Tom Keegan: Next football hire will determine new AD Jeff Long's KU legacy

In this Dec. 5, 2012, file photo, Arkansas athletic director Jeff Long, left, presents Bret Bielema with a cap as Bielema is introduced as the school's new head coach during an NCAA college football news conference in Fayetteville, Ark. Kansas named Long its new A.D. on July 5, 2018.  (AP Photo/April L. Brown, File)

Kudos to the Kansas athletic department for not pretending David Beaty is anything but a lame-duck football coach who at the longest will last through the 2018 season.

KU all but cemented his lame-duck status by including in the news release on new athletic director Jeff Long a statement from basketball coach Bill Self and not one from the football coach.

Either that or KU considers itself a basketball school first, a football school as an afterthought. Not buying that because if that were the case, Sheahon Zenger still would be on the job.

So now that lame-duck unofficially has been added to Beaty’s title, it’s no longer tacky to speculate on the identity of the school’s next football coach.

So let’s all roll up our sleeves and get to work on that.

Athletic directors tend not to want to introduce football coaches they already have hired because they like to avoid criticism for lacking originality, vision, contacts, etc.

Should Long go about his job the way most of his colleagues do, cross off Dave Wannstedt, fired in order by the Chicago Bears, Miami Dolphins and University of Pittsburgh. Forget Louisville’s Bobby Petrino, a terrific football coach fired by Arkansas for, ahem, strange off-the-field behavior, and Bret Bielema, fired by Arkansas after receiving a lucrative contract extension with a 10-15 record.

So just in case Long doesn’t go back to the same well, look for connections that run even deeper than those to coaches he already has chosen.

How’s this for long Long history: Friends since childhood, Long and former Michigan and Ball State head coach Brady Hoke formed a battery back in the day for Fairmont East High in Kettering, Ohio, in both football and baseball.

Long was a quarterback and a pitcher, Hoke a center and a catcher. When Long was dealing with the Petrino mess, Hoke, then head coach at Michigan, called him to make sure he was doing OK. So they’re close. That’s far from from making Hoke a candidate for the job that will open up at the end of the 2018 season, if not sooner.

Yet, another factor weighs heavily in Hoke’s favor: He was far better at turning losing programs into winners than at maintaining a winner at blue blood Michigan.

Hoke’s records at Ball State (2003-08): 4-8, 2-9, 4-7, 5-7, 7-6, 12-1. At San Diego State: 4-8, 9-4.

At Michigan (2011-14): 11-2, 8-5, 7-6, 5-7.

Hoke went 0-2 at the end of last season as interim head coach at Tennessee, where he was defensive line coach in 2017. The Carolina Panthers hired him as defensive line coach this past January.

Hoke, by the way, was instrumental in recruiting Tom Brady to Michigan, or have you had your fill of Kansas football coaches referencing connections to the most successful quarterback in the history of football?

Long also is tight with Les Miles, former LSU coach. He offered him the Arkansas job, only to be turned down.

Every time Miles was heard from in the television broadcast booth last season, he sounded as if he was not done coaching college football. I would love to know if Long brought up his name during the interview process.

Miles was in the booth for one of the worst performances in KU football history, the 41-0 loss to TCU in which the Jayhawks totaled 21 yards of offense. He had to leave there convinced he could have coached the team to at least twice as many total yards.

A name such as Miles would excite the Kansas fan base, of course, but Long will be looking for the best fit, which may or may not be Miles.

Head coaches Neal Brown (Troy), Troy Calhoun (Air Force), Jason Candle (Toledo), Willie Fritz (Tulane) and assistant coaches Tim Beck (Texas), Ed Warinner (Michigan) and Brent Venables (Clemson DC, at Oklahoma the year Long was there) all have impressive backgrounds.

Long has many other aspects of the athletic department to straighten out, but his legacy will be determined by how he fares in hiring a football coach.

Comments

Dirk Medema

Maybe it's still tacky.

Maybe Hoke's record isn't correlated as much with whether he's rebuilding or not as it is with the level of play. He's only had one really successful year at our level of competition.

Maybe.

2 months, 3 weeks ago

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Dirk Medema

Maybe it's like Matt wrote that they select the most significant folks to quote. Shouldn't be a stretch to see a national champion and gold medal winning as more significant than just about anyone. Doesn't make everyone else a lame duck even if they are still rebuilding.

The dominos are definitely being lined up in that direction but fortunately the university and players haven't quit on the season and coaches the way some have.

Best tshirt ever had on the back - "It's not over til the fat lady sings." Far from a prediction of the same results. More just another challenge to not be quitters.

2 months, 3 weeks ago

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Brett McCabe

That fat lady started singing about two years ago on Beaty. Completely out of his league, completely out of his head on decision after decision, imbecilic management of basically every facet of the program from staffing, to public-speaking, to QB management, to "walk-around guys". It's been an embarrassment from the opening press conference. And the final piece? Beaty quitting on the program itself by mortgaging the future on transfers and JUCO's just to try and save his job.

The quitters on this site are the ones who gave up on the idea that KU is capable and worthy of fielding a consistent, winning football program, and that we should just be glad to have a guy with one P5 win in three years. I prefer to keep fighting and actually try to win.

Beaty should be fired on August 2. He's earned nothing less.

2 months, 3 weeks ago

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Jay Scott

...while we're on the subject, can you get your wife to stop singing?

2 months, 3 weeks ago

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Dirk Medema

After you graduate from Jr Hi?

2 months, 3 weeks ago

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Dirk Medema

Such a blind man Brett.

"Mortgaging the future" was the mantra for a while; when people choose not to look at the actual roster. Keegan wrote an article about it, and with 6 JC's in the next recruiting class the roster is almost perfectly balanced with about 20 players per class. That's a fact if you want to check, and job 1 well done - rebuild the roster. Or you can continue with the ignorant rant.

You also love the "QB management" rant, and ignore the fact that it was the incumbent QB who broke his wrist playing pick-up BB and eliminated himself from the crucial 2nd Spring practice, then threw what, 7 int's in 2 games. Sorry, that player performance, not the coach.

We'll probably never learn what caused the "walk around" demotion, and maybe Beaty should have fired him, but also could be him not quitting on the coach.

Weren't you quitting and going off to watch something else til BB season? Should have known it was too good to be true.

2 months, 3 weeks ago

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Frederick Heckel

Miles is the level of coach that Long needs to hire. That would jump start then entire program and the fundraising for the stadium.

2 months, 3 weeks ago

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Brett McCabe

If Miles' heart is in it, it would be a great hire. After the Weis debacle, I'm hesitant with these types of guys but Miles would bring enormous levels of instant credibility, and be able to build on some recruiting success we've had in Louisiana.

I think Zenger went into his meeting with Weis with stars in his eyes. It's clear that Long is more impressed by "go" than "show", and that he won't be intimidated sitting across from any coach in the country and asking direct questions.

2 months, 3 weeks ago

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John Fitzgerald

Dave Doeren was my top pick but NC State was smart enough to renew his contract with a current buyout of about $4.5 million. So that’s not going to happen. But I’d start with Jeff Monken (Army), Craig Bowl (Wyoming), Willie Fritz (Tulane), Scott Satterfield (Appalachian State), Shawn Elliott (Georgia State), Seth Littrell (North Texas), Jason Candle (Toledo), Dave Clawson (Wake Forest), Neal Brown (Troy), Ed Warriner (Michigan OL) and Brent Venables (Clemson DC).

2 months, 3 weeks ago

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Dillon Davis

Ugh you're killing me John...he's my dream hire too.

2 months, 3 weeks ago

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Roger Gilbertson

Dear God. please not Miles! We already went through this with Charlie Weis! An older coach, with retirement on the horizon, who wants 1 more big job with a big pay day where if he fails, so what, he's got this money and retirement.

The man I hope and pray Long contacts is Brent Venables! He answers every question that fans want for our next football coach:
From Kansas? Check
From a P5 school? Check
Knows how to turn around a program? Check. Played and coached at KSU and coached at Oklahoma.
Recruit? Got 2 kids from Kansas to commit to Clemson.
Fix defense? Check. Defensive coordination at Oklahoma and Clemson.
Winner? Check. 2 National Title rings and many conference title rings.

A lot of fans wonder what's in his past that he hasn't had a head coaching job yet. Well if there is something, apparently it doesn't bother Dabo Swinney.

2 months, 3 weeks ago

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John Fitzgerald

I have Venables on my list too. He’d be a huge get. But my hunch is if he comes to the Big 12 he’d go to KSU. He’s also said before he’s holding out for the right job. Not sure Kansas is that job.

2 months, 3 weeks ago

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Aaron Paisley

Miles and Weis are not comparable at all. Weis was using KU to try and land a bigger and better job. Miles would be using KU as a place to end his career and set someone else up for success. Miles isn't my top choice, but KU could do much worse as well.

2 months, 3 weeks ago

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Brett McCabe

Actually, you don't Miles' intentions. Finding out his real motivation, his energy level, his commitment level and his eagerness for this job are all critical factors in even considering him. If those issues aren't issues, the guy clearly has the knowledge and juice to make it happen at Kansas.

2 months, 3 weeks ago

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Aaron Paisley

Les Miles would turn 66 during the 2019 season, he wouldn't be using KU as a springboard like Weis was. This would be him riding off into the sunset for Miles.

2 months, 3 weeks ago

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Dirk Medema

Weis wasn't spring boarding to anything for himself. It was only for his ego, and getting his son into the business.

2 months, 3 weeks ago

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Dane Pratt

Venables would be an incredible hire but it seems unlikely unless he does it out of spite for not getting an offer from his alma mater.
If he's waiting for the KSU job it could be awhile. First he'll have to wait for Bill to retire and then way for Sean to retire or get fired.

2 months, 3 weeks ago

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['']

No way Venables comes here. He has had opps waaayy better than KU in the south and east that he poopoo'd away. He is making bank $1.8 M as one of the highest paid coords in the country at a perennial top 5 program now. Without all the hassles of a HC. He may be content to make millions a year by focusing on ONE thing -- that he does amazingly well.

2 months, 3 weeks ago

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Lance Hobson

Are some of you actually comparing Les Miles to Charlie Weis? Not even close. We would be so lucky to have Miles. Not going to happen because he could do much better. Please don’t hire Brady Hoke. I still have hope that KU could win a few games this year but maybe the season is already a throw away if the conclusions this article make are true.

2 months, 3 weeks ago

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Frederick Heckel

Beaty was done the second Zenger was shown the door. There is no way he could save his job.

2 months, 3 weeks ago

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Randy Bombardier

Some good names here. I like Miles would be an excellent hire. His offenses had explosive running games which i believe is critical to our future. For same reason I like Wariner, Army and Navy coaches. Doeren has a good thing going, not sure he would or should leave, could win here. Imo, Les Miles would be the candidate most likely to succeed.

2 months, 3 weeks ago

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Aaron Paisley

Tom, have you actually seen the trail of crap Hoke has left behind since he got hired at Michigan? His record got worse each year there. As DC at Oregon, he actually made Clint Bowen look competent as a DC by comparison. Oregon was statistically the second worst defense in the nation in 2016 while going 4-8. They second worst in points allowed and yards allowed. He then followed that s-show up with the 5th worst run defense in the nation at Tennessee as their DLine coach last year on a team that was 0-8 in the SEC.

What part of Hoke's resume since 2012 says he deserves a head coaching job anywhere in D1 at this point?

Brent Venables is the home run hire for Kansas at this point given his ties to the B12 and long term success as a DC at Oklahoma and Clemson including a national title at each school as a DC along with multiple title games appearances at each school as well.

2 months, 3 weeks ago

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Frederick Heckel

Venebales is far from a home run hire. A home run would be Harbaugh or Miles. Bielema is a triple at best. Venebales would be a single at best.

2 months, 3 weeks ago

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Aaron Paisley

Les Miles would be 65 and turn 66 during the season in 2019. Not a long term option therefore not a home run hire.

You seriously think the guy that got Jeff Long fired from Arkansas would be a good hire? How does Kansas get Harbaugh from Michigan?

2 months, 3 weeks ago

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Mike Hart

Les Miles?? Just what we need: A 65 year old head coach coming in to right the ship... that’s some real long term stability. HE will be 65 this year folks... Beaty is not getting fired before the season. Anyone rooting for his demise now is doing an incredible disservice to the players themselves, especially the seniors... and a guy like Daniel Wise Who cane back this year. If Long is at all as advertised, then he will take the time to assess and do what is right and not just come in and start firing people less than 2 months before the season starts. Disappointed that we had to wait no less than a couple of hours to start writing articles about the lame duck coach .. and Who is next on the wish list. Watch the football season... or if you awNt to be like Brett McCabe you can quit on this team and cancel all your tickets. That will help make KU better and show great support for the players themselves... Advocating Beaty be fired Aug 3 makes no sense and throws this team into further disarray ... and who would replace him this late in season? Someone from husband staff? Ludicrous...

2 months, 3 weeks ago

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Brett McCabe

INTERIM - for the hundredth time. What possible reason is there for keeping Beaty for a single game? Start the buyout clock now, let the world know you are in the market, eliminate the death-march during the season (which would be a far bigger distraction), give your interim the chance to win the job. All upside. Not a single downside other than it would be unconventional.

2 months, 3 weeks ago

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Aaron Paisley

Long has gone through that when he had to fire Petrino during the summer, it didn't go well for Arkansas that year.

An interim coach at KU in 2018 would mean Clint Bowen is the coach. Didn't go too well last time he was interim.

2 months, 3 weeks ago

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['']

Hoke = Joke!

2 months, 3 weeks ago

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Randy Bombardier

Mike, I think Long will give Beaty the whole season and possibly next. Zengers biggest failure was not the hiring but the firings. He put himself in the corner so that he had to hire someone like Beaty. It was his firings that was the disaster in my opinion. I think it is in Longs and Kus interest to give Beaty 5 years total no matter what. There is some risk to that in that we may lose an opportunity for a great hire but there is also some risk to replacing Beaty right away.

As far as speculation goes, the disappointed fans have every reason to dream of better times. There has clearly been no improvement over the last three years. Why shouldn't we be skeptical? We can't even win our non conference games for crying out loud.

And you are wrong about Les Miles. He goes from the Big12 and wins a national title in the Sec. You know anyone else with those credentials that might be interested in KU?

2 months, 3 weeks ago

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John Fitzgerald

I’m sorry but I completely disagree. Zenger’s issues were not the firings it was the hirings. As you look back on it now was Weis the right hire? And to follow him up do you think Beaty was the right hire? If you do then you’re okay with a 3-33 record in three years. Beaty may get this year but he’ll be on a short leash.

2 months, 3 weeks ago

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Dirk Medema

Being okay with Beaty is not about being okay with 3-33, as much as it is recognizing the other facts:

1. That he started out with an FCS roster - 60% of an FBS roster, and pretty much devoid of talent on top of it.

2. That he's rebuilt the roster both in numbers (80+/-) and talent with 5 players getting post-season awards last year, and I believe they all returned this year. On to[ of that we add a couple elite talent players.

3. The previous hirings and firings had put us in such a financial hole that our head coach wasn't even getting a reasonable coordinator salary. Even now there are many coordinators that are making more than him. Which of the HC dreams being thrown around were coming here for $800k? That's a reality that does materialize in the cyber-space dream world.

Losing is not okay, but the roster had to be rebuilt first, and that is finally done. Now he's got to win.

2 months, 3 weeks ago

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George Johnston

Why do you think Beaty should be given 5 years? Can you name a college football coach who failed to improve his team in four years but succeeded in his fifth? What is the risk in replacing Beaty today?

2 months, 3 weeks ago

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Barry Weiss

sorry Randy, no way on earth Long gives Beaty all of this year and even more remote is next year. Heck, Zenger could have done that. Long was brought in to clean house and I suspect he is actively looking at options right now. Beaty probably will not last until conference play. There is no benefit to it.

2 months, 3 weeks ago

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Dirk Medema

Unless he/we win.

2 months, 3 weeks ago

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Robert Brock

Who wants the Kansas job? Who wants to walk into a mammoth black hole? It ain’t gonna turn immediately.

2 months, 3 weeks ago

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Jay Scott

What if the football team suddenly starts winning? What if Long helps Beaty build a winner?What if there's no "next hire"?

The funny part is that the Chicken Littles will be even more deranged if that happens.

2 months, 3 weeks ago

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John Fitzgerald

I'm convinced Jay Scott is a Beaty burner account. Lol

2 months, 3 weeks ago

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Jay Scott

Johnny....

Jay Scott's FIRST choice for Long's action items would be to shut down the football program, start a men's soccer team and convert Memorial stadium for playing the beautiful game. Kansas could be out ahead of the curve.

American gladiators (football) is dying. It won't exist in a couple of decades. It would never be allowed to start knowing what we know now.

I'm no fan of Beaty. I just love making fun of how deranged all you Chicken Littles are.

2 months, 3 weeks ago

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John Fitzgerald

Wow...You definitely are the smartest person on your spaceship.

2 months, 3 weeks ago

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['']

Soccer blows!!

2 months, 3 weeks ago

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Jason Venable

What??? You don't enjoy the action packed 90 mins of play with a thrilling score of 1-0 or maybe even 2-1? You have got to be out of your mind!!!

2 months, 3 weeks ago

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Todd Hill

There is a chance KU Soccer would score more points than football.

2 months, 3 weeks ago

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['']

Exactly!

2 months, 3 weeks ago

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Jay Scott

...compared to a commercial packed 3 hours where the ball is actually in play for 12-13 minutes? The remaining time is spent watching fat men in tights slap each other on the buttocks... you like that better?

2 months, 3 weeks ago

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Jason Venable

Jason Candle (Toledo). Very interesting article of coaches with ties to Mount Union and the coaches with ties to the school in Ohio.

2 months, 3 weeks ago

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Brett McCabe

Looked him up and he seems legit. The Mount Union background is intriguing. As sad as it sounds, it might be hard for us to sign an up-and-comer like this. However, the hiring of Long gives me much more confidence in our ability to attract a quality coach like Candle.

2 months, 3 weeks ago

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Mike Hart

Randy Bombardier: How does Les Miles leaving OSU and winning national championship at LSU in the SEC make me wrong about him as a good hire coming to KU? My point is he is 65 years old and I question his energy, fire and patience to do a program "rebuild"... because a several year rebuild is what it is if you believe all the doom and gloom repeat posters on here asking for Beaty's head for 2+ years. They would have you believe the cupboard is bare and we have to start all over. Miles was a great coach and probably still is. My point is that he is 65 and I would prefer a more energetic guy who is not at the end of his career.

2 months, 3 weeks ago

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Aaron Paisley

If you go the Les Miles route, you allow him to hire a coordinator that will take over for him in 4-5 years and establish that as Les building a foundation for someone else to finish the job.

2 months, 3 weeks ago

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Barry Weiss

65 is not that old, heck, look at Coach Snyder.

2 months, 3 weeks ago

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Dirk Medema

Who's already retired once because he got tired of it/

2 months, 3 weeks ago

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Steve Hillyer

Doeren, Leavitt, the Pirate

2 months, 3 weeks ago

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['']

Leavitt is a cheating schiester. NEXT!

2 months, 3 weeks ago

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['']

Plus he is a Mizzery grad and KSU wonk. Uhhhh no thanks.

2 months, 3 weeks ago

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Barry Weiss

I would love Leach. He got a raw deal at Tech. He could get it done.

2 months, 3 weeks ago

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['']

Would love to have the Pirate but...Leach got fired from TT for the same thing Mangino did here -- both got raw deals -- but they won't bring him in for that reason.

2 months, 2 weeks ago

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Jim Stauffer

It would be hilarious if Beaty would win 4 games this year and Long evaluated him, the talent on the team and decided the best man for the future of KU FB was no other than David Beaty.
Keegan's articles on the impending doom of Long, Girod, Beaty and anyone else associated with KU FB would be unending.
If for no other reason than that (although my real reason is I believe Beaty is a young HC who can learn on the job and has all the other attributes of a great Coach) I would love to see it happen.
Would give us a lot of laughs at Mr. Know it all.

2 months, 3 weeks ago

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Brett McCabe

Since when does a P5 program hire a coach to learn on the job? And how many years does he need to learn? Because it's been a non-stop clown show for three years.

This is literally the only P5 football program in America where fans come out in strong support of a coach who has one real win under his belt in three years. One win. One. In overtime. Against a coach who was fired. One.

2 months, 3 weeks ago

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Dirk Medema

Since having 50 players and less $ for the entire staff than some spend on just the HC.

2 months, 3 weeks ago

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Michael Maris

It's funny to watch. The new AD has been hired, and there's already bickering going on as who to hire and not to hire. My lord, no wonder our political system is in the shape it's in today.

2 months, 3 weeks ago

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Jeff Coffman

4 wins doesn't save beatys job, nor would 5. I would like him to win, but we know he has not been successful at coaching the talent he had. Beaty was forced to keep Bowen and when Bowen continued to fail, he had to keep him, rotating offensive coordinator every year.

I would let Beaty walk he has had plenty of time to win and hasn't.

2 months, 3 weeks ago

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Barry Weiss

It would take Beaty another 4 years to win 4 games.

2 months, 3 weeks ago

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Richard Duran

Brady Hoke?!? Les Miles?!? Venables? are you all insane? Hoke and Miles would be awful hires, and Venbales may be an able coach but he grew up in Manhattan and played at KState! We had a chance to hire Doeren and went with this joker instead. The last time we hired a guy from a mid major in Big10 country he had a pretty good run, recruiting guys like Dana Stubblefield and Gilbert Brown and winning with Chip Hileary at QB. Why not hire a young guy like Doeren? It worked before.

Ed Warriner would be a good hire too. But I think Jim Leonhard would be the best hire. He's in his early 30s and running one of the best defenses in he country at Wisconsin. He's saavy and smart and could be a tremendous recruiter.

But enough with the Les Miles/Brady Hoke/ Jim HArbaugh lunacy. Lets get real. If we're gonna hire one of those guys we may have well just kept Charlie Tuna.

2 months, 2 weeks ago

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