New Kansas coach David Beaty wants a program that is built to last.
Sustained success sits alongside integrity as the trademarks Beaty hopes will define the Jayhawks program five years down the line. He wants a program full of players who do the right thing, on and off the field, while performing at a high level. But he also wants a program that is called a Big 12 title contender, year in and year out.
"[I want to build] a program that has not searched for a winning season but searches to become a winner," Beaty said. "To be called a winner you have to do it over time, you have to do it over a long period and that takes time. You don't accomplish that in a year, you don't accomplish that in a day, you accomplish that over years."
Sounds a lot like Bill Self's program.
The Jayhawks basketball coach knows what it takes to dominate the Big 12 and serves as the ideal sounding board for Beaty as he enters his first season as a head coach.
"The thing I love about Bill, he just wants to help people get better," Beaty said. "That door has always been open to me and our staff, we've been in to watch them practice. When I call him and ask questions as the new, young guy on the block, he doesn't blow me off. Bill will call and talk to me and offer advice and ask questions to see how you're doing. He's such a humble guy and a great man on top of what a great coach he is."
Self's basketball squad won its 11-straight Big 12 regular season title this March, placing them second all-time (tied with Gonzaga, 2001-11) for consecutive regular season conference championships behind UCLA's 13 straight Pac-10 crowns from 1967-1969. Self's dominance of Big 12 basketball has been unmatched during his 12 seasons in Lawrence, Kansas. His program provides a first-hand look for Beaty as he hopes to his football program of similar ilk.
"I have learned so much from Bill in the three stints I have been here just watching his teams practice," said Beaty, who was an assistant at KU from 2008-09 and 2011 before being named head coach last December.
"Everybody knows what a great coach this guy is. If you were able to go watch his practice, man it looks like a football practice there's no out of bounds, there are no fouls, those guys are physical as all get out. He values toughness."
Beaty hopes to build a program with similar toughness. Not just a physical, hard-hitting football squad but one with an unyielding mentality and competitive streak. The importance of toughness is something Self has stressed to Beaty over and over.
"As you watch his practices and when I talk to him all the time, he always talks about toughness within his program and his toughest teams have been his best teams," Beaty said.
Beaty also pointed to toughness as one of the biggest takeaways during his time as an assistant under Mark Mangino, who led KU to a Orange Bowl victory in 2008.
Mangino and Self serve as two different mentors who have had exceptional success at KU with a similar focus despite coaching different sports.
"That's kind of the thing that I've seen my career. The mentally toughest teams, usually play the physically toughest," Beaty said. "It's funny that the same characteristics that help you win in football, help you win in other sports too."
Instilling toughness in the program will be a spring focus for the Jayhawks. Their up tempo offense will strive to be just as physical as a run-focused, grind-it-out attack.
"Playing fast but playing physical, that's the thing we're going to stress," offensive coordinator Rob Likens said. "The knock you get in fast, uptempo offenses is that you're not physical. It needs to be the mindset of all your coaches, on a daily basis. It has to be one of your core values."