KU's Bowen and Collins Promoted

Feb. 3, 2006

LAWRENCE, Kan. — University of Kansas football defensive assistant coaches Clint Bowen and Earnest Collins have been promoted by Head Coach Mark Mangino. Bowen, who coaches the team’s safeties, will now also serve as Co-Defensive Coordinator. Collins, who coaches KU’s cornerbacks, will add the title of Special Teams Coordinator.

Bowen, a former free safety who played at Kansas from 1992-93, will be entering his sixth season on the Jayhawk coaching staff and his fourth as the team’s safeties coach. In addition, he has served as KU’s special teams coordinator for the last five years.

In 2005, Bowen guided KU’s kickoff coverage unit which ended the season as the top coverage team in the Big 12. In addition, KU’s kick return (5th, Big 12/20.3 yards per return) and punt return (4th, Big 12/12.1 yards per return) units both ranked near the top of the conference. In 2004, Bowen directed the team’s kickoff return unit which ranked third in the Big 12 by averaging 21.8 yards per return. KU’s kickoff coverage unit also ranked third in the league by allowing just 17.2 yards per return.

Bowen, who worked with the running backs during 2002, has been a part of the Kansas football coaching staff since 1998. A native of Lawrence and prep star at Lawrence High School, Bowen worked as a defensive graduate assistant coach at KU in 1998 and 1999. He served as assistant director of football operations during the 2000 season. In addition to his experience at KU, Bowen served one season (1997) as a graduate assistant at the University of Minnesota with his collegiate coach, Glen Mason.

“Clint is a very knowledgeable football coach and has had a big impact on the success of our defensive unit,” said Mangino. “He is a tireless worker and an excellent teacher of defensive schemes and fundamentals.”

Collins joined the Kansas football coaching staff in February 2003 and will be entering his fourth season as KU’s cornerbacks coach.

In 2005, Collins directed the efforts of redshirt freshman cornerback Aqib Talib, who earned Freshman All-American honors from The Sporting News and Rivals.com after collecting 54 total tackles (45 solo) and leading the team with eight pass breakups.

Under Collins’ guidance in 2004, the KU secondary improved nearly 50 spots from the 2003 season in pass efficiency defense. After allowing a rating of 132.1 in 2003, the Jayhawks improved to 113.9 the following year. In just his first full season of working with Collins, cornerback Charles Gordon tied for the national lead in 2004 with seven interceptions.

Collins joined the Jayhawk coaching staff after coaching the secondary and serving as special teams coordinator for the University of Northern Colorado from 2000-2002. A standout defensive back and punt returner at UNC from 1991-94, Collins earned second-team All-North Central Conference honors following his senior season. A four-year starter, Collins holds UNC records for punt return yards in a career (967) and in a season (497). He also ranks fifth on the single-game punt return yardage list with 114 yards against North Dakota State in 1994. After his playing career, Collins spent one year as a student assistant on the UNC staff.

“Earnest has played a vital role in the success of our special teams and defensive secondary,” said Mangino. “There is no doubt that he will continue our high-tempo style of play on the special teams. Earnest’s enthusiasm and vast knowledge of special teams play make him a perfect fit for this position.”