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Kansas is making a coaching change as expected.
KU athletic director Jeff Long announced that David Beaty will not be retained at the end of the season. Beaty, who was informed of Long’s decision Sunday, will coach the team’s final three games against Kansas State, Oklahoma and Texas.
“After a thorough evaluation of the program, I believe that new leadership is necessary for our football team to move forward and compete at the highest level of the Big 12 Conference,” Long said. “I know that Coach Beaty cares deeply about his players, and I respect that. The student-athletes on this team have continued to play hard — and I am confident they will do that for the rest of the season.”
Beaty is the second FBS head coach to be fired this season, joining Bowling Green’s Mike Jinks.
David Beaty’s record at Kansas: 6-39
Beaty has just a 6-39 record at Kansas, including a 2-31 mark in Big 12 play. He was hired by former KU athletic director Sheahon Zenger ahead of the 2015 season. Beaty’s Jayhawks were 0-12 that year and then went 2-10 and 1-11 in 2016 and 2017, respectively. With a loss to Iowa State on Saturday, KU dropped to 3-6 overall and 1-5 in conference play this season.
When Zenger, who infamously hired Charlie Weis before Beaty, was fired in May, Kansas chancellor Douglas A. Girod said in a statement that “progress in key areas” of the athletic department “has been elusive.” One key area was obviously football. Long, when hired, was tasked with improving the long struggling program.
That will start with this hire.
“The search for a new head coach will begin immediately,” Long said.
Kansas has been the worst Power Five football program
Entering the 2018 campaign, Kansas had a total of 20 wins over its previous nine football seasons and has not played in a bowl game since 2008. It has been especially tough since the end of the Mark Mangino era in 2009. Mangino led the Jayhawks to four bowls in his eight seasons, including winning 12 games and the Orange Bowl in 2007.
It was all downhill from there. Mangino left the program under tumultuous circumstances and Turner Gill was hired. After two tough seasons, Zenger decided to fire Gill and bring in Weis, the ex-Notre Dame head coach. His hire was a disaster.
The Jayhawks had a 6-22 record under Weis, who was fired during his third season to set up a near-impossible rebuilding effort for Beaty. Beaty had some small successes on the recruiting trail, but it never translated into wins.
Now it’s up to Long to make the hire to fix things.
Arkansas struggled in football with Jeff Long as AD
Long was the AD at Arkansas from 2008 to 2017, but his time there fizzled out due to a lack of football success.
At Arkansas, Long brought in Bobby Petrino in 2008. Petrino went 21-5 over his last two seasons with the program, but Long fired Petrino in April 2012 amid the fallout from his infamous motorcycle accident and scandal.
From there, Long plucked Bret Bielema away from Wisconsin, where he won three Big Ten division titles. However, Bielema’s success had at Wisconsin never materialized at Arkansas. A week after Long was let go, the Arkansas brass fired Bielema, too.
One name being tossed around for Kansas is Les Miles. Regardless, Long is aiming high with his goals for the program.
“Big picture-wise I think for our program our goal is set to reach a bowl game,” Long said when he was hired in July. “So we’ll strive to reach a bowl game and once we reach that level we won’t stop there. We’ll move on to more games and ultimately I’m not shy in saying someday down the road we’re going win the Big 12 championship. We’ve done it here at Kansas in the past and it’s something we’re certainly going to work every day and night to do.”
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