While you were either continuing on with or recovering from your Fourth of July celebrations, Kansas got itself a new athletic director, replacing Sheahon Zenger.
I am very proud to announce I am the newest member of the @KUAthletics family! Incredibly honored to join Chancellor Girod’s leadership Team at KU and look forward to working with the talented student-athletes, coaches and staff in Jayhawk Athletics! Rock Chalk!!!— Jeff Long (@jefflongKU) July 5, 2018
Long was fired from Arkansas last November after 10 seasons, also serving on the Playoff committee. One of his most notable hires was none other than Bret “BERT” Bielema, who went 29-34.
Naturally, people are now thinking that Long could hire Bielema as Kansas’ head coach — that is, if current head man David Beaty is out sometime this year.
Can’t wait for the BERT bidding war between Kansas and Kansas State.— Tom Fornelli (@TomFornelli) July 5, 2018
Jeff could take Bert with him to Kansas where Bert could replicate that 11-29 conference record, and then Jeff could give him another raise and extension to the delight of KU fb fans.— K (@kkhogs) July 5, 2018
Everyone talking about Jeff Long hiring BERT now that he's AD at Kansas is gonna be surprised as hell when Houston Nutt walks out during the introductory presser.— Zach (@zrau) July 5, 2018
The speculation makes sense, given the Jayhawks’ 3-33 record under Beaty since 2013. Pair that with a new AD, and obvious questions arise about job security. Bielema’s also from nearby, having played at Iowa and worked at Kansas State before. Oh, and Bielema isn’t a coach right now, which helps. It’d also be pretty fun to see him talk about more “borderline erotic” finishes against Texas, and keep jawing with Kliff Kingsbury in the Big 13, too.
Assumptions aside, let’s also remember that Long’s firing had a good bit to do with how Bielema’s tenure went in Fayetteville. Long gave Bielema a raise and extension in 2015, setting the coach’s buyout at $11.9 million.
If I were Long, I’d think long (no pun intended) and hard before hiring Bert back, as much as we’d all love to see him at Kansas. KU probably can’t land Bobby Petrino, whom Long also once hired at Arkansas, so what about his brother Paul? Actually, that’s probably not that exciting, so how about John L. Smith, another Long hire? OK, after thinking about it, just hire Bielema.
You’re welcome, Long.