Hey we are back again! Thirteen days ago I wrote a post looking at who the next head coach should be. Since then, Kansas beat Central Michigan and quite frankly should have beat Texas had they gotten even an average performance from the quarterback position, but in any event Charlie Weis is gone and for the third time in half a decade we are looking for a new football coach.
The next head coach will likely be picked from the pool of candidates that is already out there (though I unfortunately don't think it will be Bob Stitt knowing that Zenger can't really afford to swing and miss again), but there are a few others who either we haven't highlighted yet or aren't being talked about much. Let's profile a few here:
1. Clint Bowen
We'll have a longer profile on the current interim head coach, but watch Bowen's press conference (particularly his "anyone who thinks this is a stepping stone job is an idiot. This is a destination job" line) and try not to get fired up. I'm ready to go play some football. He's been a big part of the defense's improvement, and it seems obvious that his players and high school coaches love him. His resume might still be a bit thin to be a power 5 head coach, but if he works out we are talking about a guy who could be here for 20 years or more.
2. Dave Doeren
Doeren is the current head coach at NC State and the former head coach at Northern Illinois, where he went 23-4 in two seasons. He was also a Kansas assistant from 2002-2005. Though his success at NIU may be a bit overstated due to having Jordan Lynch, his turnaround at NC State (4-1 this season) is already impressive. Doeren could very well want to move back to the Midwest, but a couple things might keep him at NC State: first, he spent just two seasons at NIU, and might not want to bail out of Raleigh after just two years. Secondly, and probably more importantly, it's much easier to win the 6 games needed to become bowl eligible in the ACC than in the Big 12 which is probably the second deepest conference in the country. Still, Doeren is only making about $750,000 in base salary at NC State, and Kansas obviously has the ability and willingness to pay a coach more than that.
3. Ed Warinner
Warinner is a former Kansas assistant and recently turned Ohio State's offensive line from a weakness to a strength. Warinner also was an assistant at Air Force and Army, which I personally love. He also, perhaps most importantly, helped oversee the best Kansas offenses in the history of the program. I don't think even the most ardent optimists think we are going to just jump right back into the success we had in that era, but bringing Warinner back could be a good start. He's also already worked alongside Bowen and Reggie Mitchell.
4. Craig Bohl
Bohl, who just won the last three FCS national championships at North Dakota State, is in his first year at Wyoming. Bohl's age (56) works against him, but he very quickly turned NDSU around after their jump from Division 2 to FCS. In fact, he's already lost as many games at Wyoming as he did in his last three years with the Bison.
Still, I don't think Bohl is the right fit for Kansas. His age makes him a short term coach no matter what happens, and his success at NDSU was a bit of fool's gold. After their jump from Division 2 to FCS, they and South Dakota State were the only FCS programs within 1,000 miles, give or take. The rest of the programs were either Big 10 programs like Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Iowa, or Division 2 powers like the University of North Dakota. This allowed Bohl almost unlimited access to recruits in the upper midwest that weren't quite good enough to play in the Big 10 but were far too good to play in Division 2. As a result, he could build a very good FCS team with almost no resistance. You can build an FCS champion with 90% of your kids from that area (and that trend even continues today, as NDSU's quarterback, two leading rushers, and two leading receivers all hail from North Dakota or Minnesota), but you can't build a Big 12 power like that.
5. Dana Dimel
Dimel is the current co-offensive coordinator at Kansas State and has ties to Zenger. Dimel's head coaching record is not very good, with him winning 30 games in 6 years, and just 8 games in 3 years at Houston. However, it should be mentioned that Dimel recruited a lot of the guys that
Kevin Sumlin later parlayed into the Texas A&M job. Ahem: art Briles, Baylor. Carry on. And in his 5 years as K State co-offensive coordinator the Wildcats have finished 15th, 23rd, 69th (nice), 49th, and 92nd in offensive S&P. Note that's in reverse order, so they have been trending in the right direction.