MANHATTAN, Kan. -- Assistant Athletic Director Lee Moon, who was named interim football coach in the wake of Jim Dickey's resignation, says Kansas State still can salvage its season despite two upset losses.
Moon said he visited with the Wildcat team shortly before it was announced Dickey had resigned.
'They seemed pretty positive,' said Moon, 38. 'We've got to play TCU (Texas Christian University) on television on Saturday and I think they'll be ready.'
He said one reason Dickey's offense never got on track was because there have been different offensive line coaches in each of the past four seasons.
'That's a big adjustment for a college athlete,' Moon said.
He said he was optimistic he could establish a tempo that would turn the Wildcats' season around.
He said he planned no changes in his coaching staff.
Moon was hired by first-year Athletic Director Larry Travis in April after being an assistant football coach and administrative assistant at Mississippi State in Starkville, Miss.
Dickey resigned Sunday -- one day after the Wildcats were defeated 10-6 by Division I-AA Northern Iowa. The loss dropped the Wildcats to 0-2. Wichita State toppled Kansas State 16-10 a week ago in both teams' season opener.
Dickey declined to be interviewed, but in a statement said, 'I'm more disappointed in me than our players.'
'I think that in our opening two games we looked, to me, at times like we were wading in mud,' he said. 'We were trying, but we weren't getting anything done.'
'I met with Jim last night after the game and asked him for his input on where we should go,' Travis said at a news conference with Moon. 'I met with coach Dickey this morning ... and at that time he told me he thought for the betterment of the kids and the institution that he would step down and resign his position so we could get on with trying to make out of this year something we all had hopes for when we went in.
'I think under some little different leadership and a change in tempo we can go on and have a successful season.'
Travis said Moon would remain head coach until season's end, at which time a search will commence for a permanent successor to Dickey.
'I'm taking this position because I believe Kansas State has a future,' Moon said. 'I believe in Larry and what he's trying to do. I made a commitment to come here to be in the administrative end of the program. I feel at this time this is the best thing I can do to help the program.'
Dickey was glum immediately after the Northern Iowa game. He had little comment about his future at the university, other than to say he thinks his job is 'not very' secure.
He is in the last year of his contract.
Following a 3-7-1 record in 1984, many athletic boosters demanded Dickey's resignation or firing. Instead, Kansas State President Duane Acker fired Athletic Director Dick Towers and replaced him with Travis from Georgia Tech. Towers reportedly had been under pressure to fire Dickey.
Attendance at Kansas State games the past two weeks has been poor; less than half of the stadium's 42,000 seats were filled. Many of the 17,500 fans at Saturday's game repeatedly booed Dickey late in the contest.
Dickey, 51, joined the Wildcats on Dec. 20, 1977 and became the university's 24th head football coach. In eight seasons, his squads have compiled an overall 25-53-2 record and a 13-34-2 record in Big Eight action.
Prior to this season, Dickey said he was intent on bringing the Wildcats to prominence in the Big Eight. He hired two new coaches and placed more emphasis on offense.
In 1982, his squad was 6-4-1, good enough for a trip to the Independence Bowl in Shreveport, La. It marked Kansas State's first trip to a bowl game. The season earned Dickey Big Eight Coach of the Year honors.
Dickey arrived at Kansas State following three seasons as defensive coordinator at North Carolina.