Yes it is official, Turner Gill was fired as the Kansas head football coach with the decision being announced by the University in a press release from the athletic department. This news has been expected for several weeks now as the Jayhawks have finished with just five wins during Gill's brief two year tenure and unfortunately the Jayhawks have rarely been competitive in Gill's 19 losses. It was that inability to field a competitive product in the Big 12 conference that ultimately made this a necessary decision despite the thought of this happening after year two being fairly far fetched at the beginning of the season.
"After a thorough evaluation of our football program," Zenger said, "I have concluded that new leadership is necessary to place us on the path toward competing for championships in the Big 12 Conference. I come to this conclusion reluctantly, because I have the utmost respect for Turner Gill as a quality individual who wants only the best for the young men he coaches."
After a fourteen hour drive today I really expected to walk in the door to this news and while it's needed and expected it is, just as Zenger references, a bit disappointing in some ways. The best thing for Kansas football would have been for Turner Gill to succeed. He is a quality person, he seems to have great values and he appeared to be a very likable personality on the recruiting trail. Plus, Any time you start over you don't necessarily improve and sometimes it's just another step back. Obviously we all hope that isn't the case here and Kansas is about as far back as it gets so one would hope there is improvement. Either way the lack of competitiveness under Gill makes it a necessity.
What's crazy to think is that at the beginning of this season Gill had a very forgiving fanbase holding him to fairly low expectations. It wasn't about wins and losses, heck the two wins probably would have been fine had Kansas been competitive and competent in every game. But the reality is that if they had been competitive and competent for four quarters every Saturday, Kansas would have won more ball games. It was a bad situation and a poorly managed program and change looked inevitable for several weeks now.
Time to turn the page and start looking toward the future. Zenger has a big hire to make and it provides his first chance to make his mark on the Kansas athletic department. He has to find a way to sell hope once again, just two years after we all sat and listened to Turner Gill and Lew Perkins sell one GIANT helping of hope only to deliver very little in the way of results.