2012 Kansas Football Season Preview: Coaching Staff
With the firing of former Kansas Jayhawks head coach Turner Gil, the coaching staff of the Jayhawks received a huge overhaul. From head coach to defensive and offensive coordinators and other specialty coaches, the sidelines are going to look very different for the Jayhawks.
As part one of the full preview for the Kansas Jayhawks 2012 football season, here is a look at the coaching staff for the upcoming season.
Head Coach: Charlie Weis
The biggest change from the Turner Gil era is obviously the head coach. The Jayhawks landed a big name in Charlie Weis, who brings with him an array of coaching successes, both at the college and professional levels.
The former head coach of Notre Dame has been coaching for 33 years. He was able to lead Notre Dame to a BCS bowl, but he didn't have many other successes as head coach. Weis' record at Notre Dame declined as the years went on, possibly due to a weakness in recruiting.
Charlie Weis will be biggest question mark heading into the 2012 season. During a press conference at the Big XII media days, he acknowledged his struggles at Notre Dame and said that he has learned from his mistakes from his first time as a head coach and will be better the second time around.
Weis will also serve as the offensive coordinator for the Jayhawks, given his success as the offensive coordinator for the New England Patriots, the New York Jets and the Kansas City Chiefs.
With the season fast approaching, Weis will soon have the opportunity to back up his claims.
Defensive Coordinator: Dave Campo
Dave Campo is another new addition to the coaching staff and will man the defense in an effort to turn around the deplorable defensive plays of last year.
Campo coached for the Dallas Cowboys from 1989-2002, working as a secondary coach, defensive coordinator and eventually as the head coach. He helped Dallas win three Super Bowls in 1992, 1993 and 1995. He returned to Dallas in 2008 to help coach the secondary and was there through the 2011 season.
Campo is another big question mark. He hasn't been a defensive coordinator since 2004, but his defenses in Dallas, Jacksonville and Cleveland all exceeded expectations. With the way that the Jayhawks defense played last year, it shouldn't be too hard to exceed defensive expectations in 2012.
Offensive Line Coach: Tim Grunhard
Tim Grunhard will man the offensive line for the Jayhawks for the 2012 season in his first year as a college coach.
Before accepting the offensive line job at Kansas, Grunhard was the head coach at Bishop Miege High School, a private high school in suburban Kansas City. While there he led the Stags to five straight district titles and the 2009 class 4A state championship.
He played for eleven years with the Kansas City Chiefs, during which he started 164 games. He was elected to the Pro Bowl in 1999.
Since this is Grunhard's first job as a college coach, expectations shouldn't be too high, but his success at Miege and as a player should be indicators of some great things to come.
Special Teams Coordinator/Defensive Backs Coach: Clint Bowen
Clint Bowen will return to the Kansas coaching staff for the 2012 season as the special teams coordinator, a job he held for a few years in the early 2000s. He will also be the defensive backs coach.
Bowen graduated from Kansas in 1995 and remained in Lawrence to help coach. He was the special teams coordinator from 2001-2005 and co-defensive coordinator for the 2006 and 2007 seasons. He was the defensive coordinator for the 2008 season, before being released after the Mangino era in Kansas ended.
Bowen should be an excellent addition to the coaching staff at Kansas. He has multitudes of experience at Kansas, including the years of success under Mark Mangino and a BCS Bowl win. Look for the special teams to be a bright spot during the 2012 season.
Defensive Line Coach: Buddy Wyatt
Buddy Wyatt is one of the few pieces remaining from Turner Gil's staff. He has coached the defensive line since 2010 and will retain the position in 2012.
Wyatt has been a journeyman coach. He has coached the defensive line at many schools around the country, including Alabama, Nebraska and Texas A&M. This 2012 season will be his 22nd overall as a coach.
Wyatt was one of the surprising returning coaches. His defensive line didn't perform well during his first two years as defensive line coach at Kansas, but his experience with recruiting in Florida and Texas will be a big asset to the team.
Assistant Special Teams Coordinator/Tight Ends Coach: Jeff Blasko
Jeff Blasko will enter his first season at Kansas, having following Charlie Weis from Florida. He will be the tight ends coach.
Blasko was Weis' right-hand man at Florida, working as the Quality Control coach for the Gator's offense. He was only there for the 2011 season, but he was promoted to Quarterbacks coach for the Gator Bowl win over Ohio State.
Blasko will also serve as the assistant special team's coordinator. Having someone who has worked with both Charlie Weis and wide receivers coach Rob Ianello in the past will be a big help to the coaching staff.
Wide Receivers Coach/Recruiting Coordinator: Rob Ianello
Rob Ianello will be the wide receivers coach for the Jayhawks for the 2012 season.
Ianello was the head coach of the Akron Zips for the 2010 and 2011 seasons, and the wide receivers coach at Notre Dame from 2005-2008 under Charlie Weis. He also served as interim head coach of Notre Dame in 2009 when Weis was not present.
He will also be the recruiting coordinator for Kansas, a tough job considering the opponents in the conference he will have to face—Texas, West Virginia and Oklahoma, among the other Big XII schools.
Having someone who worked under Weis and was successful in leading the passing game at Notre Dame will be a great asset for the season, especially with the decent receiving core at Kansas.
Running Backs Coach: Reggie Mitchell
Reggie Mitchell is the only other coach, other than Buddy Wyatt, to survive from the Turner Gil staff. He will be coaching the running backs.
Mitchell coached at Kansas from 1988-1996. He helped to lead the Jayhawks to the Aloha Bowl in 1992 as a defensive line coach and then again in 1995 as the running backs coach.
Mitchell was most recently the assistant head coach and recruiting coordinator at Illinois, before coming to Kansas in 2010.
The running backs were a bright spot during the Turner Gil era and should continue to be so under Mitchell's tutelage.
Quarterbacks Coach: Ron Powlus
Ron Powlus will return to Charlie Weis' coaching staff as his quarterbacks coach, a position he has held under Weis in the past.
Powlus was the quarterbacks coach at Notre Dame from 2005-2008 under Weis. He helped develop Jimmy Clausen into one of the best passers in Notre Dame history and will look to have the same results with Dayne Crist this season.
Having another coach familiar with Weis' style will be a great asset to the Kansas coaching staff. His results at Notre Dame speak for themselves and raise some hope for the Kansas quarterbacks this season.
Linebackers Coach: DeMontie Cross
Demontie Cross will coach the linebacking core in his first season at Kansas.
Cross graduated from Missouri in 1997 and has worked with Iowa State, Wisconsin and the Buffalo Bills at various positions. He was most recently at Wisconsin as the special teams coordinator and the safeties coach.
With Wisconsin's success in making it to a Rose Bowl with Cross on the coaching staff, he must've been doing something right for the Badgers. The linebacking core needs a lot of work, and Cross will do his best to turn it around for the Kansas linebackers.
The other assistant coaches for the Jayhawks include:
Kyle Brey - Quality Control-Offense
Scott Holsopple - Director of Strength and Conditioning for Football
Scott Johnston - Director of Personnel
Maurice Crum, Jr. - Defensive Graduate Assistant
Jami DeBerry - Quality Control-Special Teams
Rod Jones - Defensive Graduate Assistant
Matthew Middleton - Quality Control-Offense
Murphy Grant - Assistant Athletics Director - Sports Medicine
Jeff Himes - Equipment Supervisor
Dr. Larry Magee - Head Team Physician
George Matsakis - Director of Football Operations
Adam Sitter - Director of High School Relations
Scott Vestal - Assistant Director of Football Operations
Thank you to KUAthletics.com for information on the coaching staff and for the pictures.
Next up in the Kansas 2012 Football Season Preview: July 27th: Quarterbacks