Kansas Football: 8 Head Coaches Who Could Replace Turner Gill

Adam SimoneCorrespondent IOctober 31, 2011

Kansas Football: 8 Head Coaches Who Could Replace Turner Gill

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    The Kansas Jayhawks are now 2-6 overall after losing at Texas 43-0 on Saturday, and Turner Gill's days might be numbered in Lawrence.

    The Jayhawks seem to hit new lows each week, as they have now lost six straight games. This week may have been one of the most embarrassing losses for Kansas under Turner Gill.

    Kansas got dominated in Austin and only gained 46 yards of total offense and only gained three first downs, while Texas got 35.

    But even worse then the Kansas offense is their defense. KU's defense ranks dead last in college football giving up 49.5 points per game and 555 yards per game. In fact Kansas has given up less then 40 points once this year and that was against McNeese State.

    Gill is a nice guy, but he's having zero success at Kansas and is showing no signs of making improvements. He's now 5-15 at KU and is 1-12 in conference games.

    If Kansas doesn't get more competitive down the stretch, then I think it's time for a coaching change. KU fans now want Gill fired, so I'm going to list eight coaches who I think would be a good replacement for Gill at the University of Kansas. Most of these coaches are young guys that are having success at their current job, but there are also a couple veterans on my list as well.

No. 8 Mark Hudspeth (Louisiana-Lafayette)

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    Most casual football fans have probably not even heard of 42-year-old Mark Hudspeth, but he seems to have success where ever he goes.

    Hudspeth was the head coach at North Alabama from 2002-08 where he posted a 66-21 record. He led North Alabama to four playoff appearances in seven years and two conference titles. 

    In 2009, Hudspeth joined Dan Mullen's staff at Mississippi State to be wide receivers coach.

    This year he became the head coach at Louisiana-Lafayette where he is 7-2 . Last year Lafayette was 3-9, so they have already shown much improvement in a short period with Hudspeth.

    I think Kansas could get a bigger name than Hudspeth, but he would still be an upgrade from Turner Gill.

No. 7 Larry Fedora (Southern Mississippi)

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    Larry Fedora, who is 49 years old, is currently the head coach at Southern Miss. The Golden Eagles are 7-1 this year under Fedora and are ranked No. 25 in the BCS Standings. Fedora is 29-18 in four years at Southern Miss.  The Golden Eagles are bowl eligible again this year and will have gone to a bowl all four years with Fedora as head coach.

    He coached at Florida from 2002-04 and then became offensive coordinator at Oklahoma State from 2005-07 under Mike Gundy.

    Fedora made a big splash shortly after being hired at Southern Miss when he landed 5-star recruit DeAndre Brown. I think Fedora would be a great hire at KU especially with his experience in the Big 12 Conference.

No. 6 Butch Jones (Cincinnati)

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    Butch Jones struggled in his first season at Cincinnati, but now has things turned in the right direction. They are 6-1 this year and are in first place in the Big East Conference.

    In 2005 and 2006 he was the wide receivers coach at West Virginia under Rich Rodriguez.

    The, from 2007-09 he was the head coach at Central Michigan, where he posted a 27-13 record and two MAC championships.

No. 5 Skip Holtz (South Florida)

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    Skip definitely has coaching in his blood and is another coach who has had success where ever he goes. From 1990-93 Skip coached under his dad, Lou Holtz, at Notre Dame. Notre Dame was 40-8-1 during that period.

    In 1994 Skip left Notre Dame to become the head coach at Connecticut. While at UCONN, he had a record of 34-23 and led UCONN to their first Division 1-AA playoff appearance

    From 1999-2004 Skip joined his dad's staff at South Carolina. After his dad resigned at South Carolina, Skip was not hired back by Steve Superior, but ended up taking the head coaching job at East Carolina.

    At East Carolina he was 38-27 overall, with four straight bowl appearances. East Carolina was 7-28 in the previous three years, before Holtz's hire. In 2006, he led ECU to their first winning season since 2000. In 2007 ECU beat No. 24 Boise State in their bowl game, and then started the 2008 season by upsetting No. 17 Virginia Tech and No. 8 West Virginia. It was the first time in Conference USA history that a team beat three ranked teams in a row. ECU also won the Conference USA championship two years in a row in 2008 and 2009.

    In 2010 Skip took the head coaching job at South Florida. He's 12-8 overall at South Florida and will most likely go to a second straight bowl game this year.

No. 4 James Franklin (Vanderbilt)

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    James Franklin is already at a big time conference, but not a big time football school. Vanderbilt was 4-20 in the two years before Franklin's hire. This year they are 4-3 and nearly beat Georgia and last week should have upset Arkansas.

    He already is doing a great job of recruiting at Vanderbilt. Vandy is currently ranked No. 25 in rivals.com recruiting rankings, and they have signed three, 4-Star players.

    Franklin was at Maryland from 2000-04 and was wide receivers coach for the Green Bay Packers in 2005.

    He has also has spent time in Kansas when he was the offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach at Kansas State in 2006-2007.

No. 3 Kevin Sumlin (Houston)

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    Probably one of the hottest names in coaching has to be Houston's Kevin Sumlin. Sumlin has Houston ranked No. 13 in the BCS Standings and the team is 8-0 this year.

    In his four years at Houston, he is 31-16. This year will be his third bowl game in four years.

    Sumlin is another coach who already has experience in the Big 12 Conference and obviously has huge Texas connections. Kevin coached under Bob Stoops at Oklahoma from 2003-07. He also coached under R.C. Slocum at Texas A&M in 2001 and 2002.

    He hasn't had any big time recruiting classes at Houston, so I'm kind of interested to see how he does after Case Keenum graduates, but I think he would still be a great hire for the Jayhawks.

No. 2 Jim Leavitt

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    People from Kansas are very familiar with Jim Leavitt's name. Leavitt played quarterback at Missouri and then was a graduate assistant at Mizzou from 1978-79. Leavitt then joined Bill Snyder's staff at Kansas State from 1990-95.

    In 1996, Jim left Kansas State to start South Florida's football program. Leavitt was 94-57 at South Florida and led them to five straight bowl games. At one point during the 2007 season, South Florida was ranked No. 2 in the BCS.

    It was rumored that schools like Alabama, Miami and Kansas State all tried to hire Leavitt, but he turned them down to stay with South Florida.

    After the 2009 season Leavitt was fired for hitting a player in the locker room. School officials found that Leavitt lied and interfered with the investigation.

    Jim now coaches linebackers for the 49ers. He would bring some baggage with him, but I think he's one heck of a coach. He also has a defensive background, which is what Kansas desperately needs right now.

No. 1 Mike Leach

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    Another coach who might bring some baggage, but was very successful, is Mike Leach. Leach was 84-43 at Texas Tech and led them to a bowl game all 10 years. Leach was also fired due to an investigation that he mistreated a player.

    It was reported that Leach made Adam James stand in a dark shed or garage during practice. After the family complained, Texas Tech ordered Leach to apologize, but he refused to, so Tech fired him. A Texas Tech official also stated that other incidents came up during the investigation but did elaborate.

    Leach is another guy on the list that has Big 12 experience and Texas connections. He coached at Texas Tech for 10 seasons and was also the offensive coordinator at Oklahoma in 1999.

    It's believed that Kansas got rid of Mark Mangino due to reports that he was mistreating his players, so it would be interesting to see if the Jayhawks would hire a guy like Leach or Leavitt. There is a new athletic director now at Kansas, so it is very possible they would look at one of those two coaches.