Change was inevitable at the University of Kansas.
The Jayhawks offense was the worst in the Big 12 as it struggled to find consistency and rhythm throughout the season. Thus, head coach Charlie Weis has made plenty of changes in his offensive coaching staff, led by the hiring of John Reagan to run KU’s offense. Reagan was Rice’s offensive coordinator for the past three seasons and helped the Owls average 29.6 points and 405.6 yards per game on their way to a Conference USA title in 2013.
With spring football set to begin on March 4, Reagan took some time to chat with ESPN.com about what interested him about the job and what has shaped him as a coach in Part II of this Q&A session.
When you were approached initially what intrigued you most about coming to Kansas?
Obviously I have ties here: I was here five years with Coach [Mark] Mangino, so I knew the special place Kansas can be. We had pretty good years, those five years. I had watched them from afar and had a couple Kansas grads working with me at Rice, so we’d been watching them for the last two years. What I had noticed from where it had fallen after our departure to what Coach Weis had going on [now], you could see kids playing hard, playing with a passion with a desire and being very competitive, playing physical. I felt like that was something we could build off of and develop a pretty good offense out of that. And my children are nine and 11 and they’re still in Lawrence, so there was that draw was well.
Sounds like a good fit.
It was kind of the perfect storm if you will. From a personal level it was great, and the position that opened up was an offensive line position and they needed a coordinator, and there’s not a whole lot of that going on this day and age. I do feel pretty blessed and lucky it lined up this way.
When you look back on your coaching career, is there a particular season that shaped you as a coach?
I don’t know that there is a particular year, I could point at two or three different things. For me being coached at George DeLeone at Syracuse there’s a lot of things, work ethic, knowledge that he demanded of us that shaped who I am and my coaching. The transformation we had there, where we kept working for two or three years than all of a sudden things line up the right way and we wind up in the Orange Bowl in 2007 with really good players and end up in the top 10 in the country was really special. And the last two years at Rice, they taught me a lot. You had kids who are really smart players and two years ago were staring 2-6 in the face and we won five in a row, including a bowl game. Then this year we did something that hadn’t been done since 1957 at Rice, winning a conference championship. The common theme is you just keep working, you just keep pointing one foot in front of the other and believe the next day is going to be better and don’t worry about the things you can’t control.