Chat about KU football's upcoming season

July 24, 2006

This chat has already taken place. Read the transcript below.

Pat Henderson is in charge of the KU Quarterback club and used to be a KU assistant coach. He'll take questions about Mark Mangino's 2007 squad.

Moderator:

Hi and welcome to our chat today. I'm Andy Samuelson the online sports editor for KUsports.com and I will be today's chat moderator. Today we our joined by Pat Henderson, who is an Assistant Director of Athletics at KU. Thanks Pat for taking time this afternoon to join with our ljworld.com and KUsports.com readers.

Pat Henderson:

I appreciate being here, it's great to be talking about KU football. The season is getting close and I think it's going to be a really fun year.

Moderator:

Well I'm sure a lot of die hard Jayhawk football fans probably remember your coaching days at KU a couple of years back, but if you could fill us in quickly about what you're doing now at KU?

Pat Henderson:

I'm in the Williams Educational fund now and wear a variety of hats in that department. One of the things I'm active in right now is the quarterback club, and getting that going right now. I do a lot of public speaking for KU athletics in conjunction with the alumni association. I'm also in charge of our K-Club, our former student athlete's lettermen's association. And of course fundraising is also my major role.

Moderator:

When is the first quarterback club meeting, and how would someone get involved with that association?

Pat Henderson:

Our first meeting features coach Mark Mangino, at the Booth-Adams Alumni Center on Tuesday Aug. 1 at 5:30 p.m. After that we will have five in-season meetings at the Eldridge Hotel on Monday nights at 5:30 with a variety of guest speakers including former KU players and coaches and others. Anyone wanting to get invovled can contact me at phender@ku.edu or can call me at 785-864-3196.

Moderator:

Sounds good, well lets tackle some reader questions.

Mark_P:

Pat, can you talk about the area of the team that excites you the most, and the area of the team that most concerns you?

Pat Henderson:

Starting at the quarterback position, Kerry Meier is a phenomenal athlete. I think it's going to be really fun to watch his progression through the season. I think he's going to be special. The area of greatest concern: I worry about depth on defense -- losing so many quality players from last year. I also think it will be interesting to see who steps up at wide receiver. It's hard to be a good passing team if you don't have good receivers.

Yorkiemom:

Which big XII game do you think will be the toughest for KU this year? How do you think they'll fare in the Big XII North?

Thanks.

Amy
Lawrence, KS

Pat Henderson:

That's easy. First it's always the next game and Nebraska is our first conference game. And in this case it's the team picked to win the Big 12 North, and its on the road, and it's a team you might remember that we beat for the first time in a long time last season. I think the Big 12 North is wide open, I like our coaching, players, and schedule. I think we'll fare great this year.

Noweigh:

KU has finally made a serious commitment to football..congrats. Is there any consideration to removing the track and lowering the field for additional seats and to make Memorial a "football only"" stadium?

Pat Henderson:

I think that's always a topic for discussion. I personally think it makes a lot of sense. I can see where it could benefit both football and track. However, there are a lot of considerations involved and no decision has been made at this time that I'm aware of.

Moderator:

Pat, What do you see as some of the advantages of a football-only facility?

Pat Henderson:

The advantages are many in my opinion. We have one of the finest venues in the country right now, and eliminating the track would make it an even more spectacular venue. Northwesten University moved there stadium several years ago and I couldn't believe the dramatic difference it made to the look and feel of their facility. It gives us an opportunity to add more seats, and more desirable seats. From a track standpoint, there are only a few times a year where they need a facility that large. Having a place they did not have to share would probably help them in recruiting and track attendance.

Moderator:

Speaking of seating, I know that you are also involved with season ticket sales. How is that going right now?

Pat Henderson:

We're on schedule to set an all-time season-ticket record. Obviously that's one of our goals. The previous record is from 1969, so that's a very exciting accomplishment. There are however, plenty of good seats still available at kuathletics.com. You can also call 800-34-HAWKS(800-344-2957).

nschmi04:

Since you have been around the team, in the locker room, etc., who do you feel the players like to beat more: KSU or Misery?

Pat Henderson:

Both are great rivals. As a former player and coach, I would have to say it's still Missouri -- and it always will be. If I didn't answer that way, Coach Fambrough would have me running wind sprints.

eddchur:

Will Jon Cornish be expected to carry and catch the football twice as much as last year?

Pat Henderson:

Jon is an extremely valuable player. What sometimes gets overlooked is his value as a special teams player. While he has tremendous stamina, it would be easy to overuse him and thereby cut his effectiveness. The bottom line is carries will be directly related to his productiveness and whatever is necessary to win the football game. We have some other young running backs I'm anxious to see, including true freshman Jake Sharp out of Salina and sophomore Angus Quigley.

Moderator:

Looks like Pat has time for one more question.

topekahawk:

What is one area of the team that fans are worried about, but shouldn't be?

Pat Henderson:

I think fans should worry about all aspects. That's why they -- and now me since I've left coaching -- are fans. We lost a lot of good players on defense last year, but I think we will be better than some people predict. I think coach Bill Young and the other defensive coaches do a great job. While I worry a little about the depth, the first string talent will be very good. I know they will play hard and play for 60 minutes.

Moderator:

That's going to do it for our chat today with Pat Henderson. Thanks a lot Pat for taking time out of your busy schedule to chat KU football with us. To KU fans out there remember the date of those Quarterback Club meetings or e-mail Pat at phender@ku.edu. Also a big thanks to our KUsports.com ljworld.com readers for all their input into this chat. For any of you wanting to see highlights from last football season, Sunflower Broadband will be
airing free local-on-demand highlights this week.

Pat Henderson:

Thanks for having me, I always love the chance to talk about KU football. That's my job and my passion.

Comments

Steve Jacob 10 years, 1 month ago

Very positive guy. KU was picked 4th in the North, which sounds about right. I still say KU football might get more sanctions when the final NCAA report comes out.

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