Friday December 5th, 2014

David Beaty will be the next coach tasked with rebuilding Kansas, as the Texas A&M assistant is set to become the new Jayhawks head coach, SI.com’s Thayer Evans reports, citing a source. Bruce Feldman of Fox Sports first reported the hire.

Kansas, which fired coach Charlie Weis on Sept. 28 after the Jayhawks lost 23-0 to Texas, won just one conference game under Weis and went 6-22 in his tenure. The Jayhawks finished this season 3-9 and won a conference game (a 34-14 win over Iowa State on Nov. 8) while led by interim coach Clint Bowen.

Kansas hasn’t made a bowl game since it went 8-5 during the 2008 season under coach Mark Mangino and beat Minnesota, 42-21, in the Insight Bowl. Mangino left Kansas in December 2009 after the coach and athletic department “reached a mutually satisfactory agreement” following an investigation into how Mangino treated his team.

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Beaty comes to Lawrence, Kan., from Texas A&M, where he spent three seasons as the Aggies’ wide receivers coach and coordinated their recruting. He has two previous stops as an offensive coordinator, at Rice in 2010 and at Kansas in 2011 and was a wide receivers coach for the Jayhawks from 2008 to '09. Beaty’s recruiting ties to Kansas and Texas are obviously a plus as the Jayhawks look to infuse talent into a program that has won 12 total games over the past five seasons.

Kansas football since 2010
year record coach
2010 3-9 (1-7) Turner Gill
2011 2-10 (0-9) Turner Gill
2012 1-11 (0-9) Charlie Weis
2013 3-9 (1-8) Charlie Weis
2014 3-9 (1-8) Charlie Weis, Clint Bowen (interim)

With Beaty’s help, Texas A&M locked up highly touted recruits like defensive end Myles Garrett and had three straight top-15 recruiting classes, peaking at No. 6 in 2014. Beaty coached former Aggies star receiver Mike Evans, who has been one of the best rookies in the NFL this year.

He is the fifth assistant of Kevin Sumlin to get an FBS head coaching job in the past four years, joining Dana Holgorsen (West Virginia), Tony Levine (Houston), Brian Polian (Nevada) and Kliff Kingsbury (Texas Tech).

The Kansas job is a tricky one to evaluate. It is a Power Five gig and is just seven seasons removed from an Orange Bowl-winning season. But the immense struggles over the past few years have damaged the image of a program that was already seen as a difficult place at which to win. 

When Beaty was at Kansas the first time around, he tried to sell the Jayhawks programs as the “University of Texas in Kansas.” That might be the approach he’ll need to take again as he tries to reinvent Kansas as a place where kids not only want to play, but where they believe they can win.

“The thing that I really try to make them understand is when you grow up in the state of Texas, right, wrong or indifferent, all eyes are on the University of Texas. Period,” Beaty told Tom Keegan of KUSports.com in 2011. “So everybody and everything is compared to that. So for me to draw an analogy to a kid, one of the easiest ways for me to do that very quickly is just to tell them, ‘Fellas, for me to make you understand what Kansas is, it is the University of Texas in Kansas. It is their Texas. It is just like that.’ And it is. This is exactly what it’s like here, so when they come here they’re like, ‘Man, I didn’t know it was like this.’ How unbelievable the facilities are, the commitment level, the fan following, the town, the location, how it’s close to Kansas City, and it’s got its own college-town feel to it. It’s got the best of both worlds.”

Turner Gill, the Jayhawks’ coach before Weis, was out the door in two seasons. And Weis never could make anything work. It’s possible Beaty could. The quickest way to turn a school around is by bringing in quality players. And Beaty is well connected, especially in the Dallas Fort-Worth area, where he used to coach in high school at North Dallas High. With so much talent in the South, especially in Texas, Kansas could be successful if a steady foundation can be put in place.

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From a September piece on Beaty by Sanjay Kirpalani of Bleacher Report:

“A bonus with him is that most of the coaches in the metroplex know him," [Cedar Hill High School head coach Joey] McGuire said of Beaty. "They know what kind of reputation he has, and that kind of bleeds over with the kids whenever they see him interact with their coaches. I think that kind of gives him a leg up on some of the other coaches.”

Beaty knew how to work those relationships to get quality players to Texas A&M. Now he’ll have to make the tougher sell to get them to Kansas.

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