LAWRENCE, Kan. – University of Kansas football fans greeted new head football coach Les Miles with a warm welcome Sunday evening.
Fans packed inside Johnny’s West Tavern to hear Miles speak during a “Hawk Chalk” radio show special. The former LSU coach discussed his vision for the program and introduced his wife and children to Jayhawk Nation.
Troy Reynolds graduated from KU in 1993. He said he’s been a fan of the football program since, but the last decade has been hard to watch.
“He’s got a proven record at winning at the highest level, putting players in the NFL, building a really good staff and creating an awesome game day atmosphere,” Reynolds said.
Reynolds attended the event Sunday evening with his two sons.
“I think we made progress this year and I think we’re seeing it on the field, but I think it was the right decision to make to move the program in a different direction,” Reynolds said.
KU hasn’t had a winning season since 2008. It’s a stat that’s not lost on Jessica Clossen, who graduated from the school in 1999.
“We got really into it on ‘07 and ‘08 we went to the Orange Bowl,” Clossen said. “It was a family deal for all of us. We went to all the games, watched them finally have some success and it’s kind of crumbled ever since then.”
Fans are hoping Miles’ reputation and experience will lead to experienced coaching hires, better recruits and more wins on the field. They said the Miles has his work cut out for him, but they’re confident he’s the right man for the job.
“He’s had a lot of success, so we’re hoping he can do the same thing here,” Closssen said.
“We’re appreciative of all the hard work Coach Beaty and his staff have done,” Reynolds added. “I think they clearly stabilized the ship and I wish them the best, but we’re excited for the next chapter in Kansas football.”
Miles replaces outgoing head coach David Beaty, who was fired midway through the season.