Archive for Sunday, October 30, 2011

Another sorry trip to Austin

October 30, 2011


KU coach Turner Gill opening statement after 43-0 loss to Texas

KU coach Turner Gill makes an opening statement following his team's 43-0 loss to Texas on Oct. 29, 2011. Enlarge video

Press Conferences & Post-Game Interviews

KU coach Turner Gill

Kansas coach Turner Gill talks to reporters following the Jayhawks' 43-0 loss to Texas on Oct. 29, 2011.

— For the second time in three years, a Kansas University football coach sitting on the hottest seat in college football came into Darrell K. Royal Texas Memorial Stadium with his reeling team.

At least Mark Mangino had just one more game after leaving Austin with a six-game losing streak. Turner Gill, in the second year of a five-year, $10 million contract, had four games remaining when he walked off the field with a six-game losing streak Saturday, the scoreboard showing Texas 43, Kansas 0.

Both plank-walkings have had messy, sad sides to them. In the case of Mangino, who just two years earlier had coached his team to a 12-1 record and an Orange Bowl title, it was sad to see him as the object of an investigation launched by his boss, Lew Perkins, into his treatment of players. This gave former players, in some cases looking for someone to blame for their poor college careers, a chance to come forward and damage Mangino’s chances of landing another coaching job. The coach’s famous temper armed them with material they had held onto for years.

Turner Gill, hired to fix something that wasn’t broken and paid like a proven big-time winner to do it, has damaged his resume by sending ill-prepared, under-motivated teams to slaughter week after week.

Most weeks, the defense and special teams, in that order, have been the chief culprits. In Saturday’s 43-0 loss to Texas, the offense was on the wrong end of domination.

Gill’s efforts to put a positive spin on the blowouts during his weekly Tuesday news conferences have had a surreal quality to them. Did he really think he was swaying opinions backed by scoreboards by reciting statistics?

Gill’s halftime speeches, snippets of which the athletic department captures on video and shares with the public, always feature him talking loudly in clichés and lacking insight or specific adjustments. The alarming lack of specificity raises the question of whether his words arm the players with anything they can take back onto the field. The players have responded to the macro-and-cheese talks by getting outscored 87-7 in the third quarter in the past six games.

On Saturday, the third was KU’s best quarter, with Texas winning it 7-0. Long before that, the Longhorns’ dominance had sealed the outcome.

The beatings at the hands of Texas are an annual affair now. The Big 12’s contraction to 10 teams meant KU had to play six games, not three, against South schools, poor timing for Gill in his effort to inspire a young team to hang with faster, bigger, more experienced athletes.

He’s not whining about it, and, of course, said he believes Kansas can recruit enough talent to hang with Big 12 powerhouses armed with geographic advantages.

“I feel confident about it,” he said after Saturday’s game. “(When) I came here to accept the job, it was 12 teams, but that didn’t really matter. I felt we as a staff could come out and compete well even this year and in upcoming years. We just want to continue to compete and get better. I know it’s going to take a little time.”

KU, of course, hasn’t been competitive yet under Gill (5-15 overall, 1-12 in the Big 12, 1-1 vs. FCS schools).

All 14 of his losses to FBS foes have been by double digits, with an average margin of defeat of 32 points. Saturday’s was the fifth by 42 points or greater. The beatings apparently haven’t changed Gill’s long-term expectations.

“I feel very confident that we can go out and get some people and continue to improve this football program to eventually win championships,” Gill said.

Barring a miraculous finish to his second season, he’ll never get the chance.

KU paid Mangino $3 million to go away. Gill has $6 million coming after Dec. 31 of this year, and his assistants, signed through June 2013, are guaranteed $2.8 million combined.

Those bleak numbers in the ledgers and the various record-breaking figures that scream failure week after week have spawned a guessing game that those who care about KU football find far more compelling than the games: What hero or heroes will step up and finance the buyout of the football coach and the portion of his staff that his successor doesn’t want to keep?

Another question of interest to KU football fans: Would available former Texas Tech coach Mike Leach prefer to work at Arizona or Kansas?


bootlegger 6 years, 6 months ago

A total waste of money; who in their right mind picked Gill to be a KU Football Coach????? Its obvious this guy has no clue about football tactics; etc............such an embarrasment to Univ of Kansas. When he speaks; you can barely understand what the he is saying; and on the sidelines; he has the emotions of a dead cat. Suggest he go back to Buffalo or whereever .............................

pocorio 6 years, 6 months ago

Where is KU going to get the almost $9 million needed to buy out Gill and his assistants? This can't be allowed to continue. Bring back Don Fambrough. Even in his current circumstances he would be a vast improvement.

ShockHawk10 6 years, 6 months ago

This article articulates exactly what has been bothering me the this entire season. Gill is a self-proclaimed builder of men, he speaks in cliches and "coach speak" and he never has concrete ideas to correct what is happening on the field. Gill's post game interviews sound very similar week in and week out: "Didn't execute... BELIEVE! Didn't do what we coached... punting improved. Missed tackles... We'll keep working, so on and so forth. This leads me to believe that he doesn't have the answers, that he's in way over his head. It is obvious at this point that his "nice guy" approach has failed him. His team is unmotivated and it appears they have no fight left in them. This lack of pride or "fight" falls directly on the shoulders of the coaching staff. It's apparent that the kids are no longer buying into Gill's B.S.! While he may be a great man and a "builder of men", Gill is not an DI football coach. It takes intensity and grit (maybe even some meanness) to be successful at this level; Gill lacks these qualities. We need to part ways with the man before he completely destroys our program. Additionally, doesn't Gill want to get a jump start to his motivational speaking career?

Dan Blomgren 6 years, 6 months ago

"Gill is not a D1 football coach. It takes intensity and grit (maybe even some meanness) to be successful at this level" I couldn't agree more, and that's exactly what we had with Mangino. But he wasn't Lew's boy, and he got ran out of town because he wasn't 'touchy feely' enough. Lew worked the media into jumping all over Mangino for being cruel and heartless to his players. Lew had no choice but to go in the complete opposite direction, and hire a 'feel good' coach that would tuck his players in at night with cookies and milk. And now we have a team with a record that supports your first statement: "It takes intensity and grit (maybe even some meanness) to be successful at this level."

irvan moore 6 years, 6 months ago

i think if TG was the man he proclaims himself to be he would resign and take a small (million dollar) buyout to walk away

BruceWayne 6 years, 6 months ago

AMEN! I have been saying this for weeks. This entire situation is a joke. If Gill chooses to not step down, he must be fired. Not at the end of the season, not next week. Today.

Flap Doodle 6 years, 6 months ago

Did UT really deserve all those points they scored? Wouldn't it have been more fair if the refs had taken some of those points and distributed them to KU?

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 6 years, 6 months ago

Newsflash-- football is a game, not the real world.

Hammertoe 6 years, 6 months ago

Good one Bozo. There's no free lunch in America unless you are too lazy to work.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 6 years, 6 months ago

The free lunches really aren't the problem. It's the folks who think that millions should live in poverty so that they can have 12-course meals each and every meal that's the problem.

3up3down 6 years, 6 months ago

Great athletes make lousy head coaches. The coaches that have the knowledge are the second and third stringers, who rarely play and can sit back and study the game. They are the ones you need to find. Those who actually study the game and not were told what play to run.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 6 years, 6 months ago

"Great athletes make lousy head coaches."

Exactly. Which is why I should have been hired instead of Gill. I was a lousy player in my 3-week career of eighth-grade football.

And the mere $250,000 salary (for a one-year contract) I would request should make buying out Gill's contract very much within reach.

And when they fire me, I'll take 100% blame for the lousy season we had.

How can they say "no?"

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 6 years, 6 months ago

Hey, if KU wants to win football games, I hear the Big East is looking for new members.

kujayhawk 6 years, 6 months ago

Don't fire him unless you have leach signed and ready. We can't afford to swing and miss again.

Dan Blomgren 6 years, 6 months ago

You should run for AD! I like your attitude, and coach choice!

LivedinLawrence4Life 6 years, 6 months ago

Give Gill more years to recruit his own players. We need to help future players be assured that we have a stable coaching staff. Otherwise, we will continue to lose good recruits to schools and cities that support their coaches and teams in good times and while rebuilding. I have more respect for Gilll than the reporter who keeps attacking him. If I'm the parent of a top player and Turner Gill is in my living room inviting my son to play at KU, I would feel very comfortable sending my son to play football for such a great guy. One our best players followed Turner from Turner's last coaching job. KU will not get football going again by starting over again with another coach.

DB Ashton 6 years, 6 months ago

I was there for the game. (A grand sea of orange; after the extraordinary pre-game extravaganza I was ready to suit up and play myself. For Texas.). Texas is talented, but very young, inexperienced, weak at quarterback, still developing leaders on staff and on the field. Kansas, in contrast, was pitiful, in every phase, not a hint of even fundamental competence, not a spark of energy. It is clear Jayhawk Nation has given up on this coach and this team and Saturday, from the stands, it looked like the team has given up on itself and quit on Mr Gill. I couldn't know when surgery is scheduled but, after yesterday, the patient is clearly on life support.

cowboy 6 years, 6 months ago

Alright Zenger , its your watch , just do it

Paul R Getto 6 years, 6 months ago

Bring back Mangino and tell the players' parents to quit bitching. "Daddy, he grabbed my facemask and yelled at me....!"

Richard Heckler 6 years, 6 months ago

"ummm...Lew Perkins. "

What about all of those who chose the "blind eye approach"? Should we pretend no one knew what Lew was doing?

Lew cost the community tons of money by allowing OUR tax dollars into the KCMO cookie jars instead of Lawrence cookie jars. When will this concept be terminated?

Golden parachutes stink all the way around. Golden parachutes are truly anything but an incentive to perform with Gill and Perkins among those at this point.

Golden parachutes should be abolished! People will say but but but the best will never apply. So what. Lew got one and Gill got one and how many others get them?

One year contracts,raises based on performance and NO golden parachutes!!!

BruceWayne 6 years, 6 months ago

I was just answering the question asked. You are a total idiot as well as one of the most hated people in the state of Kansas. Have a great day.

Flap Doodle 6 years, 6 months ago

Was "Golden Parachute" on today's page of the Catch Phrases for Disappointed Progressive Copy/Pasters' Calendar?

fishy81 6 years, 6 months ago

Mangino was such a great coach! He accumulated a 50-48 record in his career at KU. You folks act like Gill should be challenging for a BCS bowl game in his second year. Give me a break! KU was picked to win one game this year and they have already doubled that. The Big 12 is a rough place to play football, Oklahoma State is awesome, OU damn good, K state in the top ten (was) Texas tech not too shabby, GT has been ranked as well. This has been a tough road for the Jayhawks. The real test will come against Missouri and Iowa State, these are game that KU could win. There have been plenty of good coaches that are calm and cool on the sidelines, Osborne and Jo Pa just to name two great ones. Pelini caught holly heck for yelling at a player last year on the sidelines. I don't think anyone is capable of turning this program around in 2-3 years......give TG a chance and quit your whinning.

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