By Matt Blanchette
Kansas Athletic Director Lew Perkins compared Monday's formal announcement of Turner Gill as the 37th head football coach in the program's history to the Drifters famous song, "This Magic Moment." Only time will tell how long the love will last, but for at least one day, we are still in the honeymoon period.
It's obvious, from the moment you meet Gill, the man has charisma. He is smart, well-spoken and a good public speaker; an easy man to like. This is surely part of the reason why Perkins said Gill can work his way into any living room in America to recruit.
Like the Drifters song, this is a historical hire in KU football history. Will Gill come in and build on the foundation left by Mark Mangino, or will KU slip back into middle-of-the-pack irrelevance, as it did in the days when Gill played for Nebraska, and crushed the Jayhawks season after season.
"I'm not coming here to use it as a stepping stone to a football dynasty, but rather to create a football dynasty here at KU," Gill said.
Whether or not he can do that remains to be seen. His record at Buffalo (20-30 in four seasons) does not indicate a proven track record. But, keep in mind, the Bulls just made the transition to Division 1 football in 1999, making the turnaround far tougher than a KU team that was 5-7 in 2009.
Furthermore, Gill was able to recruit 12 Texas players to Buffalo, a feat not lost on me. If he can get a dozen to the frozen tundra of upstate New York, he should be able to get 50 to Lawrence.
Gill gives KU what it needs, a media-savy, likeable head coach. Whether the "magic" continues remains to be seen.
Designed by Gray Digital Media