There is urgency in the search for Kansas’ next football coach, but there is not panic.
Thus, it is a comprehensive, deep interview process for new Jayhawks athletics director Travis Goff in his search to find a replacement for the ousted Les Miles and a steadying force for the future of KU football.
Interviews for the position are ongoing this week, and the Jayhawks job – despite no real success in the program since 2007-08 – is eliciting interest from both successful, sitting head coaches and on-the-rise coordinators.
Sources tell FootballScoop that among those invited to interview include Army coach Jeff Monken, Buffalo coach Lance Leipold, Tulane coach Willie Fritz, Eastern Michigan coach Chris Creighton and interim Kansas coach Emmett Jones.
Additionally, some high-profile coordinators are among those already to speak or scheduled to speak with Goff and what sources say are a four-person KU hiring/interview committee.
Those coordinators, per sources, of some interest to KU officials include Georgia defensive coordinator Dan Lanning, who remained with the Bulldogs this offseason after an opportunity to join Steve Sarkisian’s rebuild at the University of Texas; Texas A&M’s highly regarded Mike Elko, Iowa State offensive coordinator Tom Manning – a young, up-and-comer already with a year of NFL experience under former Colts and current Philadelphia Eagles head coach Nick Sirianni, as well as Illinois associate head coach Kevin Kane.
Lanning is a North Kansas City, Missouri, native; Fritz is a Kansas native whose brother, Ed, has been a wildly successful prep basketball coach in their home state. Leipold and Monken have deep Midwestern ties as well.
Manning – a former FootballScoop Offensive Line Coach of the Year – is a young, highly respected coach who also has NFL experience coaching with former Colts offensive coordinator and current Philadelphia Eagles head coach Nick Sirianni.
Kane, however, is the lone Kansas graduate among the bunch – and he’s seen the Jayhawks on the cusp of their best run of the modern era as a player in the early 2000s. Kane earned a pair of Honorable Mention All-Big 12 selections; he, like Lanning, is a Kansas City native.
In addition to this group, Goff has a number of other Big Ten assistants he is likely to speak with as well.
Though working through the process in as methodical manner as possible, timing is a concern for the Jayhawks’ leadership team. Per sources, KU has set a loose timeline of nailing down the hire within the next 10 days – basically by month’s end – in order to give the new head coach time to meet with players and staff members.
While May is a lighter month in terms of recruiting and workouts, the NCAA is lifting the recruiting moratorium issued more than a year ago at the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic and allowing colleges to resume hosting in-person camps and visits beginning June 1.
Schools can do workouts on unofficial visits for both 2021 and 2022 prospects.
We’ll keep you posted as things progress. As always, stay tuned to The Scoop for the latest coaching news.