Monthly Archives: December 2009

Houston’s Kevin Sumlin? Probably not

Houston coach Kevin Sumlin has been continually mentioned as one of the frontrunners for the Kansas opening, but things have been pretty quiet on that end thus far.

This could help explain: On Thursday morning, the Houston Chronicle reported that Sumlin and Houston are close to agreeing to a contract extension. Houston athletic director Mack Rhoades called it “99 percent” done.

“Things are moving forward in regards to where we’re going to be and what where doing,” Sumlin told the newspaper. “I’m a football coach. I’m not a lawyer. The language that’s going to be in it, that has to be reviewed by my attorney and agent and we’ll see. I think we’re getting close to where we need to be.”

Sumlin seemed like a natural fit because of his ties to the Big 12 as an assistant at Oklahoma and Texas A&M and his recruiting contacts in Texas.

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Some other fodder relating to KU’s coaching search:

Who knows whether the results of Notre Dame’s search will affect Kansas’ search? But here are a few things to know. Stanford coach Jim Harbaugh is not a candidate according to the Associated Press, which spoke to Stanford athletic director Bob Bowlsby. Bowlsby said he confirmed that with Harbaugh’s agent and Notre Dame AD Jack Swarbrick. On the other hand, the Irish do reportedly have interest in Connecticut coach Randy Edsall, according to ESPN.com. Edsall, of course, was hired at UConn by KU AD Lew Perkins, so he has been mentioned as an obvious candidate for KU.

Perkins was in attendance at the UConn-Kentucky game Wednesday night at Madison Square Garden, but I would assume that he just wanted a break from the coaching search and wanted to watch a good basketball game.

Of the two coaches known to have spoken to Perkins – Buffalo’s Turner Gill and Ole Miss’ Houston Nutt – Gill is the one who could still be KU’s coach. Gill hasn’t addressed the interview publicly and appears to be in a holding pattern while Perkins looks at other candidates.

Other names that have popped up: East Carolina’s Skip Holtz and Central Michigan’s Butch Jones. We are trying our best to nail these down.

Live, from the lobby of the Waldorf-Astoria — well, not really

Kansas athletic director Lew Perkins is believed to be in the famous Waldorf-Astoria hotel in New York this afternoon at the National Football Foundation’s annual awards luncheon, and, even though I can’t be there, I have a frame of reference for the experience.

A few years ago, upon traveling to the Big Apple, I used priceline.com and finagled a tremendous deal to get a $150 per night room at the Waldorf-Astoria. It was magnificent, the type of thing that you are glad that you did once in your life just so that you can say that you did it. So there, I said it.

Anyway, if there is a better place for Perkins to conduct his search for the next KU football coach, I’d like to see it. Tons of college football big wigs are in town for this luncheon, and if you’re a coach or an athletic director in the mood for a good conversation, the Waldorf-Astoria is where you’d want to be this afternoon.

New York, no matter the specific spot, is perfect for Perkins to hide out because he can remain pretty anonymous there and come and go as he pleases without folks like me stalking him. Reportedly, he has met with or is going to meet with University of Buffalo coach Turner Gill there, and I’d have to imagine he will stay busy with other desirable candidates.

And hey, if Stanford coach JIm Harbaugh wants to talk with Perkins while he’s in town to jockey for the Notre Dame job, which has been reported by numerous outlets, I’m sure Perkins would be open to that.

Gosh, the more I talk about the happenings in New York, the more I want to visit priceline.com and make a pitch to my editors. Beam me up!

Report: Buffalo’s Turner Gill to interview for KU job

Buffalo coach Turner Gill will interview for the Kansas coaching vacancy on Sunday, CBS’ Tony Barnhardt said during the SEC Championship pregame show tonight.

Gill, a former quarterback and assistant coach at Nebraska, led the Bulls to the 2008 MAC championship and their first bowl game in 50 years. Gill was a candidate for the Nebraska opening two years ago, but the school hired Bo Pelini instead.

Gill’s daughter, Jordan, attends Kansas.

Gill’s contract with Buffalo was extended after last season and runs through 2013.

Nothing happening, so we find news where we can

As the investigation into Kansas coach Mark Mangino’s treatment of players lags into the end of its third week, we media members are beginning to get restless. We want a press conference, and we want it yesterday.

But the thing we must remember is that the athletic departments we cover are not concerned about our mental health or well-being.

I asked three KU officials earlier today, and all of them said there was no press conference scheduled. Of course, one of them did suspiciously use the word “yet.”

Since there is nothing going on the Mangino front, people are already forecasting potential replacements.

Rivals.com is reporting that Stanford coach Jim Harbaugh, who has been rumored as one of the best candidates Kansas football could hope for if Mark Mangino is fired, was in Kansas City to conduct an in-home visit with Liberty wide receiver Marcus Lucas.

Harbaugh apparently stopped by Liberty High wearing Stanford gear and gave a pep talk to the Liberty basketball team, which Lucas plays on.

The site said Harbaugh was asked about the Kansas job, and he said that he plans on being the coach at Stanford and that they were working on a new deal.

One of the main reasons that Harbaugh would consider Kansas is that his wife is from Kansas City. That could also be the reason Harbaugh chose Lucas to visit during this recruiting contact period – not that he is waiting for an interview with KU AD Lew Perkins, as some fans may be hoping.

The decision hasn’t even come down on Mangino yet, and rumors are rampant about his replacement. One such rumor had former Tennessee coach Phil Fulmer on the KU campus in recent days. Fulmer coached at Wichita State under Jim Wright in the 1970s.