Kansas’ athletic department has enlisted a familiar name to assist in its search for a new football coach. Chuck Neinas, the former Big 12 interim commissioner who heads the prominent search firm Neinas Sports Services, will help facilitate KU’s search, associate athletic director Jim Marchiony confirmed to The Star on Wednesday.
Neinas, a former Big Eight commissioner, served as interim Big 12 commissioner in 2011 and 2012, wading the conference through the choppy waters of realignment. The financial terms of the agreement between Kansas and Neinas Sports Services were not immediately available.
After firing Charlie Weis on Sept. 28, KU athletic director Sheahon Zenger said he would conduct a national search to find the Jayhawks’ next football coach. The use of a search firm, Zenger said then, would likely be limited to a third party that could facilitate contact with potential candidates and contribute to the vetting process.
During its last search for a football coach in late 2011, Zenger and Kansas used DHR International, a Chicago firm that aided in the hiring of Weis. This time around, Zenger has not commented on potential outside candidates, though he has repeatedly said that interim coach Clint Bowen would be a candidate.
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Zenger, according to Kansas officials, will also consult with a list of 10 to 12 KU football stakeholders, including former players, though Marchiony said the advisers will be used in an informal way and will not operate as a traditional search committee.
Kansas, 2-6 overall and 0-5 in the Big 12, has four games remaining on its 2014 schedule. The Jayhawks will conclude the season at Kansas State on Nov. 29.