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Kansas fires coach Turner Gill after 2 seasons

Kansas coach Turner Gill looks on during the first half of an NCAA college football game against Missouri at Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City, Mo., Saturday, Nov. 26, 2011. Missouri defeated Kansas 24-10. Kansas coach Turner Gill looks on during the first half of an NCAA college football game against Missouri at Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City, Mo., Saturday, Nov. 26, 2011. Missouri defeated Kansas 24-10. (AP Photo/Orlin Wagner)
By Dave Skretta
AP Sports Writer / November 27, 2011
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KANSAS CITY, Mo.—Kansas fired coach Turner Gill on Sunday after two losing seasons and with three years remaining on a contract that still owes him about $6 million.

The school announced the move in a news release Sunday, the day after the Jayhawks lost 24-10 to rival Missouri and finished the season 2-10.

Gill was 5-19 at Kansas. He was hired by Athletic Director Sheahon Zenger's predecessor, Lew Perkins, and given a five-year, $10 million contract.

The university says Zenger informed Gill of his decision late Sunday afternoon. He also said he would honor the terms of Gill's deal.

"After a thorough evaluation of our football program," Zenger said in a statement, "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 said recruiting coordinator Reggie Mitchell would act as interim coach.

Gill came to Kansas from Buffalo, a perennially downtrodden Mid-American Conference team that he led to a league championship. At Kansas, he replaced Mark Mangino, who was fired in 2009 amid allegations he mistreated players.

Gill, a former star quarterback at Nebraska, said late Saturday that he had not spoken with Zenger, but sounded optimistic that he'll be invited back for another season -- it took him three years to make Buffalo into a winner.

"I do think we made good progress," he said. "I guess it may be we have more to go than we anticipated, including myself coming in. I just think we can still get some things done here and move this program the right direction and do the things we need to do, win games and win bowl games."

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