Archive for Tuesday, July 20, 2004

Lamb switching positions

Injury forces KU safety into wide-receiver role

July 20, 2004


Jonathan Lamb started all 13 games at free safety for Kansas University last season, but the sophomore isn't likely to be back in the secondary this fall.

"He has a recurring problem that's not going away," KU football coach Mark Mangino said. "We feel that playing the wide-receiver position won't aggravate it as much."

Mangino declined to specify Lamb's ailment, but the constant hitting required in the secondary took a toll on the former Olathe North standout, who joined the team as a walk-on in 2002. Lamb (6-foot-2, 190 pounds) ranked fifth on the team with 89 tackles as a red-shirt freshman in 2003, and his 6.8 tackles per game ranked him among the nation's top 10 freshmen.

The first-team Academic All-Big 12 Conference selection -- who played quarterback and defensive back at Olathe North -- will be learning a new position on offense when preseason camp opens Aug. 6.

"He's a 4.0 student," Mangino said. "He'll pick it up pretty quick. We'll try to see where he best fits in. We won't know until we see him work out, but he'll likely be more suited to the outside than inside."


Long gone: Quarterback Kevin Long won't return to Kansas for his fifth season of eligibility. Mangino said the Iowa City, Iowa, product planned to transfer to a school closer to home.

Long was an All-American at Iowa City West, the same high school that produced former KU coach Terry Allen. Long passed for 2,178 yards and 21 touchdowns in two seasons, leading West to 26 consecutive victories and two Class 4A state titles. His playing time at KU was limited primarily to special teams.

Sophomore quarterback Joe Hogan also left the team in the offseason.


Freshman certified: Mangino said he expected the academic certification of the freshman class to be completed by today.

"I don't anticipate any freshmen not qualifying," he said.

Four of KU's five junior-college transfers transferred at winter break. Mangino is waiting on Minnesota West Community College defensive end Charlton Keith, who is taking summer courses in Minnesota.

"I'm always optimistic," Mangino said. "I think he's got a chance to make it. He has to finish strong."

The Jayhawks could use Keith, who had seven sacks at the University of Minnesota as a freshman in 2002 before transferring to junior college for his sophomore season. Kansas must replace three of its four starters on the defensive line. In addition, KU lost senior end John McCoy last week when the Army Reservist was called to active duty.

"We don't know what a guy is going to do until they get here," Mangino said, "but we do need to bolster our defensive end position."


Another Matsakis: Louis Matsakis, the younger brother of KU director of football operations George Matsakis, is entering his first season as director of quality control. In 2003 the younger Matsakis was an assistant coach for brother Manny Matsakis, who was fired last winter after his first season as head coach at Texas State.

Louis played for Manny at Emporia State before working three years as a video assistant at Texas Tech, where Manny was assistant head coach and special teams coordinator. At KU, the youngest of the brothers will be involved with developing scouting reports and recruiting analysis.

Carl Smith, a 25-year coaching veteran, also joined KU's staff in the spring as a video assistant. Smith was head coach at Winona, Texas, before moving to Lawrence last year to be closer to his wife's family. He spent the 2003 season on coach Bob Lisher's staff at Free State High.


Ex-KU coach loses appeal: A former Kansas University football coach has lost an appeal for four months of pay.

The Kansas Court of Appeals upheld a District Court ruling in the lawsuit of Tom Hayes, former assistant coach and interim head coach, against the KU Athletics Corporation.

Hayes was hired in March 2001 under a 24-month written contract. He served until December 2001, but was placed on administrative leave with pay through the remainder of his contract, which expired Feb. 28, 2003.

Hayes maintained in his lawsuit that an oral commitment from former head coach Terry Allen meant his contract would last through the fiscal year ending June 30, 2003.

The court ruled that the written contract was "plain and unambiguous" and that his claims "are not supported by law."

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