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Coaching Search 2014: David Beaty emerges as leading candidate; hire could come soon

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10:48 a.m. Update:

It looks like the timeline for the the KU coaching hire has moved up drastically and, according to multiple sources, an announcement could come as soon as this afternoon.

It looks as if Texas A&M recruiting coordinator and wide receivers coach David Beaty has emerged as the clear leader for the job and may be named the 38th coach in KU history as soon as this afternoon.

According to a source, the KU assistant coaches were asked to leave the football complex today because someone of some importance was coming through later. According to online flight tracking, there is a plane en route to Lawrence from College Station, Texas.

Beaty was believed to be a strong candidate throughout the process, with his recruiting ties in Texas and past experience at KU giving him two important qualities for the job based on what KU athletic director Sheahon Zenger outlined as key factors before the search fully began.

Beaty, 43, worked on the staff of Mark Mangino at Kansas from 2008-09 and for one year under Turner Gill in 2011.

According to USA Today, he made $359,500 at A&M in 2013. He is expected to make at least twice as much as that plus incentives at KU.

Stay tuned for more updates as this story develops.

Original post, 9:39 a.m.:

It's Friday, and we've now had a full week of coaching search speculation and banter while Kansas University athletic director Sheahon Zenger has had a full week to conduct phone interviews and narrow down his list of candidates to replace Charlie Weis.

From what I've been able to gather, it sounds like this thing is close to wrapping up but that does not necessarily mean there's a clear No. 1 or No. 2 choice, just that they've done a fair amount of narrowing down candidates and are in position to conduct final interviews and use those to make their decision.

I think it's safe to say that between 7-12 coaches (perhaps one or two more) went through phone interviews with Zenger and members of the search committee this week — a couple are probably still doing that today — and I'm guessing that four or five of those will get an in-person interview, which could begin as soon as Sunday night but most likely will take place Monday and Tuesday.

There appears to be the sense that this thing could wrap up even before next Friday, but that, of course, depends upon how the in-person interviews go and assumes that no other new candidates join the party. It's hard to know whether that will happen, but it certainly could. As I was told from the beginning, the search committee would not be opposed to 11th-hour interest, provided it came from the right candidate.

It seems Clint Bowen, David Beaty, Tim Beck and Ed Warinner will get interviews. That has been reflected in the percentage wheel throughout this process. I still think there could be another serious contender or two involved here, but I've had a hard time pinpointing who that might be. If that's the case, it's most likely a sitting head coach, but my money would be on it being a name we might not have heard much, if at all, during the past week. In short, I don't think it's Willie Fritz, Bo Pelini, Jerry Kill or any of those other names you've all heard throughout this process.

I'm still working the phones to try to see if any of my sources have heard any other names pop up, so stay tuned throughout the day for updates, if available.

While we wait, let's look at a few of the factors that I think will be crucial during the interview process and probably already were during the round of phone interviews. Generally speaking, the second interview becomes an extended version of what already took place over the phone. I heard the phone interviews were around an hour, but you can bet the in-person interviews will be three times that long, if not longer.

• One thing I think the committee will really want to hear is who each candidate believes it can bring in as part of its coaching staff. This, obviously, is not a guarantee, but it's pretty common for guys who have head coaching aspirations to have an idea of who they'd like to have on their staff and many of them have even had conversations with these guys in the past. Something like, 'Hey, if I were to get this job or that job would you come with me as my OC?' They don't have to have signed contracts at the ready during the interviews, but I think one of the advantages of having a committee here is that you get several different opinions and reads on how confident a candidate is in the staff he could put together based on how he tells you who it might be.

• Another huge aspect is each coach's recruiting plan. This goes beyond just saying, “We'd hit Texas pretty hard” and stuff like that, and includes information on the types of kids and players they'd go after along with the crucial territories and any plans for how to make recruiting Kansas a priority and how to handle walk-ons.

• The committee also is going to want to hear about general football philosophies. For example, if a guy comes in and talks about running a pro style offense, he probably won't be seen in the most favorable light. But this step goes beyond just talking about offensive and defensive schemes. The committee also will want to hear how each candidate plans and expects to compete as a heavy underdog in a tough conference and how they would plan to narrow the gap between KU and the rest of the Big 12.

• Another important element of the interview could be to provide a detailed plan for how practices would be run. Again, the candidates probably won't have to go as far as drawing up a complete daily practice schedule — though that probably wouldn't hurt and a couple of guys probably will — but the committee surely will want to hear how practices will be run, what the tone of practices will be like and those on the committee familiar with how things ran under Turner Gill and Weis surely will compare what they hear in interviews to what they saw during the past four or five seasons. Clearly, what's been done in the recent past hasn't worked.

Don't get me wrong, I think the interviews will be very important because they'll allow the committee to get a real, live feel for the confidence, comfort-level and charisma of each candidate. But I don't think this is a deal where a guy can win the job simply by hitting a home run in the interview.

If this committee has done its job, which it seems is the case, then its members have talked to all kinds of people about each one of the candidates and done extensive background checks on each of them, involving everything from football to family to philosophy.

I think that may be why this search has gone at the pace that it has. After back-to-back swings and misses with the past two head coaches, they cannot take anything for granted this time around. And that has way more to do with the overall good of the program and the university than it does just for Zenger and his future.

Having said all of that, my latest percentage wheel has not changed much at all from yesterday morning. I know people expect Warinner to move up on my list, but, even with him coming in for an interview, I'm leaving him where he's been all along for now based on what I've been hearing.

If there's an 11th-hour candidate, that will certainly change things, but, as of now, it seems like Bowen and Beaty are the front-runners and pretty close at the top. It could come down to the interviews and whether Beaty gets an offer. If he does, I think he takes it. If not, I think it's Bowen.

Here's a look:

1. Clint Bowen 34%
1. David Beaty 34%
3. Other 22%
4. Ed Warinner 5%
5. Tim Beck 5%

Stay logged on to KUsports.com throughout the day for any news or updates that may come our way…

Comments

William Daniels 7 years, 8 months ago

So Matt, what's Warinner's plane tail number? j/k

Dave Coen 7 years, 8 months ago

Matt, why does't Warinner have more than a 5% chance at the job???

Cody Riedy 7 years, 8 months ago

It does seem a little strange considering that elsewhere, the buzz of Warinner to KU is pretty strong, that Matt continues to put him as an outside chance. Does this mean Matt knows details he's holding back or is he playing it safe and reporting only what he can absolutely confirm? I don't intend this to sound conspiratorial. I imagine, because of relationships with and positions of sources, journalist have to make complicated decisions all the time about how to handle info from sources.

William Daniels 7 years, 8 months ago

I for one appreciate the analysis. We have at minimum a solid fallback plan in Bowen (which is selling Bowen short), why not work hard to see if an even higher quality hire (read: experienced and proven) could be made?

Chris Oestreich 7 years, 8 months ago

I totally agree with Brett! They should take their time but they had 9 weeks and then some to get this figured out. This should be done by Monday and probably should have been finish earlier this week. Flipping recruits takes time and energy and time is slipping away.

William Daniels 7 years, 8 months ago

It depends on who the #1 is...if it is someone like Warinner, he has a B1G title game to coach this Saturday. Just as an example, I wouldn't think it would be announced he is taking the KU job before that.

Calvin Miller 7 years, 8 months ago

?charisma? .We don't want no stinkin' charisma. Charlie's charisma is what caused Zenger to make the huge mistake in his hire. Zenger better realize that he needs a coach that, first of all, knows how to develop players. For the next year or two, recruiting will be difficult for any coach.

It's painfully obvious that's there's only one appropriate choice on this list, and that's Warinner. Otherwise, there's going to be a lot of empty seats in Memorial Stadium.

Chris Oestreich 7 years, 8 months ago

I agree on the first part Calvin, but the part about who the coach must be I must disagree. Bowen or other candidates may be just as good as Warinner. The player development part is hitting the nail on the head. Motivate, develop and build a positive culture inside then the stadium being filled will take care of itself.

Cody Riedy 7 years, 8 months ago

I'm not saying Beaty won't work (success is difficult to predict), but Beaty seems to bring primarily a lot of "potential" and not all that much concrete accomplishment. If he's supposed to be the hottest coaching up-and-comer, why isn't he someone's OC already? I'm still not convinced that other than his Texas roots, his credentials are better than Kiseau's, yet alone Warinner's. So far, we've mostly heard that he's got a great personality and can recruit to a team that recruits itself. I'm not saying he's the wrong hire, but can someone with more knowledge of his career fill me in on why we should be excited about him?

Jim Jackson 7 years, 8 months ago

He has developed NFL record breaking WRs at three separate schools (all hold records at three different schools).These were 3 star players he coached into All Americans.

Furthermore, in 1 season as OC at Rice; he took to them to being ranked in the 50's from the 100's. Pretty damn impressive.

Brandon Mahon 7 years, 8 months ago

I think Beaty would use KU as a stepping stone.... I think Warinner would be here for the long run. I really hope they wait until the B10 game and announce Warinner, THE BUZZ IS TOO MUCH

Bruce Bertsch 7 years, 8 months ago

Reports from various sources that it's over and the winner is Dave Beatty from sTm.

Doug Cramer 7 years, 8 months ago

The more I research Willie Fritz's resume, the more I'm hoping he's the dark horse. That guy has a proven track record of rebuilding programs. He's also from the area.

Cody Riedy 7 years, 8 months ago

Texas A&M's OC is only 29 years old?!! How'd he get the job over Beaty in the first place?

Jim Jackson 7 years, 8 months ago

So Beaty could be recruiting coordinator.

Randy Bombardier 7 years, 8 months ago

It seems to me that warinner is higher on the list than 5 %. Anyone else would not be leaving their team in a lurch but with Ohio state playing for a championship of the Big it might be insensitive to ask him to leave prior to that game. It also seems that if it were going to be Bowen they most likely would have pulled the trigger after phone interviews. A lot of trouble for people on the periphery if they're not in the hunt. So maybe its wide open. I don't buy the percentage wheel at all. In fact it undermines the process so Ed you can just ignore this..

Brandon Mahon 7 years, 8 months ago

http://247sports.com/Article/Kansas-To-Hire-Texas-AMs-Beaty-As-Head-Coach-33575136

It is supposedly done deal... This is one of the worst feelings I have had in a long time.... this is so underwhelming. I am soo disappointed...

Randy Bombardier 7 years, 8 months ago

Well I think we'll have to wait and see how everything plays out. Time to get behind the new guy. I've been reading for years even during Mangino's time how we needed to recruit better. Sick of that. Its a slap in the face of the kids we have. We need to develop better. My goodness if kstate can turn walk-ons into playmakers... Then look what our current staff did with a qb already on our roster. And the man with the superbowl rings cant evaluate talent? Hope the allure of getting better players didn't overshadow the need for better coaching. Seems that way.

Brandon Mahon 7 years, 8 months ago

Im still hoping for Warinner... Beaty as OC but highly doubt it

Brandon Mahon 7 years, 8 months ago

His offenses were not even that good at Rice... I am crying inside

Jim Jackson 7 years, 8 months ago

He has developed NFL record breaking WRs at three separate schools (all hold records at three different schools).These were 3 star players he coached into All Americans.

Furthermore, in 1 season as OC at Rice; he took to them to being ranked in the 50's from the 100's. Pretty damn impressive.

Cody Riedy 7 years, 8 months ago

Improving an offense drastically in one year is impressive; developing some good WRs is impressive too, but not the kind of impressive that gets you a HC job. Our current OC and WR coach might have 2 NFL receivers on our current team, not to mention that taking over in mid-season, he made our offense look better than it did at any time under Gill (and in fact Beaty) and Weis, a man whose career was made of an OC reputation. So again, I'm not saying he'll be a bad hire, but besides recruiting TX, his resume doesn't impress me more than what we have on staff with Kiseau.

Cody Riedy 7 years, 8 months ago

Maybe Beaty also thinks he can bring in a killer staff of assistants? Maybe? Trying to spin some other positives. As you noted elsewhere about Snyder and recruiting at KSU, chasing after high ranked recruits is fool's gold. There's not one 5-star recruit in Texas that's going to choose David Beaty over Texas, TCU, Baylor, A&M (where the next recruiter, will surprise, surprise be ranked high), the rest of the SEC, and probably not over OU and OSU. Maybe, just maybe, he can steal a recruit from TTU and if we do that enough we can go from being worst in the conference to only second or third worst!

Doug Cramer 7 years, 8 months ago

WOW - this might be announced today then.

Advice to Bowen...go to another school and prove yourself. Beef up your resume with success you can show a selecting official...and maybe someday down the road you can become KU's head coach.

Glen Miller 7 years, 8 months ago

This guy is no better choice than Bowen. No head coaching experience or even coordinator experience. This was solely based on his "supposed" recruiting ability. He was passed over for OC duties and has been said to lack in the X's and O's department. If I were Bowen, I would be done with this place. This baffles my mind. I hope Beaty works out, but even if he does... he has no ties here and wouldn't stay long. I continue to be angered by our football program and the boneheaded moves our administration continue to make. I bet Mr. Cramer is jumping up and down screaming to the rooftops that Bowen will not be our head coach.

Doug Cramer 7 years, 8 months ago

Glen - relax man.

Lets be excited that we have a coach who is capable of bringing in some young talented players from Texas.

Doesn't the thought of 4 star Texas speed and size sound exciting to you ?

As I mentioned above, it's in Bowen's best interest to go somewhere else and prove himself. Otherwise he will never be selected at a P-5 school without some substance on his resume.

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