Texas A&M wide receivers coach and recruiting coordinator David Beaty, a former KU co-offensive coordinator and receivers coach, on Friday was named the next head coach of Kansas football.
Beaty, who carries a reputation as a preeminent recruiter of Texas high school football talent, won the job over interim head coach, defensive coordinator and KU football alumnus Clint Bowen, d’96, who had become a popular choice among fans and players to land the permanent position after the Jayhawks rallied under his leadership with a 34-14 victory Nov. 8 over Iowa State and a 34-30 loss Nov. 15 to Texas Christian, which is currently No. 3 in the College Football Playoff rankings.
When asked Nov. 24 to comment about his prospects for being hired by Athletics Director Sheahon Zenger, Bowen repeated the message he’d delivered since he was named the interim replacement for Charlie Weis following KU’s 23-0 Homecoming shutout by Texas.
“It isn’t about me. It’s not ever going to be about me. It’s about this team, this university and this football program,” Bowen said. “Dr. Zenger has a great plan and a process in place to find and hire the best person possible to lead this program forward. When the selection is made, I truly believe this, it’s time for everybody to put their full support behind that decision.
“We all know that KU football is a program that should be successful and will be successful in a power conference, and the bottom line is it’ll only be done when the KU alumni, the fans, the support staff, the administration, coaches and players all start working together as a team with one goal: to make Kansas a successful program. When this decision is made, that’s what everyone needs to do.”
Following KU’s 51-13 season-ending loss Nov. 29 at Kansas State, Zenger told the Lawrence Journal-World that regardless of the outcome of his coaching search, Bowen would remain part of the program.
“He is true-blue KU. He cares deeply about this institution,” Zenger, PhD’96, told the Journal-World. “He and I see a lot of things eye-to-eye. Whether it’s him or someone else, he’s gonna be a part of program because he believes in the right things.”
Zenger assembled a search committee—whose membership was not made public—to assist in his selection, yet the process remained private and, outside of speculation by fans and media, entirely quiet. Up until the news about Beaty’s hiring began to leak at about 11 a.m. Friday and flight-tracking sites were linked on fan sites to monitor the progress of Beaty’s journey from College Station to Lawrence, there had been no public speculation that Beaty had risen to the top of Zenger’s list or even that an announcement was imminent.
Beaty, was, however, an early favorite in the speculation about who would take over at season’s end. It wasn’t until Bowen’s energized squad humiliated Iowa State, in what Cyclones coach Paul Rhoads called one of the worst losses in his six seasons at ISU, and then put a scare into top contender TCU, that Bowen’s candidacy gathered momentum.
Beaty’s Texas recruiting prowess is due in large part to his experience as a high-school coach in the football-crazed state. In four seasons as head coach at MacArthur High School in Irving, Beaty’s teams went 33-11 and won two district titles. Garland High School in 1999 won a 5A Div. II state title while Beaty was an assistant there.
Beaty was wide receivers coach and passing game coordinator at Rice University in Houston in 2006 and ’07, and in 2008 he joined coach Mark Mangino’s staff as wide receivers coach. Here he helped develop Kerry Meier, d’10, and Dezmon Briscoe, ’12, into NFL-caliber receivers.
After Mangino was fired following the 2009 season, Beaty returned to Rice as offensive coordinator in 2010, and in 2011 he came back to KU as Turner Gill’s co-offensive coordinator and wide receivers coach. Following yet another coaching change at KU, Beaty in 2012 became wide receivers coach on Kevin Sumlin’s new staff at Texas A&M. In 2013 he was given added responsibility as recruiting coordinator.
He is a 1994 graduate of Lindenwood College in St. Charles, Missouri, where he was a four-year starter at wide receiver and two-year team captain. He graduated from high school in Garland, Texas, in 1989. Beaty and his wife, Raynee, have two daughters.