New Kansas football coach David Beaty wore his emotions on his sleeve during his introductory news conference on Monday morning. The former Texas A&M receivers coach was passionate and reflective as he talked about his family, coaching influences and taking over the football program at KU.
“Kansas feels like home,” he said. “We will sacrifice everything, including sleep, to bring you a program you are proud of.”
Beaty detailed the core aspects he plans to instill in the Jayhawks program, with hard work and earning everything atop the list. Here’s a rundown of the key important aspects of Beaty’s blueprint with a quote and my quick thoughts.
Hard work and earning everything
Beaty’s quote: "The foundation of our plans is going to rest squarely on a couple of concepts: Hard work and earning everything.”
Quick take: This is nothing new as these goals should be the foundation of most programs, although that’s not always the case. Hard work builds a good foundation, but the earning everything part is key as Beaty pointed to earning the support of students, fans, high school coaches and recruits as a focus moving forward.
Build the program upon good relationships
Beaty’s quote: “Our philosophy is pretty simple: We think this is a relationship business.”
Quick take: From building a coaching staff to landing prospects on the recruiting trail, Beaty pointed to relationships as the key to success. Relationships are the deciding factor on the recruiting trail, so it should be no surprise to see Beaty, who is known for his recruiting prowess, making developing relationships a top priority in his program.
Develop a stellar walk-on program
Beaty’s quote: “We want it to be the most powerful walk-on program in the country. That’s a goal of ours. The margin between a scholarship player and a walk on is razor thin. And sometimes you don’t make the right decision. That’s the reason I think it’s so important to give those kids the opportunity to represent the Jayhawks.”
Quick take: If the Jayhawks can mimic Kansas State’s success in this area, that would be a great place to start. Walk-ons are making more and more of an impact on programs nationwide, so it is smart of Beaty to want to make a walk-on program one of the foundations of the program. It’s going to take time, however, because convincing a walk-on to walk-on at Kansas -- instead of K-State, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, etc. -- will be tough until the Jayhawks’ walk-on program (and program in general) builds a reputation of sustained success.
Recruiting the right player
Beaty’s quote: “The thing we have to do a great job of is evaluation and finding the right players and developing them. We have to make sure we don’t settle for anything less than guys that fit the Kansas way.”
Quick take: Beaty wants to build a fence around the borders in the state and bring in coaches who excel at evaluation and development. Beaty also noted he wants to build a good foundation within his team so, in the future, his program can take a chance on a “risk-reward”-type of guy because they know he will be coming into the right environment to succeed.
Strong strength and conditioning program
Beaty’s quote: “One of the most important hires I will make here is the leader of our strength and conditioning program. That program is going to be based on three simple things: Hard work, discipline and accountability. Every day in every way. We win by outworking folks.”
Quick take: Beaty held his first team meeting in the Jayhawks' weight room to send a message about hard work and his expectations for his players, which was a savvy move. Beaty’s understanding of the importance of evaluation on the recruiting trail and development once a player arrives on campus should make KU fans smile.
Uptempo offense, aggressive defense
Beaty’s quote: “[Our offense] is going to attract top recruits and it’s going to be a brand of football that is going to make people want to come to Memorial Stadium.”
Quick take: Beaty wants an uptempo offense and an aggressive defense that creates turnovers. It sounds like the blueprint Oklahoma State and Mike Gundy have used to great success in recent years. It could be tough for KU to duplicate, particularly early on, but his style of football should have no problem intriguing recruits which could lead to success.