KU AD Travis Goff is not taking too long to hire a football coach, you’re just excited; both are OK

photo by: Mike Yoder/Journal-World Photo

Travis Goff, a 2002 graduate of the University of Kansas and native of Dodge City, introduces himself as KU’s new athletic director Wednesday, April 7, 2021, at the Lied Center on KU's west campus.

There should be no concern among the Kansas fan base over how thorough new KU Athletic Director Travis Goff has been in his vetting of football candidates.

Multiple sources familiar with the most recent KU football coaching search have raved about Goff’s preparedness, his plan and his execution of that plan, as he sought to make the first major hire of his career.

One source with decades of college football experience under his belt said Goff ran as quiet a search as he had ever seen. Another said Goff was so thorough in his evaluation of the candidates that he felt comfortable relying first on the information he gained during the process, which included Zoom and in-person interviews, background checks and more.

What a refreshing change of pace from what led Les Miles to Lawrence.

It’s no secret that former KU AD Jeff Long’s light vetting of Miles during that hiring process in late 2018 was at least in part to blame for the demise of both Miles and Long.

Even on his way out the door Long insisted that he did everything he could to find out all that he could about Miles’ past and ability to lead the KU program. But the outcome, both of Miles’ two seasons in charge and the way both men departed, suggests otherwise.

And that’s to say nothing about the fake flight plans that were filed during the search and center-stage focus given to ESPN’s Miles to Go series.

But enough about the past. It’s the present that has me believing that the Kansas football program, no matter who Goff ends up picking, is finally in position to make a quality hire.

No gimmicks or crippling limitations. No heavier than necessary outside influences. No need or desire to win the press conference or make a splash.

The only goal here appears to be winning football games. And Goff seems to get that if he finds the guy who can do that, things will get a lot easier from there.

There has been some whining in the Twitterverse and on message boards — I know, shocking, right?!?! — about how long this process has taken. It hasn’t been overly long, by the way and it appears to be nearing its end. But even if it were longer than normal, the reasons for that are solid.

For one, it’s as big of a hire as KU football will make or has made in years, and it’s important to get it right, whatever the cost.

For two, the fact that Goff has taken his time should give KU fans nothing but confidence in his ability to lead this athletic department.

Those who rush and seek approval and fun feedback from a flashy approach are much more prone to make a mistake than those who measure twice and cut once. Some might say that Goff has measured three or four times already and still has not fired up the blade.

Goff should be commended for tuning out the noise and taking whatever time he felt was necessary. Not only has that increased his odds of him making a sound hire, but it also shows him doing exactly what he said he would do when he announced the start of the search.

“We will take the time necessary to identify our next head coach and ask for your patience and support during this important chapter for Kansas football,” Goff wrote in a letter to donors exactly two weeks ago.

Who’s going to argue with a man sticking to his word? And what’s wrong with making sure he gets it right and is totally comfortable with the hire he’s about to make?

That sentiment would be true for any AD, but it seems particularly important with a first-time AD making a hire of this magnitude.

So crack a beer, grab a book, hit the gym or take a nap.

No matter what you need to help pass the time until the hire is revealed, it sure has the feeling that it’ll be worth the wait.


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