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Archive for Monday, December 14, 2009

BCS gig long time coming for Gill

Turner Gill coaches Buffalo against Kent State in this file photo from November 28, 2008, in Amherst, N.Y. Gill will be introduced as Kansas University’s head coach at a news conference today.

Turner Gill coaches Buffalo against Kent State in this file photo from November 28, 2008, in Amherst, N.Y. Gill will be introduced as Kansas University’s head coach at a news conference today.

December 14, 2009

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Turner Gill deal to be made official

Turner Gill will officially be announced as the new head coach of the KU football team. The press conference can be seen live at KUSports.com Monday at 11 a.m. Enlarge video

Turner Gill in at KU

Turner Gill will begin his duties as head coach after being officially announced Monday. Gill leaves Buffalo to lead the Jayhawks' football program. Enlarge video

For members of the University at Buffalo football team, the offseason commotion surrounding their head coach became sort of an annual tradition.

Each winter, it seemed, another handful of teams would take a look at the things Turner Gill was accomplishing with the previously downtrodden Bulls and then think hard about plucking Gill, a former Nebraska quarterback who was in his first stint as a head coach, from western New York.

“We definitely felt last year was his last year,” Buffalo senior defensive lineman Dane Robinson said. “Because after what happened — he got us to the bowl game, we won a conference championship — you looked at the whole situation, and you were like, ‘Man, he pretty much did his job here. In three years, he turned nothing into something.’”

Gill will be introduced formally as Kansas University’s next head coach during an 11 a.m. news conference today.

“Turner Gill is a winner,” KU athletic director Lew Perkins said Sunday in officially announcing the hire. “His accomplishments at Buffalo speak for themselves. But more than that, everyone I talked to about him, starting with Tom Osborne, had the highest praise for Turner as a coach and as a person.”

Gill has been linked to a few head-coaching positions in recent years. Following a 2007 season, in which he led the Bulls to a share of the Mid-American Conference’s Eastern Division title in just his second year at the program’s helm, he spoke with Nebraska athletic director Osborne — who coached Gill in Lincoln in the early 1980s —about the program’s head-coaching vacancy.

Citing the team’s significant defensive struggles at the time, however, Osborne went with Bo Pelini, an LSU defensive coordinator who in his second year this fall led the Huskers to a Big 12 North title and within two points of a BCS bowl berth.

The next year, a 2008 season in which Gill’s Bulls finished 8-6 and advanced to their first bowl game in 50 years, Gill was reportedly a finalist for the Auburn head-coaching job that eventually went to Gene Chizik.

Though Gill brushed off speculation that the decision was based on race (Gill is black; Chizik is white), others, including outspoken former NBA player and Auburn alumnus Charles Barkley, called it the primary reason the Tigers selected Chizik.

There were those who were surprised Gill’s ascension took as long as it did.

“I just felt that he was ready,” said Ron Brown, tight ends coach at Nebraska and a longtime friend of Gill’s. “But God has perfect timing for Turner, and he knew that. He was being very patient about it; he never over-pursued it.”

Now primed for his first big-time gig, Gill’s supporters, which include a number of prominent football men, seem relieved that the coach finally has broken through.

“I was quite confident that he would land on his feet somewhere that was very attractive,” said Osborne, who coached Gill with the Huskers in the 1980s and highly recommended him to KU athletic director Lew Perkins. “And not to say that Buffalo isn’t a good job. I’ve been to Buffalo at his request, visited with him. They’ve done a nice job there. But certainly Kansas, being in the Big 12, will be seen as a great opportunity for him.”

That opportunity begins, however, with what is expected to be something of a rebuilding process.

Gill will take over a team that loses a number of offensive standouts, including quarterback Todd Reesing and receivers Dezmon Briscoe and Kerry Meier, and will be forced to calm the waters following the messy departure of former KU coach Mark Mangino.

At the same time, Robinson didn’t seem overly concerned about the particulars of the task facing his former coach.

“Everybody at Kansas just needs to look at his body of work and look at where Buffalo was before he got here and look at where Buffalo is after he got here,” Robinson said. “And I think that will put a little bit of ease to some of the skeptics that feel that coach Gill might have a hard time handling a BCS school.”

Comments

TLR 5 years ago

Still not convinced.

Actually very disappointed.

That's my last word on this.

bradh 5 years ago

Wow, again about his race holding him back. He looks like a solid coach if you need to rebuild a program. KU isn't rebuilding a program. How many white coaches with a losing record in the MAC would be considered to replace a coach with a winning record in the Big 12. None. It seems apparent that being black helped him get the job, so let's stop talking about race LJW.

He's our coach. I wasn't excited about the hire, but he's already gotten his offensive and defensive coordinators who look to be good ones. He appears to be moving quickly and surrounding himself with good people. He is doing everything you want your head coach to do at this pont. Give the guy a chance and let's hope Lew knew what he was doing.

Welcome to Lawrence Coach Gill.

bradh 5 years ago

The second winningest coach in KU history Hells. Coach Mangino was 50-48. Or if you prefer LJW's method of throwing out the first season, the 48-38 Mangino.

KEITHMILES05 5 years ago

He didn't get this job because he is black. That is stupid and you who spout such nonsense should be ashamed. He has the credentials. If you can see that you need your eyes and brain checked.

BigAl 5 years ago

In eight years, Mangino had just one winning record in the Big 12. One. And that was the year he didn't play any of the big boys. Last year he went 1 - 7 and was lucky to win the one.

Coach Gill can't do much worse. Give him a chance.

bradh 5 years ago

Keith, the article implied that he didn't get the NU and Auburn jobs because he was black. He didn't get the NU job because like Nolan for KU, he didn't have the experience. He didn't get the Auburn job probably because he only had one marginal (8-6) winning season, the thing that concerns me about the hire. Unike the article and apparently you, I don't think race had anything to do with him not getting the NU or Auburn jobs.

Objectively he does not have the credentials for the job, he has a losing record in a minor conference and right now KU should be able to do better. Subjectively we HOPE that he can recruit and based on Whitlock's article in the Star, surround himself with good coaches, which he appears to have done. We all HOPE that he comes in and does well. With Harbaugh, Sumlin, Edsall, or Holtz you wouldn't be hoping, you'd be expecting for them to do well.

Lew obviously looked past the record and I hope he correctly sees what Coach Gill can become and do here. I hope Coach Gill does great, stays for a long time and sets the record for the winningest coach in KU history. We'll know more in a couple of years.

fabian_zimbabwe 5 years ago

Is it just my computer, or is the entire Sports section missing?

jaywalker 5 years ago

Yeah, fabian, they've gone to some new format. If you want sports on this site you have to click the 'news' header and just scroll to find 'em. Otherwise you go to a different site.

And enough with the racial garbage, barry, quit stirring the pot, pretty please. A human being was hired. Period.

rgh 5 years ago

I could care less what color his skin is as long as he can win games! I'm not sure his background is solid enough to warrant being a winner in the Big XII but I'm sure going to hope so being a KU fan. I want him to succeed and the rest of the Jayhawk nation should also.

We want to go to a bowl every year, not every two years, and not just back to back years. Every single year! Nothing less should be expected.

Mangino brought the KU program a long way forward but you can't take a huge step back two years removed from the Orange Bowl with a talented team returning. We took a small step back last year, but still with a very respectable Insight bid (and win). This was the year to ratchet it back up and it didn't happen. I didn't like the way Perkins handled it one bit though.

Let's now root as hard as ever for the new coaching staff and the players returning as well as those coming back. Heck they want to win as badly as anyone does!

Uhlrick_Hetfield_III 5 years ago

This is the first thing Perkins has done right. Gill is very much a Bill Self type individual and hopefully it should only take a couple of years to clean up the mess Lew made getting rid of Mangino (and losing a 3 star QB recruit in the process).

Jock Navels 5 years ago

Turner Gill will be as great a coach as KU has ever had. Check back in 4 years and see, all you naysayers, and while you are waiting...start reading the food section and run your stupid threads there, about souffles or something.

MyName 5 years ago

At least it's not another D2 coach like the (very nice, but very outmatched) Terry Allen.

redbull38 5 years ago

NavyVet,

From above: "Citing the team’s significant defensive struggles at the time, however, Osborne went with Bo Pelini"

If the defense was not the biggest problem at that time Gill would be head coach at Nebraska now. But what would Osborne know about coaching anyway?

jayhawk_of_76 5 years ago

Didn't Gene Chizik have a losing record with Iowa State? He seems to be doing OK at old Auburn. I for one am willing to give it a chance... there really isn't much of a choice in that is there??? At any rate, we can't really expect to get a "proven name coach" when we don't really have a "proven name program".

nobody1793 5 years ago

Remember, Gill has been trying to recruit people to Buffalo, the worst city in America. I bet even Pete Carrol couldn't get anybody to go to Buffalo.

Ricky_Vaughn 5 years ago

I told you this would be your coach! I called it last week!

To all you haters, just remember that when he took over at Buffalo, it was the worst D-1 program in the country. At least he won't be poking players in the chest...

Ricky_Vaughn 5 years ago

Turner GIll's record after 4 years at Buffalo: 20-30.

Mark Mangino's Record after 4 years at KU: 19-29.

Just FYI.

StirrrThePot 5 years ago

People have been such raging whiners about this hire. Give the man a chance.

firebird27 5 years ago

In regard to a minority hire, I am surprised that Kevin Sumlin, head coach at the University of Houston, was not interviewed. Houston defeated Texas Tech and is playing in a minor bowl game this year. More important, Sumlin knows the Texas recruiting terrain better than Harbaugh and Gill (although Gill grew up in Texas).

There is a disturbing fact but the numbers are still too small to draw a sound conclusion. Up to this point in collegiate football, no African-American coach has had a distinguished coaching career in Division I. In contrast, African-American coaches have succeeded in pro football. This may be due to so few opportunities in Division I at universities that win on a continuing basis. But the current state of affairs makes one question as to some internal dynamics of collegiate football that prevent qualified black coaches from succeeding.

Gill's personal credentials are outstanding. From those who have met him, he has all of the personal character that one wants in a coach. But so did Tyrone Willingham, who coached at Stanford, Notre Dame, and Washington. Yet, he reached a performance ceiling that he could not go beyond. As I said, we have too few coaches to make a clear assessment as to the lack of success of minority coaches in Division I.

I hope Turner Gill is successful, but readers should understand. Winning at Kansas is not easy, and if Kansas ever wants to have a national championship in football, it will have greater odds of doing so by getting rid of American football and instituting men's collegiate soccer (football to everyone else in the world).

average 5 years ago

Good luck, Coach. And, really, after the KU Athletics' display of tact and decorum in showing Mangino the door, we should be pleased that we have as good as Gill.

And, toe above is partially right. Lew knows that some of his donors will want to have dinners with a new guy going .500 if he's media-friendly and a little on-the-sleeve moral, where they weren't going to put up with a gruff, ugly guy who wasn't winning big.

redbull38 5 years ago

The Houston coach was not interested. Houston!

HOMETOWNBOY 5 years ago

Hmmmm

32 Comments about a new football coach.

2 Comments about people shooting each other in Downtown Lawrence.

Does anyone in this town realize there is more here then KU?

jaywalker 5 years ago

"Does anyone in this town realize there is more here then KU? "

Please forgive us if we don't immerse ourselves into each and every despicable, violent, stomach-churning act. Fairly certain we all get our fill.

anon1958 5 years ago

Jacob123 (Anonymous) says…

This is another win for affirmative action, just like the chancellor positiion.

How little you know about affirmative action if you think head coaching and high level administrative positions are in any way constrained by affirmative action.

I have served on numerous hiring committees at KU and I can tell you for a FACT that KU is a joke when it comes to following the rules of affirmative action.

Under the Hemenway administration affirmative action was just one more tool to be used when conveinent. Any mid-level administrator and most faculty know exactly how to fill out the paperwork and manipulate the search progress in a manner that will completely thwart affirmative action and other hiring rules and regulations at KU.

commonsense 5 years ago

What's important is graduating players, winning games, and keeping the program clean. $2 million per for a coach with only a few years of head coaching experience and a losing record. I like Turner Gill and he has experience winning (NU). But to me, he's a gamble and I hope he's worth it. Good luck Coach. You have a great opportunity with a decent football program. Make it happen!

rukidding 5 years ago

I really feel bad for the average "I care about the Jayhawks Fan", because the discontent that I find on this site baffles me. I was born and raised in this state, moved away for college but never really left. As a child, KU struggled in football, and now as an adult they struggled. What great history of college football are some of you knuckle heads trying to protect.

If Lew could have gotten a better coach don't you think he would have. He wants the same things you guys want, A successful football program. Do you really think Harbuagh was going to leave Stanford, he's a Bay Area kid. He realized when they had a good season going, not to sign his extension, and to play Stanford for more money. Nutt, he has done the same thing (pay his school for more money) at every school he's been to. Nutt, doesn't want the responsiblity, just the money. He used Nebraska 6 years ago to get more from Arkansas, when they gave him more, and wanted to set him up further, more winning was espected. He left them blindly for the that football power, Mississippi. Low espectations, but money to try. I respect Lew in one regard, when he saw that he would only be getting other coaches raises and prehaps losing on a good coach, he stop the nonsense and got the man that really wanted the job. Sumler, and Holtz could have had the job if the truly wanted it, but being at KU (and being in the Big 12) brings some expectations. They got what they wanted more money from their schools. Gill can handle the Big 12. He's done it before. Now he has resources, and assistance.

KU got the guy that wants to be at KU. an he's full of wanting to prove. Prove, to those that made him want so long to fullfill his dream. You couldn't have gotten a better person, at a better time. No one will represent this University better than he, know one will outwork him, and in my opinion know one will win more games at Kansas when it's all done then Turner Gill. He wants it more than you'll ever know. He's loyal, solid, personable, smart, and a bonafied winner. I'm only going to say this once, (I don't want to insult anyone) but KU you are lucky to get Turner Gill. What recognized the many haven't is that KU is a absolute gem of an opertunity.

So for you knuckle heads out there, shame on you. Your indecent overtones, and less than appropriate commits will fall on deaf ears in time, because those who can see past ignorance and believe in their Kansas Jayhawks, wont care about the things you say, as the Hawks have the success that awaits.

Go TG Go Jayhawks

SoonerNation1 5 years ago

BarryPenders you are retarded............ get some help

jayhawks71 5 years ago

"At least it's not another D2 coach like the (very nice, but very outmatched) Terry Allen."

Northern Iowa was I-AA (now FCS)when Allen coached there not Division II. Missouri State, where he coaches now is an FCS school.

Jeff Kilgore 5 years ago

Gill has already had as important positions as the KU head job. I would say that his job at Nebraska with QBs/offense and recruiting were every bit as challenging. And wasn't he under the tutelage of a guy named Osborne? Does that count for nothing? And do you think Osborne would've had him around if he couldn't help the Huskers win? Why think otherwise?

Gill should do well. He's hired great assistants, has great facilities, and is a reputable man with recruiting ability. Besides, we don't play in the Big Twelve South! Who on this board can say he won't do a great job? No one yet. If he doesn't do well, at 2M per anum, he'll be shown the door.

ADLP isn't hiring a black coach; he's hiring a coach that he believes will win (and make bank). The last time I checked, that was his job. Let's welcome Turner Gill as the newest Jayhawk and let the winning percentage and speculation alone. Go watch his youtube video when he's asked point blank questions about race. He's well-spoken and handled the questions masterfully. I'm on his side, and let's face it, he'll be a pleasantly nice appearing coach to represent our university.

HuskerJoe67 5 years ago

Well jumpin jahosaphats! KU has to go out and get an ex-Husker legend to help rebuild its ailing football program? My advice, discontinue that pathetic excuse for a football program and put the money into building a new fieldhouse! Rock Chalk Jayhawk NU!!!!!!!!!

riverdrifter 5 years ago

"My advice, discontinue that pathetic excuse for a football program and put the money into building a new fieldhouse!"

Er, why, exactly do we need a "new" fieldhouse?

Methinks Dr. Tom may well rue the day he didn't take Gill & turn down the masses that demanded Pinheadlini.

Time will tell.

riverdrifter 5 years ago

BTW, jkilgore: thanks, great post & I cosign -if I may!

TopJayhawk 5 years ago

It's good to see some things on here never change. Those of you suggesting he got the job because of his race are the same closet racists you always have been. Your reading comprehension is also lacking. The article stated clearly that Nebraska went with Pellini because he is a great defensive guy. Remember NU under Callahan did not know a thing about defense. Remember the seventy plus points we hung on them that yr? Of course you don't because none of you knows squat, you just hate Lew, and all things KU Athletic.
I am all for this hire, and the character and winning attitude that will be coming with him.
Go KU, Go Lew, and the rest of you need to get a life, and stop being so bitter about everything. Welcome to KU Turner. Most of us are very glad you are here. The rest are bitter and Lew Pekins haters.

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