Interesting notes about Clint Bowen's role as KU football's interim head coach


Now that interim head coach Clint Bowen is officially into his stint as the Jayhawks' head coach, it's time to examine a few of the more minor details of his takeover that got lost in the celebratory manner in which he transitioned into the job.

One of the important things to remember about Bowen's time as interim head coach is that just because he has the “interim” tag in front of the title does not mean he is not loaded with responsibility. Not only does he have to run the team, come up with the defensive game plan and handle all of the media obligations of the head coach, but he also has within his grasp complete control of his personnel. He showed he understands that last week when he benched starting quarterback Montell Cozart and replaced him with Michael Cummings and also did the same with starting center Keyon Haughton in favor of red-shirt freshman Joe Gibson.

Don't be surprised if you see more moves in the next few days and in the coming weeks — as Bowen has said clearly, the players have to earn the right to play — and don't be surprised if the same concept extends to the roles, responsibilities and input of the coaching staff, as well. Now five games into the season, it's abundantly clear that Bowen and the Jayhawks have to consider every option and angle in their efforts to get the offense going. And that might mean listening to any idea that anyone on the staff has, from the full-time offensive and defensive assistants to the GAs and lower-profile staff members.

OK, now on to some more concrete details...

First off, Bowen's contract did not change. He's still being paid as the school's defensive coordinator for his nine weeks as interim head coach.

On a similar note, Bowen will not be making any money for taking over Weis' role as the featured guest on the weekly Hawk Talk radio show, which airs every Monday night from 6-7 p.m.

As far as where Bowen does most of his dirty work, that did not change either. Bowen did not move into the corner office reserved for the head coach when Weis moved out but he has access to both his old office and the head coach's office so he can have easier access to the coaches on both sides of the ball.

Speaking of Bowen's office, in one of his first meetings with the players following Weis' departure, Bowen informed the team that his door would always be open and even warned them that if he saw any of them making their way into the hallway of coaches offices in the back of the football complex, they would have a meeting. It did not matter if it was one or two guys or a group of 10, Bowen said he would always make himself available to the team whenever they needed to see him. And, on the very first day after he was assigned his new role, nearly 85 members of the team made their way into his office at one point or another to check in with their new leader.


Curtis Lesher 7 years, 11 months ago

Matt, How about recruiting and/or retention of the guys already committed?

Matt Tait 7 years, 11 months ago

Bowen said early on that the entire staff made it a huge priority to get to the kids who were already committed and to make sure they knew that they were still wanted here and had a place here. At that point, that's priority No. 1 and it sounds like it went well.

After that, recruiting can't be quite as full speed ahead as normal because it's anyone's guess as to who will be sitting in the head coach's chair in December. Still, it would be irresponsible and potentially detrimental if at least a few of the KU coaches weren't out there looking for talent and making connections.

We'll get into that a little more in a couple of weeks. I think with everything happening so fast, the emphasis has really been on just getting settled into all of the new roles and ways of doing things.

Len Shaffer 7 years, 11 months ago

Absolutely. And it makes KU look bad that they wouldn't give him at least a little more. That can't exactly impress people that are looking at it from the outside.

Matt Tait 7 years, 11 months ago

It's not exactly that cut and dry. Bowen's getting a great opportunity to prove himself and gain valuable experience here and I don't think he has to worry about being compensated in some form or another at some point. It's just interesting to note that the interim tag doesn't come with automatic compensation.

kellerman411 7 years, 11 months ago

Haha, hey Len, you know what makes KU look bad? When we pay millions of dollars per win from coaching perspective.

If we give Clint the job, we should give him a 5 year contract and pay him a base salary of $500,000 and an extra $100,000 for every Big 12 game that he wins. No more guaranteed big money.

I don't even understand how we're paying for these buyouts. Are boosters really willing to fork that kind of money over for a damn game? I would say you probably need to take a look in the mirror if you're willing to give like that to a college athletics program. There are plenty of worthy research initiatives that are desperate for funding.

Len Shaffer 7 years, 11 months ago

"Bowen will not be making any money for taking over Weis' role as the featured guess on the weekly Hawk Talk radio show …"

I knew that Weis didn't exactly know what he was doing, but I didn't realize that it was so obvious he had a weekly guess ...

Jonathan Allison 7 years, 11 months ago

hah, and every time we took the field we saw his weekly guess at a game plan.

Doug Cramer 7 years, 11 months ago

Interesting how everybody hates Weis now that he's gone. It was quite the opposite prior to the season beginning.

Jonathan Allison 7 years, 11 months ago

a lot has happened since "prior to the season beginning".

I, along with most visitors to this site, was expecting/hoping to see progress this season. Obviously we all know how smug you are just because you've been proved correct about the team and program to this point. My take has been different from yours, and will continue to be.

I choose to support the players and coaches, because it's simply the best thing that I can do in general, most of the time.

However, after watching the first 3 games I had lost interest in watching the product on the field. Zenger pulled the trigger and it was the right move at the right time. There was essentially no hope of resurrecting a successful season under Coach Weis and it appeared that we were regressing. Weis looked like he had tapped out, and some of the players looked to be following his lead.

Yes, Weis is gone and I will continue to support the coaches and players on the team. He is niether of those now.

Chris Bailey 7 years, 11 months ago

I think Cramer makes a valid point. We couldn't see the writing on the wall. He's done nothing as a head coach. That said I don't hate Weis. I think he's a cool guy. But Cramer was right I bought in the first 2 years but new we were screwed after that.

Doug Cramer 7 years, 11 months ago

Like Chris - I don't hate Weis either...and hope he succeeds somewhere in the NFL.

Jonathan - everything you said, was very evident midway through last season, and the trigger should have been pulled then.

kellerman411 7 years, 11 months ago

I don't hate Weis. He has left this program in better shape than when he found it, not by much, but it is a little better. He certainly didn't earn that 10 million, that is for sure.. The man was not a good coach but I think the effort and intent were on par.

I do resent him a little for wasting the best years of Ben Heeney. Ben could have led us to something. I mean if we had an offense that could do anything AT ALL. I'm talking 14-17 points per game and this team would have brought home some bowl trophies. I really believe he is one of the great players to put on the KU uniform.

Erich Hartmann 7 years, 11 months ago

Charlie Weis' is best as an NFL O-coord. That's really his only proven and reproducible claim to fame. His ideas need pro-level quality execution and consistency, which is hard to find on the college level, especially at almost every skill position in the same year, including the O-line, which is critical. Weis had all the needed pieces in those years with the Patriots, and in 2010 with the Chiefs. The proof of this concept is by seeing the flip side of this (especially at KU), where Weis had to scrap all his ideas and expertise (threw out his offense, then fired himself as OC).

I hope he gets a gig as an NFL OC. That part of his resume is proven. Maybe Todd Haley at Steelers should be worried...haha!

Timothy Grillot 7 years, 11 months ago

I agree with Erich, Weis reached his maximum level of competency as O-coordinator in NFL. Doing an autopsy on this mess I still put this back in the lap of former AD Perkins. He didn't like Mangino from the outset and only a 12-1 season postponed his witch hunt to get MM. Going over 500 at KU is pretty unusual these days for a coach. The other thing I liked about MM was that we were always competitive. There were games we got shellacked but starting Sunday morning MM was working on getting things fixed or at least improved for the next week. I agree his mistreatment of players was inexcusable but possibly a reprimand or fine not termination. Perkins' days were numbered. The ticket scandal may or may not have had some fingers from Perkins in the mess but bottom line it was his athletic department and he let it happen. Hiring Turner Gill, especially with the fat contract he got was ridiculous. I really thought we should have sued Perkins for negligent hiring or at least lunacy in giving an unproven coach such a long term contract. Finally, with Zenger's hiring of Weis I think he has some culpability here. I think his feet need to be against the fire to compete in football. He made the bad hire with Weis. He needs to fix it. If a coach cannot win at Notre Dame, they surely aren't going to win at KU. Here's your sign. I haven't been in here griping week to week about things. When Gill was hired I jumped on the bandwagon and backed him. I thought he had potential to be a lifetime hire. I backed Weis in spite of my doubts. My point is we do the best we can to get the best coach available and we as part of the Jayhawk Nation should back them 100%. If the next hire is an abysmal failure like the last two, two job vacancies should arise not just one!

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