Reaction to Kansas Jayhawks Firing Charlie Weis


Simply Put: “What the (insert your word of choice here)?”

Multiple sources reported on Sunday morning that Kansas Jayhawks Athletic Director Sheahon Zenger canned struggling Head Coach Charlie Weis, just 28 games into his five-year contract. This marks the second time in the last three years KU fired a head coach before his contract was up. And the second time they will be on the hook for paying the rest of that contract.

Since 2012, KU has the worst winning percentage of any Power 5 conference team at 6-22. Granted that trails three other teams by only .5 and 1 game, but that offers little condolence. Eight of those 22 losses were by more than 30 points – and honestly I figured that number would be higher. In that span, KU managed only one Big 12 victory, last year over West Virginia, and only two other victories over FBS opponents.

It’s not as though Weis hasn’t been able to attract talent to Lawrence…  This year’s recruiting class features four 4-star, nineteen 3-star, and two ESPN Top 300 commitments.

It’s not as though Weis hasn’t been able to attract talent to Lawrence (at least perceived talent).  This year’s recruiting class features four 4-star, nineteen 3-star, and two ESPN Top 300 commitments.  Not to mention the two 5-star quarterbacks that transferred to KU under Weis – their complete ineffectiveness notwithstanding.

Weis’ biggest problem appears to be knowing what to do with that talent once it shows up. He finally scrapped the pro-style offense this year, and turned over the play-calling reins to John Reagan whom he hired from Rice.  Considering how KU’s offense has has performed (or not), I’m not sure firing Weis but keeping Reagan will really have any effect on the remainder of the year.

In the interim, the Jayhawks will turn to defensive coordinator Clint Bowen for presumably the remainder of the year. Bowen played for KU in his collegiate days and has been on staff since 1996 – one hard to find example of longevity.  And while the defense has performed admirably this year – seriously look at more than just the scores – is Bowen a long term answer or just he poor guy left holding the bag?

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I haven’t been shy about my dislike, bordering on disdain, for Weis’ coaching style or decisions since he’s been hired. But I don’t agree with this decision.  At all. Nor the one to fire Mangino or Gill for that matter.

In a society that has little to no patience for underwhelming performance, people seem to forget that to truly give a coach a chance you need to give him 4-5 years (i.e. a complete recruiting class).  Instead, though, everyone wants their “ommpa loompa now” and if a new coach doesn’t roll in with an immediate bowl game then he is a complete failure and it’s on to the next one.  This is no way to turn a program around.

Look, obviously something wasn’t working, but is hitting the reset button again the right choice?  I guess we’ll see next week when KU travels to Morgantown to face West Virginia. I’d be lying if I expect anything more than what we’ve seen so far this year – an offense with no identity and a defense that plays much better than any score will indicate.

But hey, I’ve been wrong before.