Big 12: Ron Powlus

What's going on at Kansas?

September, 18, 2012
Kansas is 1-2 after three weeks and heads to Northern Illinois, and Grantland freelance contributor Michael Bertin took a look at the damage in Lawrence.

Bertin says Weis is simply not a good college coach, and points to a second reason for KU's issues.

The reason, he says: Quarterbacks coach Ron Powlus.
In 2007, Weis hired Powlus as his quarterback coach. Over the next three seasons Notre Dame went 16-21, including that 3-9 season in his first year. When the entire staff was sent walking with the hiring of Brian Kelly, Powlus and Weis went separate ways for a couple of years.

Weis first went back to the NFL as offensive coordinator for the Kansas City Chiefs (and remember, it was as an NFL offensive coordinator that Weis picked up his three Super Bowl rings). With Weis, the Chiefs led the league in rushing, were plus-6 in wins over the previous season, and won the AFC West. That’ll get you job security in the NFL. (The next year Weis went to the University of Florida to be offensive coordinator for Will Muschamp. They were only the fifth-best college football offense in the state of Florida. So let’s keep that out of the discussion for now.)

Comparing Weis' NFL experience and NCAA is always an interesting exercise, but it still feels way, way too early to be casting any big judgments on the Weis Era at Kansas.

The defense is already better, even if the offense has been a little bit disappointing.

The loss to Rice is inexcusable, but even on Monday during the Big 12 coaches call, Weis implied that there's a talent gap between Kansas and some of the teams in the league.

He's right, and he's hitting the recruiting trail to try and fix it.

We'll see how the Weis era at Kansas ends up, but for now, give the man time.

Catching up on Big 12 coaching carousel

December, 16, 2011
We're not done spinning just yet, but if you're a bit lost, here's the changes to the coaching staffs across the Big 12 thus far.

BAYLOR (9-3)
  • Out: Receivers coach Dino Babers took the head-coaching job at Eastern Illinois. No replacement named.
  • Out: Offensive coordinator Tom Herman took the offensive coordinator job under Urban Meyer at Ohio State. No replacement named.
KANSAS (2-10)
  • Out: Head coach Turner Gill fired. Other staff positions up for discussion.
  • In: Florida offensive coordinator Charlie Weis hired to replace Gill. Akron QB coach Ron Powlus hired to coach quarterbacks. Bishop Miege (KS) coach Tim Grunhard hired to coach offensive line. Running backs coach/recruiting coordinator Reggie Mitchell retained from Gill's staff.
  • No changes.
  • Out: Safeties coach Barry Odom left to become defensive coordinator at Memphis. No replacement named.
  • No changes.
  • No changes yet, but OC Todd Monken has drawn interest from several programs.
TEXAS (7-5)
  • No changes, though Texas was forced to proactively shoot down rumors of Mack Brown's retirement. Defensive backs coach Duane Akina is also a candidate for the Hawaii job.
TEXAS A&M (6-6)
  • Out: Fired coach Mike Sherman. Defensive coordinator/interim coach Tim DeRuyter took head-coaching job at Fresno State but will remain on staff through the bowl game. Other staff positions up for review.
  • In: Hired Houston coach Kevin Sumlin. Sumlin will recruit while the other coaches prepare for the bowl game.
  • Out: Fired DBs coach Otis Mounds and offensive line coach Matt Moore. Moved defensive line coach Sam McElroy into a non-coaching role on staff.
  • In: Hired former Miami DC John Lovett to coach defensive backs and former Ole Miss defensive line coach Terry Price to coach the defensive line. No offensive line replacement named yet.

Weis' staff at Kansas starting to take shape

December, 14, 2011
Kansas coach Charlie Weis is getting started on piecing together his new staff in Lawrence.

Both new hires are interesting for different reasons.

Weis hired Tim Grunhard to coach the offensive line and Ron Powlus to coach quarterbacks.

Grunhard was the coach at Bishop Miege High School for six seasons and won a state title in 2009. Grunhard also played for the Kansas City Chiefs for 11 seasons.

So, Weis doesn't have connections to Kansas high schools? Ding ding ding! Guess who would? That looks like a heady hire for Weis, and one a bit outside the box.

Powlus, like Grunhard, is a Notre Dame alum who was one of the most hyped high school players of his time, leading the Irish to the Fiesta and Orange Bowl. Grunhard won a national title at Notre Dame in 1988.

Powlus previously coached quarterbacks at Akron. Before that, Powlus joined Weis at Notre Dame and helped develop Jimmy Clausen. Weis, like Tommy Tuberville earlier this week, sought out coaches he'd worked with before at his new stop.