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Kansas announces new OC Mike DeBord

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At first glance, this seems to be an uninspiring hire.

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: OCT 05 Oklahoma at Kansas Photo by Scott Winters/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Well it’s official - Kansas football has a new offensive coordinator. And yes, I had to Google the name when I saw it, which let’s be honest, is not a great start.

Mike DeBord, most recently an offensive analyst at Michigan, has officially been named the newest KU OC.

At 64 years old, DeBord is a career offensive line coach (which is actually a plus). He was the head coach at Central Michigan from 2000-03, and has served as offensive coordinator in the past at Michigan (1997-99, 2006-07), Tennessee (2015-16), and Indiana (2017-18). He “retired” from football following the 2018 season, but joined Jim Harbaugh in Ann Arbor in March of 2020.

Les Miles said he was looking for a “veteran offensive coordinator with a proven track record in the NFL and Power 5 ranks,” and well, that’s exactly what he got. Miles and DeBord have worked together in the past, in the mid-1990s at Michigan.

DeBord was the OC at Tennessee and Indiana within the last six years, and the offenses he had at both stops were decent to good. In fact, 2016 Tennessee set a school record for points and touchdowns that season (and that’s playing in the mighty SEC). More recently at Indiana, in 2018 the Hoosiers averaged over 415 yards per game for the season, which is currently a pipe dream for Kansas fans.

However, the pessimist in me is very pessimistic today. Dearmon and Miles obviously had differing offensive philosophies, and DeBord just seems like the kind of guy who will run off-tackle as many times as Miles wants (I hope I’m wrong). Kansas just simply doesn’t have the horses to line up and beat opponents straight up, so unless there’s something innovative here that I’m missing, it’s difficult for me to get excited about the hire.

I’ll leave it to people smarter than me (and who have much more free time) to go back and see what kind of offenses those Tennessee and Indiana teams had before I make a final judgment, but when your first reaction is, “Who?” - well, like I said earlier, that’s not a great start.

Not that this should matter - or maybe it should? - but the hire is already being widely panned on Twitter, and not just from Kansas fans.

Yeesh, that last one. Brutal.