You laugh, but hear me out on this. Kansas, as you know, beat Texas on Saturday night in Lawrence, Kan. Until then the Jayhawks had lost 19 Big 12 games in a row and coach David Beaty, the lowest-paid coach in the conference, looked like he was headed for a 1-23 record after two seasons at KU.
He now looks like he is headed for a 2-22 record after two seasons at KU. This is the time to lock up David Beaty long term.
Again, you think I am being facetious. I’m not. Since KU ran off Mark Mangino in 2009, the football program has been an utter debacle, sinking lower and lower each year. It replaced Mangino with someone the opposite of Mark Mangino in Turner Gill, a upbeat players’ coach who lasted just two seasons in Lawrence. After that, Kansas tried someone the opposite of Turner Gill in Charlie Weis, who did a terrible job all the way around.
Mangino, Gill and Weis all had contracts that paid them at least $2 million per year, which is a lot for a program like Kansas, and didn’t work out. Turns out it is extraordinarily difficult to build a winning football program in a state with less than three million people, regardless of how easy Bill Snyder makes it look. It takes creativity, and a plan uniquely tailored for both the coach and the program itself. And it’s going to take a while for anybody to figure it out.
So here’s the new strategy: Let Beaty run the program for like 10 years. Give him just an insane amount of time. Let him see if he can figure out a way that works for him and works for KU.
Everybody had their eyes on Texas coach Charlie Strong’s job status yesterday, and for good reason. But as low as expectations are for the Kansas football program these days, Beaty needed his program to show some sign of a pulse, too. He gets a $25,000 bonus for each conference win, for goodness sake.
It’s got that now, at least. Something to point to. So take the pressure off. Settle into the David Beaty era and see what happens. Give the man an extension. I’m only a sort of joking.