Despite some mild improvement to the Kansas football team this year, David Beaty was fired as head coach on Sunday, putting and end to one of the worst coaching tenures in the history of the sport.
Now comes the time to find a man willing to take on a project of this magnitude and return Kansas to the glory days, which were only 10 years ago but somehow feel like 50.
These are the top candidates to replace Beaty at Kansas.
Tulane’s head coach is an ideal candidate in certain ways. Fritz played at Pittsburg State in Kansas, then coached in Kansas at the high school and junior college level. He’s a two-time juco national champion, an MIAA national champion, and a champion of both the Sun Belt and Southland conferences.
None of those are on the level of the Big 12, but we’re talking about a guy who has won, and won big, almost everywhere he’s been for the last 23 years.
It is a concern that, so far, Tulane has been an exception to that. This is Fritz’s third year there, and he’s 13-20.
Would Les Miles actually listen to an offer for this job? Who knows. But he’s still only 64, he’s by far the most accomplished coach that might be remotely available to Kansas. Plus, as the Lawrence Journal-World’s Tom Keegan reported, Miles has known both Kansas athletics director Jeff Long, and the man Long hired to oversee the football program, Mike Vollmer, since the 90s.
Miles coached in the Big 12 at Oklahoma State from 2001-04, for whatever that’s worth, and engineered a turnaround of that program.
My issue with Miles as a candidate is that you never want to be in a position where your football coach feels like he’s doing you a favor just by showing up. I’m not saying Miles would have that attitude, but it seemed like Charlie Weis did.
Doeren is a native Kansan and coached at KU under Mark Mangino from 2002-05. Now the head coach at N.C. State, Doeren is 63-36 as a head coach, including a 40-32 mark with the Wolfpack.
He won two MAC championships at Northern Illinois, and beat Charlie Weis’ Kansas team in 2012.
According to the Kansas City Star, Doeren “badly wanted” the KU job in 2011, when it hired Weis to replace Turner Gill. But Doeren was still an assistant at Wisconsin at that point. Now that he’s won 15 of his last 21 games at N.C. State, he may not want the KU job so badly.
Kansas AD Jeff Long hired Bielema at Arkansas in 2012, and it wouldn’t be crazy for him to do it again at Kansas in 2018. Bielema is a consultant for the New England Patriots who is “not going to Kansas” per CBS’ Dennis Dodd.
This would be a great get for KU, it’s just difficult for me to imagine Bielema wanting that job.
Monken is the head coach at Army, where he runs a triple option. Kansas should be doing that, or something like it, rather than trying to be better than Texas and Oklahoma at their own game.
Let’s not forget this is the offense that made Nebraska — which is in a very similar state to Kansas — a national power. And let us not forget that Nebraska has not been a national power since it stopped running the triple option.
Army is on its third winning season in a row and Monken, 51, is 69-44 as a head coach.