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Posts tagged with David Beaty

Beaty back on the road to promote KU football

Between recruiting, returning to Texas to see his family and touring the state to drum up interest for his new program, Kansas University football coach David Beaty has spent a lot of time on the road since being named KU's newest football coach.

This week, in some of KU's most important recruiting territories, Beaty will be entering a few more miles into his travel log.

Beginning Tuesday in Houston, Beaty will make a few stops to share with KU fans his vision for the program and a state of the program as it stands today.

Beaty will be joined by fellow Jayhawks, members of the KU Alumni Association, KU administration and assistant football coaches for a happy hour to talk about what's next for Kansas Football. Food will be provided with a cash bar. The events are free to the public.

Here's a quick look at the schedule for the week:

• Tuesday — Houston, Texas — 7-9 p.m. at Christian's Tailgate Heights, 2820 White Oak.

• Wednesday — Dallas, Texas — 7-9 p.m. at Henderson Tap House, 2323 N. Henderson Ave.

• Thursday — Denver, Colorado — 7-9 p.m. at Stoney's Bar & Grill, 1111 Lincoln St.

After that, it'll be back to Lawrence to get the team's summer conditioning program and summer camp schedule under way.

While Beaty's away, the Jayhawks themselves will be focusing on this week's final exams.

Before we check out, here's a quick look at the new KU football poster for the upcoming season.

The official 2015 Kansas Football poster.

The official 2015 Kansas Football poster. by Matt Tait

Reply 10 comments from Larry Jackson Robert Brown Jayhawkmarshall Fred Davis Jaybevo Michael Lorraine Kingfisher Texashawk10_2 Ryan McAtee

Coming Thursday: David Beaty vs. KU in a cornhole challenge

There aren't a whole lot of details out there about this event, which is slated to take place from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Thursday on the lawn of Watson Library on KU's campus, but the KU video department put this video together and its intent is clear.

First-year KU football coach David Beaty is ready and willing to take on all comers in an oversized game cornhole, the popular tailgate game also known as bags.

The event is merely the latest way that Beaty is taking to the streets to engage with KU students and fans in an attempt to spark interest in and drum up support for a program that has struggled through six consecutive losing seasons under three different head coaches.

From the look of it, all you have to do is show up to participate in what's being dubbed "Coach Beaty's Campus Challenge." Be forewarned, though. As you can see in the video, the KU coach feels pretty good about his skills.

Reply 3 comments from Tom Keegan Len Shaffer

Toughness, teamwork common themes on David Beaty’s coaching staff

Today marked the third time since 2010 that I've found myself in the position of having to walk into a room full of football coaches whom I did not know and explain to them that I planned to spend the next however many years covering and caring about just about everything they think, say and do when it comes to Kansas football.

Because I've done this so often, I kind of have it down. First impressions are important, so you want to be professional and respectful. But you also want to be confident. Above everything else, though, you want to make sure you don't assume familiarity. Few things outrage me as much as that and I try very hard to make sure I'm never the one doing the assuming.

So there I was, with my hand extended, my business card ready to pass out, and my questions ready for the new members of David Beaty's KU football staff ready to go.

There were eight of them who met with the local media for the first time on Wednesday and although I didn't quite make my way around the room to say to all of them, I saw enough of them to know that what I thought was an impressive staff on paper is even more impressive in person.

It's not their resumes or track records or accomplishments that make Beaty's boys impressive. It's the type of people they are. Like their head coach, they're energetic, engaging, friendly dudes who are here to coach football and have a little fun doing it. When I say fun, I'm not talking about the kind of get-togethers you see at the country club. These guys are serious about the business and even more serious about the challenge they've agreed to take on by joining the football program at KU. But they're not so stuffy that they're going to be relentless jerks in their pursuit of that, nor are they so naïve to think that it's going to be easy.

Each one of these guys — Rob Likens (offensive coordinator/quarterbacks), Zach Yenser (offensive line), Calvin Thibodeaux (defensive line), Klint Kubiak (wide receivers), Gary Hyman (special teams/tight ends), Kevin Kane (linebackers), Je'Ney Jackson (director of strength and conditioning) and Gene Wier (director of high school relations) — seems well aware of the monumental rebuilding task that's ahead, and rather than being intimidated or turned off by that, these guys seem to be gearing up for a fight.

The two common themes that bounced around throughout the room were toughness and teamwork. Nearly every coach I spoke with mentioned something about playing tough and coaching tough kids. The most notable such soundbite came from Kubiak, the 27-year-old wide receivers coach who told me that he wanted KU's wide receivers to be the toughest unit on the team and added, “And if they're not, they won't play.”

Then there was offensive line coach Zach Yenser, whose position group is tougher than most by nature, who said he was not at all intimidated about jumping into the wild and wide-open Big 12 Conference after dealing with all kinds of styles of offenses in the Pac-12. Again, though, Yenser was not cocky when talking about why he thought what he, Beaty, offensive coordinator Rob Likens and the rest of the offensive staff would bring to the KU offense, more confident in his belief that, with hard work and, of course, toughness, it would work.

Speaking of Likens, he listed the three things that he wants to see from the offensive players he puts on the field and toughness was included in the trio of traits: We want them to be fast, we want them to be tough and we want them to have great character, he said. And he added that the staff was not really willing to compromise or sacrifice in any of those areas.

All the words and talk in the world won't mean a thing for the results on the field. And, by now, it's quite clear that KU fans are not interested in hearing about how things will be better or different or new. They just want to see better football.

I get the sense that this staff, like Beaty and like Clint Bowen before him, gets that and is made up of a bunch of regular guys who are much more interested in working and finding ways to fix problems and create advantages than talking about how they'll do it or what needs to happen.

Time will tell if my read on these guys is right or wrong or if it'll make a difference. But given what I learned today about the personalities and make-up of the coaches in charge of bringing change to KU football, it seems like the program is starting over in a pretty good spot — for the long haul — and is backed a bunch of coaches who understand the challenges, are willing to embrace them and should be pretty easy to like.

Reply 14 comments from Matt Tait Jaylark Lcjayhawk Stupidmichael Maxhawk Bville Hawk James Baker Jim Stauffer Rockchalk1990 Kingfisher and 2 others

More on KU football strength coach Je’Ney Jackson and where KU’s coaching staff stands

By now, having read about, followed, experienced or agonized over three coaching searches since 2009, fans of Kansas University football certainly are no strangers to the hierarchy of what's important before, during and after a coaching change is made.

The before and during are behind us. KU named former Texas A&M assistant coach David Beaty the 38th head coach in school history on Dec. 5, and, since then, Beaty has been running every which way trying to get things lined up for signing day in February and the start of spring football a month later.

Although the identity of a few of his staff members remains a mystery, sources have indicated that Beaty has nailed down most of the positions during the past couple of weeks.

Here's a quick recap of what we know:

• Clint Bowen – Holdover from former staff will be the defensive coordinator and assistant head coach.

• Reggie Mitchell – Another holdover from Weis' staff, it would make sense if Mitchell continued in his role as running backs coach and recruiting coordinator.

• Louie Matsakis – Another holdover from previous staff who finished 2014 by coaching KU's special teams will have a yet-to-be-determined role on new staff. Likely an administrative type of job.

• Kevin Kane – Former KU player who has worked at Wisconsin and Northern Illinois will coach linebackers.

• Gene Wier – Former Olathe North and Texas high school football coach will come on board in an off-the-field staff position.

• Klint Kubiak – 27-year-old son of NFL coach Gary Kubiak is the likely WRs coach.

• Calvin Thibodeaux – Former Oklahoma defensive end and Tulsa D-Line coach likely to coach KU's D-Line, as well.

• Je'Ney Jackson – Former KU assistant and Indiana basketball strength coach, will run KU football's strength and conditioning department.

• Justin Springer - Former KU linebacker, and another holdover from the previous strength staff, will stay on as a member of Jackson's crew.

As far as we know, KU essentially is still looking for four more names of full-time assistants and the following duties:

• Offensive coordinator
• Quarterbacks coach, which could very well be the OC
• Offensive line coach
• Tight ends coach
• Defensive backs coach, which could be Bowen
• Possibly a second defensive backs coach, if they split duties to safeties & corners
• Special teams coach, which could be lumped with another role, i.e. TEs/ST coach

Of the bunch that's already on board, Jackson may be the most important name we've heard thus far. Because Bowen and Mitchell were announced to be staying as soon as the Beaty hire was official, those guys are not included. Both are big additions to Beaty's staff, but neither figures to have the immediate impact that Jackson will.

I talked to former KU cornerback Chris Harris about Jackson the other day. Jackson was KU's defensive backs coach when Harris played at KU and the current Denver Bronco absolutely loves him.

Harris told me that Jackson is going to have KU's players ready for battle and added that they probably won't like him much at first because he can be a hard ass. That's a good thing, if you're a fan of the program anyway.

One other interesting thing Harris stressed about Jackson was how good of a teacher of technique he was. In Harris' experience, that obviously had to do with playing DB, but, generally speaking, most coaches who are known for the way they teach technique are pretty buttoned-up dudes and detail oriented. I'd expect that to be exactly what KU's getting from Jackson.

For those who might want to see and hear a little more about what Jackson's all about, here are a couple of YouTube videos I found from his time at Indiana. Yeah, training basketball players and football players is a little different, but Jackson inherits an incredible training facility in Lawrence and you can bet he'll bring several of the same training principles to town with him when he takes over.

Reply 5 comments from Don Johnson Dirk Medema Texashawk10_2 Robert Brown

Sources: Gene Wier expected to join KU football program

Information on the identity of new Kansas football coach David Beaty's coaching staff continues to be tough to come by, but sources told the Journal-World on Monday that legendary Olathe North football coach Gene Wier is expected to join Beaty's staff in the off-the-field coaching role.

That role, though not specified by the sources, likely will be something in the area of on-campus recruiting coordinator.

Such a role would seem to fit Wier perfectly. His knowledge of and connections in the high school football world in Kansas are second-to-none and the man who guided O-North to six state championships in the late 1990s and early 2000s also was a head coach for nine years in Texas before returning to the Sunflower State.

Wier's addition would bring the number of known people in Beaty's coaching staff to five — defensive coordinator/assistant head coach Clint Bowen, running backs coach/recruiting coordinator Reggie Mitchell, linebackers coach Kevin Kane, former special teams coach Louie Matsakis and Wier.

Stay tuned to KUsports.com for more updates.

Reply 11 comments from Jerry Walker Steve Corder Bobby Oviemena Birhiray Matt Tait Kingfisher Michael Maris Lcjayhawk Ken Schmidt Onlyoneuinkansas Ashwingrao

Bringing perspective to Beaty’s big weekend

Newly named Kansas University football coach David Beaty made up for lost time in the recruiting grind last weekend by not only getting 11 members of the Class of 2015 to visit campus and but also by picking up seven oral commitments since Saturday night.

The first future Jayhawk to commit came Saturday evening, four more prospects joined him on Sunday and the latest to pledge their services to Kansas delivered the good news bright and early Monday morning and again early Monday afternoon.

The news of these commitments spread like wildfire on KU message boards and Twitter and added even more shine to Beaty's reputation as a solid recruiter.

But it's not necessarily the players who Beaty picked up that made his weekend haul impressive. It was the fact that he was able to pull it all together so quickly in the first place and without much of his coaching staff on board that caught my eye.

Beaty had prior relationships with a couple of the guys who committed, but he had had no contact whatsoever with a couple of the others. The fact that those guys were not only willing to visit Kansas, but, in some cases, also visited despite already having committed elsewhere speaks to the strength of Beaty's relationships in Texas.

At least a couple of these prospects said the bond between Beaty and their high school coach carried enough weight for them to give KU a look. After that, the ball was in Beaty's court, and, Beaty, like so many coaches who came before him in his current job, has said he believed KU's chances of landing a guy increase dramatically if he can just get guys to visit campus.

That proved to be true with half a dozen guys in the past few days, and, although they might not all pan out, they seem to be the kinds of players KU needs to sign to get the rebuilding project off the ground.

Most of them are good athletes with impressive resumes, and many of them were overlooked by the “big schools” because those places fill their commitment lists with four- and five-star guys each year, not the two- and three-star guys who came to campus last weekend.

If nothing else, that idea should offer a little perspective for the furious weekend of recruiting that was. These guys all appear to be worthy prospects. And a couple of them have some impressive size, skills and stats. But they're far from a guarantee and they still need to be coached and developed and put through the grind of college football before we really have any idea what kind of players they can be — especially in the Big 12 Conference.

Beaty knows that. And he's willing to put the time in to make it happen. He's also planning to hire a coaching staff that thinks the same way.

Recruiting is a contagious business. Year after year, with program after program, fans often get caught up in the hype and promise of what a prospect looks like on paper or what his high school statistics might lead them to dream he could become in college. It's understandable. But at a place like KU, it's important to remember both sides of the coin. Given the fact that so many recent recruits have failed to pan out, that should not be too hard to remember for Jayhawk football fans.

That's not to diminish what Beaty and company accomplished this weekend, though. What they did was impressive. And it's important mostly because it shows — with actions rather than words — what Beaty is all about when it comes to recruiting. Substance over style.

See, two years ago at this time, the Kansas football program was in the middle of building what was dubbed the #DreamTeam2013. It was made up mostly of highly ranked junior-college prospects and featured some incredibly outgoing personalities, many of whom now appear to have something to fall back on in terms of a marketing and promotions career since the whole big-time football thing did not work out.

To be fair, a few of the guys in that “Dream Team” class did make a significant impact on the KU program. Dexter McDonald and Cassius Sendish were two-year starters in the secondary, Ngalu Fusimalohi and Mike Smithburg started both of their seasons on the O-Line and Trevor Pardula single-handedly fixed KU's punting woes.

But those were not the guys who were talking the most during the recruiting period. Guys like Marquel Combs, Marcus Jenkins-Moore, Chris Martin and others were the names that wowed people — as much for their excitement and enthusiasm as their rankings — but those guys never played a down for the Jayhawks. And their failure to pan out and eventual departures from the program left a hole in KU's roster that Beaty is now trying to fill.

He'll have to be creative to do it, and he'll have to work twice as hard as he would at an established program. But, again, he appears to be ready and willing to do just that and what he got done last weekend was definitely a good start.

MORE FROM THE RECRUITING TRAIL...

• KU adds 5 players during busy weekend

• Texas WR becomes 6th commitment in 3 days

• Juco RB Ke'aun Kinner picks Kansas

• Quick look at KU's Class of 2015 recruiting haul thus far

Reply 20 comments from Lucas Town Jim Stauffer Spk15 Dirk Medema Bville Hawk Ashwingrao Lcjayhawk Texashawk10_2 Kellerman411 Steve Corder and 1 others

2015 Jayhawks have some talent but may lack depth

New KU football coach David Beaty on Monday made it clear that he understood the challenges he was stepping into by taking the job to lead the Jayhawks in 2015 and beyond.

Although the list is long and includes everything from production on the field to mending fences off of it, it seems one of the best places to get a clear look at Beaty's biggest challenge is by scanning the potential depth chart heading into the 2015 season.

Gone are 21 seniors, many of whom played key roles — especially on defense — on this year's team and during the past few seasons, as well. In some areas, there are obvious options to replace them. In others, the question of "Who's next?" is a little tougher to answer.

Several weeks ago, Tom Keegan looked at KU's Top 10 returning players but did so from a 1-through-10 perspective. All of those guys will be on the list you're about to read, as well, but instead of a Top 10, I'll give you a Top 22, as in an incredibly early look at a starting 11 on both sides of the ball for the 2015 season.

There's no doubt this will change between now and September. Heck, it'll probably change between now and February and again by the start of spring practice sometime in March. But it never hurts to look ahead and, in doing so, I think you'll see that Beaty is inheriting a team with some significant returning talent but an alarming lack of depth.

Most of this is based on the guys who have experience, which, for now, is as important a factor as anything. We'll get into the guys who could knock them off — think defensive lineman D.J. Williams, incoming cornerback Michael Mathis and a couple of other guys like that — in future blogs.

Also for the sake of this blog, we'll assume the Jayhawks are going to go with the same base defense they used this year.

Here we go...

Kansas receiver Nigel King is forced out of bounds after a catch against Iowa State defensive back Sam Richardson during the second quarter on Saturday, Nov. 8, 2014.

Kansas receiver Nigel King is forced out of bounds after a catch against Iowa State defensive back Sam Richardson during the second quarter on Saturday, Nov. 8, 2014. by Nick Krug

OFFENSE:

QB – Michael Cummings – Freshman-to-be Ryan Willis will be an intriguing option here, but Cummings earned the right to be the man to beat with his play this season.

RB – Corey Avery – De'Andre Mann is also back and both should be better than they were this season.

LT – Larry Mazyck – With another offseason to work on his skills and his body, the big man could be a nice option here.

LG – Joe Gibson – Filled in well at Center this season, but should be able to transition to guard with no problem.

C – Jacob Bragg – He doesn't have any experience, but guys kept mentioning his name.

RG – Junior Visinia – Picked up some incredibly valuable experience down the stretch and should only get better.

RT – Jordan Shelley-Smith – I really think this guy is going to be solid for a couple of years.

TE – Ben Johnson – Filled in nicely for Mundine from time to time and brings similar athleticism and good hands.

WR – Nigel King – The unquestioned No. 1 option on this team. His chemistry with Cummings should be a big advantage.

WR – Tre' Parmalee – It's possible one of the young guys beats Parmalee out, but he's a solid route runner and a reliable option who's been out there plenty.

WR – Kent Taylor – I always heard the transfer from Florida was best out wide and I don't think it's a stretch for him to transition to WR with Johnson holding down the TE spot.

DEFENSE:

BUCK – Ben Goodman – The move to the interior was not one that should stick. Time to put him back at his natural position.

NT – Andrew Bolton – After a slow start, he had some very good moments during the second half of the season.

DT – T.J. Semke – This is a prime spot where you could see an upgrade, but I guarantee you Semke's not going to give up the job easily.

SE – Kapil Fletcher - Damani Mosby and Anthony Olobia also could factor in here, but Fletcher was the only one of the trio who actually played in 2014.

WLB – Courtney Arnick – He quietly had a solid season and fits the mold of the modern-day Big 12 linebacker.

MLB – Jake Love – Filled in for Heeney whenever he needed to and, at times, was just as effective. Don't forget about Kyron Watson or Joe Dineen in these spots.

CB – Matthew Boateng – Thrown to the wolves as a true freshman, Boateng showed some good things early and should be ready for a bigger role.

CB – Michael Mathis – Ronnie Davis, Colin Spencer and a couple other guys could be options here, as well, but I've heard nothing but good things about Mathis and his spring semester arrival should make him ready to go by September.

FS – Isaiah Johnson – Back for a third season, he will be counted on to be more like the 2013 Johnson than the 2014 Johnson.

SS – Fish Smithson – Solid, physical player should step right in for Cassius Sendish.

NB – Tevin Shaw – Shared time here with Greg Allen (a possible candidate to move to cornerback) and showed good toughness and improved coverage skills.

Kansas linebacker Courtney Arnick dives to wrap up Texas Tech receiver Reginald Davis during the third quarter on Saturday, Oct. 18, 2014 at Jones AT&T Stadium in Lubbock, Texas. At right is Kansas safety Isaiah Johnson.

Kansas linebacker Courtney Arnick dives to wrap up Texas Tech receiver Reginald Davis during the third quarter on Saturday, Oct. 18, 2014 at Jones AT&T Stadium in Lubbock, Texas. At right is Kansas safety Isaiah Johnson. by Nick Krug

Reply 15 comments from Matt Tait Bville Hawk Doug Roberts Ryan McAtee Jim Stauffer Raprichard Rockchalk1990 Stupidmichael Kingfisher Robert  Brock and 2 others

Introducing new KU football coach David “What you see is what you get” Beaty

Kansas University's new head football coach, David Beaty, speaks at an introductory press conference Monday, Dec. 8, 2014, at the Anderson Family Football Complex. Beaty, the wide receivers coach and recruiting coordinator at Texas A&M, was hired by KU Friday.

Kansas University's new head football coach, David Beaty, speaks at an introductory press conference Monday, Dec. 8, 2014, at the Anderson Family Football Complex. Beaty, the wide receivers coach and recruiting coordinator at Texas A&M, was hired by KU Friday.

It can be tough to condense 45 minutes of emotion, one-liners, laughs and handshakes into a few words, but newly named KU football coach David Beaty made it easy.

Before we go on, let me remind you that there is no way of knowing how Beaty's time at Kansas will turn out. Will he be the guy who turns the program around? Perhaps. Does he have the skills to make the leap from college assist to head coach? We'll soon find out. Can he attract the right people — both coaches and players — to bring change to a program in desperate need of a new direction? We will not know the answer to that until we see what happens on Saturdays next fall.

But what we do know — and this we learned in a mere four days since hearing that Beaty would be KU's next coach — is that the new KU coach is an honest man who prefers hard work above all else and would rather show you and prove to you that things are different than stand up in front of you and talk about it.

That much was obvious from his introductory news conference Monday morning, as Beaty talked about all of the things that led him to this point — both in football and in life — and emphasized all of the places he wants this program to go in the future.

He made no promises about results or wins or statistics or milestones. Instead, he focused only on the things he could control — work ethic, operating the right way, recruiting quality athletes, bringing in hungry coaches.

It was enough to impress just about anyone at any school, but, so often, that's what these press conferences are about. We've seen it plenty of times before around here, but rarely with the sincerity behind what Beaty showed on Monday.

What you saw on Monday morning was the real David Beaty, warts and all. He said Texas a couple of times when he meant to say Kansas. (And later cringed over it when his wife, Raynee, pointed it out). He offered his “condolences” to the search committee for having selected him — something that could have been taken as an intentional, dead-panned joke or an accidental slip — and he repeated words a few times throughout his news conference. In short, he delivered a genuine look at who he is and how he operates. And, at least from where I sat, I found the mishaps and hiccups refreshing.

You've heard the phrase “winning the press conference” uttered time and time again. And, although there is some skill involved in doing that, it really isn't that tough to do. Prepare a well-thought-out speech. Deliver it with confidence. Appeal to all of the aspects of your new school that get the fans fired up. Repeat as needed.

Winning what comes after the press conference — quarters, halves, games and championships — is what Beaty seems more interested in, and yet he made no promises in that area either.

Instead, he said he would do everything in his power to send next year's senior class out with a special season. He did not say anything about a bowl victory. He did not talk about winning the Big 12. He only said he would commit all he had to that group of seniors and inspire the rest of the team to follow his lead. Whatever that brings, it brings.

That's the best part about KU's new head football coach. He does not appear to be a guy who is interested in trying to be somebody or something he's not. After the press conference, I asked Beaty to recall the toughest question thrown his way during the interview process. His answer only emphasized the kind of guy we're dealing with and the kind of person he seems to be.

“One of the toughest questions for me, because I don't look at it this way and this is where I have a hard time; my vision is so focused on the positive that I just don't look at negatives. I won't allow myself. The hardest question was, 'What do you see as the challenges?' And, the thing is, every day, for some people, is a challenge. And then for others, and this is gonna sound cliché, but, for others, every day is an opportunity. And that's how it is for me. I do a front hand-spring out of bed every day.”

“Some of those things sound crazy,” he continued. “But they roll off my tongue because that's who we are.”

Whether Beaty wins or winds up being the right guy for Kansas is up for debate and will not be determined for some time. But he's got the right mindset to get the job done. And, for the first time in half a dozen years, it matches the mindset that led KU to the 2008 Orange Bowl.

With that established, it's now time to see what he can do.

Reply 12 comments from Bill  French Micky Baker Ashwingrao Dirk Medema Matt Tait Table_rock_jayhawk Steve Corder Kingfisher Nebraskanjayhawk8 Michael Lorraine and 1 others

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.

Reply 39 comments from Logan Johnson Kellerman411 Inteldesign Michael Lorraine Stephen Johnson Kingfisher Texashawk10_2 Ryan McAtee Kyle Sybesma Mat Davis and 14 others

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

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…

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