clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

If Gill Gets Fired, Then Who?

There's no question that every time Turner Gill sits down, his posterior has to be incredibly warm. With just a 5-14 record, 1-11 in Big 12 play (and even that required a miraculous comeback against horrible Colorado) there is no doubt that Turner Gill hasn't lived up to expectations since taking over. It's only been a year and a half, and I want to stress that I think making a change too early could be disastrous, it's clear that waiting too long to make a change would be equally disastrous, if not more so.

I highly doubt he will be fired mid season. Sheahon Zenger said as much after the Kansas State game. But if he gets the axe after this year and someone new is brought in, who do you want it to be?

I'm going to float some names out there and then we'll let the RCT commenterati vote on it. Keep in mind that these are just throwing out random names: I have no sources nor any reason to believe that any of these men have been contacted or would be interested. Also, these range from the fairly plausible to the perhaps ridiculous. Most, if not all, of these names were suggested to me on twitter, so if you think one name is awful blame other KU fans, not me.

Mark Mangino

Might as well get this one out of the way. Not going to happen. Mangino took Kansas to the 2007 Orange Bowl, but did so without having to play Oklahoma, Texas or Texas Tech, and I would bet they would have lost to all of those teams. He took some 2 star players and turned them into good football players, but he also had a tough time working with his assistants and treating his players like men. Re-hiring Mangino not only wouldn't be the best thing for on field performance, it would send the message that KU cares more about wins than how a coach treats his co-workers and players.

Mike Leach

The pirate has an 84-43 career record and was in charge of some of the most potent offenses in college football history. Kliff Kingsbury set the NCAA record for completions in a career under Leach, BJ Symons had the most passing yards in a season under Leach, etc. How he would mesh with KU's personnel would be an issue, as KU is much more set in terms of running backs than they are at wide out, and I'm also unsure as to whether he'd coach at KU or not (though if he did in Lubbock I'm certain he would here).

Mike Stoops

The recently fired Arizona coach went 41-49 in Tucson but he did serve as the defensive coordinator at Oklahoma back when they were one of the most dominant defenses in the country. Still, he appeared to be a bit over his head as a head man and, other than the fact he'd probably come fairly cheap, doesn't seem like the right fit.

Phil Fulmer

Fulmer interviewed for the job before Gill was hired and reportedly was very impressive in doing so. He compiled a 152-52 record at Tennessee, and went to 15 bowl games. He had just two losing seasons at Tennessee as well and went to 5 SEC title games, winning 2 of them. He's 61, so he's not a long term solution, but he is perhaps the guy to steady the ship.

Jim Leavitt

Leavitt took over a brand new South Florida program and went 95-57 with them. He also led them to the quickest ascension into the FBS top 25 ever. There's no doubt Leavitt can coach kids up, but given what he was fired for I doubt KU goes back to that well.

Brent Venables

Not sure why people think he is a serious candidate. I think he would potentially be a good coach, but he's not exactly overseeing the 85 Bears as defensive coordinator at Oklahoma. Not to mention I'm not sure why he would want to leave Oklahoma to come coach at Kansas, though we could offer a nice raise.

Ken Niumatalolo

In a perfect world, this is my personal choice. As the coach at Navy, Niumatalolo doesn't have access to great recruits. Kids who are smart enough to go to Navy and athletic and disciplined enough to deal with academy life aren't a dime a dozen, and kids who are that and also have the ability to play major division 1 football usually go play D1 football somewhere where they don't have to serve in the military afterwards. Yet he is 27-13 at Navy and has gone to four bowl games. He also was offensive coordinator and QB coach at Navy where he tutored two quarterbacks who set national records for TD runs in a season. With KU's ability to recruit running backs lately, the triple option seems like it would be a more fruitful idea than some other offensive systems, and it wouldn't require getting the biggest offensive linemen either. I realize the offense isn't the problem in Lawrence, but Navy hasn't come into a game underprepared in forever. A lot of that should be on the shoulders of the fine men who wear that uniform, but a lot should go to the coach as well.