Kansas Punts on Gill. Who Should They Trust Next?
After just two seasons at Kansas
, AD Sheahon Zenger decided to punt on Turner Gill
. Statistically, there is no doubt about it, Gill was really struggling. However, only two years in and over 6 million dollars left on his contract, it’s hard to imagine Kansas going through with firing Gill. That being said, his hiring was done by Zenger’s predecessor, Lew Perkins, which may have factored into the decision. It is not uncommon that new Athletic Directors make personnel decisions to bring in “their guy”. Kansas is the 53rd highest rated job in college football according to our proprietary CBTN Best Head Coaching Job Ranking
. That being said, they are only 4 years removed from the 2007 season in which they went 12-1 on the way to a BCS Bowl win. Big things are definitely possible at Kansas. So who should KU turn to next? We’ve put a list together of the guys we’d be calling on day one.
Yes, we like Mike Leach for the Kansas job as well. The bottom line is that Leach is a great coach and should be a candidate for just about every AQ job that opens up. Yeah, yeah, yeah, we know he has some baggage. Read his book and you will understand that Leach’s “baggage” is not baggage at all. This guy is a great coach and a good man and should be on the list of any program looking to get better on the field. From 1970-1999, the 30-year period before Leach took the reigns at Texas Tech, the Red Raiders won eight or more games only six times and had ten losing seasons. During Leach’s ten years at the helm of Texas Tech, he won eight or more games eight different times, won eleven games for only the second time since 1970, and never lost more games than he won. Additionally, Mike Leach is used to coaching without the deck stacked in his favor. We think he would bring excitement and more importantly consistency to Kansas.
If Michael Vick deserves a second chance after his foray into the underground world of dog fighting, we think Jim Leavitt deserves a second chance for his alleged actions toward a student athlete. Sometimes, the most profitable opportunities are the ones that have a little hair on them. Hiring Jim Leavitt is risky given the black cloud under which he was fired from South Florida
, but given the job he did for the Bulls, we believe it may be a risk worth taking. Leavitt built the USF program from scratch, and from 2001-2009, he won 62.96% of his games, won eight or more games six times during, and played in five bowl games. When it comes to mentors, Leavitt has one of the best of all time in Bill Snyder
and could be a great value buy for Kansas.
Monkens, a disciple of Paul Johnson
, is currently the head coach at Georgia Southern. In the five years prior to taking over, the Eagles won 51.79% of their games. In two years at the helm at Georgia Southern, Monkens has won 73.08% of his games. If hired, Monkens will bring the spread option attack with him to Lawrence and every defensive coordinator in the pass-happy Big 12 will lose a little sleep thinking about preparing for a run-based spread option offense. In his first two seasons, Monkens’ offense has averaged 31.72 points per game and his defense is giving up an average of 19.41 points per game.
Kansas clearly doesn’t have a problem with hiring overweight coaches with anger management issues (see Mark Mangino
). In fact, it was an overweight coach with anger management issues that led the Jayhaws to a 12-1 record in 2007 and 6+ wins in five of eight seasons. If you are familiar with the concept of loss aversion, you understand that the pain that comes with losing is more memorable than the joy that comes with winning. In Ralph Friedgen’s ten years as the head coach at Maryland, he won 60.00% of his games, 53.75% of his conference games, had a winning record against over .500 teams, and won 8+ games in six of his ten seasons. In 2001, Friedgen won all four major Coach of the Year awards. However, Friedgen did have four losing seasons, and we don’t believe the Maryland fan base ever forgave him for his 2-10 record in 2009. Coach Friedgen will certainly not wow anyone during the press conference, but his history has shown that he will win you some football games.
Since taking the reigns at Houston
in 2008, Kevin Sumlin has won 69.23% of his games and has had a top 15 nationally ranked scoring offense in each of his four seasons coaching the Cougars. Houston’s overall winning percentage in the five years prior to Sumlin’s arrival was 53.97%. Sumlin did take over a program that Art Briles
had resurrected from the cellar of Conference USA. That being said, Sumlin has only elevated the Cougars and appears to have Houston headed for a Conference USA Championship and BCS Bowl bid.
The biggest problem we have with June Jones is that we can’t picture him without a Lei, a stache, and a Hawaiian shirt. Once we get past this, we like what we see. In the five years prior to Jones taking over at Hawaii
, the Fighting Rainbows had won 20.34% of their games. From 1999-2007, Jones won 64.96% of his games and won nine or more games in six of the nine seasons he was head coach. In the five years before Jones took over at SMU
, the Mustangs won 25.86% of their games. Since Coach Jones took over in 2008, the Mustangs have won 45.10% of their games (this includes Jones’ first year when SMU went 1-11). Jones is also responsible for leading the Mustangs to their first back-to-back-to-back .500 or better seasons since the mid 1980′s. His name doesn’t get mentioned that much, but June Jones is one heck of a coach.
Over the eleven seasons, Larry Fedora has been an offensive coordinator for seven years and a head coach over the last four. During this eleven year period, Larry Fedora has only been involved in one losing season. Additionally, over this period Fedora has had top 25 scoring offenses in seven of eleven seasons. Prior to this season, Fedora did not appear to be doing anything out of the ordinary at Southern Miss
, but as we noted in our article
on Mike Gundy
, it sometimes takes coordinators a few years to get their sea legs as a head coach.
Tim Beckman was a defensive coordinator at Bowling Green
from 2001-2004, the defensive coordinator at Oklahoma State
from 2007-2008, and has been the head coach at Toledo
from 2009-2011. During these nine seasons as either a defensive coordinator or head coach, Beckman has been involved in seven 8+ win seasons. In the five years prior to taking over at Toledo, the Rockets had won 50.82% of their games and had back-to-back-back losing seasons. Beckman has since won eight games in two of his first three seasons as head coach (66%). In his ten years at Toledo prior to taking the job at Missouri
, Gary Pinkel
only won 8+ games four times (40%). Beckman has had extremely solid mentors in Mike Gundy, Jim Tressel
, and Urban Meyer
and could be a great option to bring some stability to Kansas’ program.