Former Kansas athletic director Sheahon Zenger was relieved of his duties in May. While it may not be clear what prompted him to lose his dream job, the Jayhawks’ dismal 12-72 record in football during his tenure didn’t help his cause.
But the Salinas, Kan., native is doing his best to take the high road despite the heartbreak he has endured from the news he received last month.
Zenger recently told the Kansas City Star’s Vahe Gregorian he has felt “more alive” than ever during his current season of transition — even with the of uncertainty that may loom ahead.
“I’ve been through far worse,” Zenger told Gregorian. ““You know you’re alive in athletics, either way. And between the pain of this and the future opportunities, I’m not sure I’ve ever been more alive.”
Zenger arrived at Kansas in 2011. He saw Bill Self and the Jayhawks’ men’s basketball team win the Big 12 regular-season crown in every year of his tenure — a streak that dates back to 2005. But the hiring of football coaches Charlie Weis and David Beaty, the former who was fired just two years into his stint in 2014, didn’t lead to the results Zenger anticipated. Kansas has only won a single game in Big 12 play since Beaty arrived in 2015 — none other than the iconic upset of Texas in November 2016.
Zenger did tell Gregorian that he will “never be OK” with what happened on the football field during his tenure. But it pales in comparison with the important things in life, and that is something Zenger seems more than aware of as he seeks the next chapter in his career.