Monday, December 14, 2009

Turner Gill saying "Rock Chalk" Makes Me Both Sad and Happy

Listening to Turner Gill chant "Rock Chalk Jayhawk KU" at the end of his introduction as the new Kansas head coach leaves me with a lot of mixed emotions.  On one hand, I'm extremely happy for Gill, who certainly served Nebraska well both as a quarterback and a head coach.  He's an easy man to cheer for.  Remember his departure press conference when he left Lincoln a year after Steve Pederson began his dismantling of the Nebraska football program?  Then he turns up in Buffalo, and turns one of the worst programs in college football into MAC champions in just three years.  And in the process, gives us another remainder of just what a class act Turner Gill is.

That being said, I still would choose Bo Pelini over Gill as head coach of the Nebraska Cornhuskers.  Tom Osborne had a tough decision to make with two outstanding leaders of young men with very different styles.  Pelini does it with fire, Gill does it with emotion ... both are effective at reaching the inner core of players, connecting with them, and leading them to become better players and people.

And while I'm happy to see Turner Gill get a BCS conference job that pays $2 million a year, I'm not happy at the prospect of facing Gill's team each year.  I want all the best for Gill, but not at the expense of my team either.  So it's a bittersweet where I hope that Kansas does no better than finishing 11-1 each season, with that one loss being to the Huskers as the Jayhawks finish in 2nd place in the Big XII North.

Looking over the Big XII North, you now see a couple of coaches that you just can't help but like.  Paul Rhoades at Iowa State, who's postgame locker room celebration is the very definition of happiness. 
And now Gill.

Can you imagine what the feeling in Boulder is right now?  Knowing that you've got up and coming programs in Ames and Lawrence.  Gary Pinkel is doing just fine in Columbia.  Bill Snyder is back in Manhattan.  And you've still got Dan "10 Wins/No Excuses" Hawkins locked up for the next few years.

Congratulations Turner Gill, and congratulations Jayhawk fans.  You've got a coach who'll make you proud.

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