 10 years, 5 months ago

I doubt that Zenger has ever read any of the comments on these boards (or even any of his staff!). However, if he ever does (or if anyone on his staff does), Fulmer is a fantastic option! Tressel would be the only other (and equivalent) offering available. Peterson would be clumped right in there as well, and Fedora-- a very good coach and someone I think would do well (but at KU? Maybe not, I really do hate to say, but maybe he would?).

My vote Fulmer or Tressel, then Peterson, then maybe Fedora. Would Fedora really do well at KU? I am hesitant because I think we need to do what I have said several of the Big 12 basketball teams need to do-- shell out the dough and hire a big, big name or else be stuck in the doldrums of mediocrity. We don't have the football reputation that Texas, Oklahoma, and others have, and the odds are against us of ever having such a program without a very bold, brash, and expensive move.

1jhawk2 10 years, 5 months ago

Petersen makes $1.6 mil a year. I am sure Boise can pay him more, but I am sure KU can afford another million in salary plus progressive incentives based on bowl appearances.

Marcia Parsons 10 years, 5 months ago

I keep worrying that Fulmer is another Huggy Bear. Take what you can get so that you are able to get back into coaching, and then jump at the first offer you get from somewhere you really wanted to be. Is that likely?

Bville Hawk 10 years, 5 months ago

I don't necessarily look at that as a bad thing. Huggy Bear gave KSU bball instant cred and took them to a level they hadn't been at in, what, 20 years? When he left they were in much better shape than they were before he came.

LAJayhawk 10 years, 5 months ago

No disrespect, but we really have to stop thinking that we shouldn't go after a guy because he might leave. It's a self-defeating argument. We need to go after the right guy. If he has a lot of success and leaves, we would actually be in better shape than hiring some schmo who keeps us in the gutter.

Certainly Zenger can keep in mind the likelihood of a guy bolting, but in the end if he is the right guy, you just pull the trigger. You don't worry about what could happen. And, again, if that did happen (him moving on), our football program would be in much better shape than when he took over.

texashawk10 10 years, 5 months ago

His age would likely be a deterrent for a major school looking to sign a big name coach who could be at their school for the next 10-15 years and the odds are that if Fulmer has KU in a position to leave KU for a better job after between 2-4 years, he would be 63-65 years old and perceived to have about 5 years left if that as a coach.

1jhawk2 10 years, 5 months ago

This might be more of a reason to leave Boise St. Now you have to sell kids on the extra travel, time zones, farther places for their parents to see them play. California kids might be a little more reluctant if it came down to Boise St. and Washington St., BYU, Utah, CU. I would like those California kids might be easier to recruit to KU since we are a little closer to where our games are played.

Am I trying to stretch my reasoning to much?

LAJayhawk 10 years, 5 months ago

Boise?? San Diego State?????? Might as well just add Hawaii....

Big East, indeed....

LAJayhawk 10 years, 5 months ago

Um... how did that post twice?? Weird.......

LAJayhawk 10 years, 5 months ago

Ha! Now the other post, to which this was a reply to just disappeared...

Matt, your blog is experiencing Paranormal Activity....

EJ Mulligan 10 years, 5 months ago

Matt or anyone else -- what about Brent Venables? Is there a reason his name has disappeared from discussions?

Matthew Pritchard 10 years, 5 months ago

Matt, you are doing an awesome job. I don't know why rivals is so big on Gus Malzone, I live in Auburn and most tiger fans close to the program are saying he is not going anywhere. Peterson would be a no brainer, and his lashing of the BCS this morning might mean we have a good chance. I don't know why Fulmer is such a let down for so many, the man won a NATIONAL TITLE. As for his age, Snyder was supposed to be washed up, and look what he has done.

Ron Prichard 10 years, 5 months ago

I wonder what the UCLA fanbase is thinking right now? They have been publicly turned down by three candidates already. Do they feel like a national laughing stock? Whether true or not, I'm guessing yes.

People may want to know more about what Zenger is doing, but I'm personally glad he hasn't been speaking out about who he is offering, interviewing, etc. I don't want to know if we offered Fedora $2.5M but he chose to go to UNC for $2.1. I don't want to know if we offered Peterson $2.7 but he decided to stay put for $1.7. These are things I would rather not know and definitely don't want to see splashed all over newspapers and talked about by asinine radio personalities.

Just get us a good hire, SZ, and continue going about it in the professional way you appear to be, regardless if the public's--and my--constant desire for information is being totally ignored.

gorilla10 10 years, 5 months ago

Zenger is clearly doing it the right way!

justinryman 10 years, 5 months ago

I think I saw that there have been over 25 FBS (formally Div. 1) head coaching openings in 2011 alone. Sure Ohio State made for two of those and Penn St. one but will be 2.

That's some major shake ups and hard to tell who wants to go where, and who wants who.

Matt your list of names have been great, even if they are just idle rumors, you have done an awesome job of keeping us informed on the whose who of the coaching carousel.

It seems as your list grows by 1 or 2 it shrinks by 1 or 2. Or is it when it shrinks by 1 or 2 it grows by 1 or 2???

rob4lb 10 years, 5 months ago

It does look like we are one step behind in the coaching search. The herd mentality here is interesting. At the beginning of the seach, many thought that coaches like Sumlin or Fedora would be unacceptable hires. Today, many of these same people would have been thrilled if we could land either. For some reason, everyone is fixated on getting 'named' coach and we hear about Houston Nutt, and Barry Switzer, and now Phil Fulmer. Of course these guys are interested, it pays $2M per year and even if you fail, you still get paid (there will always be a buy-out). These guys have been burned out before and this job will be harder than any of the jobs these guys have had.

We really need to get the 'right' coach. It is hard to criticize Zenger because we don't know what he is doing. Fedora with his Texas ties and head coaching experience would have been good. Sonny Dykes seems to be Fedora-lite which is OK. Dykes does not seem likely. Most of us will be disappointed with whomever is picked, but we will not know for a couple of years if it is the 'right' pick.

gorilla10 10 years, 5 months ago

"It does look like we are a step behind in the coaching search"......."we don't know what he is doing". If we don't know what he's doing, how can you say we are behind???? confused

rob4lb 10 years, 5 months ago

It's all perception. You are right, we don't what he is doing, but other schools are hiring coaches that we initially targeted so I would think that put us behind, or, at least, looking at Plan B, C, or D.

justinryman 10 years, 5 months ago

What coaches has Zenger targeted?

Sure here, we as fans and have targeted a lot. Mr. Tait has done a great job of keeping us informed on possibilities and even some names we have floated out and about.

But since Zenger is keeping things close to his vest, how do we know who he has or hasn't targeted?

rob4lb 10 years, 5 months ago

Matt's list is a good source of targeted candidates and other sources have indicated a similar lists. It does appear that none of the hottest prospects (Fedora, Sumlin, Leach, etc.) appear to be coming to KU.

lv_jhwk 10 years, 5 months ago

If other schools are hiring our targets, is that a poor reflection on the decision maker (perhaps) or a realistic take on the outside perception of KU football (my guess)?

Jeff Coffman 10 years, 5 months ago

Time for a new percentage wheel...we always like something else to talk about, while we wait...and wait...and wait!

Robert Howard 10 years, 5 months ago

We obviously don't know what's going on behind the scenes, but it sure feels like we're going to be waiting until every other school picks their coach before we get to choose from the leftovers.

That may be the reality here, but it still doesn't sit well.

SuperJayTNT 10 years, 5 months ago

You know, that may not be true but right now it sure feels true.

I keep thinking back on that statement from the Washington State AD about WSU no longer accepting the fact they were going to be a doormat. And then they pulled the trigger on Leach.

KU? We seem perfectly content to accept the fact that we're a doormat.

Mark Lindrud 10 years, 5 months ago


Since it seems like Fedora maybe off the board and no one is mentioning Stoops of late what about Dykes? Does he have any history with Zenger?

rob4lb 10 years, 5 months ago

Hasn't the Stoops name been tarnished a bit in the last several weeks?

Mark Lindrud 10 years, 5 months ago

How so? I don't know much so I guess I am fishing for information like the rest of us. As far as I knew Mark Stoops is a hot candidate while his brother Mike will need to get a DC job somewhere after getting fired from UofA.

VaJay 10 years, 5 months ago

"It really feels like this thing is heating up and moving closer to reaching the end."

Matt - why do you say that? Is it because of things you've heard that you cannot reveal to the public right now??

(personally I hope that Fulmer gets a fair shot at this thing)

temjay 10 years, 5 months ago

I'm out here in San Diego and have heard reports on the radio today that KU has received permission to talk to Doerr (N. Illinois) and Christensen (Wyoming).

So, I come onto this site hoping to learn more and instead read more blather about "pure speculcaiton."

C'mon, Tait, give me some substance. Make me want to stay tuned.

Yeah or nay on this one?

Matt Tait 10 years, 5 months ago

Did you read my article on the site in this morning's paper? It revealed that yesterday I called every athletic department in the mix here and none of the ADs were willing to comment on the matter.

In addition, Zenger's not talking to anyone. Sorry.

This I know:

Unless things change like crazy, Doeren's out. Christensen, on the other hand, appears to be a finalist.

RockCaCO3 10 years, 5 months ago

I hope youre wrong about Christensen. 18-19 in the Mt West Conference.

JayDocMD 10 years, 5 months ago

...and he's got the stench of Mizzou on him more than any other candidate, having been Asst Head Coach and OC from 2001-2008.

Michael Maris 10 years, 5 months ago

Has anyone checked the local malls to see if Sheahon Zenger is moonlighting as Santa Claus. Perhaps, the new coach is meeting SZ in the mall and posing as a kid seeking a nice sized Christmas gift for the KU Athletic Department.

Just a thought for you all.

bocktar 10 years, 5 months ago

If the current UNC basketball coach approves of Fedora, it may be a sign that KU should consider itself fortunate that someone else may be its football coach.

Marcia Parsons 10 years, 5 months ago

Matt: I think it's time to start a new chapter with your next update. This one has so many comments that it's becoming really hard to navigate.

Randy Bombardier 10 years, 5 months ago

My guess is that Petersen is not interested in going to the Big East. That is going to really backfire on them I believe. Way too much travel and jet lag. Now is the time for him to leave. Surprised he did not take UCLA. Would have been a really good fit for him. But, so would KU. I can see him coming here as much as anyone.

phi4life940 10 years, 5 months ago

Now that Boise is joining the Big East is Chris Peterson out of the mix? The only reason he would leave Boise is for BCS status but it looks like he is going to get that in Idaho.

Bville Hawk 10 years, 5 months ago

I don't see how Boise State joining the Big East takes Peterson out of the mix. I could see how it could influence his decision (both + and -) but I don't see that it shuts the door.

SuperJayTNT 10 years, 5 months ago

Was Chris Petersen ever really in the mix?

The only word I've heard of this has been in Matt's blog as pure, wildly optimistic speculation.

ja3hawk 10 years, 5 months ago

I'm a bit annoyed that we are going to sit with 10 schools and a 6 year contract that will keep us together. When we reach the end of the agreement, realignment and possible implosion of the B12 will take place.

cool_beans 10 years, 5 months ago

let's give Matt a big THANK YOU for all the updates. you do good work my man

jbro769 10 years, 5 months ago

Peterson - get it done Zenger. 2.4-2.6 mil with performance based incentives. Peterson all the way!!

irvan moore 10 years, 5 months ago

the very absolute best thing about this thread and all the activity on it is i found out i'm not the only one who needs to get a life.

Randy Bombardier 10 years, 5 months ago

Are you having dreams about the coach search, too?

Kent Wells 10 years, 5 months ago

Hey Matt, just checking in over lunch. It sure would be a lot easier to process all this with a dodecahedron wheel!

rob4lb 10 years, 5 months ago

Interesting article regarding UNC. I don't know if it is dated. What is implied in the article is that Va Tech's getting picked to go to the Sugar Bowl in an indication of strength and preference (for coaches) to go to ACC.

I don't know if Butch Jones would consider KU. He may not have the relationships in the Big 12, but he has a great track record.

sportjunky 10 years, 5 months ago

Tressel, Fulmer, or Peterson! Let's go get one of them!

Jeff Coffman 10 years, 5 months ago

I'm confused is it Fulmer - HC Tressel - DC Peterson - OC

or did I get Fulmer and Tressel backwards?

irvan moore 10 years, 5 months ago

boise state going to big east as football only school? houston going to big east? does that affect the search for us and others?

lv_jhwk 10 years, 5 months ago

I guess I'm one of the minority not overly bothered by this process dragging out like it is. With the state of the program, I can understand our top targets (who are also everyone else's) waiting it out a bit.

KU is akin to one of the lower rung competitors on those reality dating shows: wants just as badly to hook up with the main contestant but doesn't have the looks to get an immediate "Yes" to the proposal. (On the bright side, we've got a lot of personality!)

sportjunky 10 years, 5 months ago

No, Graham would not be the best option available. A very good coach, but we need to go after a big, big name if we want to move out of the doldrums of mediocrity. True, one of these coaches may be able to do that, but our chances are much better if KU just puts up the cash to get someone with instant credibility!

d_prowess 10 years, 5 months ago

Is it a bad sign if Graham's assistants all left him to rejoin Rich Rod? I understand they used to be on that staff, but still I have to think that doesn't speak well for their experiences with Graham.

texashawk10 10 years, 5 months ago

Todd Graham was a former Rich Rod assistant as well (2001-2002) so I don't think it's much of an indictment against Graham.

JayhawkGrad05 10 years, 5 months ago

If any of these reports of Sumlin to Illinois and Fedora to UNC, on Twitter, are true..the cards should start to fall for everyone soon, I would think.

rob4lb 10 years, 5 months ago

Be very careful about Todd Graham. He coached at Rice and did a good job, but the way he left doesn't say alot about his integrity. This article does not paint a very flattering picture of Graham.

Mike Barnhart 10 years, 5 months ago

A whole lot of so-so candidates being discussed here. That's not what we need. It's going to take a very special coach to make this work. Of the truly elite basketball schools none have great football programs and only UCLA, North Carolina and Kentucky are above average. (Notice I didn't say great or even good, I said above average!)

Our guy can't be a re-tread. We need to hire a hidden gem (probably a coordinator) like MU & K-State did. Let's not forget, Mangino was a "hidden gem" and that worked out pretty well for a while. I'd take that again ...minus the complaining, the hitting, the verbal abuse and the extra 200 lbs.

Mike Barnhart 10 years, 5 months ago

Gus Malzahn, Auburns offensive coordinator sounds perfectly Bill Snyderesque; offensive genius, detail oriented, workaholic and a bit boring. (Boring in a smart way, not clueless ...'ahem TG ...'ahem!)

kugrad93 10 years, 5 months ago

Graham left Rice after one year as head coach. If he really would be willing to bolt from Pitt after one year as head coach, should KU even want him?

JayhawkGrad05 10 years, 5 months ago

We could put a "reverse Gill" buyout in the contract. If he leaves early, he pays us the remainder of his contract. Would help us recoup some of that money we've been paying to make people go away these last 3 years...

Aaron Carpenter 10 years, 5 months ago

Great job Matt…your excitement and energy is providing the same for many of us. What is the word, if any, on Fulmer? It seems to me that IF you could get him that would be a not brainer, you know, considering his National Championship.

Ashwin Rao 10 years, 5 months ago

Todd Graham seems to be a stretch now... we need a good coach, but are not desperate. Let's get back to the drawing board... Let us stop fishing for names... just to confuse the issue!

sportjunky 10 years, 5 months ago

Hey Matt, have you tried to contact Tressel's agent to see if there's even been a contact? How about Fulmer? Peterson? Just curious! Thanks for your work! :-)

Bob Schutz 10 years, 5 months ago


Here's a link from the Charlotte Observer on Fedora/UNC...starting to feel like a done deal......

Micah Mandy Haase 10 years, 5 months ago

Have you read the comments below that story??? Still seems UNC fans still are not sold on Fedora.

texashawk10 10 years, 5 months ago

Give me a head coach with experience at turning around down and out programs whether (besides Jones and Mangino because it's not happening) whether or not it's a BCS or non-BCS school, can hire two great X's and O's coordinators that know how to game plan and adjust that game plan on the fly if it's not working (something Mangino and Gill were incapable of) and not be the most predictable play callers ever, and can hire 3-4 assistant coaches with strong recruiting abilities in Texas and a couple of assistants with strong ties to the Kansas/Missouri areas to keep the local talent local.

Todd Graham does fit the first part (he took Rice to their first bowl game in 40 years), and being a former HS coach at one of the true powerhouse high schools in Texas (Allen HS) would likely have some good connections to coaches who have moved up into the college ranks, his current QB coach (Todd Dodge) would make a great OC in the Big 12. Todd Dodge is one of the primary architects of the spread offense as we know it in the Big 12. One huge concern though about Graham leaving Pitt though is that this would be the second time he would have left a school after just one year as a head coach and that would become a big issue.

If a coach leaves for greener pastures because of his on-field success, that's not a bad thing for KU because the program would be in much better shape to a land one of the bigger names out there. However, if a coach would make a lateral or backwards move solely to make more money, that becomes a big red flag because that doesn't mean he's necessarily leaving KU in better shape than when he got here and that becomes a very big concern when talking about someone like Todd Graham potentially leaving a program as head coach after one year for the second time in his coaching career.

1jhawk2 10 years, 5 months ago

Gus Mazhlan being Bill SnyderESQUE? Seriously almost any coach in a program where there are good players are going to look like great coaches. It's Bill Snyder who is great because of what he does with guys half the talent level of what Malzhan has. I am a Stater Hater, but the guy is good and Malzhan is no where near Snyder except maybe in age.

I think this is why Chris Petersen is a fit here and Chris needs to understand that. He is a good X/O coach. His players play as a team and understand his staff's philosphy.

The guy from Pitt, no way, that to me would be about as even as a hire a Pat Fitzgerald from Northwestern. In my opinion, I would take Fitzgerald over this guy from Pitt as of right now and I wouldn't wat Fitz.

Lance Cheney 10 years, 5 months ago

Petersen's not coming. Especially since Boise's heading to the Big East in less than 2 years.

Jhawk320 10 years, 5 months ago


Just wanted to thank you for all your work on this and conference realignment. Just listened to Kietzman on 810WHB praise without mentioning your name which was a grievous oversight. Anyone who pays attention knows this is the place to be for the inside scoop. Thanks for all you do and keep it up! RCJH!

XEPCT 10 years, 5 months ago

Matt you are a hoss ... how do I put your name in for the "head coach" of the ljworld sports section?? ... seriously thank you for all the reconnaissance!

Eric Williams 10 years, 5 months ago

Interesting regarding UCLA.

What coach wants to go to a place where they can get fired the same season they reach the conference championship. Granted their record was 6-6, but firing Neuheisel after reaching that milestone probably won't sit well with most candidates.

Kent Wells 10 years, 5 months ago

The only reason they went is because USC is in time out. Meaning, they really didn't earn the game...

DevilHawk 10 years, 5 months ago

The other reason that UCLA went to the PAC-12 Championship game is because ASU had an amazing meltdown.

DevilHawk 10 years, 5 months ago

I'm fairly certain that Neuheisel was fired for several reasons and not just this year's 6-6 record.

  • He had a losing record of 21-29 overall and 13-23 in conference play during his four years at UCLA (2008 - 2011).

  • Most of the losses during his tenure haven't even been close. Only 10 (34.5%) of the losses were by 14 points or less.

  • He only had one winning season at UCLA. That was 2009. However, UCLA was 6-6 overall and 3-6 in conference play during that season.

  • Those numbers are worse than his predecessor at UCLA.

  • He recruited higher rated players, but it didn't show on the field. That resulted in players choosing to play elsewhere in the conference (particularly Stanford, Oregon, USC, and ASU) or choosing to play outside the PAC.

Rivals Ratings: 2006: 7x *; 6x 5.7 2007: 6x ; 2x 5.7 (Recruiting class of 11) -- 2008: 12x *; 5x 5.7 2009: 11x ; 1x 5.7 2010: 1x **; 11x ; 0x 5.7 2011: 3x *; 0x 5.7 2012: 3x ; 3x 5.7

Michael Maris 10 years, 5 months ago

So, if KU hires Todd Graham to coach the Jayhawks into the future. Does that mean that Steve Kragthorpe comes to KU as the OC (from LSU)? David Beaty (WR's) and Reggie Mitchell (RB's / Recruiting Coordinator) are retained on the staff in their respective coaching position.

Graham is a Defensive guy and he will be surrounding himself with defensive guys that he (Graham) is comfortable with.

Just some food for thought.

cvince10 10 years, 5 months ago

Steve Kragthorpe has Parkinson and resigned as fulltime OC at LSU, I doubt he wants the task of rebuilding KU

texashawk10 10 years, 5 months ago

Graham's QB coach is Todd Dodge who is one of the most influential developers of the Big 12's spread offense. Clemson OC Chad Morris was also Graham's OC while at Tulsa so he has connections to some of the most influential offensive minds in the college game today that have risen from the Texas HS ranks.

Daniel Kennamore 10 years, 5 months ago

So how are we coming up on week 3 of the search and Zenger is still abroad? Did he do absolutely nothing to prep during the last half of the season when it was plain as day that we would be needing a new coach?

Leach? Whiffed. Fedora? Whiffed.

After the realignment boondoggle, I think we need a new AD as much as a football coach at this point.

Andy Tweedy 10 years, 5 months ago

You sound like one of SZ's best friends. I mean, you'd kind of have to be to know such inside information on what SZ had and hasn't done in his coaching search. Has it occurred to you that even if SZ had made enormous offers to both of the folks you mention, they might have not been interested? Nobody on this board knows what SZ has or hadn't done, so I suggest we put a little faith in the man who we hired to do his job.

Daniel Kennamore 10 years, 5 months ago

He's been the AD of a BCS school during one of the biggest periods of instability (and opportunity for change) in the modern era...what has he done to earn your unquestioning support?

All I've seen is a lot of 'no comment'.

rob4lb 10 years, 5 months ago

I agree with Danny. Blind Faith was a great 60s rock group, but I'm not sure it's good to have with our AD. There is nothing wrong with questioning actions and motives. It's not like KU's athletic department has had a stellar track record since June 2010 to give us any faith.

Andy Tweedy 10 years, 5 months ago

After the colossal mess Lew Perkins left behind, I think SZ has done a pretty nice job getting things straightened out. I'm just not sure what you think SZ should have or could have done differently. And danny, you didn't say anything like your reply, you basically said he should be fired. Those are pretty harsh words for someone who hasn't even really had a chance to prove himself yet. This is his chance.

Kent Wells 10 years, 5 months ago

Loftin should have replied with: "I'm a putz? Well he's a tool!"

Matthew Pritchard 10 years, 5 months ago

I hope I wake up tomorrow and find we will have a new coach. This domino approach is growing tiresome. The longer we wait and a good coach is gone! Pull the trigger Zenger and hire someone on your hot list. If Fulmer, Stoops, Dykes, or Peterson have any interest why is the deal not done. You have had since the K-State game to start sizing this up. It feels like he is over analyzing these candidates. You can't tell me that WSU is a better program than KU, and now they sit with their heads held high with Leech on the sidelines!

The way to build this program is not to watch as North Carolina snags Coach #2 on our list. Last time I checked UNC and WSU did not win an Orange Bowl 3 years ago!!!

Daniel Kennamore 10 years, 5 months ago

And he had the better part of a month before the season was over to prepare for this search.

What exactly has he been doing?

Ed Fox 10 years, 5 months ago

You all keep assuming that all he has to do is offer. There are a lot of jobs out there that a coach may (likely) consider to be better than stepping into the mess here - especially after the way the last two coaching tenures have ended and given the instability in the Big XII, etc. I have no real opinion on SZ, and might not until the hire is made or longer, but it's pretty unfair to assume he's not doing anything, as opposed to having trouble finding the right guy who will accept.

Kawatchi 10 years, 5 months ago

Has anyone heard any talk about Brian Schottenheimer? He went to high school in Kansas, played for KU before transferring to Florida and learning the ropes under Spurrier. Currently a young, energetic offensive coordinator for the Jets. Is this guy just too entrenched in the NFL to consider?

haps 10 years, 5 months ago

Graham to me reeks of another Gill hire. It's not a good sign to begin with when a coach loses almost all of their assistants but on top of that, he doesn't have a great track record. Yes, he was okay at Tulsa (winning the conf 3 times, finishing 5-7 in the fourth) but he was .500 at a school with a decent history and in a crap conference. Even if he can bring in solid assistants, he doesn't have the necessary background to instill me with any excitement (gill had great assistants as well). We'll see, all speculation at this point.

jhawkjunkie 10 years, 5 months ago

Anybody else worried we're going to wind up like Nebraska a few years ago? The only coach we're going to get is not the best one, but one that is currently unemployed and needing a job.

Daniel Kennamore 10 years, 5 months ago

At this point I might even put money on it.

If we were going to land anyone worth having, we would have done so already.

rob4lb 10 years, 5 months ago

Bill Calahan was 27-22 with a conference record of 15-17, one Northern Division championship and two bowl appearances win 4 years. I'd take that.

haps 10 years, 5 months ago

That might be good enough for KU, but was certainly not good enough for NU. Given the regression he caused at NU, though, I wouldn't want a Callahan-lite here.

Unfortunately, I'm seeing that as a distinct possibility.

Jeff Coffman 10 years, 5 months ago

Putting Gill in the same sentence as Callahan is an insult to Callahan.

VaJay 10 years, 5 months ago

I HOPE we can do better than that! Fulmer, Mason, etc would be a better coach by far.

hawksfanatic 10 years, 5 months ago

i'm getting a sinking feeling. I hope I'm wrong.

slantrox 10 years, 5 months ago

Did Zenger get to meet with Obama today? Maybe he could ask for some government assistance if we hire a bunch of unemployed ex-coaches! Drop that unemployment rate to 8.0.

waywardJay 10 years, 5 months ago

For a program that was a solid Coach away from making this University a Elite Powerhouse, We are getting passed up quite frequently......

lv_jhwk 10 years, 5 months ago

An elite powerhouse????

Please oh please oh PLEASE tell me this was sarcasm.

KUMC81Hawk 10 years, 5 months ago

I looked a little deeper into Dave Christensen's W18 - L19 record. Of those 19 loses, 11 were against top 20 teams. He has lost to the following ranked teams: 2009 #2 TX, #6 TCU, #12 BYU, #18 Utah, In 2010 #5 TX, #3 Boise, #5 TCU, #11 Utah, In 2011 #5 Nebraska, #8 Boise, #16 TCU. Sheds a little more light on those 19 loses. I think he would make a good HC at KU (even though he has a MU background).

Jeff Coffman 10 years, 5 months ago

Not to be too negative, but the Big XII pretty much as 5-6 teams ranked each year. So if he is going to lose to all of the ranked teams, we won't have that good of a team.

KUMC81Hawk 10 years, 5 months ago

Fair enough. I guess that I'm thinking that if his average player is a 2-star, what could he do with mostly 3-star and occasional 4-star players?

Vernon Riggs 10 years, 5 months ago

Matt, Have you heard any rumors on Butch Jones?

blindrabbit 10 years, 5 months ago

Rumor is that SZ has already hired someone and is using this "confused time" to be squirreled away on the beaches of Hawaii. Also, Mad Magazine has reported that Alfred E. Neuman has asked that his name be withdrawn from the KU coach search.

James McGuire 10 years, 5 months ago

There seems to be a lot of people wondering what SZ has done the last month and questioning whether he has been doing his job the last few weeks. Maybe I am wrong, but wouldn't most coaches want to finish their season before entertaining the idea of taking a position at another school? I am no D1 coach or football player, but aren't they pretty focused and busy during the season?

Matthew Pritchard 10 years, 5 months ago

Mike Leech was unemployed for the last 2 seasons, and the last time I checked Fedora was not to busy to accept the job at UNC. Just because a coach is still in the season does not mean that they are not in talks with other schools. Bo Pelini was hired before Callahan was let go at NU. Osborne had talked with Pelini 2 weeks before Callahan was fired. It does happen, Why do you think Leech was hired at WSU so fast?

James McGuire 10 years, 5 months ago

Thanks for the examples. I am not sure what happened with Fedora, but he didn't accept the job or meet with UNC until the regular season was finished. Its possible SZ talked to him and we just don't know about it.

As far as Leach goes, given his situation with the Big12 and ESPN, I didn't see that as a possibility and was not surprised that someone else picked him up.

I think the thing that is driving everyone crazy is that we don't have any concrete evidence on how this search is being run. Its possible SZ has been working on this for the past month+. Its also possible he didn't start until the Sunday after the Missouri game.

blindrabbit 10 years, 5 months ago

Maybe the reason Mike Leach did not consider KU was because many posters here call him Leech instead of Leach. Last time I had a leech, I was in Minnesota fishing ; I'm sure Mike would not like the misidentification.

Matthew Pritchard 10 years, 5 months ago

You are right, thanks for the correction. Glad to know you are more concerned with spell check than our next football coach. Also it is good to know you and Mike are best friends and are on a first name basis.

FearTheBeak 10 years, 5 months ago

Your pretty funny... By the way, are you really from Auburn? Maybe we should hire the Auburn OC... I would really like him.

FearTheBeak 10 years, 5 months ago

Fishing?!?!?!?! Really?!?!?!?! Wow!!!!!! I've never tried it but it has always sounded very boring. Ok... Back on topic... Maybe... You never know

ManginoRevenge 10 years, 5 months ago

rabbit is the smartest man he knows...just ask him!

and he likes to use big words like bigot...which he couldn't spell earlier today, let alone know what it means, because if he did he'd know that he is one!

Jeff Coffman 10 years, 5 months ago

Let's think of some random people to list out there: 1) Norv Turner - He'll be available and could be released early if needed. 2) Art Briles - Baylor coach doesn't make very much, but probably wouldn't switch, but we could double his salary. 3) Ralph Friedgen - Maryland 4) Dan Hawkins - Boise St/Colorado (failed, but that was because he was playing his son). 5) Kyle Whittingham - Utah did well in Utah and transitioned well into the first year of Pac12

I don't know but fulmer should have been signed already.

mcrckchlk 10 years, 5 months ago

could we please get an update on the Phil Fulmer situation?

blindrabbit 10 years, 5 months ago

Auburn: Not concerned about coaches; well, J.V. Sikes was coach when I started attending KU football games, seems like that was 1952.

Fear: Boring, fishing maybe, but I've sat through some arse kicking KU games that could be a another definition of boring. Try fishing some time, good for the soul and might deflect from too much hang-up with KU sports.

Season ticket holder since 1958, Rock Chalk

DrGraydog 10 years, 5 months ago

Ok, Leach was never coming to Kansas....Fedora, the probable #1 choice is gone.....lets get Fulmer signed up and move forward....

Graczyk 10 years, 5 months ago

Dang.UNC snaked us again. Just another reason not to like them. But they may have saved us a headache. I was not convinced that Fedora was the right guy for the job anyway. I actually think a "retread" coach, like a Fulmer, will give the program the steady, seasoned hand that it needs for the next few years. After the ship has been righted, then we could go after the hot up and comer.

kureignman 10 years, 5 months ago

I'll say this tonight and get over it by tomorrow, but I'm really bummed we missed out on Fedora if the reports are true and if he was actually even considered at KU. He was the only one that I thought brought great experience as a coordinator at a bcs school and did well as a HC at a smaller school. It looks like now we will have to settle for one or the other or go with someone who was fired. I hope Tait is right and the person that is hired is someone not on the list.

KUMC81Hawk 10 years, 5 months ago

Leach is gone, looks like Fedora is too. Sumlin and Jones act like they are content to stay where they are. The list of decent candidates is decreasing faster than the number of seaching schools. With KU seeming to be low on the totem pole of desireable jobs, KUZenger needs to make a pre-emptive strike. Fulmer, Dykes, Christensen, Koetter, Leavitt, Shannon, or Doeren are all viable candidates with at least past BCS experience at the OC or DC level, plus HC experience. Pick one, let him assemble his staff, and tell him to hit the recruiting road.

bjejayhawk69 10 years, 5 months ago

If Koetter is in the mix why isn't Leavitt. Both are in the NFL currently. I would take Leavitt over Koetter. Leavitt was hosed just like Mangino and Leach.

Vernon Riggs 10 years, 5 months ago

Koetter is the OC for a Lame Duck Coach. Jack Del Rio was fired. When the new HC is hired the remaining staff will be let go including Koetter. Jacksonville will not make the play-offs. SF will and Leavitt has a job next season.

ebizzle 10 years, 5 months ago

Word on the street in Cincinnati is that Butch Jones is not happy about the new Big East. Hope KU is at least talking to him. He openly said he would listen to North Carolina.

rob4lb 10 years, 5 months ago

I agree. He is also not happy with the fan support in Cincinnati either. He does not have Texas ties, but his track record is pretty good.

texashawk10 10 years, 5 months ago

Why does it matter if the head coach has Texas ties? He's not the one doing most of the recruiting. I'd be more concerned about whether or not the position coaches have Texas ties since they're the ones who do the majority of the legwork in recruiting.

Vernon Riggs 10 years, 5 months ago

Matt, Are the Peterson rumors credible? Or just wishful thinking? I don't see his name on any other site but this one. That would be a Grand Slam homerun!

jbro769 10 years, 5 months ago

Full court press on Petersen now, hope SZ is in Boise. Graham is a less than desirable choice as KU HC. Petersen has to be front and center as our main target now regardless if Boise just joined the Big East. Geographically, that makes no sense at all. I think the new Big East development is a knee jerk reaction just so these 4 schools have BCS status in football now.

DevilHawk 10 years, 5 months ago

What's better than keeping track of finding a new head coach? The possibility of Conference Realignment/Expansion interfering with it.

The Big East is going to add: Boise State (Chris Petersen) SDSU (Rocky Long) SMU (June Jones) UCF (George O'Leary) * Houston (Kevin Sumlin)

Considering that three of those coaches are names mentioned for several openings, such an announcement could drastically shift the situation, because they would have AQ status - or so they assume.

Vernon Riggs 10 years, 5 months ago

These schools going the Big East is being driven by one thing: TV Money. They all can make more TV revenue in the Big East. The AQ status will be history with the new Agreement.

DevilHawk 10 years, 5 months ago

Yes, but I'm not talking about why those schools would join the Big East.

I'm talking about why this could make it more difficult to convince one of those coaches to come to KU - or to any of the other openings.

Think about it. Those coaches will get an increase in pay because of the increased revenue. Recruiting will likely become easier than it was previously. Then, at the end of the season, the teams that do well will be less likely to be overlooked.

BoiseHawk 10 years, 5 months ago

Where are these Petersen rumors coming from?

I can tell you, as someone who lives in Boise, there's not one person in this town who's even a little bit worried that he might be going to KU or anywhere else for that matter. So either this thing is air tight or it's simply incredibly wishful thinking. I suspect the latter.

gorilla10 10 years, 5 months ago

What was the name of your bowl again?? That's why nobody wants to stay at Boise.....1 loss and you get a bowl against a 6-6 team that fired their coach, haha....sounds like a good game to watch, not! Keep Peterson, he's irrelavent at Boise as almost any coach would be out there....

DevilHawk 10 years, 5 months ago

It's either going to be an awesome game or a Boise State rout.

Erickson relied heavily on his coordinators, so not much should change except that injured players should be healthy again. That means that ASU's defense should be its strong point again in time for the Maaco Bowl.

VaJay 10 years, 5 months ago

If anybody misses our previous coach, he's on ESPNU's "The Experts" right now !!

lothario64118 10 years, 5 months ago

OMG! What the hell? LOL. Has he said anything?

SuperJayTNT 10 years, 5 months ago

The Twitterverse is blowing up that we have our new coach, and it's Malzahn.

Daniel Kennamore 10 years, 5 months ago

When I mockingly suggested Zenger was putting all his eggs in a decidedly second tier candidate basket by pursuing the coach of Wyoming, the Zenger supporters all jumped on me.

So hows the search turning out?

Matthew Pritchard 10 years, 5 months ago

I could not agree more jbro769. Peterson is exactly the coach we need and would be able to come in and develop players right away. The next 4 candidates should be Fulmer, Dykes, Stoops, and Doern.

Could all you Hawk fans come and rescue me from Auburn and the SEC bias down here. Boy, do I miss Lawrence. RCJHGKU!!!!!!!

Dillon Davis 10 years, 5 months ago

You're from Auburn and you don't want us to get Gus Malzahn?

Matthew Pritchard 10 years, 5 months ago

I am originally from Lawrence and have been living here almost a year now, the friends i have made here in Auburn[who are die hard tiger fans] believe he is burned out and may not make a good head coach. He is an improvement from the previous coach of course, but not in my top 5.

jbro769 10 years, 5 months ago

Thank you. I am surprised that more people in Jayhawk Nation would not be pulling for Petersen. Yes it might be a long shot but we could easily double what Boise would try an offer. He has sustained the success in Boise and quite frankly I also believe he was the catalyst behind Hawkins' success too. I don't care what all of the other's on here think - we should be trying everything to get Petersen signed. Lawrence and KU is the perfect fit!

DallasJayhawk1 10 years, 5 months ago

1) Peterson is not going anywhere 2) Malzahn to me is the best choice that is left--on a coaching staff of an SEC school.

Kirk 10 years, 5 months ago

Petersen Schmetersen. I'd take him (our choices may be sadly limited), but who's to say he wouldn't get his butt kicked in the big 12 where real competition exists. Different recruits, real teams. Not a Boise St. sleigh ride situation.

Dillon Davis 10 years, 5 months ago

Lots of chatter on twitter that Malzahn will be our guy! 610 sports mentioned it on twitter

COJayhawker 10 years, 5 months ago

  • 1 with Kirk. I'd be pretty surprised to see Petersen go anywhere now that Boise State will be a Big East member.

That aside; I don't pretend to know the goings on of upper management (AD and crew), but title doesn't always indicate sound decision making ability. We seem to be sitting on our hands again, while the available top-shelf coaches are being snatched up by aggressive ADs. Are we trying to figure out which middle of the road coach we want to gamble on this time? Malzahn is probably the only one I'd touch. I live in Denver, Air Force? Big whoopdeedoo. Wyoming? The forgotten state to the north with a forgettable program. Louisiana Tech? Oh for God's sake can't we aim a little higher? I swear, if I win the lottery I will personally pay the f'ing bill for a guy that will beat the ever living crapola out of those little purple turdlets in the Flint Hills.

lv_jhwk 10 years, 5 months ago

Evidently, according to ESPNU, Turner Gill is an expert (along with Jason Sehorn, two ESPN writers, and two other guys I had no clue about). Hey, is it too late to hire him back?? Screw the naysayers on here, if ESPNU essentially declares that Zenger made a colossal mistake there is no reason for him not to get on his knees and grovel like no man has groveled before to get TG back in charge.

Or Zenger can just make a hire like Malzahn...oh, wait.

1jhawk2 10 years, 5 months ago

I saw that and wondered if I missed anything about coaching searches. I wonder who he would pick if it were up to him to find KU's next coach.

gardenjay 10 years, 5 months ago

Come home right away, Sheahon. It turns out KU cannot cover that last meal you had at International House of Pancakes in Amarillo, or the gas to get back to Lawrence.

AzNHawk 10 years, 5 months ago

I had a high school friend who played at Tulsa when Gus Malzahn was their offensive coordinator. He had high praises about Gus and his offense.

Out of all the names speculated for the KU job, I would've chose Fulmer. Experience says alot. Fulmer is ahead of almost everyone that is being discussed in the KU head coaching search.

If Malzahn is indeed the new head coach Zenger better hope that it pans out and that his risk of hiring an up and coming, no head coaching experience SEC offensive coordinator brings results on the field.

If it doesn't then the ku firing a coach cycle gets repeated again. Let's hope not.

JayDocMD 10 years, 5 months ago

As long as we're shooting for the stars with these Peterson prognostications, let me be the crackhead that throws out the Charlie Strong to KU idea. If he is passed over at A&M and doesn't want to be a part of Conference USA part deux - Zenger should add Louiville to the KUFBHC by 2012 or Bust tour schedule.

1jhawk2 10 years, 5 months ago

I had mentioned either option Strong or Smart if they don't move on to TAMU. I would hope that The Zenger would have that as plan C or D. That's what he might be waiting for. Fedora down so could it be a Strong choice or a Smart choice?

Just another thought.

JayDocMD 10 years, 5 months ago

I like Malzahn ... as an OC. Hes a very risky HC hire. Not been a HC since Sprindale AR High School. No TX recruiting connections. And his wife is crazy:

howtrisan 10 years, 5 months ago

Turner Gill is on The Experts on ESPN and is on the panel... Was just surprised....

texashawk10 10 years, 5 months ago

That's not any worse than Herm Edwards blabbing on about NFL coaches.

1jhawk2 10 years, 5 months ago

I would be very disappointed if we hire Malzahn. If you haven't looked, in the FBS Auburns total offense is ranked 104, which is 2 spots ahead of KU. They avg. just over 5 yds per play to KU's 4.65 yd/per play, they avg 2 yards more per game and scored one more offensive TD on the year than KU did. I know Auburn lost Cam Newton, but to me a good coach will work to the strength of what he has to work with. I've said it before, good players make coaches look great and Malzahn may be getting to cash in b/c of players instead of his system. If it happens I don't like the hire and not a good move and it's more of a lateral transition.

If this is our hire, I would be pissed if I were the donor who gave $750,000 to help payoff Gill's contract.

Stan Crown 10 years, 5 months ago

Point well taken, and I didn't watch Auburn except for a bit against Alabama, but a lot of teams would rank pretty low in offense this year if five of their opponents were Clemson, Arkansas, Georgia, LSU, and Alabama (Auburn's five losses).

Brent Atwater 10 years, 5 months ago

Matt, I totally appreciate you keeping on top of this ongoing saga. My thought is if we, as KU fans, thought we were going to get Leach we should have made the coaching change immediately after the K-State game. That not withstanding, I for one am not on the Fullmer bandwagon and don't want any of the Stoops brothers unless they assistant coaches. I would prefer Chris Petersen from Boise and have said so from the beginning with my friends. It's a wait and see at this point and KU needs to announce a new Coach by no later than the Ohio State basketball game this weekend...otherwise as all previous posters have said in one way or another KU gets leftovers.

Gregor Southard 10 years, 5 months ago

Zenger, prove to me that you care and hire Fulmer. For once in my life, I would like to see KU hire a proven coach. Fulmer had a Self like record at UT. We can always hire another MAC coach if it doesn't work out.

Bangkok_Jayhawk 10 years, 5 months ago

Gus Malzahn!!! (Fulmer would be pretty good as well)

tahawk81 10 years, 5 months ago

Tait, many reports citing Malzahn is the coach. Have you heard anything???

Bellator 10 years, 5 months ago

Matt did you party after the game? Come on now, it's 8:12 AM and no update. How am I going to fill the void in my life? Let's get crackin.

Jrb09g 10 years, 5 months ago

The big upside to the Malzahn hire would be getting his crazy wife. Google it if you haven't seen it yet.

LogicMan 10 years, 5 months ago

While we're out shopping, it's a critical time for the Big 12-2 to do some too. The Mountain West is imploding, and the Big East is stirring the pot from its football deathbed.

Step up, Big 12! Grab Louisville, Cincinnati, Wyoming, Colorado State, and New Mexico for 2012+ while you can. It's almost too late. No need to give them an equal revenue share until or after the TV contract is re-upped; they are desperate.

Then lean on BYU and Notre Dame to be No. 16. If they won't then take New Mexico State, Louisiana Tech, or AFA, to join New Mexico in the reconstituted southern division.

esque 10 years, 5 months ago

I think many of you who've been complaining about KU sitting on it's hands while all the good coaching candidates are getting snapped up by other, more aggressive schools are unable to come to grips with the new reality. That reality is that the Kansas job is a s*&%$#y one, even taking into consideration all the money KU is willing to throw at these coaches.

I find it hard to believe that someone actually thinks Zenger's been sitting idly by while every other school with a coaching vacancy is working harder to get it filled. He's simply been unable to get his man. That is the reality here. Lew fell victim to Gill's charms and the result has been deadly for KU football and I fear, possibly for years to come.

Some of you may recall Lew stated that if he ever had an opportunity to do so, he would hire Gill as head football coach as he was so impressed with him upon meeting him a number of years ago. Of course when the opportunity presented itself...well you know the rest. We can only hope that Zenger's football expertise serves him well as this search plays out.

Commenting has been disabled for this item.