Last week, we got to know former KU quarterback Matt Johner in our series “The Lost Jayhawks” featuring some of the less-prominent players from the past or players that many Jayhawk fans old and new have led fade into their distant memory.
Today, we talk with Kevin Kopp, a defensive lineman at Kansas from 1993 through 1996. Kopp was a regular in the KU defense and played on the 1995 team that went 10-2 and won the Aloha Bowl. He was nice enough to join us in early May for a quick interview and this is a transcript of that conversation.
RCT: What are you doing now? What type of business, etc?
Kopp: I am living in Scottsdale, AZ. I own a commercial real estate business called CAZCO and we own retail properties and also do ground up development of retail properties. We own and have developed properties in Arizona, California and Colorado. My wife is also a Kansas native and KU graduate and we have lived in Arizona for over 16 years and have three kids.
RCT: What was the recruiting process like coming from Rockhurst High School?
Kopp: It was a lot of fun, nothing like being wined and dined as an 18 year old from schools across the country!! I took my official visits to Boston College, Tennessee, Arkansas, Michigan State and Kansas. Both athletically and academically, Rockhurst was a big part of my foundation in being prepared for the college athletic experience.
RCT: What do you think was your biggest accomplishment in a KU uniform?
Kopp: Without question our 1995 team’s run to a 10-2 record, Aloha Bowl victory over UCLA and #9 final ranking in the country. I was a starting defensive tackle on that team and it was an amazing season for all associated with to be very proud of.
RCT: What’s your fondest memory as a member of the KU football program?
Kopp: The friendships and times together with my teammates from practice, to the training table, traveling to road games and definitely the experience with them on gameday. I was fortunate to have such a great group of guys to have as teammates.
RCT: What was your best attribute as a football player?
Kopp: I would say it was my work ethic and attitude. I ranked in the average when it came to strength and speed but made up for that with strong and consistent work ethic and attitude.
RCT: Who is your most talented teammate while at KU?
Kopp: Tony Blevins… freak athlete and just so happened to be my high school teammate at Rockhurst and roommate at KU.
RCT: Do you keep up with KU football now? If so, what’s your impression of the current team/coaching staff, etc?
Kopp: Yes, I have been a football season ticket holder since I graduated, I bleed crimson and blue football. We have clearly struggled the last several years. I have met and gotten to know Coach Beaty and I firmly stand behind him and his vision for the program. He knows it needs to now start converting to W’s and I am confident he will show us fans progress on the field this year with more W’s. The University of Kansas has all you need to offer our football program to have a winning program and I am confident this is the year to start the winning growth.
RCT: Do you ever come back to Lawrence? For football or for leisure or both?
Kopp: My family and I come back to Lawrence multiple times a year. In addition to being a football season ticket holder, we are also a basketball season ticket holder. So between football, basketball and family, we love our visits to Lawrence every year!