Newspaper article The Topeka Capital-Journal

Kevin Haskin: Big Names, Big Money Should Not Be Big Factors for KU

Newspaper article The Topeka Capital-Journal

Kevin Haskin: Big Names, Big Money Should Not Be Big Factors for KU

Article excerpt

LAWRENCE -- So, this list Sheahon Zenger has scribbled in a notepad, locked into a computer file, or encrypted into Phog Latin, you wonder ...

How much money will Kansas throw at its next football coach?

How sexy are some of the preferred candidates?

How soon will a deal be struck, and does the KU athletic director have anyone in his hip pocket?

Right now, the impression I am left with is not to get hung up on any of those questions. Zenger wants someone who fits the Kansas profile.

Poke fun at that profile thing if you want considering the downward slide the Jayhawks have Schlitterbahned into ever since Mark Mangino was left twisting in the wind by an athletic director who could not escape his own ego.

Ignore whatever transgressions Mangino committed that made his file too thick to consider hiring him again. The strengths he brought as a coach were an eye for talent and the ability to develop players.

People are often dumbstruck when they are reminded that Aqib Talib, Anthony Collins, Chris Harris, Dezmon Briscoe, Nick Reid -- do you need me to go on; OK, I will -- Todd Reesing, were all underrated recruits who flourished for the Jayhawks.

They possessed skills. They wanted to get better. They were taught to improve. They were inserted into a system that was then tweaked to fit the talent Kansas assembled. In the process, they played with desire and toughness.

"Lunch-pail guys," as Mangino called them -- sorry, Kevin Kane, but the term always reminds me of you -- rose to become captains.

The crowning achievement for that blueprint came wrapped in Orange following a title run in 2007. Yet the Bowl Championship Series berth was one of four postseason appearances KU made in the eight years Mangino went 50-48, a record that seems comparable now to whatever Bud Wilkinson accomplished at Oklahoma.

Wins are obtainable at Kansas. But not with celebrity hires, which is why no one should get caught up in personalities during this search.

Turner Gill, and all his exploits as a star quarterback in the Big Eight for Nebraska, did not make any impact. …

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