Posted by Tom Fornelli
There are still two games left in the season for Kansas, and if you asked most Kansas fans how they felt, they'd probably tell you that they hope these are the last two games the team is coached by Turner Gill. Gill is understandably under fire in Lawrence as his Jayhawks team is one of the worst teams in any of the BCS conferences, as they are 2-8 on the season with an 0-7 record in the Big 12, losing conference games by an average of 24 points per game.
Though the feelings the fans have aren't shared by Gill's players. A few of them talked to KUSports.com, and they don't want to see their head coach go anywhere.
“We’re fighting so hard for him and for what people say about him and his job security,” said senior linebacker Steven Johnson. “I really think he should stay here for a long time. He’s a good coach, and we’re just on the brink. We’re fighting. We’re fighting. We’re close, and as soon as we get that win, I’m pretty sure everything’s gonna turn around.
“[Gill's status is] on our minds a little bit. We try not to worry about it, but, at the same time, it’s difficult going through a coaching transition because we’ve created friendships and bonds with all these coaches, and when we never win, it’s hard. And in games like [the 31-30 overtime loss to Baylor], where we should’ve had a win, that’s even more difficult. It just hurts. But I just hope that we continue to give coach Gill a shot because he’s a good coach, and I’m pretty sure this program will turn around.”
Senior lineman Jeff Spikes echoed his teammate's thoughts, but I'm not sure the player's wishes will be enough to save Gill.
Gill is only in his second season at Kansas, which is probably too early to fire any head coach, but Kansas hasn't had much success during Gill's two seasons. In his first 22 games, Gill's Kansas team is 5-17 with a 1-14 record in the Big 12. Compare that to Kansas' 13-12 mark under Mark Mangino in his final two seasons -- though Mangino wasn't fired strictly for performance reasons -- and it seems like the program has gone backward under Gill.