Archive for Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Gill appoints offensive, defensive coordinators

December 15, 2009


Kansas Head Football Coach Turner Gill

Turner Gill was named the head coach of the Kansas football team Sunday, December 15, 2009.

San Diego State head coach Chuck Long, center, talks to his team in this 2008 file photo. Long will serve as KU's new offensive coordinator under head coach Turner Gill.

San Diego State head coach Chuck Long, center, talks to his team in this 2008 file photo. Long will serve as KU's new offensive coordinator under head coach Turner Gill.

Newly named Kansas University football coach Turner Gill has not been a head coach for very long. But, even with just four years at the University at Buffalo behind him, it seems that installing a top-notch staff around him will not be a problem.

“The staff that will be here at KU will be second to none,” Gill said Monday, during a 30-minute meeting with the media in which he was officially introduced by the KU administration as the school’s ninth head coach since 1967. “(When) hiring a coaching staff, I want people who have a proven record on and off the football field.”

There’s no arguing with the impressive track record of the first few members of his staff, as Gill has named Chuck Long his offensive coordinator and veteran defensive assistant Carl Torbush as his defensive coordinator. Long and Torbush come to Kansas with head-coaching experience and have had decorated days as assistant coaches.

“It’s great that these two guys have been former head coaches,” Gill said. “And I think there are some special things that can take place here.”

Gill, who finished fourth in the Heisman Trophy voting at Nebraska in 1983, said he had been a long-time admirer of both men.

“Our offensive coordinator will be Chuck Long,” said Gill of the man who replaced Mark Mangino as the offensive coordinator at Oklahoma from 2002-05. “I could go on and on about his accolades but I want to mention just a few of them. He’s coached a Heisman Trophy winner (OU’s Jason White, 2003), he’s coached a Maxwell Award winner (White, 2004), an O’Brien Award winner (White, 2003 and 2004). At Oklahoma, when he was the offensive coordinator, he set many, many records. He’s also passionate about teaching young men about life with football and teaching young men life after football.”

Long, a former University of Iowa quarterback and runner-up to Bo Jackson for the 1985 Heisman, was present at Gill’s introduction. He stood proudly as Gill unveiled the blueprint for the future of KU football. He admitted afterward that he decided to attend only because he was invited — and encouraged — by Gill.

“This is Turner Gill’s day, as it should be,” Long said. “He called me up and said, ‘Hey, do you want to come to the press conference? I’d love for you to come.’ That’s the kind of guy he is: very humble. I said I would love to come. I didn’t hesitate to get on a plane. It says a lot about him and his humility because a lot of coaches wouldn’t do that.”

As for Torbush, a veteran college coach with various stops since 1975, Gill said he was drawn to Torbush’s experience and character.

“He’s been a defensive coordinator in the ACC, he’s been a defensive coordinator in the SEC, he’s been in the Big 12 and, again, he’s passionate about being able to teach young men the things that we’re going to want to do here,” Gill said. “These two guys, there’s a lot of commonality, and they want to have a lot of the same things done as I do when it comes to our student-athletes, and that was really important to me, more than the X’s and O’s.”

The only other member of Gill’s staff announced Monday was Aaron Stamn, a former Nebraska assistant who coached with Gill during all four of his seasons at Buffalo. Stamn will be the special-teams coordinator and will coach tight ends at KU.

It remains to be seen if Gill will request the services of any former Jayhawk assistants. Gill said Monday he was interested in talking with members of Mangino’s staff, but did not divulge whether he planned to bring any aboard.

“There’s going to be a couple of guys here that I’ll interview,” Gill said. “I’ve just gotta try to see how it all fits with what I’m trying to do with the staff.”

Likely candidates to catch Gill’s eye include former defensive coordinator and longtime Jayhawk Clint Bowen, former co-defensive coordinator Bill Miller and former wide-receivers coach David Beaty. Those three were named interim head coaches for the days following Mangino’s resignation.

A handful of current KU players attended Monday’s news conference and, afterward, several of them shared their thoughts about their new head coach. Junior defensive back Chris Harris said he was thrilled that his squad finally had a coach again. He also threw in his support for some of his former coaches.

“I hope quite a few coaches stay around because we’ve already built a lot of great relationships with them, and there are a lot of great coaches on the staff we’ve had,” Harris said. “Having some of the same coaches around would definitely make the team more comfortable and make the transition a lot easier. I think that would definitely help us when it’s time to strap it on.”


wakarusan 8 years, 6 months ago

Bown, don't let the door hit ya in the *rse!

jayhawks71 8 years, 6 months ago

Combined head coaching records of the new staff (Gill, Long, Torbush): 49-83 (.371) across a combined 11 years of head coaching experience. Their teams gave up an average of 28 points per game. Their teams scored an average of 21 points per game.

Graczyk 8 years, 6 months ago

@ jayhawks71,

Those stats are meaningless. Just because some numbers can be averaged doesn't mean they should be. C'mon, man. Don't be a lame. Let them work first. Then, if they fail, you can call for their heads.

jayhawks71 8 years, 6 months ago

Graczyk, many people here base their opinions on a lack of information. I simply put the information out there for people to do with what they want. A .371 win percentage tells a story. You can figure out what that story is, but don't ignore the context of those stats. None of these three coaches has been successful in their head coaching endeavors. Sorry, people can point to how bad Buffalo was before Gill as a measure of how good Gill is, but their turnaround tells you as much about how bad they were when a single 8-6 record is treated as the equivalent of the second coming. Who had heard of Craig Cirbus or Jim Hofher before Gill's name came up for the KU job? No one. And that tells you something about the quality of the coaches BU had before Gill. Gill is better than two of the worst D-I head football coaches ever. So that's all we can conclude about Gill from the comparison of records.

So, let's look at something else. Something everyone sees as Gill's crown jewel, the MAC championship. Had Buffalo been in the other division of the MAC, they would've finished 4th in that division. By virtue of playing in the far weaker of the two divisions (and therefore helping their record) by playing weak conference foes, they got a shot at Ball State in the MAC championship game. Look at the scoring drives for that game. Buffalo scored 42 points that game and they had ONE drive of more than 30 yards. That tells a story. My question is... had Buffalo not won the MAC would KU have hired Turner Gill today? I don't know the answer to that, but if you think the answer is no, then look at how the MAC was won by Buffalo, don't just point to a MAC championship and ignore the journey.

And excuse me, I don't really see why presenting some statistics is being "a lame" (sic). Whatever that means.I made absolutely no comments on the statistics in the previous post. I'm not going to be calling for anyone's heads. It's football, people. I want to see Gill be successful and trying to understand this hire doesn't lessen that desire.

kujayhawk 8 years, 6 months ago

Keep Bowen on as defensive back coach or something like that. He's loyal, young and a great recruiter. He'll help a ton with the transition.

tennishawk 8 years, 6 months ago

You hire not because a guy went to high school i lawrence,played at KU and coached at KU. I doubt Bowen will want to take a down grade at the same school. I think Beaty might be retained. The defensive coach,i would say no after seeing how these BDs reacted in defense.It was terrible coverage and terrible tackling. But on the other hand,the talent on that side of the line lacked speed. I am curious if the strength coach will be retained,plus the line coaches.

gillettee 8 years, 6 months ago

So far I think all have been great hires. Ten years ago no one was an expert at football in this town, now everyone that posts something seems to think the football program has been the same as the basketball program. I guess a few winning seasons and everyone thinks they are experts at football. There is never a "perfect hire" and remember how excited everyone was when Terry Allen was hired? Some of the same people who are dogging Coach Gill are the ones that were praising Allen coming here and are the same ones who cried when he left. Okay all experts, how many of you know totally that you could of made better hires? We have our foot in the door for recruits coming here, bringing Coach Gill here could be the best thing for us. He turned around a program at Buffalo like Mangino did here. Okay, his record wasn't what you would consider great, but what kind of players would want to go to Buffalo? Have you ever been there? I bet 95% of the people in this town haven't. Why would you want to be an athlete there? Yeah there is plenty of talent in New York, but the good players go to Syracuse. In Lawrence, you have the #1 basketball team in the nation, that can't hurt recruiting. Buffalo, they have snow and a ton of it. People talk about New York for the shopping trips they go on, not to watch college sports. Bash Lew all you want, but he didn't get in his position by being an idiot. Five years from now, Gill could be either the best hire or a not so good hire. Talk to some of the parents that he has visited on recruiting trips and see how impressed they are with him. Better yet, ask how many parents would of discouraged their kids to come here after watching the allegations on ESPN? Yeah you can call the kids cry babies that complained but you can't expect kids to be cry babies for 18 years at home and expect someone to raise them for their first four years of adulthood without some allegations, but that is what makes this a comment column. We are all "experts" and know what is the best for KU. How many parents have been so excited when their kids got scholarships, then they turn around and miss the easy life they had at home? The next thing you know, you are paying for your kids college at a JUCO when they could of been going somewhere for free! I have a feeling this town needed Coach Gill and most of the people in this town had no idea who he was, or how horrible KU's football team was in the early 80's. Coach Gill only remembers that his four years at Nebraska, he couldn't wait to play KU, now he is the coach of the team he wants everyone to see on their schedule and say, "S%$#$ we have to play KU this year!" Support him or just look forward to basketball season until the football team starts winning again and jump on the bandwagon and only support them when they win! Your choice but don't consider yourself football fans or experts!

jayhawks71 8 years, 6 months ago

"I guess a few winning seasons and everyone thinks they are experts at football. "

Gotta love the logic here. Whether KU wins or loses had no effect on anyone's "knowledge of football." Do you think we live in a vacuum in which KU football is the only football we know?

pigskin 8 years, 6 months ago

you can bad mouth the assitant coaches all you want. but dont forget that most of them took kansas to two bowl games. the fact is if you dont have the talent on the field then i dont care how good of coach you are.

Commenting has been disabled for this item.