LAWRENCE, Kan. — Who will be the next head coach for Kansas football? That is the question many are asking after KU Athletic Director Jeff Long announced David Beaty would be let go at the end of the season.
FOX4 Sports has put together a list of top five picks that could be the university’s next head football coach.
Les Miles: If you ask most Kansas football fans, the search for a new coach begins and ends with Les Miles. He’s a proven winner (National Championship at LSU in 2007), he knows the college game, he knows how to recruit and he’d be an instant draw for those considering buying a season ticket. He also knows how to handle himself publicly (check YouTube: Les Miles Have a great Day press conference). Word has it, several high school players at Kansas City suburban St. Thomas Aquinas HS noticed last week that ‘Les Miles’ had started to follow them on twitter. St. Thomas Aquinas is currently ranked #1 in KC Metro HS Football circles. Miles is also 65 years old, and he hasn’t coached in a year and a half (see Charlie Weis). Miles would be a big name that wouldn’t hurt a program like Kansas.
Dave Doeren: Head coach of North Carolina State and a native of the Kansas City area, Doeren wanted the job bad when Kansas hired Charlie Weis in 2012. He knows both sides of the state line connected to Kansas City when it comes to recruiting. Doeren has had successful stops at both Northern Illinois and now North Carolina State. Would he be interested in Kansas? Never hurts to ask.
Neal Brown: Head coach for Troy: Brown is an offensive minded coach that beat Nebraska this year, and LSU last year, both, on the road. At the age of 38, Brown is young and energetic, and his coaching style would fit well in the Big 12.
Scott Satterfield: Head coach at Appalachian State. The Moutaineers came within a whisker of winning in Happy Valley against Penn State back in early September, but lost in overtime. KU Athletic Director Jeff Long says he wants a head coach with previous head coaching experience. Satterfield absolutely has that. He also has 3 FCS National Championships.
Jason Candle: Head coach at Toledo. Any D-I coach that calls and and has ties to coaching in the state of Ohio, you at least listen to. In this case, Candle coached a team that won the MAC last year, and is now in charge of a program that used to be run by the likes of Nick Saban, Gary Pinkel, Glen Mason and Matt Campbell.
The task of finding a head coach for a team that has had more than its share of struggles the past eight or nine years will not be easy.
Following the announcement of Beaty, Long tweeted that he met with the KU football team to inform them of the decision.
“I explained the Head Coach qualities that would be the foundation of our search, the vision for our future, and reinforced the commitment to Breaking the Cycle! Our search starts now!”
Long with on to say that their search will find an experienced head coach.
“A Head Coach that is a proven program builder and strong recruiter. A Head Coach that is an established leader of men, both on and off the field. A Head Coach who is committed to Breaking the Cycle for KU football.”
Kansas has often been labeled a “basketball school,” and rightly so given the Jayhawks’ streak of 14 consecutive Big 12 titles. But while gridiron success has been fleeting, Mark Mangino proved as recently as the 2007 season that it is possible. Kansas went 12-1 and won the Orange Bowl that year.
That’s how many games the Jayhawks have won the past six seasons combined.
Beaty, who is 6-39 with just two Big 12 wins, will begin the end of his tenure with Saturday’s rivalry game at Kansas State. He will be paid $3 million in up to six installments under terms of his contract, which was extended two years through 2021 in late 2016.
The Associated Press contributed to this report