The rumor mill has been churning out notions of Les Miles-to-Kansas since Miles was shown the door at LSU in 2016.
Now, those rumors appear to have some truth to them. Sports Illustrated’s Ross Dellenger reported Friday (Nov. 16) that Kansas is finalizing contract details with the former LSU coach.
According to Dellenger, Kansas and Miles have been in contract negations all week, prompting Thursday’s news of LSU and Miles reaching a buyout settlement.
Miles helmed LSU from 2005-16 and registered a 141-55 record with the Tigers, taking them to two national championship games with one win at college football’s biggest stage.
He hasn’t coached since LSU fired him in 2016, but he’s been busy. He’s taken up acting and has delved into several media ventures.
It’s well-known that Miles has history with Kansas’ athletic director, Jeff Long.
They both came up through Michigan in the 1980s and Long tried poaching Miles from LSU to coach at Arkansas in 2012.
Miles will be inheriting a program in dire straits — an opposite situation of what came into after Nick Saban departed to coach the Miami Dolphins.
Kansas has had a revolving door of coaches since it fired Mark Mangino after the 2009 season. The Jayhawks haven’t had a winning season since 2008 and haven’t won four or more games since 2009.
Turner Gill helmed Kansas for two seasons (2010-11) and went 5-19, with one league win in 2010. He was fired the day after Kansas’ 2011 season ended. Upon his firing, Kansas owed Gill $6 million.
Former athletic director Sheahon Zenger hired Charlie Weis less than a month later, opening Weis’ introductory press conference with the infamous, “I set out to find the best, and I found Charlie Weis,” quote.
Weis lasted just a touch over two seasons (2012-14) and was fired after Kansas was shut out at home by Texas in the fourth game of the 2014 campaign. Weis amassed a 6-22 record at Kansas, and only beat one conference opponent. Clint Bowen filled the interim role for the remaining eight games of the 2014 season, going 1-7.
Zenger hired Texas A&M wide receivers coach David Beaty over Bowen in December 2014. Beaty, who had no collegiate head coaching experience, went 2-22 in his first two seasons at Kansas — with an 0-12 record that first year. After the 2016 season, Kansas gave Beaty an extension through the 2021 season.
Kansas fired Zenger before the 2018 season, citing a “lack of progress” within the athletic department. Jeff Long, the former athletic director at Arkansas, was hired a few months later.
Kansas opened the 2018 season with a home loss to Nicholls, then won on the road against Central Michigan for the program’s first road win since 2010. Kansas, which is 3-6 so far this season, fired Beaty after losing at home to Iowa State, 27-3. Long is allowing Beaty and the rest of the staff to finish out the season.