It really kinda goes without saying that Kansas football has been through a lot over the last four or so months. KU went to hire an athletic director and football coach at the same time that everyone else was conducting spring ball - not exactly an ideal time to fill major openings at your university.
However, KU did have one thing going for it - it was the ONLY D1 school hiring for those positions at the time. There were no bidding wars for the next hotshot up-and-comer or anything like that. And (in my opinion) the University took the right approach to the situation: it slowed down, took its time, and made solid hires based on extensive interviews.
Consider: Jeff Long was fired on March 10 and Travis Goff replaced him on April 5. Goff immediately went to work and, 25 days later, hired Lance Leipold away from Buffalo after a long flirtation with Army’s Jeff Monken.
With the coaching change, half of KU’s assistant football coaches turned over as well. In addition to the new head coach in 2021, KU will have new offensive and defensive coordinators in Andy Kotelnicki (OC) and Brian Borland (DC). The Jayhawks will also have new position coaches in Scott Fuchs (offensive line), Chris Simpson (linebackers), and Jim Zebrowski (quarterbacks).
Kwahn Drake (defensive line), Chevis Jackson (cornerbacks), Emmett Jones (wide receivers), Jonathan Wallace (running backs), and Jacob Schoonover (special teams coordinator) are the coaches who return from last year’s staff.
Getting Emmett Jones to stay was a huge lift to this program, particularly in recruiting. Drake and Jackson sticking around is big as well, but Jones seems to be pretty widely regarded as the premier recruiter for KU over the past several seasons.
Hopefully, the days of trying to fit a round peg (Brent Dearmon) into a square hole (Les Miles) are gone, and this staff can gel together in terms of game plans. Additionally, they’ll need to recruit effectively as well as develop the players they’ve inherited.
We’ll take a look at the new coaches in more detail later on this summer, but today I just wanted to just get a feel of who’s new and who’s back.