The search for an offensive coordinator is over at Kansas and a complete staff is finally in place. New head coach David Beaty announced the remainder of his staff earlier in the week, headlined by former California assistant Rob Likens who will be his offensive coordinator at KU.
"I'm very excited to announce that we have added Rob Likens to our staff as our offensive coordinator," Beaty said in a statement. "Rob has been a major player in some of the best offenses in the history of college football. I have always been a fan of Rob's ability to develop players who produce at a high level. Rob has learned from some of the best in the country and is as fine of an offensive mind as I have been around. Rob is a man of integrity and character and I cannot wait for our team to be able to benefit from his wisdom."
As for the remainder of the staff, it will be an impressive one, as Beaty welcomes six new staffers. Joining Likens will be Zach Yenser, who will serve as offensive line coach and run game coordinator. Yenser comes to Kansas after seven years coaching offensive line at Louisiana Tech and most recently at California, alongside Likens.
"We are thrilled to have Zach join our staff," Beaty said in a statement. "He is full of energy, enthusiasm and passion for the game. The production of his players at both Louisiana Tech and Cal has been extraordinary. His players love and respect him and that is important to me. Much Like the rest of our staff, Zach is a man of great integrity and character and we are happy to have him leading our offensive line unit."
Je’Ney Jackson will serve as the head strength and conditioning coach, while on defense, linebackers will be coach by former Kansas linebacker Kevin Kane. Former Oklahoma standout Calvin Thibodeaux will coach the defensive line. Klint Kubiak will coach the wide receivers after a successful stint in the NFL, while legendary Kansas high school coach Gene Wier will serve as Director of High School Relations.
"As I've said before, it's really important for us to find the right people for this program," Beaty said. "These six guys, they not only can teach, they can recruit and they can develop relationships and produce productive citizens off the field. We are excited to have all of them onboard."
Jackson returns to Kansas after spending the previous four and a half years at the helm of the strength and conditioning program for the University of Indiana men's basketball team. He also served on the Kansas staff as cornerbacks coach and assistant strength coach during the Mark Mangino era.
Beaty on Je’Ney Jackson:
"Je'Ney brings a great familiarity with the University of Kansas as well as a wealth of experience in the strength and conditioning world," Beaty said. "His ability to develop and relate to our players will be a large part of our initiative moving forward. He is widely regarded as one of the top coordinators in this field. He is without a doubt, my most important hire and we are honored to have him here."
Kane returns to Kansas after four seasons at Northern Illinois, where he coached the tight ends and fullbacks for one year, while spending the next three seasons coaching the linebackers. He also was their special teams coordinator in 2013-14.
At Kansas, he was integral part of the building of the program under Mangino. He became one of the team’s biggest stars as a linebacker, where he helped lead Kansas to two bowl appearances and a victory in the 2005 Fort Worth Bowl. He’s best known as scoring the game clinching touchdown against Nebraska in 2005, when Kansas ended a 36-year losing streak with a resounding 40-15 thumping of the Huskers at Memorial Stadium.
Beaty on Kevin Kane:
"I always admired Kevin as a player, but I am even more impressed with his ability to teach and develop young players," Beaty said. "He is a tireless recruiter and he is as well thought of in the Kansas City community as anyone I know. He will bring an energy and toughness to our team that we will all benefit from. It has been fun watching his linebackers play over the years and I'm glad that he is now coaching our guys."
Thibodeaux comes to Kansas after three seasons at the University of Tulsa, where he coached the same position. In college at Oklahoma, he was one of the premier defenders in the Big 12, helping to lead the Sooners to three Big 12 championships, four BCS bowl games and two appearances in the National Championship game.
Beaty on Calvin Thibodeaux:
"Calvin is a tireless recruiter and a well-respected member of the defensive line coaching community," Beaty said. "His players exhibit responsibility, toughness and passion and we are looking forward to him bringing those elements to KU. His ability as a coach is only surpassed by his upstanding character and integrity as a man."
Kubiak comes to Kansas after two seasons with the NFL’s Minnesota Vikings, where he doubled as the assistant offensive quality control coach and assistant wide receivers coach. He also spent three seasons at Texas A&M working alongside Beaty in 2012.
Beaty on Klint Kubiak:
"Klint brings a wealth of knowledge and passion to our staff," Beaty said. "He is as hard of a worker as I have ever seen in our profession. His ability to connect with his players in the NFL and at Texas A&M has been impressive to watch. Our wide receivers will benefit greatly from his experience."
Gene Wier will oversee all of KU's football camps and clinics among other responsibilities with recruiting. Wier spent time as a high school head coach in both Kansas and Texas. While in Kansas, Wier guided the Olathe North football program to six state championships in 25 seasons.
Beaty on Gene Weir:
"Gene is a well-respected high school coach in the state of Kansas who has a passion for our great university," Beaty said. "Not only is he fulfilling a lifelong dream of becoming a Jayhawk, but he will certainly add a much-needed element to our staff. His long-standing relationships with the great coaches of the state will allow us to better understand and serve our coaches."
The new staffers join defensive coordinator and assistant head coach Clint Bowen and recruiting coordinator and running backs coach Reggie Mitchell with Beaty at the helm, to form the new Kansas coaching staff.