LAWRENCE, Kan. (AP) — Kansas has hired Texas A&M assistant David Beaty as its football coach, bringing back a former assistant to Mark Mangino and Turner Gill who has deep recruiting ties in talent-rich Texas.
The hiring was announced Friday. A news conference is scheduled for Monday.
Beaty emerged from a cluster of candidates that all had ties to the program, including Clint Bowen, the longtime defensive coordinator who served as interim coach when Charlie Weis fired.
Beaty will certainly have plenty of work to do. The Jayhawks won just three games this season and one Big 12 game, and have been firmly in the league cellar since Mangino was fired in 2009.
Kansas has not had a winning season since 2008.
Beaty, a former Kansas assistant, emerged as the leading candidate from a search that began when Weis was fired during the season and picked up speed when the Jayhawks wrapped up their season under interim coach Clint Bowen with a 51-13 loss to Kansas State last Saturday.
Weis was fired four games into his third season. Defensive coordinator Clint Bowen, another candidate for the job, served as interim coach for the final eight games.
Beaty was expected to tour the school’s facilities and meet with university administrators on Friday. While it was unclear when a hiring could be announced, the Jayhawks played Florida in a high-profile basketball game Friday night at Allen Fieldhouse. That would offer the school an ideal opportunity to introduce its new football coach to donors, students and fans.
Widely considered an innovative offensive mind, Beaty spent more than a decade coaching high schools in his native Texas, establishing deep recruiting roots in the talent-rich state.
He spent two years at Rice before joining Mark Mangino’s staff at Kansas, helping the long-downtrodden Jayhawks to some of their most successful seasons. When Mangino was fired amid accusations that he mistreated players, Beaty returned to Rice as offensive coordinator.
Beaty returned to Kansas on the staff of Turner Gill the following season, then bolted to Texas A&M when Gill was fired after a 2-10 season and just five wins over two years.
He would represent a major departure from the past two coaches hired by Kansas.
Gill was the up-and-coming star who had turned around lowly Buffalo when he was hired by then-athletic director Lew Perkins. Weis was the longtime NFL coach with the Super Bowl rings, glamorous resume and instant name recognition when he was hired Sheahon Zenger three years ago.
Beaty represents the relatively unknown assistant coach who has toiled in relative obscurity for years, but whose recruiting proficiency, ties to Texas and history with Jayhawks — including an intimate knowledge of the hurdles that must be overcome there — could make him a solid choice.
Despite a few good stretches under Glen Mason in the 1990s and Mangino in the 2000s, the program has generally been overshadowed by the school’s powerhouse basketball program. Fan support has been lukewarm most years, and there were only about 15,000 fans inside Memorial Stadium when the Jayhawks played their home finale this season.
Kansas also has some of the worst facilities in the Big 12, even after the construction of the Anderson Family Football Complex. Memorial Stadium is an aging concrete edifice that only recently had its track removed, and there is no indoor practice facility on campus, making it difficult to work outside in bad weather.
Zenger has said that he would like to renovate to the football stadium, but it has been difficult to raise money for a losing program. That means hiring a coach who can not only produce results on the field but also energize the fan base is of paramount importance.
Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.