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Relatively quiet offseason bodes well for KU football program
In 2009, fans of Kansas University football watched the unfolding of a witch hunt that quickly turned into the departure of one coach and the search for another.
A year later, a good chunk of the offseason was spent trying to explain what happened under first-year coach Turner Gill while assessing where the program was headed at the same time. That also marked the beginning of the Brock Berglund fiasco, which garnered more ink and lasted way longer than a player who never suited up for a single game ever should have received.
And then there the 2011 season, when KU said goodbye to another head coach and began yet another coaching search.
So what’s the point of rehashing the obvious and somewhat painful past? It’s been a while since the offseason was this quiet around the KU football program. Kind of nice, isn’t it?
Sure, we’ve seen a wild and crazy run of recruiting, and, with the current state of KU football that’s pretty loud news, but it pales in comparison to the kind of noise that’s been made in the past few offseasons around here.
Such stability is imperative to building anything of substance and, with second-year coach Charlie Weis and company determined to make KU a winner again, it’s nice to see that the coaching staff and the administration are dedicated to the cause.
That’s not the case everywhere. Just this week we learned about Oklahoma State defensive coordinator Bill Young leaving the Cowboys’ program. If you remember the name, it’s because Young was KU’s D-Coordinator from 2002-07. And he’s a good one. He won’t be out of work for long, but the mere fact that he’s no longer wanted by OSU comes as a little bit of a surprise.
Wait, it gets better. Or is it bigger?
Midway during the week, news broke that Notre Dame coach Brian Kelly had engaged in talks with the NFL’s Philadelphia Eagles, who have a head coaching opening and are looking at all levels to fill it. If the man who just led the Fighting Irish to a 12-0 regular season and a trip to the national championship game (however ugly it was) is looking around, KU should be awfully thankful that its program and those associated with it have both feet firmly planted on the ground.
The news about Young and Kelly is just the latest example of program unrest in college football, something that’s becoming almost as interesting and certainly as relevant as the bowl games themselves each offseason.
Prior to that, coaching vacancies — a few big ones even — popped up everywhere you looked and that led to a reshuffling of coaching staffs and athletic departments throughout the country. Some programs are built to handle it and barely notice when offseason turmoil arrives. Others can be derailed entirely and spend years trying to recover.
For those who respond better to charts, standings and numbers, here’s a quick ranking of the top KU football stories this offseason:
- Class of 2013 recruiting
- Seniors preparing for April draft
- Memorial Stadium renovation
- Former players shine in NFL
- Conference realignment
There has not been so much as a peep about coaching turnover or major program changes. That bodes well for the Jayhawks.