Talk about eating my own words. But I have to tell you, I’ll enjoy every bit of it.
Kansas has officially signed Les Miles, the legendary LSU coach, to a 5 year $2,775,000 a year contract.
"Miles will receive a five-year contract that will pay him $2,775,000 annually, with additional retention bonuses due in Nov. 2020 and Nov. 2022." https://t.co/9xPUeJyJyY
— Sports Radio 810 WHB (@SportsRadio810) November 18, 2018
And here are a few additional details on Miles contract from Jesse Newell.
Les Miles' incentives include a bonus for good grades. pic.twitter.com/P3tCjV3z8g
— Jesse Newell (@jessenewell) November 18, 2018
Even though I didn’t think the chances were good we’d land Les Miles, I’m absolutely ecstatic. How could I not be? This guy brings with him a resume better than any Kansas coach in it’s entire history.
During his first stop at Oklahoma State Miles posted a 28-21 record. Following that he was hired by LSU to replace Nick Saban and posted an even more impressive 114-34 record.
His total winning percentage as a Head Coach? 72.1%. Wow.
I’d be willing to bet he’s at least top three in overall head coach winning percentage in the Big 12, aside from Lincoln Riley who’s only coached two years at Oklahoma. And to think he did this in two of the toughest, if not THE toughest conferences in the nation, the SEC and the Big 12.
How’s that for finding a winning and proven coach? I’m not sure it can get much better.
But we owe it all to Jeff Long. A man that came in with loads of respect from all over the college football nation. Who cares if he was fired from Arkansas for a hire that at the time was one of the biggest in program history? It didn’t work out with Bret Bielema but who could have predicted that? Literally no one.
Although it’s not the hire that surprises me the most at this point, it’s the naysayers that don’t agree with it. They say “it’s another Charlies Weis hire” or “he’s too old to rebuild a program” or “he doesn’t know how to run an offense.” That all doesn’t matter right now. What does matter is our coach now has a better overall record than yours. And you just can’t handle it.
And it’s clear we can’t predict the future. Who knows how well Miles will do at Kansas. It was surely easier to recruit at LSU, there’s no doubt about that. And the program is in a pretty deep hole, one that Beaty tried his hardest to climb out of. But if it doesn’t work at least the fan base will be interested and show up to David Booth Memorial Stadium to check it out.
Having said that, the next step for Miles is to put together the best staff he has ever assembled. This, to me, will be the most important step. And once he does that he must allow them to coach. Trust in them and give them 100% support.
And all the while he must start recruiting. As it sits Kansas is 174th in their 2019 recruiting class, arguably the worst I’ve seen in my entire time watching the program.
And if he thought he worked hard recruiting at LSU, just wait for what he now faces. Players don’t come to Kansas because of the incredible history. Because outside of a few bowl appearances, the most notable being the 2008 Orange Bowl, there isn’t much to gawk at. They come here because of the atmosphere, the chance to play right away, and the coaching. The latter will be the most appealing to them and Miles will be sure to use it to his advantage.
I’d also like the new coaching staff to hit Kansas hard. Recruit them until there’s no other prospects left for Kansas State to tear away. Most of them will be walk-ons, but they’ll be walking on in hopes of earning a spot after their sophomore or even junior year. A lot of these players turn out to be some of the toughest you’ll find.
Regardless, this is the biggest thing to happen to Kansas football since we thought Jim Harbaugh was going to be our next coach. But he wouldn’t, so it doesn’t count.
But here we are, a legend of a football coach and an excitement in Kansas football that doesn’t seem to be simmering down for quite some time. Expect season tickets to fly out the roof and tailgating to explode into a whole new level of insanity. Kansas football is back. And yet we haven’t even seen Les Miles coach a single KU game.
And for your reading pleasure, here are some of Les Miles’ most famous quotes. I’m sure there will be plenty more as time goes by.