Saturday will mark the Big 12 coaching debut for Kansas head coach David Beaty. However, it will also mark the reunion between Beaty and former Kansas coach Mark Mangino, who now leads the offense at Iowa State, who the Jayhawks will face.
Obviously, once the ball is kicked off, it’ll be all business for both teams, but as the days lead up to Saturday’s affair at Ames’ Jack Trice Stadium, you’ll have to forgive Beaty for being a little reflective. The truth lies in the details and beliefs that he’s brought back since taking the job last December.
“If you've ever spent any time around Coach Mangino, I think the one phrase that people always have common ground with is keep sawing wood. That's probably the thing that we have started with and we are going to continue with,” Beaty said.
“Listen, I hate losing. I do not like it, at all,” Beaty continued. “However, I understand that everything is a process and we understand it's a positive, and part of the process is learning to stay positive in the eyes of adversity.”
With the Jayhawks at 0-3, it’d be easy to get down and dread the rest of the season, but on the contrary. The mood is upbeat. Simply put, Beaty won’t have it any other way as he works to resurrect Kansas football.
“So, we as coaches are going to continue to stay positive and we are going to stay positive with our players, with each other, because we believe in what we are doing and we know that it's going to finally kick in,” Beaty said. “To borrow from Coach (Mangino), we are going to keep sawing wood and that's the way they are going to get this thing done. We are going to keep working, stay positive, because there are, there some positive things out there that we are building on.”
That means always looking for the positives, even when fans and many of the pundits who cover the team are quick to make snide comments or jokes because it may be the “in” thing to do. None of it will deter Beaty, his staff or his team from not focusing on the little things, which in time they hope will add up and pay off.
“We are No. 1 in the conference in fewest penalties in the Big 12, which is a big goal for us,” Beaty said. “Unfortunately we had three penalties the other day that extended drives and led to touchdowns, led to 21 points, instead of being able to get off the field. We obviously have some other things that we can learn about that. That stat can be a little bit deceiving at times.”
“Like I said, his big influence on us was keep sawing wood and just keep working. Because you never know which swing is going to be the one. Never know which touch is going to be the one where you breakthrough,” Beaty continued. “We are looking forward to that. And I know our guys, they are positive and they are ready to go. I mean, I love our team. I love our team just as much as I did from the first day. Those guys come to work every day and they are excited about taking on Iowa State. They know that we are getting closer every day, just a little bit better every day.”