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Top Five Most Forgettable Football Head Coaches in Big 12 History

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Ever have one of those days where you are scrolling through social media and see something funny pop up on your timeline? Well, on Monday afternoon that happened to me. I saw an old video of Jon Gruden back when he was coaching the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. This clip I am about to show you is from 2003 and it shows Jon giving then-rookie quarterback Chris Simms a play to call in the huddle.

As you can see, Chris has a hard time remembering the play and can’t repeat it. I am not blaming Chris here because there’s no way I could remember all that under pressure, but it gave me an idea. Since the Big 12 formed back in 1996, there have been plenty of forgettable football head coaches. So, I thought I would have a little fun today and countdown the five most forgettable head coaches in Big 12 history.

 

5. Kansas Head Coach Charlie Weis (2012-2014)

I hope you get used to seeing Kansas coaches on this list because there are going to be a few of them. Charlie Weis was certainly an interesting coach, to say the least. After getting fired from Notre Dame back in 2009, Weis went to the NFL for a year before going back to college where he became the Florida offensive coordinator prior to the 2011 season. After his lone season in Gainesville, Kansas hired him to turn things around. Unfortunately, that turnaround never happened as he went 6-22 during his time in Lawrence and had a Big 12 record of 1-18. Charlie ended up getting canned four games into his third season and was most remembered for calling his time a pile of crap.

2. Baylor Head Coach Dave Roberts (1997-1998)

Looking back at the history of Baylor football since 1996, there have been some rough patches. However, it seems like the time of Dave Roberts roaming the sidelines was short-lived. Despite only coaching two seasons in Waco, Roberts went 4-18 and had a conference record of 2-14. Much like Charlie Weis, Dave Roberts was more remembered for his sound bites. After a loss to Texas Tech in 1997, Dave said this about his team. “They were about as bad a football team as there is right now in America.” I guess the same could be said about his time at Baylor too.

 

3. Kansas Head Coach Turner Gill (2010-2011)

Here is another coach who was only at a Big 12 school for two years. And what a forgettable two years it was. At the time, it was a head-scratching hire for Kansas. They just fired one of their best coaches in history, Mark Mangino, and replaced him with Turner Gill. When Gill was hired, it was a big deal. He became the first African American head coach in Kansas history, and he had big shoes to fill. However, he never filled them, and the program went from bad to worse under his watch. In two seasons, Gill went 5-19 and managed to win just one conference game before being fired. Yikes.

2. Baylor Head Coach Kevin Steele (1999-2002)

Immediately after firing Dave Roberts, Baylor went on to hire Kevin Steele who coached under the great Tom Osborne at Nebraska. Steele also spent some time coaching in the NFL before making his way to Baylor. But when he got to Baylor, he inherited a mess of a program. And that mess only got worse during his time there. In his first season in 1999, he went 1-10 which was the school’s worst record since 1969. He followed that up with a two-win season and a pair of three-win seasons before being canned. Steele had an overall record of 9-36 and had one of the worst conference records I have ever seen (1-31).

 

1. Kansas Head Coach Les Miles (2019-2020)

To round out the list, we have another Kansas head coach. Before hiring Les Miles, Kansas fired David Beaty who didn’t have the best record but seemed to be somewhat stable and was well liked or at least was in my eyes. So, after firing Beaty, Kansas turned their attention to Les Miles who was fired from LSU three years prior. At the time of his hire, Kansas signed Les to a five-year 13.8-million-dollar contract thanks to former athletic director Jeff Long who knew Miles from his days back in Michigan in the late 1980s.

In his first season at Kansas, Les went 3-9 and 1-8 in Big 12 play. Despite the poor record, they did earn their first win on the road against a Power Five Conference team in 48 games. However, the next season in 2020 Kansas took a step backward and went 0-9 in the COVID-19-shortened season. But things quickly went from bad to worse because, in the spring of 2021, Miles was placed on administrative leave due to an investigation of inappropriate conduct with female students while at LSU. Just a few days after that, Les Miles and Kansas mutually agreed to part ways and settled for a 1.99-million-dollar buyout. And just one day after that, Jeff Long stepped down as athletic director. Sometimes it pays to do your homework on hires instead of just hiring an old buddy.

Honorable Mentions

Colorado Head Coach Dan Hawkins (2006-2019) (19-39)

Texas Head Coach Charlie Strong (2014-2016) (16-21)

Kansas State Head Coach Ron Prince (2006-2008) (17-20)

Iowa State Head Coach Gene Chizik (2007-2008) (5-19)

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