The search for his replacement has gone on over the last two months. KU athletic director Travis Goff, who replaced Jeff Long—another person who lost his job over the Miles debacle—had to jump right in on a search for one of the biggest positions at the school. Kansas has struggled mightily since Mark Mangino led the team over a decade ago. The program went just 20-108 under Turner Gill, Charlie Weis, 2014 interim coach Clint Bowen, David Beaty, and Miles from 2010-2020.
To Goff’s credit, the list of coaching candidates that have emerged for the KU job is pretty interesting. The Jayhawks are considering coaches with fairly unique backgrounds and, most importantly, significant histories of program building. We may find out who it will be very soon, as well.
ESPN’s Adam Rittenberg and Sports Illustrated‘s Pat Forde are among those reporting that a hire is likely this week. News may even come as early as today.
Would expect a #Kansas coaching hire by the end of this week. Most attention has been around #Buffalo’s Lance Leipold and #Army’s Jeff Monken, but #LouisianaTech’s Skip Holtz is very much a contender, I’m told. All three in mid-50s with plenty of HC experience.
— Adam Rittenberg (@ESPNRittenberg) April 28, 2021
Could have news on the Kansas football hire as soon as today, per sources. Prime names are Lance Leipold of Buffalo and Jeff Monken of Army, though other candidates have been in the mix.
— Pat Forde (@ByPatForde) April 28, 2021
As Associated Press college football insider Ralph D. Russo points out, Kansas football has its spring game this weekend. It only makes sense that KU will have a new head coach installed and introduced in time for that, with the good PR that it can bring.
Kansas has redefined the soft deadline. The spring game is Saturday on ESPN+
Have to think they'd like to turn that into a 2-hour infomercial for the new coach.
— Ralph D. Russo (@ralphDrussoAP) April 28, 2021
Lance Leipold was a bold hire by Buffalo in 2015. He won six Division III national titles at Wisconsin-Whitewater from 2007-2014, before taking the leap up to the MAC. He’s turned the Bulls into one of that league’s more consistent teams, going to three straight bowl games and a pair of MAC East titles in 2018 and 2020. This year, the team finished ranked No. 25 in both the AP and Coaches Polls.
Jeff Monken took over Army after a very successful FCS-level run at Georgia Southern, just before that program was elevated to FBS. He has taken the Black Knights to four bowls in five years, finishing ranked No. 19/20 in 2018 after an 11-2 season. In 2016, he led Army to its first win over Navy since 2001. The Black Knights have now won four of five games in the historic rivalry. It is unclear if he’d bring the triple option to Lawrence, but many have called for Kansas to try something bold and different like that, given the incredible struggles that the program has had over the last decade.
Rittenberg mentions Skip Holtz, who has been very successful at Louisiana Tech, but is more of a retread than the other two names after an unsuccessful run at USF years ago. Tulane’s Willie Fritz and Eastern Michigan’s Chris Creighton are among the other names attached to the Kansas football job. Both more closely resemble Leipold and Monken.