Archive for Thursday, December 3, 2009

Who’s hot: Sizing up the possibilities for KU’s next football coach

Two of three pundits have chosen Kansas and coach Turner Gill, pictured here coaching Buffalo, to take fourth in the north.

Two of three pundits have chosen Kansas and coach Turner Gill, pictured here coaching Buffalo, to take fourth in the north.

December 3, 2009, 8:41 p.m. Updated December 3, 2009, 8:49 p.m.

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The wait is over and Kansas University can get on with building its football program.

Through a release on the school’s Web site Thursday night, KU athletic department officials announced that former KU head coach Mark Mangino had resigned his post.

Mangino, who spent eight years in charge of the KU program and was the consensus national coach of the year in 2007, came to KU as an up-and-coming assistant and left the program in better shape than he inherited it.

KU athletic director Lew Perkins declined to say how quickly he plans to name a successor.

“I know people will float a number of names out there,” Perkins said. “But I will not comment on any potential candidates. ... I think this is a very attractive job and I wouldn’t be surprised, now that this is out, that all kinds of people will be interested in this job.”

Perkins announced Thursday that current KU assistant coaches David Beaty, Clint Bowen and Bill Miller will share interim head-coaching duties.

Let the name-floating begin:

THE FAVORITE

Stanford head coach Jim Harbaugh

Stanford head coach Jim Harbaugh

Jim Harbaugh, Stanford University head coach

Record at school: 17-19 in 3 seasons (46-25 career)

Current salary: Not available.

Why it makes sense: Stanford doesn’t pay as well as Perkins and because of academic restrictions at Stanford, Harbaugh would be able to recruit from a deeper pool of athletes at Kansas. Fit, handsome and a big name because of his days as an NFL quarterback and the coach who has a knack for beating USC, he’s exactly what Perkins desires. Harbaugh’s wife, the former Sarah Feverborn, is from Kansas City, Mo.

Why it might not happen: The Michigan job could come open as soon as 2011, but coaching at KU wouldn’t come with as much pressure as a future possible return to his alma mater, so that concern might be overblown.

STRONG CONTENDERS

Houston head coach Kevin Sumlin

Houston head coach Kevin Sumlin

Boise State head coach Chris Petersen

Boise State head coach Chris Petersen

Southern Mississippi head coach Larry Fedora

Southern Mississippi head coach Larry Fedora

Cincinnati head coach Brian Kelly

Cincinnati head coach Brian Kelly

Connecticut head coach Randy Edsall

Connecticut head coach Randy Edsall

Northwestern head coach Pat Fitzgerald

Northwestern head coach Pat Fitzgerald

East Carolina head coach Skip Holtz

East Carolina head coach Skip Holtz

Florida defensive coordinator Charlie Strong

Florida defensive coordinator Charlie Strong

Former Jayhawk Nolan Cromwell salutes the crowd after being inducted into the KU Ring of Honor.

Former Jayhawk Nolan Cromwell salutes the crowd after being inducted into the KU Ring of Honor.

Former Auburn head coach Tommy Tuberville.

Former Auburn head coach Tommy Tuberville.

Former Tennessee head coach Phillip Fulmer.

Former Tennessee head coach Phillip Fulmer.

Former Baltimore Ravens coach Brian Billick.

Former Baltimore Ravens coach Brian Billick.

Kevin Sumlin, University of Houston head coach

Record at school: 18-7 in 2 seasons

Current salary: $750,000 per year

Why it makes sense: Has made a huge national splash in just his second season at Houston. Is an even-tempered disciplinarian who draws praise for getting players to do exactly what he wants of them.

Why it might not happen: He’s very happy at Houston, which will do everything it can to keep him, but will be battling several big-time BCS schools along the way. Maybe he wants his jump from Houston to be a bigger one?

Chris Petersen, Boise State University head coach

Record at school: 47-4 in 4 seasons

Current salary: $1.1 million per year

Why it makes sense: When you throw in his time as an assistant coach, Petersen boasts an unbelievable track record of success. The program did not miss a beat when he took over.

Why it might not happen: After what has happened to former Boise State coach Dan Hawkins at Colorado (most notably a lack of winning), it’s easy to see why other schools would be gun-shy about taking another hot name from Idaho.

Turner Gill, University of Buffalo head coach

Record at school: 20-30 in 4 seasons

Current salary: $401,300 per year

Why it makes sense: Gill has ties to the Big 12 from his days at Nebraska and is from the Dallas Metroplex, the heart of KU’s recruiting area.

Why it might not happen: After a breakthrough season at Buffalo in 2008, Gill’s team missed out on becoming bowl eligible this season. He also has been very public with his spirituality, which has the potential to make some uncomfortable.

Larry Fedora, University of Southern Mississippi head coach

Record at school: 14-10 in 2 seasons

Current salary: $736,102 per year

Why it makes sense: He’s known as an excellent recruiter — especially in Texas, where he was a high school coach — and has Big 12 ties from his days as an offensive coordinator at Oklahoma State.

Why it might not happen: Hasn’t been a head coach long enough to prove he’s a big-time winner.

THE HOT LIST

Brian Kelly, University of Cincinnati head coach

Record at school: 33-6 in 4 seasons (170-57-2 career)

Current salary: $1.4 million per year

Why it makes sense: Kelly might be the best X’s and O’s coach on the market and he has big-time experience with Cincy being in the Big East and vying for BCS inclusion year after year.

Why it might not happen: Unless the Golden Domers go big and try to make a splash with a guy like Jon Gruden or Tony Dungy, Kelly might be Notre Dame-bound any day now.

Randy Edsall, University of Connecticut head coach

Record at school: 62-28 in 11 seasons

Current salary: $1.45 million per year

Why it makes sense: We’ve seen the UConn connection come through KU before since former UConn AD Lew Perkins took over. Why not see it again? In addition to having ties to Perkins, Edsall has done a masterful job of making the Huskies relevant after their leap to the Div. I level.

Why it might not happen: Perkins would open himself to charges that he had orchestrated Mangino’s dismissal to hire Edsall for the second time.

Pat Fitzgerald, Northwestern University head coach

Record at school: 27-22 in 4 seasons

Current salary: Not available.

Why it makes sense: Young and fit, his dynamic personality fits the sort of face Perkins wants to put on the football program.

Why it might not happen: Is extremely loyal to Northwestern, where he was a football star and is a darkhorse candidate for the Notre Dame job.

Skip Holtz, East Carolina University head coach

Record at school: 37-26 in 5 seasons (75-48 career)

Current salary: $1.4 million per year

Why it makes sense: Holtz, the son of former Notre Dame coach Lou Holtz, coached at Connecticut before heading to East Carolina and has known Perkins for quite some time. Excellent people skills and famous last name make him a natural for reviving the Gridiron Club.

Why it might not happen: Holtz, who turned down Syracuse last year, is more interested in landing the Virginia job, a better fit for his recruiting contacts.

THE ASSISTANTS

Charlie Strong, University of Florida defensive coordinator

Record at school: N/A

Current salary: $310,000 per year

Why it makes sense: Would open up the state of Florida for recruiting and would bring a big-time resume to town.

Why it might not happen: Louisville has targeted Strong as its top candidate and the veteran D-coordinator could prefer to remain close to where he’s had success.

Nolan Cromwell, Texas A&M University offensive coordinator

Record at school: N/A

Current salary: $355,729 per year

Why it makes sense: Knows the game — especially offense — and has his name on the ring of honor at KU’s Memorial Stadium. Perkins might like the idea of having Cromwell, Gale Sayers and John Hadl selling the Gridiron Club.

Why it might not happen: Still relatively new to college coaching, Cromwell might not have the experience necessary to lead Kansas to a Big 12 North title.

FORMER SEC COACHES

Tommy Tuberville, former Auburn University head coach

Record at school: 85-40 at Auburn in 10 years

Current salary: N/A

Why it makes sense: Tuberville had success during his time at Auburn and many believe that his could be the biggest name up for grabs right now.

Why it might not happen: Doesn’t have as much sizzle outside of the South.

Phillip Fulmer, former University of Tennessee head coach

Record at school: 152-52 in 17 seasons at Tennessee

Current salary: N/A

Why it makes sense: His 1998 national title would generate a buzz with the fan base and he wants to get back into coaching. Portion of Vols’ supporters believe firing was premature.

Why it might not happen: Fulmer will be 60 in September and he endured the only bowl-less seasons of his career in 2005 and 2008. Also drawing interest for the vacancy at Louisville.

DARE-TO-DREAM GUY

Brian Billick, former Baltimore Ravens head coach and current NFL analyst

Record at school: 80-64 in 9 seasons with Baltimore

Current salary: N/A

Why it makes sense: Already achieved the ultimate prize as a pro coach by winning the Super Bowl in 2000 and may be interested in a different challenge. He and Perkins know and like each other.

Why it might not happen: Billick can get just about any coaching job on the planet and probably would not be interested in this one.

Source for salary information: USA Today

Comments

parrothead8 5 years, 5 months ago

Harbaugh and Fitzgerald both make around $750k per year, but I think Harbaugh is supposedly about to sign an extension (if he hasn't already) at Stanford that will boost him up to $1.25M.

Whomever KU gets, the guy has a tough task trying to recruit against the Texas and Oklahoma schools.

garyr 5 years, 5 months ago

I'm just going to copy and paste my response from the other article. Leading all these names out here is nonsense. It's down to two people. All the other coaches on here are on here just to make fans think it's some prestigious position. Kelly, Harbaugh, Peterson, Holtz? Get real people.


So, what I've heard from my reliable informants is that the position is down to two possibilities. Neither of which were mentioned above. Harbaugh will not come to KU, he has a good thing going in Stanford right now. They love him there, his team is getting better by the game and he likes the West Coast. Sumlin does not have enough of a winning reputation to become the head coach of KU. Obviously, he had a good season this year, but still has alot to prove as a head coach. I have no idea where they got either of these names, maybe just pulled them out of a hat, or brought them up to get everyone off track. The two names I hear on the inside track for the head coaching job are, as I've said, Turner Gill, head coach of Buffalo, and Randy Edsall, the head coach at UConn. Lew has histories with both of these coaches. Which one of these two will it be? All I will say is Gill's daughter goes to KU, so he may want to be close to family. Have a good day!

Catbacker 5 years, 5 months ago

This is fun to watch. I thought the firing was a massive trainwreck, but seeing these candidates turn KU down one after another...might be more entertaining yet. Edsall, Gill, or Fedora are the only ones on this list that would even sniff this job, and I'm not sure any of them would be that great of a hire. KU may be forced to hire a not-hot coordinator, or a (Big XII) retread like Frank Solich, Dan McCartney, or Dennis Franchione. At least you know those guys can do it at this level, in this conference.

irvan moore 5 years, 5 months ago

Franchione or Venables would be my picks.

garyr 5 years, 5 months ago

Because, kubacker, that is what Lew wants. It will be Gill or Edsall. Lew is brining his failures and UConn straight to KU. Me might as well start calling it UKan.

Kendall Simmons 5 years, 5 months ago

I sure as heck hope Harbaugh is not what Lew Perkins is looking for.

We old farts have to remember that "big names" to us don't mean anything to the high school juniors and seniors of today...or their parents. If some coach played in the pros, that might be a factor to those with pro dreams. But they really don't know who these guys are, so let's not pretend they do. And remember we don't win games with boosters. But we certainly lose games without Big 12-caliber players...like we did this year.

Beating USC doesn't mean anything to most kids...and I'm hoping for more than the old "it'll be a good season if we just beat Missouri" nonsense. Which would you rather our record be, 12-1 with a loss to Mizzou, or 1-12 and beating them?

(And what does being handsome have to do with anything? Randy Edsall of UConn is better-looking...with a much better record. And Pat Fitzergald, as "young and fit" as he may be, is dorky-looking. Heck, why do we even care? Because of recruits' moms???)

And why should we care about Turner Gill's having played in the Big 12?? We need a great head coach, for crying out load. And, at 30-40, he's not one.

And Brian Billick??? He won the Super Bowl once, and we all know that coaching in the pros is identical to coaching at the college level...and vice versa. Don't we? Oh yeah, right. We know better.

I'd love it if we went after...and got...Chris Peterson of Boise State. He's a proven winner. And we're not talking "Terry Allen - proven winner" caliber either. (And thinking "all coaches who have coached successfully in Idaho will be failures" based on Dan Hawkins. Oh, that's real bright. If KU takes that approach, we don't deserve a great head coach.)

Regardless of Keegan's list, I don't think KU will be as a hard a sell as some of you think.

The money (and money potential) is great. Facilities are great. Fan support is really good.

And, while you may want to blame everything on Lew Perkins, and apparently are using that as a reason many good coaches wouldn't want to come here, I don't recall seeing Mark Mangino's name on any wish lists, even after he won National Coach of the Year.

I don't recall his having a winning conference record. (And am not real impressed with 50-48 over 8 years.)

Yes, I do recall our having one great year, and it was a blast.

But I also note we've gone backsliding since then.

And I don't recall Mangino's great recruiting skills.

Plus I don't see that he's left us with a particularly good team...so, even if he'd stayed, next year was probably going to be discouraging, too.

It'll be interesting to see who we get. Whatever happens, I don't think Lew is going to aim low.

Catbacker 5 years, 5 months ago

Dirk Koetter, who preceeded Dan Hawkins at Boise St., also failed at the BCS level (Arizona St.). Chris Peterson will certainly not make the rest of the Big XII worry.

garyr 5 years, 5 months ago

LarryNative..... Really, Harabaugh was here yesterday?

What do Harbaugh and Mangino have in common?

-Both were in Lawrence yesterday, but won't be next year!

Da-Da-Ting

jhokfan 5 years, 5 months ago

Catbacker:

Kind of reminds you of when coach creampuff resigned and all the high profile names floating around in Manhattan doesn't it? Refresh my memory, who did they hire?

9070811 5 years, 5 months ago

Wouldn't it be sweet if some big name, like Brian Billick, suddenly had some divine inspiration to take over and backhand a program like ours?

One can only dream, but we'll probably get some 70-60 coach. Fun!

rgh 5 years, 5 months ago

Both Nolan Cromwell and OU D-Coord. Brent Venables would be great hires. Cromwell has the "O" experience of playing and coaching and certainly the "D" experience of great NFL years. He has recruiting connections to Southern California and Texas plus can lure the great Kansas kids who Mangino let get away to K-State. Cromwell would also have the loyalty factor to KU to keep him here for years. The others would want this as a stepping stone.

I like Turner Gill but not sure, even has a head coach, he's ready to recruit and build a Big XII contender. Nolan has also got the connections to hire some big time assistant coaches who can handle the Big XII experience. Don't overlook an assistant as KU did with Mangino and OU did with Stoops!

Catbacker 5 years, 5 months ago

jhokfan - Exactly...and KSU is a better job...not by much...but it is better...that's what makes these candidate lists so entertaining. Chris Peterson may not be bad...might be the best KU can get...just pointing out that the last two coaches did as well (as him) at Boise St., but failed at schools that are perceived to be better jobs than KU.

sfjayhawk 5 years, 5 months ago

I just dont see Harbaugh going from Stanford to KU - unless KU paid an unreasonable price. Why would he make a lateral (at best) move?

1029 5 years, 5 months ago

I hope they go with Captain Comeback. The guy has proven time and time again that he can win games that he is not supposed to win--be it Stanford vs. USC or the 1995 Colts who were only one horrible, horrible call away from the '06 Super Bowl (Kordell Stewart catching the deciding TD pass after having run out of the end zone and coming back onto the field of play. The NFL didn't allow plays to be reviewed at the time.)

KU is usually the underdog in its Big 12 matchups and will benefit from having a coach who has a proven record of leading the underdog to victory. Plus, I would hope that potential recruits know and respect the name Jim Harbaugh--no matter what region of the country it is. I think he seems like a much better fit than the other guys profiled in this article.

xdisciple 5 years, 5 months ago

Even if KU gets a big name coach, and he can recruit big name players, if the KU fan base won't come out and support the team on the way up it's never going to get up. KU was 5-0 after beating Iowa State when at-that-time Heisman candidate Todd Reesing said the following:

"It is disappointing when you're in a conference game and you're a top 20 team and you're in a close game where you could really use some fan support, and half the student section leaves," quarterback Todd Reesing said. "All the guys notice that on the team. It's hard not to notice."

http://cjonline.com/sports/football/2009-10-13/ku_disappointed_in_fans

And it wasn't just at that game, either. As the article makes very clear, every home game had been the same. And it's been the same for years. The infamous Jayhawk Walk. Face it, true blue KU pigskin few-- your fellow "fans" suck so bad because they're spoiled on basketball, that this school will NEVER become great in the manly and true sport of football.

All these jagoffs who've been blaming the coach and players-- did you stay at the games?

Lee Eldridge 5 years, 5 months ago

KU is a MUCH better job than it was a few years ago. I want Lew to set his sites high.

http://www.leeeldridge.com/mangino-resigns-future-of-ku-football/

BigPrune 5 years, 5 months ago

Why did they get rid of Mangina again?

cowboy 5 years, 5 months ago

it had something to do with hot bear claws

dutch1953 5 years, 5 months ago

I think Lew Perkins is crazy if he feels that anyone short of Mark Mangino will look at KU's football position as anything other then a stepping stone. KU football will never win the hearts of Kansas folks when you compare it to basketball. Football will always be second.

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