This past Sunday morning the University of Kansas made the decision to part ways from their head coach in Charlie Weis. In that wake the Jayhawks promoted defensive coordinator Clint Bowen as the interim head coach. Weis was in his third season before being let go after going 6-22 (1-18 conference record) at Kansas.
Kansas isn't expected to make any real movement on their coaching search until sometime in November but that doesn't stop fans and media speculating on who could be candidates for the opening. One name that is being brought up as a possibility is Wyoming's first year head coach Craig Bohl.
The likelihood of Bohl leaving Laramie, Wyoming, for Lawrence, Kansas, is not very high to start with but none the less when people look at possible candidates and who may be perfect fits for the job, Bohl's name is right there at the very top.
It is very easy to see why Craig Bohl would be mentioned for the job or any job in the Front Range/Great Plains. He has a stellar track record as a program builder and being a winner. Bohl is the type of coach that can take lesser herald recruits and develop them on and off the field into winners. is ties to the glory days of Nebraska and Tom Osborne don't go unnoticed by fans, media and schools across the Heartland.
Bohl was a defensive back for Nebraska back in the late 1970s under Osborne and in time became an assistant coach for Nebraska from 1995-2002 under both Osborne and current Ohio head coach Frank Solich. After Nebraska, he took over as head coach for North Dakota State University. What transpired in Fargo, North Dakota, was nothing short of amazing.
He built a national power at North Dakota State as a head coach for 11 seasons from 03'-13'. His teams won three consecutive National Championships at the NCAA Football Championship Subdivision (FCS) level in 2011, `12 and `13. North Dakota State became only the second FCS school in NCAA history to win three consecutive national football titles, tied the FCS record for consecutive wins (24 from 11'-13') and became the first undefeated FCS National Champion since 1996. He had a 104-32 record while coaching the Bison.
Bohl and his Bison had great success against FBS teams. In each of his last four seasons, Bohl's Bison defeated all four of the FBS teams they faced, and captured all of those wins on the road. NDSU won at Kansas in 2010 (by a score of 6-3), at Minnesota in 2011 (37-24), at Colorado State in 2012 (22-7), and at Kansas State in 2013 (24-21). Overall during his 11 years at North Dakota State, Bohl's teams built a 7-3 record against FBS teams. Kansas knows first hand how difficult Bohl and his squads are to beat. One of the FBS loses he had was against his current program in Wyoming.
In his first year at Wyoming, Bohl currently has the Cowboys at 3-2 with their lone losses coming to top 10 opponents in Oregon and Michigan State. The Cowboys have defeated the likes of Montana, Air Force and Florida Atlantic. What Bohl has done in his short time in Laramie has been remarkable. The whole culture of the Wyoming football program has changed and will only continue to do so under Bohl's leadership.
Bohl is the type of coach that is firm but fair to his players on and off the field. He has a track record of having very good coaching staffs that tend to stick together and a very strong Strength and Conditioning staff. He wants tough hard nosed student-athletes that may have been overlooked by many P5 programs but are willing to give their all on and off the field. Very big on developing players once they step on campus.
At a school like Kansas, Bohl's ability to develop players is a big positive. He prefers a pro-style (Westcoast) offense that is very strong in the running game but quite balanced with the pass. Bohl also is known for having a offense that prides itself on controlling the clock and not turning over the ball. A trait closely tied to the Jayhawks rival in Kansas State and Bill Snyder. Defensively he runs a 4-3 Tampa 2 that is big on speed, toughness and playing assignment sound football.
When it comes to the Kansas job, Craig Bohl appears to be a perfect fit but in the end Bohl himself may prefer to stick it out in Laramie for the long haul where he is a perfect culture fit on and off the field. There is also the possibility he may be waiting on higher profile jobs in the region such as Nebraska, Kansas State or Minnesota.
There is a lot of talk Kansas may actually prefer to target a quality assistant coach in their coaching search. There is the possibility Kansas may just promote interim head coach Clint Bowen to the position. But if it isn't Bowen, such names as Ed Warinner (Ohio State co-OC/OL), David Beaty (Texas A&M WR/Recruiting Coordinator), Tim Beck (Nebraska OC), Jim Chaney (Arkansas OC), Pat Narduzzi (Michigan State DC) or Scott Frost (Oregon OC) are names that have been tied to the opening.
Bowen, Warinner, Beaty and Beck all have strong ties to the Kansas program. Chaney is a Missouri native, Narduzzi's boss in Mark Dantonio was Bowen's position coach at KU under Glen Mason and Frost, much like Bohl, has strong strong regional ties in Nebraska.
Then there are current or ex-head coaches out there like Jim Leavitt, Gary Barnett, Willie Fritz, Dino Babers or Ed Orgeron who may be possibilities?
So time will tell if Bohl or even someone like Colorado State head coach Jim McElwain or Utah State head coach Matt Wells become candidates for not only the Kansas job but other possible openings that may come open after this season? When you are a quality and respected head coach, schools will come a calling to gauge interest. In the end, they may very well be perfectly happy in the locations they are at presently but that isn't going to stop Kansas from looking for the right man to turn their struggling program around. Question is, do they think Craig Bohl is that coach and do they have any possible chance of luring him away? For the sake of Cowboy fans everywhere, the hope is absolutely no.