Coaching Search 2014: David Beaty an attractive hire in many ways


Kansas University receivers coach David Beaty, right, congratulates Todd Reesing on a play in this file photo from last season. Beaty has established himself as one of the top recruiters in the Big 12 Conference.

Kansas University receivers coach David Beaty, right, congratulates Todd Reesing on a play in this file photo from last season. Beaty has established himself as one of the top recruiters in the Big 12 Conference.

When I woke up this morning, I figured it would be just another normal day on the Kansas University coaching search trail. The hire seemed to be at least a few days away and my objective was to call some more sources and find out what people were hearing and/or talking about.

I should've known my day would be a little different when I woke up to a carton of ice cream in the sink and a note from my wife that said, “You put the ice cream back in the fridge last night.”

Such is life on the coaching search trail.

As I mentioned on Tuesday in my daily coaching search blog, Texas A&M assistant coach David Beaty was the name I produced most often when asked back in September and October who I thought would be the next head coach of the KU football program.

The reasons are plenty and have been well documented both on this site and throughout the Internet. Beaty has a great reputation as a top-notch recruiter and his ties to the Texas high school scene are as impressive as just about anyone's.

That should help him not only upgrade the talent at Kansas but also could aid him as he tries to put together a coaching staff up to the challenge of turning KU around.

As we moved through the process and learned about the criteria that would determine which candidates had a real shot and which didn't, it seemed like Beaty was an obvious name to keep at or near the top of the list.

He's been at Kansas in both good and bad times, so he knows the lay of the land and, like former KU interim coach Clint Bowen, has seen what works and what does not. I think that's huge and will allow Beaty to move forward quickly without having to waste much time getting that figured out. It's a process than can take as much as a year or two for most coaches and, although there will still be things Beaty sees for the first time — especially considering this is his first time holding down such a big-time position — his ability to lean on past experiences should help make any growing pains very minimal.

Beaty's was a name that checked several of the right boxes long before the end of the season arrived and the search ever officially began. There's no doubt that Beaty was on the KU radar from the moment Charlie Weis was fired and he most likely never left his perch of strong contender.

Several people I spoke with today said Beaty was very impressive during his phone interview this week. He must have been for the in-person interviews to go up in smoke, and I would think that's a good sign for the strength of this hire. Rather than merely impressing one guy, Beaty impressed an entire committee. One source told me there was not a single person on the committee who doubted Beaty after hearing his plan for how to lead the KU football program.

As I outlined this morning, that plan likely included detailed plans about his coaching staff, recruiting — both in Texas and Kansas — general offensive and defensive philosophies and ways to close the gap between KU and the rest of the Big 12 Conference.

It's a tall task for anyone to undertake and, for no other reason than that, you have to tip your cap to Beaty, 44, for being willing to take it. Sure, it's a promotion. Sure, it's a raise. But it was both of those things for Turner Gill, Charlie Weis and Terry Allen and things did not wind up working out too well for those three.

Overall, though, I like the hire. I think Beaty has a chance to put together a great staff and I think his energy, age and enthusiasm will be big assets for KU in this latest rebuilding project. If what I'm hearing about Beaty's salary range is accurate — base around $800,000 with incentives added on to that — I like the hire even more because it will (a) leave KU with more money to help him hire a killer staff and (b) keep him hungry.

Who cares what other schools pay or what other coaches make? This isn't a popularity contest. A lot of places it is. But Kansas cannot afford to have that mentality. It needs guys who can coach football and recruit talent and it should pay them what they're worth not what they want the job to be.

David Beaty is a well-respected guy — even if he's not a big name — and I don't think he'll have any trouble gaining the respect of the players, the KU athletic department and, ultimately, the fan base. The reason? He's a likable dude and it will not take people long to see that.


Ryan McAtee 8 years ago

Any word on an official announcement, press conference, etc.? Thanks again for your coverage, Matt!

Matt Tait 8 years ago

Nothing yet. Sounding like it might come Monday, but there's talk of him being introduced at tonight's basketball game. Not sure if that can/will happen, though. We'll find out in a few hours.

Doug Cramer 8 years ago

Agree Matt, this is a good hire. Very excited about his ability to bring some size, speed, and talent to Lawrence from Texas. We have to recruit Texas and Oklahoma. It's what Mangino did so well.

This will probably hurt some feelings, but Bowen needs to go to another school and develop his resume. Meaning, he needs to show on paper success and accomplishments at creating value for an FBS program. This is whats best for him, and maybe what is best for KU in the future if we were to look at him again for a HC position.

I do not think it's in KU's best interest to keep him as a defensive coordinator, and that is simply based off of taking an objective look at his performance as a unit leader. Please note the word "objective".

Ultimately, a selecting official needs to see your ability to create this case that is simply wins and improvement. We had neither wins nor improvement on defense...and that includes a unit loaded with seniors, and the best linebacker in the country. We have to develop a better defense than what we've had the last 7 seasons...or dating back to 2008.

Thank you A.D. did the right thing.

Welcome back to KU Coach Beaty !!!

Can't wait to bring my family back to Lawrence on Saturday's again.

Stephen Johnson 8 years ago

This is a highly questionable hire. He's a great recruiter to TAM, but that's a big difference than recruiting to KU. I see nothing in his resume that indicates he can coach. Anyone should be able to see that this looks like a desperation hire on the part of Zenger. Oh well, I will hope for the best, but this hire is very underwhelming.

Kevin Randell 8 years ago

One thing I would like, to add from my other posts, is that this may be a good thing. I don't know the exact number, but we are loosing 20+ guys this year. That means he can get out there and recruit guys who don't have that losing mentality that has infected in the program over the past 4-5 years. My hope is he will recruit guys who will be able to step in and bring a competitive atmosphere that will infect the rest of the team. I'm happy this whole search is behind us so he can assemble a staff and hit the recruiting trail while HS teams are still in playoffs. Good luck coach! Also, if I win the lottery Saturday, I will make a sizable donation if you never bring back the white helmets again!....ha ha.

Aaron Paisley 8 years ago

I will say that the Beaty hire will likely help in not having a lot of players bail out on the program further depleting the roster of depth. He coached and helped recruit a lot of the 4th and 5th year players (2011 and 2012 classes) on the roster so there is familiarity with him among the leaders in the program.

Matt, are there any names you've heard pop up as potential assistant coaching hires? Beaty has coached with 3 of the current KU assistants I believe (Bowen, Reagan, and Buddy Wyatt). If he can't raid the A&M staff for assistants, what other connections does he have with good assistant coaches?

Doug Cramer 8 years ago

Aaron - this could be a positive, but it could also work out as a positive to let the cancer leave the program. This will allow Beaty to blast in a maximum of 50 scholarship players in his first two recruiting classes.

We are depleted with talent in our existing players. Opening up some roster spots could be exactly what the doctor ordered.

Aaron Paisley 8 years ago

And KU couldn't already bring in maximum classes for the next 3 years?

Rick McGowwan 8 years ago

I'm betting Kale Pick comes back to KU with him.

Shawn Darius 8 years ago

Great hire. With Bowen at DC, it looks like the program has two solid men at the helm. P.s. Matt: at least you didn't put the ice cream in a cupboard.

Matt Tait 8 years ago

Great point. That would've created a much longer delay in getting to this morning's news…

Kristen Downing 8 years ago

The Ohio State fans are quite relieved on their blogs. Seen very little concerns from the A&M fans. Hope he can coach as well as recruit. Time will tell.

Robert Brock 8 years ago

KU does not have a history of recruiting well in Texas. Why would Beaty's hiring change that?

The big dogs get to eat. Never changes. UT, OU, Baylor, A&M, TCU, TTech, O-State etc. KU competes with Louisiana Tech and Tulsa for the leftovers.

Try recruiting good kids out of Kansas City for a change.

Aaron Paisley 8 years ago

And how many top level kids are there in the area? There's not enough local talent to support 1 let alone 2 Division 1 programs. Recruiting outside the state is an absolute necessity for KU. The Orange Bowl team had more Texas than Kansas kids on it because of that very reason.

Scott Wymore 8 years ago

Yeah, Kansas does not have a history of recruiting well in Texas.


Todd Reesing, Aqib Talib, James Sims, Corey Avrey, Dezmon Briscoe, JaCorey Shepherd, Jimmay Mundine, Jeremiah Hatch, Anthony Collins, Jonathan Wilson, Jeff Wheeler, Dexton Fields, James McClinton, Daymond Patterson, Toben get the point.

kellerman411 8 years ago

you get the point = I've run out of names that validate my point

Michael Maris 8 years ago

My one question is this, why was Chuck Neinas paid to assist with this coaching search. When, Matt Tait, Tom Keegan and other LJW Sports Staff and all of us bloggers on this site pretty much named out the candidates for Zenger to review / interview, etc........ Sounds like Neinas pulled a Charlie Weis and took the money and ran.

Bob Bailey 8 years ago


You are right. Bowen was trained by the world's worst DC and hasn't learned since. He can't/didn't teach tackling, coverage, out of position and no logical Defensive Scheme. KU is DEAD without a very good DC.

Steve Jacob 8 years ago

We have no idea if this is a good hire or not. The problem is being a coach at KU now is you only get one honeymoon season. As Gill or Weis showed, if you don't win in season two or three, your out.

Matt Tait 8 years ago

That certainly has been true, but if people don't give Beaty more time they'll be very disappointed in a hurry. This roster is in bad shape and in need of some immediate help. Patience will be more critical than ever, which, I know, will be a challenge for most.

Aaron Paisley 8 years ago

Matt, any names floating out there as far as coaches Beaty might be bringing with him from A&M to fill out his staff and who on the current staff might be retained?

Cody Riedy 8 years ago

Basically the same question, do we know for sure Bowen's status? There seems to be an assumption amongst many that Bowen will be staying as the DC. Seems like letting him go, whether the right move or not would create a lot angst amongst the fan base and alumni of the program.

Bill Hill 8 years ago

One of Bowen's family members posted on Facebook that he has accepted the DC positions, but the post has since been removed.

Steve Jacob 8 years ago

Are we at the point if your coach of the defensive side you will never be a head coach? As I heard on TV about a month ago, offensive coordinators make a million a year, and defensive coordinators get fired in a year.

Randy Bombardier 8 years ago

Seems like Campos did well. QB Coach not so much. And keep Reggie my goodness.

Mat Davis 8 years ago

I think this is a fantastic hire. I love the fact Beaty was a high school coach, as this tends to develop coaches who are able to adapt their style to a variety of talents. Some of the most dynamic head coaches (Briles, Malzahn) were outstanding high school coaches, who formulated their offenses around the uncertainty of high school athletes from year to year. You must be adaptable as a head coach, and I think Beaty is capable of that, along with bringing an exciting offense to Lawrence. Also, his recruiting will be a huge boon. There's a lot to sell at KU, but we haven't had HC that were charismatic enough to entice players to come. Beaty is a fantastic guy, with a lot of energy, and also just a good person to represent the university. Give the guy a chance, and I think we'll be pleasantly surprised by what he brings to the table. Don't mistake his lack of a "big name", for a lack of talent.

Kyle Sybesma 8 years ago

None of these comments I've read today make any sense. EVERY KU fan screams about how the University needs to make a commitment to football and changes need to be made to be competitve in order to stay relevant in the ever changing NCAA landscape......... That is until REAL changes are made. Everyone wants Bowen and I get it but Bowen's resume is 90% KU and KU football isn't very good (sorry if that's a surprise to anyone). People are even advocating to keep Mitchell, Kissau (spell check) & Campo. What's wrong with you? If these guys are so great why haven't we won more games?

Let's clean house and get behind Beaty & his staff. He IS our new coach and I'm thrilled. Beaty & Warinner were my picks and clearly Zenger felt the recruiting ties to Texas were important and I agree. I predict success for Beaty and I can't wait to throw it in all your faces. Rock Chalk Jayhawk! Go David Beaty!!!!

Randy Bombardier 8 years ago

Unfortunately we have our share of simple minded fans, Brett. I agree with your last paragraph entirely. In your first paragraph you might add that over the last three hires we have burned bridges with about 40 different attractive applicants. Maybe it's a little exaggerated to say that we burned bridges, but once we have had cursory contact and or phone interviews and then not follow through, most likely we could never garner the interest of these candidates in the future. This really sets us back if this doesn't work. Also Jerry Kill snd Willie Fritz are of the age where this might be the only shot. I hope this works out. I really do but I can't help feeling like this is the product of a mad scientist. There was no reason to bring Beaty in over Bowen. Home run or home boy. We got neither.

Aaron Paisley 8 years ago

It's not like Eric Kiesau was successful in the same role at Washington with pounding everyone with Bishop Sankey or Dave Campo has some Super Rings doing the same job with the Dallas Cowboys that he was doing at KU. Why on earth would anybody ever want to bring in assistant coaches who have been successful elsewhere to try and make KU better.

Ryan McAtee 8 years ago

KU Athletics just made it official.... Welcome HCDB

Randy Bombardier 8 years ago

How about the KU with little jayhawk stickers for sacks, picks, tackles for loss, fumble recovery and the like.

Stephen Johnson 8 years ago

If he keeps Bowen, Kiesau and Reggie, they may save this from being a disaster.

Michael Lorraine 8 years ago

Coach Beaty, do well at KU and you'll have multiple offers for your next head coaching job. Fail and your next job will be with one of the directional schools. I hope when you leave it will be for the right reason. Welcome to KU!

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