Who could replace Beaty at Kansas?
Kansas coach David Beaty was fired on Sunday, ending a four-year run with the Jayhawks. Beaty inherited a difficult job but went 6-39 during his tenure. Kansas is also 2-31 in Big 12 play during that stint. Beaty will coach out the remainder of the regular season, with athletic director Jeff Long beginning the coaching search immediately.
Who might replace Beaty at Kansas? Here are nine names to watch:
Kansas Football: 9 Coaching Candidates to Replace David Beaty
Bret Bielema, Former Arkansas Head Coach
Bielema has a natural tie to this job opening, as he worked under Kansas athletic director Jeff Long at Arkansas. Bielema went 29-34 in five years with the Razorbacks but recorded a 68-24 mark at Wisconsin from 2006-12. He’s working with the Patriots as a consultant in 2018.
Neal Brown, Head Coach, Troy
Similar to North Texas’ Seth Littrell, Brown can be patient in finding a job at the Power 5 level. Brown is 32-15 since taking over at Troy in 2015. The Trojans posted back-to-back double-digit win totals in 2016-17 and are in the mix to win the Sun Belt title in 2018. Brown also has previous experience from stints as an assistant at Kentucky and Texas Tech.
Troy Calhoun, Head Coach, Air Force
Calhoun coaches at his alma mater, so it would take a good opportunity to leave Air Force. However, Calhoun is the type of coach that Kansas should target. He’s got a track record of maximizing talent with unique schemes and winning at a difficult job (Air Force). Calhoun is 85-66 since taking over at Air Force in 2007. He’s also guided the program to nine bowl appearances and a trip to the Mountain West title game in 2015.
Willie Fritz, Head Coach, Tulane
Fritz is one of college football’s top coaches on the rise. He’s also Kansas native with experience winning at every level. Fritz coached at Central Missouri from 1997-09, compiling a 97-47 record during that stint. He went 40-15 at Sam Houston State from 2010-13, leading the program to two appearances in the FCS title game (2011-12). Fritz recorded an impressive 17-7 mark from 2014-15 at Georgia Southern and is 13-20 over three years at Tulane (2016-18). Fritz knows how to maximize talent and runs a unique scheme on offense, which would be beneficial to a program that has to compete with Oklahoma and Texas on an annual basis.
Todd Graham, Former Arizona State Head Coach
Graham was fired at the end of the 2017 season at Arizona State, but he went 46-32 with a Pac-12 South title in Tempe. Prior to his stint with the Sun Devils, Graham went 6-6 at Pitt, 36-17 at Tulsa from 2007-10 and 7-6 at Rice in ’06. He wouldn’t be the flashiest hire, but Graham is a proven Power 5 head coach and has experience recruiting the state of Texas.
Lance Leipold, Head Coach, Buffalo
Leipold is an under-the-radar name to watch in coaching searches this offseason. From 2007-14, he guided Wisconsin-Whitewater to a 109-6 record and claimed six Division II titles. Leipold jumped to the FBS level in 2015 and took the head-coaching job at Buffalo. The Bulls are 21-24 over the last four years but are trending up with an 8-1 record through nine games in 2018. Leipold also has a stop on his resume (recruiting assistant) from 2001-03 on Frank Solich’s staff at Nebraska.
Seth Littrell, Head Coach, North Texas
Littrell should have plenty of suitors from the Power 5 ranks in the coming seasons, so he doesn’t have to jump at the first opportunity. He’s 21-15 through three years at North Texas, winning Conference USA’s West Division title last fall. Littrell also has experience as an assistant from stints at North Carolina, Indiana, Texas Tech and Arizona.
Les Miles, Former LSU Head Coach
Miles has already popped up as a potential candidate in the rumor mill. Miles was fired at LSU during the 2016 season but went 114-34 with the Tigers from 2005-16. He also had a four-year stint at Oklahoma State, going 28-21 from 2001-04. While Miles is a good recruiter and has a track record of success, concerns remain about his ability to develop an offense.
Jeff Monken, Head Coach, Army
If Kansas wants go with a unique hire, then Monken certainly fits that mold. He’s 31-28 at Army, leading the program to three consecutive winning years (2016-18). Prior to taking over in West Point, Monken went 38-16 at Georgia Southern from 2010-13.