The wildly successful get to know a coaching candidate series has a spinoff. At Rivet's suggestion it seems appropriate here at Rock Chalk Talk that we might take a look at the new coaching staff as it comes together. Who they are, where they've been and what they bring to the table are certainly important points as we look to the future of Kansas football. Hopefully this series won't stir quite the controversy as the "Get to Know a Coaching Candidate" series, since we are still battling it out as to who was the more appropriate hire.
That said, before moving on with the new offensive coordinator for the Kansas Jayhawks Chuck Long, it also seems appropriate to say thank you to one Ed Warriner. Coach Warriner, I would imagine has seen his Kansas career come to a close, but during his time Warriner was the play caller during Kansas' most prolific stretch of offensive football in it's history. Todd Reesing, Dezmon Briscoe, Kerry Meier and Ed Warriner will forever be tied together and go out as one of the best groups to play/coach in Memorial Stadium.
Those are some big shoes to fill for Chuck Long, does he have what it takes to take the reigns and run with it? Let's look to the resume and find out a little more on Coach Chuck Long.Chuck Long, like myself, is an Illinois native. Born in Wheaton, Long was a state champion football player who would go fairly under the radar as a quarterback due to a run heavy system. Still, Hayden Fry from the nearby University of Iowa saw enough in Long to offer him a scholarship with the Hawkeyes where Coach Long's journey would begin.
As a redshirt freshman for the Hawkeyes in 1982, Long would begin the year as the opening day starter before permanently taking over as the quarterback in week three. Long threw for 1,374 yards and eight touchdowns as a freshman. It was the third most passing yardage in a single season ever at Iowa. His 64.2 completion percentage was a school record. Iowa had a 7–4 record before defeating Tennessee in the 1982 Peach Bowl. Long was the offensive player of the game after completing 19 of 26 passes for a career high 304 yards.
Long would continue to lead the Hawkeyes for three more seasons all the while setting records and winning ball games. By the end of his sophomore year, Chuck Long owned Iowa's school records for yards passing in a season and a career, touchdown passes in a season and a career, and total offense in a season and a career. Sounds to me like we have the Todd Reesing of Iowa football calling our plays.
After finishing on the Heisman ballot as a junior Long returned to Iowa for his senior season where he would take the Hawkeyes to #1 ranking three weeks into the season. The Hawkeyes would eventually lose their top ranking but Long would lead the Hawkeyes to a Big 10 title and finish runner up for the Heisman trophy to Bo Jackson of Auburn.
Long graduated with 10,461 passing yards and 74 touchdowns on 782 completions. He held every passing record at the University of Iowa except one when he graduated. Long holds the best completion percentage of any college quarterback all-time who has attempted more than 1,000 career passes. He was also the first Big Ten player and just the second player in college football history to throw for more than 10,000 yards in a career. Between Long and Gill, it would seem the Jayhawks have their bases covered in terms of quarterback development. One more item of note, Long's college coordinator...Bill Snyder of Kansas State.
After a short stint in the NFL, Long would transition back to the college game in a coaching capacity for his Alma Mater in 1995. Long would actually begin his career coaching the defensive backs for three seasons despite having no experience in that area during his career. In 1998 Hayden Fry would move Long to the offensive side of the ball as the quarterbacks coach one season before announcing his retirement. When current Hawkeye head coach Kirk Ferentz took over, Long was retained in the same capacity but chose to leave after just one season.
In 2000, after five seasons at his Alma Mater, Long accepted the quarterbacks coaching position with the Oklahoma Sooners and joined another former Hawkeye Bob Stoops. Also on the staff at the time, Mark Mangino. In his first year Long coached and mentored Josh Heupel to a 2nd place finish in the Heisman trophy race and was a part of an Oklahoma Sooner squad that won a national title.
Following the 2001 season and Mark Mangino's departure for the Kansas coaching job, Long was promoted to offensive coordinator for the Sooners. Oklahoma would win the Rose Bowl in 2002 and in during the 2003 season the Sooners would lead the country scoring 51.5 points per game. Both good and bad news for Kansas fans as it relates to that season, the good news is that Long called an offensive system that hung 77 points on Texas A&M in conference play. The bad news will roll around later.
In 2004, Long was named as a finalist for the Broyles Award as the nation's top assistant coach. In all Long was an assistant coach at Oklahoma for six seasons, including four as an offensive coordinator. During his time Oklahoma compiled a 67–11 record overall.
After the 2005 season, Long landed his first head coaching position when he was hired as the 16th head football coach at San Diego State University. Unfortunately Long was never able to get the Aztecs moving in the right direction and led them to a record of 9–27 in three seasons. Long has spent the last year out of football as he was still under contract with San Diego State prior to his recent move to Kansas.
Long is expected to run a very similar offense to what Kansas fans are already used to. The spread will be in use, but he also anticipates using more two back sets and even some under center. Long will be starting with a bit of a clean slate with the quarterback position and that could play to his advantage in implementing his system. Combine that with the Jayhawks returning the entire offensive line and the pieces might just be in place to surprise next year.