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July 20, 2015

David Beaty


COACH BEATY:  Good morning.  How exciting it is for me to be right back here in my hometown of Dallas, Texas, representing the University of Kansas.  It's an exciting time to be here at Big 12 Media Days with you.
One of the big things for me is we are located right now in one of the finest, most fertile grounds for high school athletes in the country, and those athletes are coached by some of the finest high school coaches in the country.
I'm an old Texas high school football coach, and I consider those guys to be my brothers.  So it's a good deal for me to be back here today around those guys.
I'm also honored to be the new head coach at the University of Kansas, where we have arguably one of the finest fan bases in the country.  Boy, they love Jayhawk football, and we look forward to bringing them something that they can be proud of.  We also know that that's a process and not an event, and we're looking forward to getting wrapped up in that process.
We're also honored to be a member of what we consider to be one of the finest football conferences in the country.  It's been a lot of fun being around Commissioner Bowlsby and his staff over the last six to seven months, getting to know them, and we're looking forward to his leadership moving forward.
Like all the teams that are going to come before you today, we have high expectations, and with those high expectations are going to come high standards.  The thing about high standards is they don't set themselves, and those expectations, they certainly don't meet themselves.
So in order for us to meet those expectations, we've developed a very simple plan.  I'm a simple guy.  And it goes down like this.
The first thing we're going to do is we're going to work hard.  And the second thing we're going to do is we're going to earn everything we get.  From the first day we stepped on campus there in Lawrence, and I met with our team in the Anderson Family Football Complex, earn it has been the theme.  We have continued to spread that as we've worked all throughout the state of Kansas and throughout this country.
We've set out and set a goal to make sure that we earn the trust and respect of our stakeholders‑‑ our students, the people of our state, every high school coach, every high school player, our alumni, our former players‑‑ one person at a time.  We're committed as a team and as a staff to work hard together, and we expect to reach those expectations together.
We're currently wrapped up in preparing our staff and our team to create a brand of Kansas football that is tough, fast‑paced, disciplined, highly competitive, fun to watch, and, man, fun to play in.  If you're a guy that wants to play college football, we want you to want to come play in this.
We feel like we have something really special in Lawrence, and we look forward to seeing great things as our time turns forward there.
I know there's going to be a lot of questions.  With that being said, I'm happy to be here with you at Big 12 Media Days.  Let's get started.

Q.  As far as getting freshmen coming in and playing‑‑ I know you've got a couple of quarterbacks who could come in and potentially compete right away‑‑ what do you expect as far as first‑year players and contributing, potentially starting?
COACH BEATY:  Well, from our standpoint, here's the thing about college football nowadays, and it's my opinion, that it's hard to tell a freshman that he's for sure going to redshirt.  It's difficult because 85 scholarships is very difficult to get it done with because of the type of athlete that's you're playing against.  Those bodies are running at each other at high speeds.  Injury is a part of game.  And because of that, depth usually becomes a factor.
The thing about that is we have to try to get those young guys ready as fast as we can.  And the thing that I would take my hat off to is the high school coaches across the country because those kids are coming in more and more prepared every year, which is allowing us to get them on the field faster.
But it's one of those deals where we'll just have to see.  They're just like everybody else in our program.  They're going to have to earn it.

Q.  You set up an excellent recruiting pipeline in Texas.  I know the project you're working on is long term, but for the short term, I know you talked about working hard and earning it.  Is that the message for this team this year?  If so, what would you like the stamp for this season to be?
COACH BEATY:  That's absolutely the message.  The message goes in line with what makes us different?  Well, the difference for us, in my mind, is we don't control what makes us different.  We only control what we make different.  The way that we approach it is everything.
I was fortunate enough to be there when Kansas was a really, really good football program under Mark Mangino.  He won National Coach of the Year and went to the Orange Bowl, and that environment that he created, sometimes it's hard to break bad habits, but it's just as hard to break good habits.  The good thing is some of those things are still there.  I like our kids, and I like our team.

Q.  Welcome back to Dallas.  Welcome back to Kansas and to the Big 12.  At quarterback, Montell, Michael‑‑ I know Michael got hurt in the spring.  Can you sort of update what's going on there at the quarterback position as you get ready to start camp?  Secondly, we're big fans of Clint.  I know you kept him on your staff.  Was that a difficult decision, or is that pretty easy?
COACH BEATY:  Let's talk about the quarterbacks first.  First of all, Michael Cummings, man, what a great kid.  He is only a better kid than he is a player.  I don't know how I can give a kid higher praise than that.  He's right out of Killeen, Texas, here in central Texas.  I know his coach.  Man, what a great kid.  When that happened to him in the spring, man, it broke my heart.
I will say this.  The kid had surgery in the middle of June, and I looked out my window the other day and seen him out my window throwing the ball already.  He is a unique guy.  So if anybody can make it back this year, it would be him.  We're obviously trying to see if we can maybe get another year for him.  That would be great.
Addressing the Clint Bowen thing, man, here's the thing.  Clint is a terrific football coach, and he is going to be a phenomenal head coach when that time comes for him.  Right now, he is a phenomenal defensive coordinator.  He's making the finest paycheck he's made in his career, and he's earned that and he deserves that.
The things that people don't know is what a great family he has.  We go on vacations.  We've been, for all intents and purposes, close, best friends in our families.  We go to Destin, Florida, every year.  We just got back from WaterColor.  What people don't know about Clint is he wears me out on the beach with all the kids Olympics and all that.  He's the dad of the year.  He does a great job with those guys.  My girls love him.  Our family certainly loves him.
So to answer your question, absolutely not.  It was a no‑brainer right away.  We didn't even have to talk about it.  As a matter of fact, we had already talked about it.
The way we looked at it, we had two opportunities to be able to come back here and be a part of that great program.  He loves it like I love it, and I love it like he loves it.

Q.  As you begin the rebuild of the Kansas program, how much does it give you confidence, the fact that Baylor and TCU both have been able to do what you're trying to do over the past five or six years in this conference?
COACH BEATY:  I'll tell you what, what two great examples are there out there for a program like us.  I'll tell you, Art Briles, former Texas high school football coach, one of my coaching heroes coming up, I watched that guy win a bunch of state championships right over there at the old Texas Stadium.  Phenomenal.  Been successful wherever he's been.
Gary Patterson, one of the finest defensive minds in the country, one of the best head coaches in the country, cares truly about kids.  Happy to see the success those guys are having, and, yes, it gives us confidence knowing that those programs at one point were kind of where we are today.
I'm excited about the opportunity moving forward, and obviously we want to be able to re‑create that type of success at our place.  You know how hard it is to sit still and sit down when you're a guy that's always moving?
Anyway, next one.

Q.  I saw you brought Jordan Shelley‑Smith with you today.  What have you seen from him?  Can you talk about his development?
COACH BEATY:  I'll tell you what I've seen from Jordan is just a consummate pro.  We talk to our guys all the time, if you want to be a pro football player, it's too late when your career is over in college.  You have to start being a pro the day you step on campus.
That's probably the most impressive thing about him is he's been a pro since the day I started recruiting him.  I recruited him way back when he was at Waco Reicher.  I know his dad.  His dad is a coach.  I try to get as many coach's sons as I can get because they just seem to get it.
He has a great work ethic.  He deserves everything he's got, and he's put on 65 pounds and worked his tail off.  I think it's going to pay big dividends for him, not only now, but hopefully in the future.

Q.  Big 12 going to a limit on contact days, only two per week, and that includes games.  Will that change things for you guys at all?  Bob Bowlsby saying coaches are in favor of that.  How is that affecting your approach?
COACH BEATY:  It's not going to change our approach just a whole lot.  Honestly, we adjust to the landscape pretty good as a coaching world, to be honest with you.  I don't think that that is going to be something that's going to change the way that we do business.  It may for some folks, but for us, it's one of those deals where I think that we'll be able to adjust to that fairly easily.
We'll just fit it into our plan.  The landscape is ever changing, and we do know this:  We only control what we control.  That's it.

Q.  When you talk about guys earning it, how many guys or what percentage of your guys on your team do you feel like have earned a chance to sort of be leaned on and guys that you feel like you can count on?  Where are you kind of looking in fall camp to find that out?
COACH BEATY:  I'll tell you what, that is a great question, because that's obviously the goal, is to get that team bought into what you are selling them as fast as you can.  That usually is laid by the most important hire that most of us all make, which is our strength coach.
We brought in a guy named Je'Ney Jackson, who is a former cornerback coach for us at the University of Kansas.  He only coached Aqib Talib and Chris Harris, two of the Pro Bowlers, two of the finest players in the NFL.  He coached them there.  He was the corner coach.  But he came from the weight room when Coach Mangino put him on the field.
He left Kansas.  He kind of bounced around in college football, then he went and he surfaced at the University of Indiana with Tom Crean as the strength coach and got back into his passion.
When I got this job‑‑ Coach Jackson is a dear friend of mine.  But I've got a lot of friends, and I didn't hire him because of that.  I hired him because he's unbelievably talented, and he helped us set the standard.  That is what's helped us move forward quick.
Here's the deal.  What we produce is still yet to be seen.  I like the approach.  I like the standard.  I like the expectations that he set, and I can't be happier with the job he's done.  Nobody, nobody, nobody misses a step at our place with Coach Jackson, and I love that.  I love that consistency.

Q.  With all this talk about your quarterbacks, it seems like your running back stable is going to be extremely exciting.  How do you plan to incorporate that into what everybody says is going to be an air raid offense?
COACH BEATY:  I will say this.  In my time as a college football coach, what I've learned is it is very difficult to make it through a season with one or even two running backs.  You need to have some depth, and that's something I'm glad that we have right now.  We've got some very capable guys, guys that have played college football.
Taylor Cox has fought the injury bug.  He got his sixth year back.  We're excited for him to be back.
And we signed a kid named Ke'aun Kinner out of Navarro Junior College, the national College Player of the Year.  He came from Little Elm High School.  I knew his coach.  Just a terrific kid, terrific kid.  Hard worker.  And he's an exciting guy to watch.  We're excited about him.
We've got D.J. Mann that's there.  And we signed a kid, Taylor Martin, out of Fort Worth who we think is going to be an exciting running back for us.
We need every one of them.  This is a tough league.  These are kids that run really fast and run at each other, and bodies get hurt.  We're going to need each and every one of them.  I'm excited about our group.

Q.  Coach, you talked about having been at Kansas before.  As you make this transition, do you feel like it helps you that you kind of know the culture there?
COACH BEATY:  There's no doubt that it gave us a head start, understanding the culture that is the University of Kansas.  And not really just the university, but the great state of Kansas and the people of it and what those people are like‑‑ the humble, hard‑working, blue collar people that make up that state.
As we began to build the blueprint for what we want our team to look like, we look no further than the people of our state.  The example that they set for us every day.
We're working hard to earn their respect and their support one fan, one person, one stakeholder at a time.  And, man, we're lucky to have a great state with great supporters.  Jayhawks love their football.  They really do.  We've got great basketball, and we've got the finest coach in the country.  He's unbelievable at what he does, and what a great resource I've got right across the place, right across the campus there in Bill Self, and he has been phenomenal to us.
We do not apologize for having one of the finest basketball programs in the country.  Are you kidding me?  12 straight?  I don't know if I could take 12 steps straight ahead much less win 12 championships in a row.  That is very difficult.  My hat's off to him.
But he knows, and he loves football too.  We need great football.  Our fans deserve it.  We want to give them something they can be proud of.

Q.  You mentioned earlier you're an old Texas high school coach.  You got Kenny Perry, another DFW high school coach, a lot of other assistant coaches who are from Texas.  How important is the network with the Texas high school coaches going to play into your future vision of the University of Kansas?
COACH BEATY:  It's crucial.  That's what we will draw on is those relationships.  I left a coaching convention last night around 9:00.  I got here around 11:30.  I saw Jack Arute when I was checking in.  And I left an event called the Texas High School Football Coaches Association Coaching School.  There was 13,000 to 15,000 coaches there.
There's 21,000 people in that membership, and that is a brotherhood.  And I am proud to be part of that brotherhood.  I'll never relinquish that title.  It's a big deal for me to know that I was and still am at heart a Texas high school football coach.  A lot of pride in that.
We're going to draw on those relationships, but here's the deal.  I'm the head coach now.  So you are only as good as the men that you have out there really that beat the bushes.  Kenny Perry, that guy, that guy's got unbelievable talent, and he is adored and loved by the guys in this area and in this state.  He works tirelessly at creating those relationships.  And they know that, when they come to Kansas, and myself and Kenny Perry are there, those kids are going to be taken care of.  It doesn't mean we're going to give them everything, but they're going to have every opportunity, and they're going to leave better men than they were when they came in.
That's not where it stops.  There's several guys on our staff.  We've got Calvin Thibodeaux.  That guy's done a tremendous job in Houston.  Klint Kubiak right down there in Houston, he don't want you to know who his dad is.  He's one of the hardest‑working, best coaches I've ever been around.  Age is just a number for me on him.  He is just phenomenal.  I love this guy and what he can bring to our staff.  Reggie Mitchell, one of the best recruiters in all of the Big 12.  He's done it for years and years and years.
We're certainly going to draw on those relationships.  Man, it was really cool to be at the high school coaching school yesterday.  I'm really sad I had to leave.  It's a three‑day event that really you get better and get to develop good relationships.

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