The changing of the guard – known most prominently during silly season as the spin of the coaching carousel – led Kansas football recently to make a huge change at the top by coaxing Les Miles out of retirement.
Despite some promise that things may be turning around in Lawrence under David Beaty, he was effectively shown the door to make way for the change. Beaty never won more than two games (before this season) in any season since he took over in 2015.
Miles’ hiring has been met with optimism far and wide to help subdue any angst about the football program’s lack of success. He helped turn around a downtrodden program at Oklahoma State in the early aughts, and his success there– recording 7+ win seasons in his final three years – was enough to give him a shot at the LSU job where he would go on to win a national championship.
Optimism in Kansas spreads as quickly as the wind apparently, and it has already infiltrated the basketball offices of Allen Fieldhouse. Hall of Fame coach Bill Self, who also has some history with Oklahoma State, said of KU’s move that he’s “excited” and feels it to be a “home run hire.”
“I’m excited,” Self said, according to The Kansas City Star. “I think everybody that supports us should be excited. It’s kind of a very happy thing, but it’s also bitter for a guy (outgoing coach David Beaty) and his staff that you come to know over the last four years. Hard decisions have to be made in this profession. Certainly I think it’s not only a good choice but it’s a home run hire.”
With Miles’ hiring, Kansas is now the only school employing head coaches who have won national titles in football and men’s basketball. That’s not nothing. Perhaps the fourth coaching change in football since he took over will be the lucky charm for KU. He’s got the coaching pedigree that suggests it could be a move that sticks.
“Les’ credentials are off the chart,” Self added. “This guy is competing with Alabama each and every year for the right to play for the SEC Championship and a right to be part of the College Football Playoff. I think that is terrific. He has brought home the gold before. I think it’s a great hire and will certainly energize our university and fan base.”
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