Weis adds pieces of the puzzle

Almost one month after Charlie Weis was announced as the next head coach at the University of Kansas on Dec. 9, his coaching staff is slowly but surely taking shape. This week has brought with it the announcement of two new coaches - and the retention of another.

Heading into this week, Charlie Weis' entire staff at Kansas consisted of three coaches. The first of which, Reggie Mitchell, was confirmed during his introductory press conference. A holdover from the regime of former head coach Turner Gill, keeping Mitchell on board made sense on a number of levels. Not only is he an excellent coach, but he's regarded as one of the top recruiters in the business - particularly in the Kansas City area.

Almost immediately thereafter came Tim Grunhard - former Kansas City Chief and, most recently, head coach at Roeland Park (KS) Bishop Miege - to handle the offense line, and Ron Powlus - who worked with Weis during his stint at Notre Dame - to work with the quarterbacks.

With Jayhawks freshly emblazoned on their polos, the quartet began trolling the recruiting waters and landed some big fish - local receiver Tre Parmalee and a pair of former five-star quarterbacks in Dayne Crist and Jake Heaps.

In the past couple of days, the coaching staff has doubled in size, as three new members were added - or in the case of defensive line coach Buddy Wyatt, confirmed - to the mix.

Like Mitchell, the retention of Wyatt makes sense for reasons of continuity and recruiting - not to mention his technical acumen with the position. Calling a spade a spade, Wyatt hasn't had much in the way of raw material to work with during his first two years on Mount Oread, but his coaching resume is impressive. He's responsible for grooming numerous NFL talents at programs the caliber of Texas A&M and Alabama.

Also joining Weis in Lawrence, Kan. is former Akron head coach Rob Ianello, who will handle the wide receivers and act as recruiting coordinator.

Ianello has a distinguished coaching resume of his own with stints at Alabama, Wisconsin and Arizona, but perhaps the most relevant to his new position at Kansas is the time he spent with Weis at Notre Dame from 2005-2009.

As the wide receivers coach and recruiting coordinator for the Fighting Irish he helped reel in three consecutive classes ranked in the top 10 by virtually every major scouting service. Additionally, under his mentorship players such as Jeff Samardzija, Golden Tate, Maurice Stovall and Michael Floyd thrived.

And finally, on Thursday Weis named Scott Holsopple as the Director of Strength and Conditioning for Football. Holsopple spent the previous five seasons at the University of Florida, working under Mickey Marotti - generally regarded to be one of the best in the business - who was recently tabbed by Urban Meyer to the same position at Ohio State.

As Holsopple doesn't count against the limit of nine assistant coaches, Weis and the Jayhawks have four spots left to fill. Speculation has run rampant as to who will fill those final spots, and information seems to be even harder to come by now than it was during Kansas athletics director Sheahon Zenger's search for a head coach.

An educated guess suggests Bernie Parmalee is a likely choice for the tight ends position. Not only was he with Weis in the same capacity throughout his tenure at Notre Dame, but his family is nearby - as he is the current tight ends coach with the Kansas City Chiefs - and his son, Tre, is committed to play for the Jayhawks.

Beyond that, things get a little murky. Of course, defensive coordinator is the hot topic, with many names rotating through the rumor mill. The most consistent we here at Phog.net have heard is that belonging to current Miami Dolphins defensive coordinator Mike Nolan. Also mentioned have been Gary Gibbs, the current linebackers coach with the Chiefs, Greg Manusky, until recently the defensive coordinator of the San Diego Chargers and current Georgia Tech DC Al Groh.

With recruiting once again back in full swing and Weis looking to close out the class with a bang, it's difficult to see the staff search dragging out much longer. Stay tuned, Jayhawks fans, and check back with Phog.net as the new hires are announced and things - dare we say it - heat up.

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