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Kansas AD has ties to coach candidates

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06:55 AM ET 11.28 | On Sunday night, KU athletic director Sheahon Zenger officially began a national search for the next coach. As a former football staff member at Kansas State and a former assistant coach at South Florida and Wyoming, he is uniquely positioned for success in the process. A glimpse into Zenger's past brings up some interesting connections. In 1993, Zenger started a football magazine called American Football Quarterly. During that time, he would interview a young offensive coordinator at Valdosta State named Mike Leach about his spread offense. Leach eventually became the head coach at Texas Tech, where he went 84-43 before being fired in Dec. 2009 in the aftermath of an alleged incident of player mistreatment. Throughout Leach's rise, he and Zenger kept in touch and developed a friendship. Certainly, Leach being hired at Kansas would qualify as the type of home-run hire that donors are expecting from Zenger. Zenger could also pick up the phone and call Jim Leavitt, who is currently the linebackers coach for the San Francisco 49ers. In 1996, Zenger coached under Leavitt at South Florida, where Leavitt led the Bulls to a 94-57 record over 13 seasons. Leavitt, like Leach and Mangino, was let go after the 2009 season. Leavitt allegedly struck a player in the locker room during halftime of a game. Other coaches that Zenger is likely to consider include Mike Stoops, recently fired at Arizona, and Southern Mississippi coach Larry Fedora.

Kansas City Star

Mike Leach, Icon SMI Mike Leach, Icon SMI
November 28, 2011  07:14 AM ET

Baba Booey!

November 28, 2011  07:41 AM ET

Hire Leach. I miss his interviews.

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November 28, 2011  08:21 AM ET

Kansas got rid of Mangino for reasons similar to what Leach did at Tech. Being mean to the poor little boys. Would make no sense to hire one accused of similar tactics.

Comment #7 has been removed
November 28, 2011  08:43 AM ET
QUOTE(#7):

Mangino's issues were more with racial overtones weren't they??

Good question. I don't know. Leach's were more about kids of influential rich white parents and their control of school administrators.

November 28, 2011  08:45 AM ET
QUOTE(#8):

Good question. I don't know. Leach's were more about kids of influential rich white parents and their control of school administrators.

Forgot the ESPN angle... IMO why he is still not hired.

November 28, 2011  09:13 AM ET
QUOTE(#7):

Mangino's issues were more with racial overtones weren't they??

I don't think they were racial, but I think they were pretty bad, if true. But, I'm not realy sure they were ever proven to be true.

November 28, 2011  09:18 AM ET

Hire Leach, put Leavitt in the shed so he can work them over after the pirate sends them...

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November 28, 2011  09:29 AM ET

Fired after just two season's, Wow!

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November 28, 2011  09:39 AM ET
QUOTE(#7):

Mangino's issues were more with racial overtones weren't they??

Mangino's issues were with non-athletes. Apparently he was somewhat of a bully around campus when it came to parking his car.

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November 28, 2011  09:54 AM ET
QUOTE(#15):

Mangino's issues were with non-athletes. Apparently he was somewhat of a bully around campus when it came to parking his car.

I think he supposedly bullied his players, too. You used to see coaches grabbing facemasks, but that crap ain't acceptable anymore. I read he was verbally abusive and even sometimes physically to players and yes, university employees.

It sounds like a case of if it had happened one time, you can overlook it, but when you have 10-15 allegations from university employees and also your players, then they finally have to do something.

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November 28, 2011  10:14 AM ET
QUOTE(#18):

Agreed.... I wonder how much was it Gill or cuz or the Big Guy leaving

Me too. I think Gill was just in the wrong place at the wrong time. I like the guy.

 
November 28, 2011  10:14 AM ET
QUOTE(#19):

Me too. I think Gill was just in the wrong place at the wrong time. I like the guy.

But, I'm a homer...he's a Texas boy.

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