Thursday, August 27, 2015

Kansas Jayhawks Football: Eight Is Enough


Beaty on the beat

When David Beaty opens the Kansas Jayhawks football season on September 5th against South Dakota State (11 AM Central Time), KU football will have had eight full-time head coaches since 1983.

KU men’s hoops has had eight full-time head coaches, period.

The last time both KU football and basketball started a season with new leaders was 1983, so that’s why I picked that year as the demarcation line. The new hoops coach that year was Larry Brown. The new football coach that year was Mark Gottfried.

Since Brown, the hoops head coaches have been Roy Williams (’88-‘03) and Bill Self (’03-until he dies).

After Gottfried, the football head coaches have been:

Bob Valsente (’86-’87), Glen Mason (’88-’96), (a common chant at the time: “Hooray for Glen! Hooray for Glen! Hooray for Glen he’s a horses @$$!”) Terry Allen (’97-’01), Mark Mangino (’02-’09), (letter to Jim Rome: “I’m glad Mark Mangino got fired. Sincerely, the buffet.”) Turner Gill (’10-’11), Charlie Weis (’12-14), and now Beaty. If you add the interim coaches- Tom Hayes in ’01 and Clint Bowen last year- KU football has had ten head coaches since ’83, or two more than the basketball team has had since before there were airplanes.    

I wanted Bowen to be the full-time head man, and said so as much last year. What’s great to hear is that Beaty was going to come to Kansas even if Bowen was made head coach and he would just be the offensive coordinator. That confirmed to me, and hopefully everybody invested in KU football, that Bowen is really, really good.

What it also should tell everybody is that Beaty will do everything in his power to turn this program around. It certainly helps that he and Bowen are buddies and are thinking the same way about KU football.

Really, there’s nowhere to go but up. There has been nowhere to go but up ever since it bottomed out in the Turner Gill era and continued scraping along during Charlie Weis’ two-plus years. Bowen was the jolt the team needed last season, and if Beaty does nothing but keep the team at that level for an entire season, it will be an improvement.

Beaty and Bowen promise that KU football is a sleeping giant. If those guys can’t make the program rise then the blame can be laid squarely on the university. If Kansas has to go get another football coach before they have to get another new basketball coach, then they might as well forget about fielding a football team.

Eight coaches in thirty-two years ought to be proof enough of that.

photo courtesy: kusports.com