Newspaper article The Topeka Capital-Journal

Kevin Haskin: KU Football's Clint Bowen Still Enthusiastic for Role as Defensive Coordinator

Newspaper article The Topeka Capital-Journal

Kevin Haskin: KU Football's Clint Bowen Still Enthusiastic for Role as Defensive Coordinator

Article excerpt

LAWRENCE -- Old office. New approach.

Clint Bowen seems to be handling the transition seamlessly by remaining loyal to one constant: True Blue.

No longer is Bowen calling shots for the Kansas football program. He did so, of course, last season as the interim coach who took over after Charlie Weis was fired following the fourth game.

The record Bowen posted was not glittery. His 1-7 run included a win against Iowa State and a near-upset of TCU on successive weeks. After that, the Jayhawks were gassed, and again overmatched, losing by wide margins at Oklahoma and at Kansas State. They stood 3-9 overall and 1-8 in the Big 12, but avoided a last-place finish for the first time since 2008.

With that, Bowen's work as head coach ended. David Beaty was hired.

What enthusiasm Bowen generated inside the football complex, denoted by both KU players and administrators, must be maintained. The right move was made keeping Bowen around to help with that initiative in a role with which he is familiar, defensive coordinator.

"We could have finished the year bad and I think the players left with a positive experience playing Kansas football," Bowen said. "I'm talking about the seniors mostly, but even the whole team. The biggest positive was seeing how they responded, and started coming to this building with a different attitude. I think all of them left feeling good about what they did at KU."

Feeling even better , though, is the next task.

Bowen stated at the outset he wanted to become KU's head coach over the long-term. Had he been given that opportunity, it would have made sense.

However, had his efforts been disapproved over time, the passion Bowen projects not only for KU football, but KU itself, may have dissolved. Kansas football needs that unwavering institutional knowledge and spirit. Through thick and thin. Long-term.

As defensive coordinator, Bowen can still be instrumental, especially after he accepted the decision athletic director Sheahon Zenger made to hire Beaty.

"To me, it's always been about the players," said Bowen, "and to be here and to continue to work with these young men that I love like my own sons, and to be able to continue to work at the University of Kansas, is what it's all about. …

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