Archive for Friday, December 11, 2009

Perkins: Coach search ongoing

Amid Harbaugh reports, KU A.D. says he has not offered the job to anyone

Kansas University athletic director Lew Perkins talks with media members outside the Anderson Family Football Complex on Thursday as he answers questions regarding the resignation of head coach Mark Mangino.

Kansas University athletic director Lew Perkins talks with media members outside the Anderson Family Football Complex on Thursday as he answers questions regarding the resignation of head coach Mark Mangino.

December 11, 2009, 4:45 p.m. Updated December 12, 2009, 12:00 a.m.


By mid-day Friday, the word around town (and Internet sites and radio and multiple news stations) was that Stanford coach Jim Harbaugh had pretty much been signed, sealed and delivered as the new coach of the Kansas University football team.

The only problem was, according to the man leading KU’s ongoing search for a new coach, none of it was backed by any kind of truth.

In response to the numerous reports that surfaced throughout the day, KU athletic director Lew Perkins issued a short statement late Friday afternoon indicating that he had not made a contract offer to any potential head football coach.

“As we have said in the past, we will not comment on rumors about any potential candidates for the position of head football coach at the University of Kansas,” he said. “Having said that, I will reiterate at this time that the process is ongoing. We have not offered the head coaching position to anyone.”

Perkins’ comments seemed to slow — at least temporarily — speculation that a Harbaugh-to-Kansas move is on the immediate horizon, though they likely did nothing to squelch fans’ intrigue of Harbaugh, a former NFL quarterback and the third-year coach at Stanford.

Since former KU coach Mark Mangino was ushered out last week amid allegations that he’d physically and verbally abused players, Harbaugh seems to have topped many a wish-list as Perkins has gone about the task of replacing the second-winningest coach in Kansas football history.

In just three years at Stanford, Harbaugh, who comes from a family of coaches, has made the Cardinal relevant in the Pac-10, leading the team to an 8-4 record this season and its first bowl berth since 2001.

Stanford has been trying to negotiate a new deal with the 45-year-old coach, whose wife is from the Kansas City area.

Earlier this week, KU über-booster Dana Anderson — whose name adorns the football team’s new $31 million complex — said he hopes the search is handled quickly in an effort to get things settled, and based on at least one recent development, his concern seems to be warranted.

Kansas University football commitment Jacoby Walker, a quarterback from Houston, de-committed from KU this week and will instead play at Utah, according to the Salt Lake (Utah) Tribune.

A three-star recruit according to, Walker committed to the Jayhawks in June, but reportedly began looking elsewhere after Mangino resigned.

Walker, who is set to graduate this winter, had planned to enroll at KU for the spring semester.

But with the uncertainty surrounding the head coaching position, doing so would have represented a significant gamble.

The effect of the recent coaching change on what has been a particularly strong 2010 commitment list — already, the team has landed three players rated as four-star recruits by —has been a concern since Mangino’s departure last Thursday

As the program’s remaining coaches have continued to try to keep the class intact, it has proven a difficult venture, at times.

“We’re just trying to make them at ease and point out the things that haven’t changed,“ defensive coordinator and interim coach Clint Bowen said last week. “Kansas is still a great university, a great community. They’re still committed to football and being successful in football. And none of those things have changed.”

Several names of candidates for the vacant Kansas job — aside from Harbaugh’s — also have been mentioned of late.

They are:

Buffalo coach Turner Gill, who reportedly has interviewed with Perkins.

East Carolina coach Skip Holtz.

Houston coach Kevin Sumlin.

Central Michigan coach Butch Jones.

Wisconsin coach Bret Bielema and Wisconsin defensive coordinator Dave Doeren.


Lee Eldridge 8 years, 5 months ago

Well of course that's his response.

But the rumors have started, and Harbaugh would be a great choice:

gsxr600 8 years, 5 months ago

That record is mildly deceptive by the way

4everahawk 8 years, 5 months ago

Uncle Fester is actually better looking, don't you think?

anon1958 8 years, 5 months ago

The NCAA really should forbid coaches from being contacted until the bowl season is over. It is just terribly unfair to the student athletes for their coach to bail on them before a bowl game.

I think it would be entirely reasonable for a team that got screwed over in this manner by their coach to protest by sitting out, developing a sudden illness, or w/e.

Coaches abandoning their teams during the bowl season is just one more example of how ethically impoverished the NCAA football racket is and why it is in complete conflict with the basic ideals that universities should be promoting and adhere to.

nobody1793 8 years, 5 months ago

"Uncle Fester is our next coach?" Well Lou did leave us in quite a... Lurch.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 8 years, 5 months ago

The football team doesn't need a Fester or a Lurch. And it doesn't need just any ole Bozo. It needs me!!

Why? Because only I can chant Rock Chalk!! while simultaneously honking my bulbous red nose. (It's a little known fact that Mangino couldn't do it, and that was his true undoing.)

rtwngr 8 years, 5 months ago

Why so defensive, Ed? KU is the Berkley of the midwest. It is a veritable island of liberalism in a sea of conservatism. The streets are paved with granola and the trees hug back.

rtwngr 8 years, 5 months ago

One more thing - This town has no morals.

daddax98 8 years, 5 months ago

people have morals not towns. but having none yourself, you wouldn't know that

Boston_Corbett 8 years, 5 months ago

When I look at that picture, I just have an irresistible urge to pick up a pool stick.

randysavage 8 years, 5 months ago

Please let it be Harbaugh.


John McCoy 8 years, 5 months ago

I hope we hire Kevin Sumlin. He is a dynamite recruiter, knows the Houston and Dallas areas, is familiar with the conference, and he is an offensive genius. 'Nuff said.

Graczyk 8 years, 5 months ago

'Nuff said? The 80s called and wants its slang back. :)

anon1958 8 years, 5 months ago

I bet Lou is lying through his teeth about not having offered the job to anyone. More likely is he has made offers and they were declined.

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