Zenger = Fired
It was another beautiful Monday morning in Lawrence, KS as all was quiet on the mid-western front. That was until University of Kansas Chancellor Dr. Doug Girod dropped a giant bombshell on all of Kansas athletics—Sheahon Zenger would no longer be the KU AD.
I’m not all that surprised nor am I upset. With the dwindling support by the Kansas football fan base this was eventually expected—but why now?
It’s not a secret that the football program under Sheahon Zenger has been catastrophically horrible. If the 12-72 record didn’t convince you then the blowouts year in and year out along with the bottom of the barrel finishes in just about every statistical category certainly should.
Then there’s the fact that Kansas Women’s basketball coach Brandon Schneider—Zenger’s lone hire outside of football—hasn’t fared well either. Schneider hasn’t been near as bad as the football coach hires and has at times shown progress, but it’s been slow.
Add to that the recent report of the alleged naked cheerleader hazing and you could only assume things weren’t looking bright for Zenger.
But I think the true Achilles heel for his tenure was the stadium renovations survey. It’s not that it was by any means a bad survey, it was just bad timing—for Zenger at least.
I understand from a marketing perspective it made sense to get a feel for who would and wouldn’t attend games or pay for all the extras the new stadium would have to offer. But it wasn’t just that the fans didn’t want to pay or couldn’t afford to pay, they flat out refused to have anything to do with the project. And most put Zengers name on the forefront of their refusal with intentions of wanting him fired.
That to me was the nail in the coffin. And, furthermore, goes to show the power football has over all other college sports.
But having said all that we have to remember Zenger has done some good things for the University of Kansas Athletics Department. He did a great job with Rock Chalk Park, spear headed the proposal for a newly renovated football stadium along with upgrades in facilities, and then focused on the student first part of student-athletes as most if not all Kansas student-athletes increased their GPA’s during his tenure.
Either way, it was time to move on and hopefully in the right direction this time.
What about David Beaty?
David Beaty may not admit it but he has to be nervous. Girod did make it clear he would remain head coach—for now at least—but whoever the next AD is will get the chance to evaluate Beaty and make a decision on whether he stays or goes.
It does seems likely the new AD will keep him since it’s so close to the start of a new year and not many options would be available, but the leash will be very short. And by short I mean he needs to go at least 2-1 to start the year to make it into conference play. But unfortunately after that I still don’t see him making it much further into the season.
Here are my percentages on how long I think Beaty remains head coach…
- Fired before conference play = 63%
- Fired halfway through conference play = 22%
- Finishes the season but fired right after = 14%
- Doesn’t get fired and is head coach in 2019 = 1%
Who would replace Beaty?
So, what if Beaty does get fired? Who would be a good replacement?
Here are my ideal targets if I’m the new AD…
- Dave Doeren (NC State HC) – Doeren is a Kansas guy and I think if the right offer was made he’d definitely be interested especially with some brand new facilities and a newly renovated stadium on the cusp. He’s also been very successful everywhere he’s been and I have no doubt he’d be successful at Kansas.
- Chad Morris (was SMU HC now Arkansas HC) – Morris is a great football coach and did some impressive things at SMU. In his first year in 2015 they went 2-10, then in 2016 they went 5-7, and in 2017 the team went 7-6 and made a bowl game. Now that’s improvement.
- Craig Bohl (Wyoming HC) – Bohl did an incredible thing with Josh Allen who barely had any offers to play D-1 football. He turned the once two star recruit into a top 10 NFL Draft pick. Anyone who does that is going to turn some heads. He has also had a strong defense since he’s been at Wyoming and really knows how to run a program.
Those would be my top three targets but a few others that I think would be good replacements and would be interested are Jeff Monken (Army), Scott Satterfield (Appalachian State), Shawn Elliott (Georgia State), Seth Littrell (North Texas), Jason Candle (Toledo), Dave Clawson (Wake Forest), and Neal Brown (Troy). These are all incredible up and coming coaches that have made a name for themselves.
Tweet of the Month
Obviously this was a tweet from today but I think it speaks clearly on the new direction of Kansas football fans.