Just one season into his Kansas football tenure, coach David Beaty has decided to make a major change with his team’s offense.
Following KU’s first spring practice Sunday, Beaty announced that he would be the team’s new quarterbacks coach and play caller, replacing Rob Likens, who held both roles last season.
“I enjoy doing that. It’s a lot of fun, and it’s what I got into the business for,” Beaty said of working more directly with the offense. “I think it can help us. I really do. I’m excited about getting back involved with it.”
Likens, who will retain the title of offensive coordinator, will serve more of an all-encompassing role offensively, working with different position groups.
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Beaty previously called plays as Rice’s offensive coordinator in 2010 and also as a Texas high school coach before that. The biggest change, he said, would be that KU’s quarterbacks would have additional freedom to make their own reads and calls at the line of scrimmage.
“We’ll do a lot more of the stuff I know and that I’m familiar with, and I’m excited about it, because I know it fits our personnel well,” Beaty said. “I think our guys are excited about it too.”
Beaty, who had never been a college head coach before last season, said he wasn’t concerned about the new roles affecting his game-management responsibilities.
“You have lots of people giving you information, so you make sure you’re right where you need to be when those decisions need to be made. You put those plans in place,” Beaty said. “I’m not unlike a lot of coaches throughout the country. There’s a lot of guys calling offense out there.”
Likens came to KU in January of 2015 after spending two seasons as Cal’s passing game coordinator and assistant head coach. At the time, Beaty called him “as fine as an offensive mind as I have been around.”
In 2015, KU finished last in the Big 12 with 15.2 points per game, which was nearly 10 points fewer than ninth-ranked Iowa State. KU had plenty of offensive obstacles, ranging from injuries to its top four quarterbacks to a scheme change to a limited number of scholarship players on the roster.
“That doesn’t have anything to do with Rob. It has to do with me doing it,” Beaty said of the switch. “I want to be a lot more actively involved with our QBs and what we do offensively.
“We’ll be a little bit different offensively than we were last year, and that’s OK. It is what it is when it comes to that.”
Two players leave team – Beaty confirmed that tight end Kent Taylor and linebacker Schyler Miles were no longer with the program.
Taylor, the top-ranked Rivals.com tight end in 2012, caught 15 passes for 179 yards last season. Beaty said Taylor met with him after the season, with the coach saying his departure was a “mutual decision” made in part because of family circumstances.
Miles decided to stop playing after sustaining numerous knee and hip injuries. He had 17 tackles in six games for KU last season.