Monthly Archives: December 2011

2013 forward Brannen Green picks Kansas

Brannen Greene, a small forward from Forsyth, Ga., ranked as the No. 35 player in the 2013 class, gave an oral commitment to the Kansas Jayhawks on Tuesday morning, according to Rivals.com.

Greene, who is 6-foot-7 and 200 pounds, visited Kansas for “Late Night at the Phog.” He chose KU over Connecticut, Florida, Louisville, Memphis, Ohio State and others.

Greene joins Wichita’s Conner Frankamp in KU’s 2013 class.

Turner Gill has a new head coaching job

By J. Brady McCollough – Posted on 15 December 2011

Liberty, an Evangelical Christian university in Lynchburg, Va., has named former Kansas coach Turner Gill as its head football coach, the school announced on its Web site late Wednesday night.

Gill, who went 5-19 in two seasons at KU and 20-30 in four seasons at Buffalo, will be introduced at Liberty, a Football Championship Series program, on Thursday afternoon.

“In our search for a new head football coach, almost every advisor recommended Turner Gill,” Liberty chancellor Jerry Falwell Jr. said in a statement. “Every indication is that he is a perfect fit for Liberty University. His experience is at the level where we would like to take our football program. His Christian faith is strong and sincere and what any new recruit would expect to see in a Liberty University head football coach. I think Liberty University and Turner Gill were made for each other.”

KU releases Charlie Weis’ contract

Kansas Athletics released KU football coach Charlie Weis’ contract on Wednesday afternoon. The document confirmed the five-year, $12.5 million agreement The Eagle reported last week.

Some interesting tidbits from the contract:

* Kansas will provide at least $2.1 million a year for assistant coaching salaries.

* Incentives:

Five Big 12 wins ($50,000)

Each additional Big 12 win ($10,000)

Big 12 regular season title ($100,000)

Bowl game participation ($50,000)

Bowl game win ($25,000)

BCS bowl game participation ($100,000)

BCS bowl game win ($50,000)

Here’s the complete contract.

Ben McLemore arrested for failure to appear

KU freshman basketball player Ben McLemore was arrested on Tuesday in Lawrence for failing to appear in court for a Dec. 6 court date.

Here is coach Bill Self’s statement: “Ben was arrested today for missing a December sixth court date, which is obviously not acceptable. Ben, not 21, was given a citation earlier for possession of alcohol at Abe and Jake’s, a local Lawrence establishment.

“He exercised poor judgment. He also did not let anyone know that he had been cited and had a court appearance because, certainly, we would have made sure he was there. This will be a learning experience for him and probably a fairly costly one.

“Any other discipline will be handled in-house. He should begin practicing with our team when grades are turned in (following the fall semester).”

Tim Grunhard, Ron Powlus join Weis’ staff

Kansas football coach Charlie Weis announced Tuesday that Bishop Miege coach Tim Grunhard will join the Jayhawks’ staff as offensive line coach effective Jan. 1. Former Notre Dame quarterback Ron Powlus will join as quarterbacks coach.

Grunhard, a former Chiefs offensive lineman, led the Stags to five-straight district titles and the 2009 Class 4A title.

Grunhard, like Weis, is a Notre Dame graduate. Grunhard played for the Fighting Irish’s 1988 national championship team.

Powlus was Weis QBs coach at Notre Dame and this season was in the same job at Akron.

Former Notre Dame quarterback Dayne Crist to visit Kansas this weekend

Former Notre Dame quarterback Dayne Crist, one of the top quarterback prospects in the country coming out of high school in 2008, will officially visit Kansas this weekend, according to Crist’s mother, Karen.

Crist was recruited to Notre Dame by newly-named KU coach Charlie Weis, who will be introduced as the Jayhawks’ leader today at 5 p.m. in a news conference.

Crist graduated from Notre Dame with one year of eligibility remaining and intends to transfer to another school where he will attend graduate school and play one season of football.

In 2010, Crist began the season as the starter and completed 174 of 294 passes for 2,033 yards and 15 touchdowns and seven interceptions. Crist lost the starting job to Tommy Rees, who held onto the role in 2011.

Crist is reportedly also considering Wisconsin, which made a similar move last season when Russell Wilson transferred from North Carolina State after graduating. Wilson led the Badgers to the Big Ten championship and a Rose Bowl berth this season.

With Fedora out of the mix, here are KU’s possibilities

A week ago, after Mike Leach accepted the Washington State job, the attention of Kansas’ coaching search focused on Southern Mississippi coach Larry Fedora. Today, after Fedora accepted the North Carolina job, the focus will change again. But this time it’s not as clear which direction it will turn.

KU athletic director Sheahon Zenger still has plenty of attractive options, and they can be separated into three camps: Innovative offensive minds, grinders who know what it takes to win at a place like Kansas and proven big-name coaches who want back in the game.

Here’s a breakdown:

INNOVATIVE OFFENSIVE MINDS

* Auburn offensive coordinator Gus Malzahn: In the last few days, Malzahn has generated plenty of buzz with the Kansas job. His offenses have been successful at Arkansas, Tulsa and now Auburn, where he took Cam Newton and made him into a Heisman Trophy winner on the way to the 2010 national championship. The obvious downside is that Malzahn hasn’t been a head coach at this level. Plus, he is already making $1.3 million at Auburn. How much of a raise will he be looking for?

* Air Force head coach Troy Calhoun: He is a proven winner in five seasons at Air Force, going 41-23 and leading the Falcons to a bowl game in each season. He is capable of running a variety of offenses, from the wishbone he runs at Air Force to a pro-style scheme he ran in the NFL with the Houston Texans. Kansas needs a disciplined coach, and that is certainly Calhoun, an Air Force grad. The question is, would he leave his alma mater for Kansas?

* Louisiana Tech head coach Sonny Dykes: In his second season at Tech, Dykes led the Bulldogs to an 8-4 record and a WAC championship. Dykes could be considered Mike Leach Light, because he learned under Leach at Kentucky and Texas Tech. Dykes got his start as a high-school coach in Texas, so he would continue KU’s presence in the Lone Star state. The main question with Dykes, the son of former Texas Tech coach Spike Dykes, is if he’s waiting for the Tech job to open up in the future.

GRINDERS

* Wyoming head coach Dave Christensen: In his third season at Wyoming, Christensen’s Cowboys put up an 8-4 record. They’ll play in their second bowl game under his leadership. Christensen was the offensive coordinator at Missouri for 12 years under Gary Pinkel, creating exciting offenses throughout. He’s got experience recruiting the Kansas City region and also Texas. He’s a tough, disciplined guy that could bring the right approach at KU.

* Northern Illinois head coach Dave Doeren: In his first season at Northern Illinois, the Huskies went 10-3 and won the MAC championship. Doeren is a native of Shawnee Mission who coached at Kansas under Mark Mangino. He went on to become the defensive coordinator at Wisconsin, helping the Badgers to a Big Ten title last season before going to Northern Illinois. The biggest hurdle for Doeren is that he is the only Division I-A coach to lose to Turner Gill at KU this year, so that would be a tough sell for many.

PROVEN BIG-NAME GUYS

* Former Tennessee coach Phil Fulmer: Fulmer has been out of coaching for three years now, but he has won big in the SEC and brought home a national championship. Of course, that was 13 years ago. Winning at KU is a totally different animal than winning at Tennessee.

* Former Ole Miss coach Houston Nutt: Nutt was involved with Kansas two years ago and would jump at the chance to coach KU now. He was a wild success at Arkansas but struggled to get Ole Miss going. There’s reason to believe that he could succeed at KU.

* Former Boise State and Arizona State coach Dirk Koetter: Koetter, currently the offensive coordinator for the Jacksonville Jaguars, was the coach who got the Boise State program going in the late 1990s. At Arizona State during 2001-06, he went 40-34 and led the Sun Devils to four bowl games. This is a guy who understands program building.

Virginia forward Andrew White commits to KU basketball

Andrew White, a four-star small forward from Chester, Va., gave an oral commitment to the Kansas Jayhawks on Friday.

White, the No. 56 overall player in the class by Rivals.com and the No. 12 small forward, picked Kansas over Texas, Louisville, West Virginia and Richmond.

White joins five-star forward Perry Ellis of Wichita Heights, three-star power forward Landen Lucas of Portland, Ore., three-star power forward Zach Peters of Plano, Texas, and three-star shooting guard Anrio Adams of Seattle in KU’s 2012 class.

Adams committed to Kansas two weeks ago, choosing the Jayhawks over Texas, UCLA, Pittsburgh and others.

He and White won’t be able to sign until the late signing period.