Archive for Wednesday, November 21, 2001

AD Bohl enthused about search

November 21, 2001


Kansas University athletics director Al Bohl might have been working in his office on Tuesday afternoon, but his mind was hundreds of miles away.

Bohl, who was the AD at Fresno State and Toledo before being hired by the Jayhawks last summer, was eager to talk about the KU men's basketball team. Even though the Jayhawks were handed a disappointing 93-91 season-opening loss to Ball State on Monday in the Maui Invitational, he wasn't worried.

"I don't think Ball State is an indication of what will happen to us the rest of the season," said Bohl, who was at Toledo in 1987-1996 before spending five years at FSU. "The reality is, I'm one of those people who knows how good Ball State was, having played against them all those years I was at Toledo. They got us on a neutral court, the heat all the right conditions that were ready for an upset.

"But Roy didn't win 80 percent of his games by accident. We will come thundering back and I'm looking forward to getting us back off the island and start playing games over here."

Bohl's optimism wasn't limited to the hardwood, either. He was bubbling with excitement Tuesday while discussing the on-going effort to find the Jayhawks' next head football coach.

"I feel real good. We're moving right along," said Bohl, who relieved former coach Terry Allen of his duties earlier this month. "With this type of process you could go out in a much shorter period of time if you want to just go out and hire somebody. But the objective isn't to hire somebody.

"The objective is to find the very best person we can to build a program at KU."

While Bohl wouldn't discuss specific candidates, he did say he had been impressed by the number of potential replacements.

"It doesn't surprise me," Bohl said. "It's made me feel very good that several people have said to me that because I'm here, they've become interested in the job. I also think it's a credit to people knowing about the Big 12 and what a great conference it is.

"Those people who want to accept and face the challenge and get excited about that, this is a great opportunity for them."

Bohl said he and the 16-person search committee have been looking at candidates from three different categories current Division I-A head coaches, top offensive and defensive coordinators and former coordinators that now are NFL assistants.

Bohl also said Kansas is looking for someone who displays what he calls "the givens" or "the right things." Any possible suitor for the opening has to care about academics, follow rules, be a team player, understand equity, know the importance of team discipline and be well organized, Bohl said.

"That type of person probably is going to be successful in anything they want to do besides coaching football," Bohl said. "Then you just figure out what type of X's and O's guy they are."

Bohl reiterated he wanted to have KU's next coach in place as quickly as possible. The recruiting contact period begins on Dec. 1.

The problem this year, though, is that make-up games are being played this weekend across the country, extending the season. The Big 12 championship game, for example, has been pushed back to Dec. 1.

Something Bohl doesn't think will factor into the search, though, is KU's national reputation as a basketball school.

"I'm trying to make it a softball school, a baseball school, a women's soccer school, a golf school," Bohl said. "I might mix in a little football too, but our richest tradition is in men's basketball. I want to make it a women's basketball school, too. Iowa State if their women's basketball and men's basketball does pretty well, there's no reason that we can't have a number of sports doing well here.

"Basketball, man, you've got Naismith Drive and Allen Fieldhouse. That tradition is so great, which is excellent, but there's no reason we can't have a competitive football team and all those other teams."

Injury update: Senior middle linebacker Marcus Rogers (left ankle sprain) and defensive tackle Nate Dwyer (pulled hip flexor) continue to be bothered by their respective ailments.

"Not good," KU interim head coach Tom Hayes said after practice Tuesday about the Jayhawks' health. "We're still hoping to get Marcus back. I don't know if we can, but we're certainly trying. Nate is still suffering from that hip flexor. Those are the two big ones on defense."

Hayes also said red-shirt freshman defensive end Travis Watkins had been hampered by an injured wrist and didn't know if the lineman would be able to play this weekend.

"I hope he does," Hayes said, "but you never know with those things because a defensive lineman is pushing and shoving."

KU will play host to Wyoming in the season finale for both schools. Kickoff is 1 p.m. at Memorial Stadium.

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