Welcome Turner Gill to KU

December 13th, 2009 by Lee Eldridge

Buffalo Head Coach Turner GillGood morning Turner Gill,

Reports are that you have accepted the job at KU, and will replace Mark Mangino as our next head coach. Congratulations on the new job. I would like to welcome you to Lawrence, Kansas.

It has been obvious from the beginning that you were high on KU’s list of potential candidates. Please don’t take offense that you were not high on my personal list. I was hoping for Jim Harbaugh. Was intrigued by Tommy Tuberville. And would have been excited by a number of candidates including Skip Holtz and Kevin Sumlin. Obviously Lew Perkins looked beyond your 20-30 record in Buffalo, and found more to like.

You have the reputation of a man with high integrity, and that you’re a player’s coach. I’m certainly not surprised that KU wanted a more player friendly coach after the problems that surfaced with Mangino’s program. (See my post here about following up a mean coach with a nice coach.) You have considerable experience in this part of the country with your time as both a player and a coach at Nebraska. And you’re from Texas, with strong recruiting ties to the south. Your resume seems very appropriate.

The job at Kansas comes with more pressure than it has in the past. KU fans have experienced some success in the last few years, and are hungry for more. The boosters have spent a lot of money in upgrading our facilities, transforming KU into a legitimate upper-tier program. And as your new boss Lew Perkins is not very popular in Lawrence, you hiring will face considerable scrutiny by the locals.

But most of us will accept you with open arms, and give you some time to achieve success in Lawrence. We wish you good luck. And look forward to the football that is to come.

Rock chalk Jayhawk!

Sincerely,

Lee

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