Now its time to finally begin unveiling our top 10 coaching candidates for the KU football head man job. Today we'll give you candidates 7-10 - guys that are "on the list" but still aren't very likely to get the job. These candidates are mentioned by just about every source that has reported on the coaching vacancy. Surely these names have come across the desk in the athletic director's office.
10. Scott Frost
As I'm sure most of us know, Frost played quarterback at Nebraska, leading the Huskers to the 1997 national championship. (What a few of us probably don't know is he transferred to Nebraska from Stanford.) Frost has been both an offensive and a defensive coordinator at the college level.
At Northern Iowa (2007-08), Frost was the Linebackers coach and defensive coordinator. In 2008, his defense finished third in the FCS in scoring defense at 17.7 ppg.
When Frost moved to Oregon in 2009, he became the Wide Receivers coach. In 2013, he was promoted to QB coach and offensive coordinator. In his first season as offensive coordinator, Frost's offense set a school record for total offense in a season at 7,345 in 13 games. This is notable because the previous best mark of 7,319, in 2011, happened during a 14-game season.
Frost has worked under some of the best, including Bill Walsh, Tom Osborne, Bill Snyder, Bill Parcells, Bill Belichick, and Jon Gruden. Frost would obviously be one of those young "up-and-comer" coordinator types and could be looking for a return to the Midwest.
9. Chad Morris
Morris is currently the quarterbacks coach and offensive coordinator at Clemson, a position he has held since 2011. Before that, Morris spent one year at Tulsa (2010) as assistant head coach, offensive coordinator, and QB coach. Before that, Morris was a head coach in the Texas high school ranks at several different stops: Eustace (1994-97), Elysian Fields (1998-99), Bay City (2000-02), Stephenville (2003-07), and Lake Travis (2008-09). Morris won three Texas state championships, including both seasons at Lake Travis.
Morris' offensive mind is often compared to Gus Malzahn. He is THE nation's most highly paid assistant coach, so KU would most likely have to pay him Charlie Weis type money to get him to come to Lawrence.
8. Brent Venables
Venables is yet another Kansas native we find on our list, from Salina, KS. Venables currently works at Clemson as the defensive coordinator (2012-present). He has also held the DC position at Oklahoma (2004-11) under Bob Stoops. From 1999-2003 he coached Linebackers for Stoops at OU. Prior to that, he was Linebackers coach at K-State (1993-98) and Defensive coordinator (1999-2003) for Bill Snyder. Venables came to K-State from Garden City CC.
Venables is among the top-10 in assistant pay, and would likely command a substantial guaranteed salary in order to entice him to Lawrence. That's not even considering that he is a KSU grad, alum, and former assistant. Can his allegiance be bought?
7. Jim Leavitt
Leavitt was born in Texas, grew up in Florida, and played college ball at Missouruh. Of this last fact I was unaware until literally just now. Leavitt spent a couple more years at MU as a graduate assistant before several stops at small colleges as a position coach and defensive coordinator. He eventually found his way to K-State coaching Linebackers and co-defensive coordinator (1990-1995). In December of 1995, he was hired to begin South Florida's football program (which wouldn't start play until 1997). USF spent four seasons in FCS preparing for the move to FBS. Overall, Leavitt compiled a 95-57 record at USF with only two losing seasons.
His dismissal at USF came under a cloud of controversy. He was fired after an investigation about an incident in the locker room at halftime of a game. School officials decided Leavitt was not truthful about what happened, and that he actively hindered their investigation by asking players and coaches to change their stories, which was cited as the primary reason for his termination.
Leavitt spent 2010 out of coaching before being hired by Jim Harbaugh and the San Francisco 49ers as their Linebackers coach, his current position.
It is rumored that KU Athletic Director Sheahon Zenger and Jim Leavitt are close friends and that he is a serious candidate for the opening at Kansas. I'd prefer he remain Jim Harbaugh's linebackers coach - at Kansas of course. (I know, I know, I'm dreaming.)
I know, I know - a Nebraska guy, a K-State guy, and a Missouruh guy? How low can we go? Don't worry, the list gets better, you'll have to - I'm gonna say it - stay tuned! The way I see it, these four coaches only combine for a 5% chance of one of them becoming the next head man at Kansas. That brings our percentage wheel to:
5% - Outside the Top 10
5% - Candidates 10-7
90% - Yet to be revealed
Check out the rest of our countdown:
Candidates 7-10 (Current selection)