Archive

ShareThis Page
Harris: No place like home for Kansas coach | TribLIVE.com
News

Harris: No place like home for Kansas coach

by JOHN HARRIS
| Monday, November 17, 2014 9:57 p.m.
459057156
Getty Images
PALO ALTO, CA - NOVEMBER 15: Head coach David Shaw of the Stanford Cardinal looks on from the sidelines against the Utah Utes at Stanford Stadium on November 15, 2014 in Palo Alto, California. The Utes won the game 20-17 in double overtime. (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)
459042564
Getty Images
SOUTH BEND, IN - NOVEMBER 15: Head coach Pat Fitzgerald of the Northwestern Wildcats talks to players during a game against the Notre Dame Fighting Irish at Notre Dame Stadium on November 15, 2014 in South Bend, Indiana. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
ptrclintbowen111714
Getty Images
WACO, TX - NOVEMBER 01: Interim head coach Clint Bowen of the Kansas Jayhawks before a game against the Baylor Bears at McLane Stadium on November 1, 2014 in Waco, Texas. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
459057156
Getty Images
PALO ALTO, CA - NOVEMBER 15: Head coach David Shaw of the Stanford Cardinal looks on from the sidelines against the Utah Utes at Stanford Stadium on November 15, 2014 in Palo Alto, California. The Utes won the game 20-17 in double overtime. (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)
459042564
Getty Images
SOUTH BEND, IN - NOVEMBER 15: Head coach Pat Fitzgerald of the Northwestern Wildcats talks to players during a game against the Notre Dame Fighting Irish at Notre Dame Stadium on November 15, 2014 in South Bend, Indiana. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
ptrclintbowen111714
Getty Images
WACO, TX - NOVEMBER 01: Interim head coach Clint Bowen of the Kansas Jayhawks before a game against the Baylor Bears at McLane Stadium on November 1, 2014 in Waco, Texas. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)

Kansas interim coach Clint Bowen grew up in Lawrence and played defensive back for the Jayhawks. In 1993, he led Kansas with 114 tackles. His father was an All-America football player at Lawrence High. Bowen played on some of the same Kansas teams with older brother Charley Jr. Wife Kristie was named Miss Kansas in 2001 and Mrs. Kansas in 2014.

Bowen’s Kansas ties are obvious. So are his intentions. He wants athletic director Sheahon Zenger to remove the interim tag from his title and name him the Jayhawks’ fulltime coach. A near victory over TCU may have sealed the deal, but strong performances in the final two games at Oklahoma and Kansas State could be the tipping point.

“It started from Day 1 when Dr. Zenger and I talked about (how) we needed to create an identity of what Kansas football is going to be,” said Bowen, a longtime Kansas assistant who’s 1-5 since replacing Charlie Weis.

Following losses in Bowen’s first four games as interim coach, Kansas defeated Iowa State, 34-14, and had TCU on the ropes, 27-17, in the third quarter last week, before losing, 34-30.

“It’s been a message to our kids for weeks now that they’re Big 12 football players, too,” Bowen said. “They belong in this conference. They chose to come to Kansas to play in Big 12 games, to play against teams like TCU. We’re continuing to do those things that I believe are going to be our foundation, is going to create our identity.

“They’ve created a culture amongst themselves where the teams come together a lot tighter, bonding together. They’re starting to realize that when you’re that truly invested and good things happen, the excitement comes with it.”

Sliding at Stanford

Stanford coach David Shaw heard boos from the home crowd last week when he punted instead of attempting a 51-yard field goal in the fourth quarter of a 20-17 double-overtime loss against Utah.

Disgruntled fans come with the territory. After losing a combined five games in two seasons, which included appearances in back-to-back Rose Bowls, Stanford is 5-5 this season and in danger of not playing in a bowl for the first time since Jim Harbaugh’s last season in 2008.

Stanford has lost two in a row, ending Shaw’s 10-0 record with the Cardinal following a loss.

“If I knew exactly what the team needed, I’d give it to them right now,” Shaw said. “Practices are great. We’ve got great leadership on this team. The attitude and the approach, I couldn’t ask for anything better. The character of our team, the caliber of the young men on this team, I’d put them against anybody.

“I’m sad for those guys but also proud of them. These guys these last four, five years have been as good if not better than anybody that’s played Stanford football. And there will be people out there that want to make this a downer at the end of their career. Have the slings and arrows come towards me, not these young men.”

Fitzgerald does it again

As a player in 1995, Pat Fitzgerald starred at linebacker with 11 tackles as Northwestern, a 28-point underdog, upset No. 9 Notre Dame, 17-15.

As a coach in 2014, and in his first trip to Notre Dame in 19 years, Fitzgerald guided Northwestern to a 43-40 overtime victory over the Irish.

“Our program is in a totally different place,” said Fitzgerald, a consensus All-American and two-time Big Ten defensive player of the year who became Northwestern’s coach in 2006 following the death of Randy Walker.

Fitzgerald the player helped the Wildcats to a 10-1 record in 1995 and a Rose Bowl berth for their first postseason game since 1949. The win that year at Notre Dame was the school’s first over the Irish since 1949.

This year, unranked Northwestern again was favored to lose at Notre Dame, which carried a Top 20 ranking into the contest.

“It’s a special part of our tradition and history,” Fitzgerald said. “It started in ’95 and from a standpoint of renaissance of this program and it’s never been stronger.”

John Harris is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. Reach him at jharris@tribweb.com.

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.