Lawrence, Kan. — Turner Gill has been relieved of his duties as head football coach at the University of Kansas, KU Athletics Director Sheahon Zenger announced Sunday. Gill has coached the Jayhawks for two seasons after signing a five-year, $10 million contract in December 2009.
“After a thorough evaluation of our football program,” Zenger said, “I have concluded that new leadership is necessary to place us on the path toward competing for championships in the Big 12 Conference. I come to this conclusion reluctantly, because I have the utmost respect for Turner Gill as a quality individual who wants only the best for the young men he coaches.”
Zenger, who informed Gill of his decision late Sunday afternoon, said a national search for Gill’s successor will begin immediately. “I have no specific timetable,” he said. “Naturally I would like to have a new coach on board as soon as possible.” Zenger has named recruiting coordinator Reggie Mitchell as interim head coach.
Kansas Athletics owes Gill some $6 million for the remaining three years of his contract; Zenger said Kansas will fulfill the terms of that contract.
“We are striving for excellence across KU’s academic and research missions, and that drive extends to all of our athletic programs,” said KU Chancellor Bernadette Gray-Little. “In consulting with Athletics Director Zenger, I agree that in order to achieve the excellence we seek in Kansas Football it is time to make a leadership change. Turner Gill is a man of integrity and we appreciate his service to our community.”
The current staff will continue to recruit under the direction of Mitchell.