Archive for Sunday, April 29, 2007

KU offered pleasant surprise during ‘95 football campaign

April 29, 2007

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Max Falkenstien, the legendary Kansas University basketball and football announcer, has written a new book, "A Good Place to Stop, 60 Seasons with Max and the Jayhawks." Today the Journal-World is running another excerpt from the book, published by Power House. "A Good Place to Stop" is available today in the Journal-World lobby and on our Web site (www.store.ljworld.com), as well as at Barnes & Noble, Dillons, KU Union Bookstore, Jayhawk Bookstore, Walgreens, The Raven and Kansas Sampler.

From Chapter 12

Glen Mason - Lead, Follow, or Get Out of the Way

As fall rolled around to start the 1995 football season, I didn't feel much excitement. Like a lot of the fans and media, I was apprehensive about the Jayhawks' talent level. Mark Williams was untested at quarterback, and the Jayhawks would have a completely rebuilt defensive line.

Things got worse before the season even started. Linebacker Ronnie Ward, the team's top defender, reinjured a shoulder playing pickup basketball in the spring and was knocked out for the year. Defensive back Tony Blevins had not fully recovered from a knee injury the previous year and decided to redshirt.

Mason had made wholesale changes on his staff before the season. He fired defensive coordinator Bob Fello, a truly unique coach whom I had learned to appreciate, and secondary coach Mark Dantonio. Mike Hankwitz arrived from Colorado to be the Jayhawks' defensive coordinator, and David Gibbs, also a CU assistant, was hired to coach the KU secondary.

No one gave KU much hope for being anything more than a second-division Big Eight team. The Jayhawks were picked to finish fifth in the preseason writers' poll.

But Mason was quietly building a team.

The first couple of games didn't change anyone's feelings. The young Jayhawks, with 15 new starters in the lineup, were unimpressive in a 23-18 victory over Cincinnati in the season opener. KU moved its record to 2-0 with a 27-10 win over North Texas in Week Two.

People started believing a little the next week when the Jayhawks played inspired from the start in a nationally televised game at Memorial Stadium against TCU. KU raced to a 21-0 lead and held off a late rally for a 38-20 victory.

Comments

tyson travis 7 years, 12 months ago

A little hard learning how to re-navigate around something I'd gotten used to. Living out-of-town, I usually only view local news, weather, sports and obits. I miss the entire menu down the left side, when the site first comes up, I guess I have to learn to click on 'local', otherwise I don't see the obits. option. No problems, I'll learn the new ways in a few days. Enjoy staying in touch with Lawrence where I grew up. Ty Travis, Pine Bluff, Ark.

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