Archive for Monday, November 14, 2011

KU football players stand up for coach

Kansas head coach Turner Gill pleads for an interference call against Baylor after a pass to KU receiver JaCorey Shepherd during KU's last drive of regulation Saturday, Nov. 12, 2011 at Kivisto Field.

Kansas head coach Turner Gill pleads for an interference call against Baylor after a pass to KU receiver JaCorey Shepherd during KU's last drive of regulation Saturday, Nov. 12, 2011 at Kivisto Field.

November 14, 2011


With the losses mounting and the embarrassment escalating, even Kansas University football players are starting to realize that coach Turner Gill’s future at KU may be in jeopardy.

Instead of getting angry about it, as many have done during the past few weeks, several players have shifted gears and begun lobbying for their leader.

“We’re fighting so hard for him and for what people say about him and his job security,” senior linebacker Steven Johnson said after Saturday’s 31-30, overtime loss to Baylor. “I really think he should stay here for a long time. He’s a good coach, and we’re just on the brink. We’re fighting. We’re fighting. We’re close, and as soon as we get that win, I’m pretty sure everything’s gonna turn around.”

Asked Sunday night if he appreciated his players going to bat for him, Gill deflected the spotlight from himself.

“It’s not about me,” Gill said. “It’s really about them. It’s about our program. However they want to do things to continue to have them work hard for our football program.”

Gill, who arrived at KU in December of 2009 with a 20-30 record in four seasons at the University at Buffalo, has won just five times at Kansas in nearly half as many tries. Only one of those victories — last year’s wild 52-45, comeback victory against Colorado — came in Big 12 Conference play, and 14 of the 17 losses have been to league foes.

While so many of Gill’s losses have been blowouts, there have been a few like Saturday’s, of which KU had complete control for three quarters, only to watch it fall apart in the fourth quarter and overtime.

The Jayhawks continue to praise Gill’s approach.

“Coach Gill is very consistent, and he’s a great coach,” senior lineman Jeff Spikes said. “He coaches that you gotta come out and work every day, regardless of what the situation is. Regardless of what happens, you gotta keep your head up.”

Although Gill has struggled to instill a winning attitude in this team, he has succeeded in getting his players to follow his popular “Believe” mission statement. Week after week, blowout after blowout, the Jayhawks have bounced back with a positivity. Still, several Jayhawks said they couldn’t help but think about what will become of the coach who taught them to do that.

“It’s on our minds a little bit,” Johnson said. “We try not to worry about it, but, at the same time, it’s difficult going through a coaching transition because we’ve created friendships and bonds with all these coaches, and when we never win, it’s hard. And in games like this, where we should’ve had a win, that’s even more difficult. It just hurts. But I just hope that we continue to give coach Gill a shot because he’s a good coach, and I’m pretty sure this program will turn around.”

Added Spikes: “Our job is not done. We will not lay down and give up or quit. We won’t. Regardless of losses or records or how much we score or don’t score, we’re gonna come back every day. And that’s all you can ask for.”


TLR 6 years, 6 months ago

Walk the walk - you all are simply talking the walk

rtwngr 6 years, 6 months ago

Abused spouse syndrome: If we just love him enough, it will all change.

I think he needs to be removed from the home and we all get counseling.

CLARKKENT 6 years, 6 months ago


vuduchyld 6 years, 6 months ago

Cupboard was long after an Orange Bowl win???

You don't get a gold star for recruiting the most high schoolers. If he needed some JUCO two-year solutions to be competitive, that's what he should have done.

Vaildini 6 years, 6 months ago

Exactly. It will be hard for the Mangino fans to hear or realize, BUT THE CUPBOARDS WERE PRETTY BARE. I know these are recruiting classes after the orange bowl. Exactly, MANGINO was not getting it done. He lost 7 in a row with HIS recruits. HIS ORANGE BOWL recruits. Credit Manginos assistants that you all attacked each week about replacing. Who were battling to get these guys in the right place to make a play. The guys who Turner has brought in can play. Some of the WR under achieve because they are lazy, but for the most part his guys can play. Now stated before, I would like a true D Coor. The guys thrown into that spot last minute are great position coaches but weren't ready for this promotion. Hiring a new DC with a month or so to go probably wouldn't have made too much of difference. I will take a new Safeties coach, a new Strength coach PLEASE and I think we will be fine.

jesse499 6 years, 6 months ago

As I remember Mangino was losing when he left tells me that he had not used the Orange bowl to fill it.

Mandie Eutsler 6 years, 6 months ago

Mangino's last season was a bust for sure. His 3 best offensive players were injured most of the season, brand new offensive line, his entire defense consisted of freshmen and sophomores, and those games were competitive, unlike this season as a whole. We clearly have talented athletes who are not being coached.

droppinplates 6 years, 6 months ago

The cupboards were not bare. KU was picked to win the North division in Mangino's last year. We all know how it went down. But, a new coach doesn't come to a team that underachieved the previous year and find the cupboard completely empty.

Do you think Ron Prince left better players for Synder? Didn't seem to be a problem for him to take over and win right away. What is his record since returning to Kstate? In year 3 they are already back in the top 20....with former Prince players!

Vaildini 6 years, 6 months ago

In year 3. right! Also, Synder chooses to build with Juco kids which is why as soon as he left they sucked. Some coaches aren't willing to deal with Juco kids. And yes Manginos kids weren't as advertised.

Mandie Eutsler 6 years, 6 months ago

"cupboard" wasn't nearly as bare as when Mangino took over. AND we went to a bowl game in his 2nd season. I'm tired of this excuse. He came in with top notch facilities and butts in the stands. Mangino started with none of that. Look what Bill Snyder's team is doing with similar recruits. I think Gill is a great guy and I was encouraged to see him show some emotion finally. I'm glad the players are trying to rally around him, and are still playing hard. I can only hope the coaches keep putting them in a position to win the game, which they clearly did not do for the month of October. We had an incredibly tough schedule, and it's finally looking more promising for us to get that win. I can't say that blowing a 3 td lead in the 4th quarter is promising, but at least it was a good game until the end. Hope the coaching staff can get their heads together and find a way to make us competitive. Judging by the season as a whole, they are way in over their heads...

pepper_bar 6 years, 6 months ago

Gill is safe for at least two more seasons. The players have nothing to worry about.

vuduchyld 6 years, 6 months ago

All those fans dressed up in empty seat suits say that you are wrong.

droppinplates 6 years, 6 months ago

He may be lucky enough to be back next year. But there is absolutely no way he is guaranteed a fourth year unless he wins next year. Not improve...WIN. And BTW, I was at the game Saturday and the announced attendance was without a doubt inflated. Fans have lost interest and without fan support it's over.

CardHawkFan 6 years, 6 months ago

At this point, I have to say I agree. Firing him now would only create another round of turnover. It has not yet translated into wins (which unfortunately for Gill is how a coach is measured), but if we make the move now do we lose some of the talented players we do have resulting in another bare cupboard? We have a stable of good running backs that will only get better and what looks like a couple of really strong defenders. If we change the staff now, I think we lose that. Plus, if the players are that passionate about their coach, transferring would take forefront in many of their minds. It hasn't been positive, but I think we need to let this thing play out. Mangino did not have a ton of success early on and in fact the Orange Bowl year was a make or break year. Agreed they will have to make some major strides the next few weeks and into next year, but I'm game. RCJH!

Mandie Eutsler 6 years, 6 months ago

we went to a bowl game in his second season...with Terry Allen recruits... Granted Phillip Rivers blew us out, but our team still played over the holidays.

Jayhawker111 6 years, 6 months ago

Every Coach needs at least 4 years to get a fair shot.

Coach Gill is a good man and coach. He deserves four years.

I do however recommend a quarterback change.

Webb has not performed well enough to keep the position.

We cannot afford three interception every game and expect to win.

Meacham is a senior, so time to move on to the freshman.

Let's see what the freshman (Jablnsky) has got to offer.

Need a new QB to shake things up. Let's see if the youngster can play.

vuduchyld 6 years, 6 months ago

The coach chooses the QB.

It's really pretty twisted to blame players for this utter failure of a season.

jayhawkinsf 6 years, 6 months ago

Gill's contract makes him "too big to bail and too big to fail". I suspect we need to keep him on for at least another year. Given that, let's give him all the support we can. He's still our coach. He's still wearing a Jayhawk on his shirt. At some point, all this negativity becomes a self-fulfilling prophesy, with recruits not coming because they don't know if the coach is on his way out. If there was some scandal, or rumors like that, then hell yes, get him out. But just the opposite seems to be true. He's a good, honest, decent man who's had less than two years on the job and even less when it comes to recruiting. I say we support our coach as long as he is our coach. Rock Chalk, baby.

hammerhawk 6 years, 6 months ago

Too bad the players can't stand up for themselves and play football. And, boy do I agree with TOE in an earlier post. We simply have a crappy FB program these days. There is a drastic need to clean house. I'd start with the Chancelor and AD.

missmagoo 6 years, 6 months ago

We just got a new AD. This wasn't his hire, it was Lew's, so if you get rid of someone, you get rid of TG.

straightforward 6 years, 6 months ago

Wow, it's really sad how much emphasis you're placing on football when you think replacing the Chancellor is necessary. I always thought universities were primarily a place for education, not football.

Kansas football will never be the program you want until the fans stop whining, put their butts in the seats and unconditionally support their program. I attend most KU games but also try to work in a couple KSU games every year. Even during the Ron Prince days, the atmosphere at a KSU game put Memorial Stadium to shame. Why would any recruit choose KU over KSU when the students leave at halftime and the older folks sit on their hands the whole game. Until the "fans" start doing more than complaining on this website, the program will never be what you'd like.

petty5069 6 years, 6 months ago

you are absolutely right, straightforward. i have been in both stadiums as well...and there is a difference in the atmosphere, and I'm not comparing them to today's situation with KSU, but the Prince days in comparison to the current state at KU.

irvan moore 6 years, 6 months ago

nobody wants to come play for tg, i am sure he is a very nice man but he doesn't appear to be a very good football coach

tecuani 6 years, 6 months ago

Dead last in recruiting class for next year. Seems you might be onto something...

kujayhawk 6 years, 6 months ago

It's because we have very few scholarships to give for next year.

jesse499 6 years, 6 months ago

Maybe it's because KU has never been known as a football school but i'm sure that doesn't have anything to do with it.

tecuani 6 years, 6 months ago

This is the first time KU has been very last in recruiting class in the Big 12...EVER. Football school or not, it just doesn't look like we know how to get the best players.

Daniel Kennamore 6 years, 6 months ago

"Gill, who arrived at KU in December of 2009 with a 20-30 record in four seasons at the University at Buffalo, has won just five times at Kansas in nearly half as many tries."

So he's won 5 games in 2.5 tries? I know what you are trying to say but this sentence doesn't make any sense.

Jayhawk1958 6 years, 6 months ago

That's right, keep drinking the kool-aide. We gave Terry Allen 5 years and look what that got us. He was also a "nice guy". Nice guys finish last in the world of college football.

Jayhawk1958 6 years, 6 months ago

We had a decent football program, but the A.D. ran off the coach because of his weight. And then he goes and hires a coach from a non-BCS conference with a losing record.

jaywalkinhawk 6 years, 6 months ago

I have been one of the Gill supporters for a long time but, it is very hard to support Gill now with so many hard losses. The game against K-State was tough to watch in terms of the loss, but also the gameplay. I think for most, this was the turning point in terms of support...for others it was last year.

The last two games have been the best this team has played since Gill arrived - which is not saying much but they are at least competing now. Considering the money at stake, I would say give him another year. I think he knows that if the team does not compete next year than he will get his walking papers.

Many have indicated that a Basketball school will never have a good football team as well, but I think for most all we are asking for is a team and coach that compete in Big 12 play. Many schools have great football teams and good basketball, just look at Texas. Why can’t we have a great basketball team and a good football team?

tolawdjk 6 years, 6 months ago

Wisconsin has both. Michigan State has both. Stanford has both. Texas, Oklahoma, and Oklahoma State have had both.

No one is asking for a Bear Bryant like dynasty. But I would certainly like to be able to support a team whose best conference outing thus far is blowing a 21 point 4th quarter lead.

tecuani 6 years, 6 months ago

As a major university, in a state the does produce good football players, and has a system of junior colleges that are a factory for football players, we should EXPECT to have a good football team.

Don Whiteley 6 years, 6 months ago

If we keep Gill, who takes responsibility for this year's vaunted "pink panty" defense? The only time this team played defense all year was against ISU...when the offense couldn't find it's backside from a hole in the ground. Are we saying the players are to blame? Are we just going to pat everyone on the back and say "better luck next year"? Are we confident enough to know that anyone on the KU coaching staff understands the problems with our defense and how to fix them?

frank mcguinness 6 years, 6 months ago

I was at the game Saturday. I had 6 tickets to sell since I had to attend a funeral. I sat for 20 minutes trying to sell the tickets for $20 each ($45 face value) after no one bought I went to $10 and ended up selling 3 tickets for $5 EACH and ended up seeing a friend and gave him the remaining 3. Also while trying to sell said tickets a young lady approached me and offered me 2 tickets for FREE since she was unable to sell her tickets, I politely declined her free tickets.
Moral of the story. KU football tickets (reserved seats) are worth $5. I can assure you there will be no more purchases of season football tickets until they are at least worth the face value.

6 years, 6 months ago

Lets just say - the history of KU football is one of playing in their own stadium with many open seats ... that has been the case as far back into the 70s.

Yes there were a few (very few) years where the stadium was pretty full ... but there is a reason KU's stadium doesn't sit 80,000 people.

anon1958 6 years, 6 months ago

Well the big 12 is getting worse, so really all KU has to do is stay the same and it will seem like they are getting better. How hard can that be??

Vaildini 6 years, 6 months ago

West Virginia beat #24 Cincy TCU beat Boise........Do you follow football?

Ken Hunt 6 years, 6 months ago

I guess the coach now realizes that his time at UB was not that bad.

Go Bulls!

Armored_One 6 years, 6 months ago

Uhmm, last I knew, coaching, whether it is peewee league or pro ball, is a job, above and beyond everything else.

Job security is generally tied to job performance.

It's all well and good that he is teaching the players to respect themselves and others, but that should have been done back in grade school, not college.

His job is coach the players into victories. 50% is most likely the cut off point for most coaching positions, and Gill has failed to reach that mark how many times now? College sports are designed two exactly two things.

  1. Team and school spirit. The attendant hope with that is alumni will contribute funds later down the road in memory of said school spirit.

  2. Make the schools money. It wouldn't be merchandized to all [beep] and back, via a campus owned and operated website and distribution system, if there wasn't a profit to be made from the activities, and success, of the players. Without that success, profits fall, and like any employer, profits fall and you cut out the reasons that you are losing money.

Some of the fault can, and does, rightly be laid on the shoulders of the players themselves, but Gill, on the other hand, should shoulder the lion's share of the responsibility, both directions. If he was a successful coach, then they would have successful seasons. He's been the coach long enough for him to have his own recruits on field.

You can have a top of the line drag car, with the premium of everything, from the engine to the fuel to the parts, but if the driver sucks, it's all wasted money.

Let's stop before Gill puts this car into the wall, shall we?

6 years, 6 months ago

The job of a peewee league coach is to win? Sorry but that is a crock and frankly that is part of the problem in sports today. Coaches at that level who make the game "you have to win" is not a coach but the south end of a north bound mule.

Here is the problem with your logic. He doesn't have the talent to compete - end of story.

Here is the scenario that KU is in right now. Gill is like the coach of KC-Piper High School (KC-Piper would be KU). But his team is playing all of the Six A schools - like those in Olathe, Lawrence, etc. All of those schools with Division 1 A talent and KC-Piper is sitting there with talent but not like the Olathe schools. So they play and Olathe North runs them over, then South runs them over, and so on. And the fans want his job because they are not competing. Well holly toledo what person with any sanity would expect KC-Piper to compete with the talent they have against those big schools?

Time for a reality check. I've been critical of the players in many instances but even to blame them is to a degree unwarrented. It is not their fault they don't possess the skills. Now if very many of them would be drafted into the NFL over the next couple of years (juniors and seniors) I might agree. And sorry but to say he has been there long enough to have obtained enought recruits is totally unreasonable. He has had one full recruiting year - last year. The year before he came in after the season - tuff to recruit. This will be his 2nd full year.

Kevin Randell 6 years, 6 months ago

Ok, I am with the opinion of that he needs to go...but...and I do say I say he should renegotiate his contract. Make it to where if there is no improvement next season he is gone with a compensation package that is fair....(not 2 million a year).

Like I said, I am with the group that thinks he needs to go. But, I if we can go get a really good defensive coordinator like ie Mike Stoops then may be and just may be we can turn things around.

petty5069 6 years, 6 months ago

How many times have we heard in the past few months that "football drives the bus" when it comes down to college athletic programs? That being the case, why would a university like KU hire a coach from a small college with a record of 20-30?? If a guy's biggest asset is being a "nice guy", then why would we expect such huge strides in the other aspects of coaching? I mean, hey, he's doing a really good job at being a "nice guy", that's what he does best! So hey, it looks like to me, we got just what we paid for! I vote for a change!

6 years, 6 months ago


It is one think to quote the buffalo record ... but you truly ought to understand it before quoting. I know you are following what a lot of people out here do. But to begin to point and say he was a loser at buffal is in fact a joke and a flat out lie. Gill took a team who had averaged 1 win each year for the past 7 years. Anyone with common sense would realize he was not going to win the first couple of years if not longer. In four years he took them to win their conference and on to a bowl game.

This is another false promotion of Gills in ability to win.

camper 6 years, 6 months ago

I would like to see coach Gil get atleast one more year.

catchagrenade 6 years, 6 months ago

he should go because he is not worth his salt. it is that simple. we do not owe him any chance, however cruel that may sound, because he has not been doing his job at the salary that is given to him. i may be too naive and i may be simplifying too much but i do not think it is too hard to understand that in a meritocratic society like ours, you will have to be fired if you are not doing a good job.

6 years, 6 months ago

The sad part about many out here posting and running down Gill is the only fact they can grasp are the losses but fail to understand what is under those losses. Saw one post above where KU football team is supposed to instill pride in the school. For the most part - history - KU's football has stunk. Oh they've gone to a handful of bowl games with 6-5 or 7-5 records and you would think KU is on the top of the world. Even under Mangino KU's record in the Big 12 south was something like 4 wins (3 of which were achieved in the Orange Bowl year) and 21 losses. The only teams he had wins on were OSU, TX A&M, and Baylor (2X). Sorry folks but KU has never been known as a football school.

As far as pride - KU's basketball team is the driver there without a doubt. As far as making money for the school - I wouldn't be surprised if the basketball team didn't generate more money for the school. I wouldn't be surpirsed if the school didn't receive more money from the Big 12 in the sharing of bowl moneys from teams playing in the bowl games than KU's football team generates.

As far as Gill winning - that is not possible with the lack of talent he has on the field. Mangino blew it - or he never could recruit - his last two years at KU. This junior and senior team should be loaded with talent - it is not, in fact far from it. The best defensive player is a walk on.

People really need to get in touch with reality.

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