- Weis Firing -
Charlie Weis has been relieved of his duties as Head Football Coach at the University of Kansas, KU Athletics Director Sheahon Zenger announced Sunday. Weis was in the third year of a five-year contract
Kansas defensive coordinator and linebackers coach Clint Bowen was appointed the interim head coach of the football team Sunday and will meet with the media during an introductory press conference inside the Anderson Family Football Complex Monday morning at 9 a.m. The entire press conference can be viewed live by clicking the video above or by visiting YouTube.com/KUAthletics.
"In close review, what we found was the program had lost support at all levels," Zenger told the Journal-World early Sunday afternoon.
Anyone who thinks that the uncertainty surrounding former Kansas University football coach Charlie Weis' future with the program had no impact on the players themselves during the past couple of weeks, would be wise to pay attention to the recent actions of senior cornerback JaCorey Shepherd.
That's not to say Zenger won't reach out and at least talk to some of the hotter up-and-coming coaches out there — particularly younger guys with great energy — but all signs point to the initial list being packed with names very familiar to KU fans.
Sheahon Zenger caught virtually the entire college football world by surprise in December 2011 with his hiring of Charlie Weis, so who knows where the Kansas athletic director will turn this time around as he seeks Weis’ successor? But this much is certain: Zenger needs to get the decision right — for his sake and the university’s.With that in mind, here is our attempt at handicapping possible candidates for KU’s open head-coaching position.
Bowen, 42, has been associated with KU’s program every year since 1998 with the exception of coach Turner Gill’s tenure from 2010-11. While with the Jayhawks, he has coached special teams, tight ends, running backs, safeties and linebackers and been co-defensive coordinator twice.
Weis’ final shot at garnering fan support came last Tuesday. During his weekly news conference Weis asked fans to give him, and the program, a few hours of their time on homecoming against Texas. Before then he’d asked Kansas fans to give him until the end of September to show what he’s done with the program. Both comments seemed to backfire, as Saturday’s 23-0 loss to the Longhorns capped a 2-2 September that featured more problems than promise.
"I’m just surprised by all of it," Quinn said by phone Sunday morning. "By looking at it, I just think (KU athletic director) Sheahon (Zenger) has pulled the cord too quick. I don’t think he understands how hard it’s going to be to turn things around, only because of the bridge they burn from a recruiting standpoint and the fact that, obviously, they have to start over again."
Kansas athletic director Sheahon Zenger should have fired football coach Charlie Weis after last season if he wasn’t going to give him a full 2014 season.
The move also comes with a short-term cost. After this season, Weis had two years remaining on his five-year, $12.5 million contract. He will receive the remainder of his contract, which amounts to about $5.625 million, in monthly installments through December 2016.
After its all said and done, Charlie Weis will be paid about $25 million in severance from Kansas and Notre Dame, and KU will have paid Weis about $2 million per each of his six victories as the Jayhawks’ coach.
The timing of Charlie Weis’ firing, announced by Kansas on Sunday morning, sent a message to the fan base that athletic director Sheahon Zenger wasn’t going to tolerate the lack of progress, and make no mistake, there wasn’t enough progress with the on-field product, as evidenced by Weis’ 6-22 record in Lawrence.
On Sunday, Zenger said the bulk of the search could come during the second half of the season. For now, defensive coordinator Clint Bowen will get an extended audition as interim coach. Zenger said Bowen is a candidate for the job — and would be even if he wasn’t serving in the interim role.
It’s time to get this program into the shop, figure out what’s wrong and do everything possible to make the fix. Because in case KU officials hadn’t noticed, a strong case of apathy has set in around Memorial Stadium. Some people – around 35,000 per game this season – still show up. But they feel no need to stay past halftime and show no remorse walking out while a game is being played.
Nine years ago he signed a 10-year contract with Notre Dame that he's still being paid on. His record at the time, 5-2. On Sunday he was fired at Kansas after winning one Big 12 game (6-22 overall) in less than 2 ½ seasons.
Four games in is early, yes, but Kansas had every right to do this now. His preseason plea in Corinth Square on Aug. 22 was a perfect example of the empty promises of the Weis era, a 28-game tenure in which Kansas’ trajectory never improved.
- Kansas Football -
LB Ben Heeney, Kansas: Don't blame Heeney or the Kansas defense for the Jayhawks' loss to Texas. Heeney had 10 tackles, two tackles for loss, a sack and a fumble recovery at the Kansas 2-yard line that thwarted a Texas scoring opportunity. It was actually the All-Big 12 performer's first career fumble recovery. Behind Heeney, the Jayhawks also limited Texas to just 111 yards rushing.
Perhaps the game plan seemed a little vanilla, but KU coach Charlie Weis said the KU staff intended to be as conservative as possible going into Saturday’s game. Weis said he expected to be able to win a low-scoring game if the Jayhawks limited their turnovers and were effective in the red zone. Instead, quarterback Montell Cozart finished with four interceptions, and the Jayhawks came up empty twice in the red zone.
Texas made the most of its 329 yards in scoring its 23 points. The key Saturday, however, was a defense that stole four interceptions — two by Duke Thomas and one apiece by Quandre Diggs and Jordan Hicks. Overall, KU (2-2, 0-1) gained 313 yards.
He’s just not ready for this, yet the Jayhawks have no other choices. And that’s on Weis, who by his third year should have created more options. Cozart did nothing last season to earn this much faith. And again, that’s not his fault. He came to KU as a raw passer who relied heavily on his ability to run at Miege.
- Kansas Sports -
Liana Salazar headed home her eighth of the year less than 20 minutes into the match to put the Jayhawks up 1-0, a lead they would not relinquish as Kansas shutout the Baylor Bears Friday night inside the Betty Lou Mays Soccer Complex.
The Kansas Jayhawks struck twice within the first 14 minutes of action and held off the TCU Horned Frogs the rest of the way to pick up a 2-0 shutout victory Sunday afternoon inside Garvey-Rosenthal Stadium.
The nationally-ranked Kansas soccer team will return to its new facility, Rock Chalk Park, for its Big 12 home opener on Oct. 3 and a matchup with the Oklahoma State Cowgirls. The match will be at the center of several events and promotions as part of the "Party at the Park" festivities, which will celebrate the opening of Kansas Athletics' state-of-the-art soccer, softball and track & field facility.
The Kansas baseball team welcomed back a wide array of alumni Saturday afternoon to honor legendary coach Floyd Temple in the Third-Annual Floyd Temple Alumni Game.
What started as a Kansas highlight reel ended much differently when Oklahoma came back from an 0-2 deficit to down the 23rd-ranked Jayhawks in five sets.
KU head coach Bill Self stacked on another challenge before concluding the 2014 Boot Camp as the Jayhawks participated in "The Program", a two-day regime that took the team to even more grueling levels of tests and trials.
"They definitely challenged me as a point guard — me and Frank (Mason), definitely. They kind of picked on us a little bit. We don’t talk as loud or be as vocal as we should be as point guard. They brought it out of us."
- Videos of the Day -
Anthony Schlegel was a linebacker at Ohio State who went on to play in the NFL for three seasons. He is now the assistant strength and conditioning coach for Ohio State. That means he's on the Ohio State sidelines for every game, and as one fan now knows, that means you should never run out of the crowd and onto the field during an Ohio State game.
UMass is playing its first game at Warren McQuirk Alumni Stadium since 2011, and things have gone very, very wrong. The video board at the stadium collapsed during the game early in the third quarter.
Jacoby Brissett has looked strong against lesser competition, but his play early in the game against Florida State confirms that the former Florida Gator may be one of the best quarterbacks in the ACC. Check out this incredible effort to keep the play alive and find sophomore wide receiver Johnathan Alston in the end zone.