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Archive for Thursday, March 11, 2010

KU coach Turner Gill gives glimpse of his style: building character, with no cussing

New KU football coach visits Leadership Lawrence class

Turner Gill, the new KU football coach, addresses the Leadership Lawrence class at the Sunflower Broadband offices on Thursday, March 11, 2010.

Turner Gill, the new KU football coach, addresses the Leadership Lawrence class at the Sunflower Broadband offices on Thursday, March 11, 2010.

March 11, 2010

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Members of the Leadership Lawrence class on Thursday got a peek inside the mind of new Kansas University football coach Turner Gill.

What they found is that it is clean cut.

“It probably doesn’t have to be this way,” Gill said in response to a question about how he selected his assistant coaches, “but I decided that I was not going to hire anybody who was going to be cursing and using that type of language. We are here to develop these people as young men, so we don’t need to do that.”

Gill said the policy fits with his belief that coaches must first have a passion for training young athletes. That means communicating with them in meaningful ways, he said.

“I want all of my coaches to be able to explain to our students how they are going to do something and why it is important for them to do it,” Gill said.

Now, Gill wishes he would hear more from young people. He told the Leadership Lawrence crowd that one of the larger concerns he has about members of the 18-to-23-year old age group is that many struggle with verbal communication.

“I really want to help them learn to move their mouths and talk,” Gill said.

Coaches on Gill’s staff often are instructed to pull a couple of players aside after meetings just to talk with them.

“I want to get them talking about something — it doesn’t have to be about football — but something that involves more than just yes or no answers.”

Other thoughts from Gill — who was the guest speaker at the leadership class’ monthly gathering — included:

• Players will be expected to donate at least two hours of time per semester on projects or causes that are designed to help others.

“We all know deep down that when you do something for somebody else, you really end up feeling better about yourself,” Gill said.

• He’s a big believer in note taking.

“If you show up to class every day and take notes in a proper way, you won’t fail a class,” Gill told the crowd. “You may not get an A, you may not get a B, but you aren’t going to fail.”

• Players are frequently encouraged to improve their relationships with family members. Gill told the crowd about a player he had at the University of Buffalo who confided that he did not often tell his mom that he loved her. So Gill set the player up on a schedule to call his mom at 2 p.m. each Sunday. Not only that, Gill would check in with the mother occasionally to see if the calls were still coming.

Suffice it to say, the mother became quite a Gill fan.

Gill also was well received by the Leadership Lawrence class.

“Everything he said resonated with me,” said Mark Hummel, a member of the leadership class. “He didn’t talk about wins and losses. He talked about building young men. It was really refreshing.”

Well, there was a little bit of talk about wins and losses.

“Yes, I know,” Gill said as he raised his hand and waved it, “I’m here to win football games. I know if I don’t, I won’t be here very long. But I understand my purpose, and I know it goes deeper than football.”

Comments

guesswho 4 years, 9 months ago

edjayhawk,

yes, Mangino may have been the best coach in KU's history, but overall that bar was set pretty low.

Thor 4 years, 9 months ago

Mangino wasn't the Best coach KU football ever had, Far from it!!!!!!!!!!!!! The bar was set pretty low. You don't motivate by abusing your players and treating them like CRAP.

thebigspoon 4 years, 9 months ago

They won't win more than 5 games next year.

lounger 4 years, 9 months ago

This guy is stand up! Putting players in front of wins. This makes me want to watch football again.

Graczyk 4 years, 9 months ago

There goes Beobachter again. Trying to break the man down with irrelevant comments about his religion. Lame.

Jock Navels 4 years, 9 months ago

mangino was not the best coach in kansas' history...far from it.... turner gill, on the other hand, could very well turn out to be the best coach in kansas' history. what we have here is a supreme irony...a coach who is all a coach is really supposed to be in the old fashioned ethical sense, and yet one who has the capacity to win a lot of games as well, and still there is a segment of the population that can only whine. beobachter and the rest...jeez, you guys are the worst...

schweizer 4 years, 9 months ago

There just ain't no good values in sports anymore....there lays the problem!

heybluekc 4 years, 9 months ago

So does this mean the students will stop chanting "RIP HIS %$#@(* HEAD OFF." I sure hope so.

TopJayhawk 4 years, 9 months ago

To all those that predict failure. Way to go out on a limb. It is easy to predict and expect failure. And what he talked about there is character, not religeon. So beobachter and all the religon-phobes who cannot figure this out, take note. It's character that is improtant. I will be looking forward to all of you negative types to line up, and admit when you are proven wrong. Of course you won't. Because that takes character.

amesn 4 years, 9 months ago

heybluekc-EXACTLY what I was thinking! I too hope that comes to an end because that lovely statement puts us in a class with Tigers and Wildcats..yuck!

Steve Miller 4 years, 9 months ago

Is this guy an eglish teacher or a coach, come on, we 'll see what the win column says next fall, away with the busy talk. Sounds like this guy should be in the PR dept., not coaching, he is looking for firends.

Robert Rauktis 4 years, 9 months ago

Developing vocabulary is commendable, but ya gotta be smarter than the dog to teach it tricks. I don't think most coaches advance communications skills beyond "like", "you know", "awesome" and "cute", the usual stable vocabulary of the nineteens. Morality can be installed by actions, however. Which makes you wonder about hiring a coach with an abusive history just after you terminated one for a similiar transgression.

newmedia 4 years, 9 months ago

Putting character in front of wins is a great approach to develop young people. However, it doesn't always "feed the bulldog". Whether one wants to admit it or not, major college football is a business based on wins and losses. Only time will tell with this hire.

Bruce Rist 4 years, 9 months ago

I'm sure he is just following in the foot steps of the man he learned the game from as a player and an assistant coach. Coach Osborne.

I don't think anyone would have a problem if he duplicated that success here.

Jerod Haase comes to mind

Bruce Rist 4 years, 9 months ago

I'm sure he is just following in the foot steps of the man he learned the game from as a player and an assistant coach. Coach Osborne.

I don't think anyone would have a problem if he duplicated that success here.

Jerod Haase comes to mind

jfcm77 4 years, 9 months ago

They're expanding the Gridiron Club now to accommodate 12,000 people.

bastet 4 years, 9 months ago

dudedog12 (anonymous) says… "Is this guy an eglish teacher or a coach, come on"

Well, I expect he can spell, and having taught KU football players, basketball players, baseball players, soccer players, etc. for many years, I would welcome a coach who REALLY cares about the concept of a student-athlete. There is nothing at all wrong with students hearing "take notes, go to class, learn to communicate" from both sides of the campus and having it really MEAN something. The reality is that many student-athletes listen to their coaches more than they do to their professors and parents and counselors. I hope his plan really is to take these steps and I hope it works.

gogoplata 4 years, 9 months ago

I like it that he wants to run a clean program. I just hope he is a winner.

I agree that the bar is set fairly low as far as KU Football goes. The only quality win we had was the VT Orange Bowl win. We didn't beat UT or OU. I like beating MU and KSU but they suck just as bad as we do so they're not really quality wins.

There is no reason we shouldn't have the same expectations for our Football program as we do for the Basketball program.

purplesage 4 years, 9 months ago

Good for Coach Gill. An example in personal life is what is needed on the field. Interesting how quickly the coach's religion got into the conversation - when he hadn't said anything about it, directly. I'm glad he's here.

gogoplata 4 years, 9 months ago

Among a number of accomplishments the 2007 consensus national coach of the year has guided the Jayhawks to:

• Four bowl games in a six-year span (2003-present). That represents one-third of KU's bowl appearances in just six years (eight bowl games in the previous 56 years since KU's first bowl game in 1948).

• Bowl games in consecutive years (2007 and 2008) for the first time in school history.

• Three consecutive bowl victories for the first time in school history.

• Eight wins in consecutive seasons for the first time since 1908 and 1909.

• Twenty wins in a two-year period, the most in consecutive years in school history (won 18 in 2006-07 and 1904-05).

• Six wins in four straight seasons (2005-08) for the first time since 1903-06.

• Combined 33-17 record in the last four years for the most wins in a four-year period.

• Set home attendance average records in each of the last four seasons.

• Returned to the national polls in 2007, the Jayhawks' first ranking since 1996.

• Were ranked in a school-record 19 consecutive Associated Press polls from 2007 through half of 2008."

--Lets translate this to Basketball and see if it is acceptable to fans.

4 NCAA tournament births in 6 years, blah blah blah NCAA tournament births, 66% winning record in the las 4 years, who cares about polls, No conference championships and no national championships.

I agree that Mangino is maybe the best coach KU has had but so what. Are we really OK with just being better than we were under Terry Allen, or beating KSU and MIZZOU?

Coach Gill needs to start by winning the North, then move on to winning the conference and competeing for a National Title. Those are the expectations we should have and nothing less.

harvey 4 years, 9 months ago

just take day too day and KU will be ok...

harvey 4 years, 9 months ago

just take day too day and KU will be ok...

Jock Navels 4 years, 9 months ago

well, babboy, once upon a time, not very long ago, teams played only 9 games a year. there were only 4 or 5 bowls...the big 8 champ went to the orange bowl, but a team could not go two years in a row...so oklahoma might win the league and go to NO bowl. all the stats you give don't take this into account. yost, sykes, and mitchell were all better coaches than mangino.

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