The David Beaty era is officially over. During his time at Kansas he won two Big 12 games, four FBS games and six total games in four years.
Jeff Long announced this on Sunday stating that Beaty would not be retained after the 2018 season but he would be allowed to finish the rest of this season.
— The Fitz (@FitzDaddy85) November 4, 2018
Some were a bit confused by allowing him to finish the season but I think it’s a good move. The player’s obviously care deeply about Beaty and have invested a lot of time in making this season successful. It makes perfect sense to let him finish the season with the players that have put their blood, sweat and tears into this program.
A statement from David Beaty: pic.twitter.com/jT0NwDq9rq
— Kansas Jayhawks (@KUAthletics) November 4, 2018
Long concluded that the time was right due to our recruiting class being so low (only one recruit) and we’ll have to work hard in order to meet the looming early signing day period. He believes it gives other recruits the clarity that Beaty won’t be back and maybe there’s a chance they’ll continue to give us a look.
Long then stated there would be a presser later that evening leaving many to speculate that he could also be announcing a hire. But it was simply to offer the media a chance to ask questions and pick Long’s brain on what his next steps were.
I liked this approach and you could tell Long was candid in his answers.
After the presser it was clear Long wants a coach with experience. He even mentioned following a question about him hiring a coordinator instead of a head coach, that he prefers a head coach because this isn’t a job where there’s time to learn on the job. Ironically enough Beaty was hired to be head coach when he was a wide receiver coach.
It was also clear he’s looking for a serious coach with some serious energy. Long understands this won’t be an easy rebuilding project as Beaty proved, but it can be done and we’ll need a guy that believes that as well.
I thought it was also interesting that he won’t be putting an age limit or maximum on his next hire. He said number one is energy and that’s what they’re looking for regardless of age. He even talked about his own age at 59 and that his energy level doesn’t show his age. This leaves the door wide open on what many think could be his first hire, Les Miles.
I wouldn’t expect him to limit his search to just Les Miles, though. I’m confident Long will be patient in finding the right guy. He did mention he wants to move quickly but you can move quickly and still be patient.
I look for him to gauge interest from guys like Seth Littrell, Dave Doeren, Jason Candle, Willie Fritz and Jeff Monken. Heck, I’d even call Lane Kiffin, Mike Leach and Brent Venables. The key is to have options so that he can make the best possible hire for the program.
Another important part to this process is fan support. Long urged fans to show up for the last game against Texas as to a thank you to David Beaty and the seniors, and also a sign to the next Head Coach of good things to come. I’ll definitely be there.
Either way, this will be the biggest thing Jeff Long will do so far in his tenure as AD at Kansas. Hiring a football coach has proved to be a mountain of a challenge the last nine years and it won’t prove to be any easier this time around.
I have faith that he’ll bring in the right guy, though, and I’m absolutely excited for the future.