D.K. McDonald - Football - Kansas Jayhawks

D.K. McDonald

TITLE Co-Defensive Coordinator/Cornerbacks
PHONE 864-3392

Bio

A 22-year coaching veteran, D.K. McDonald joined the Kansas football staff as the Co-Defensive Coordinator/Defensive Backs coach in February of 2023 under head coach Lance Leipold.

McDonald comes to Lawrence as a distinguished defensive coach of more than 20 years, working most recently as the defensive backs coach for the Philadelphia Eagles. McDonald joined the Eagles’ staff in 2021, serving as an assistant defensive backs coach before being promoted in 2023.

During the 2022 campaign, when Philadelphia went 14-3 and advanced to Super Bowl LVII, McDonald helped prepare the second-ranked total defense (301.5 ypg) in the NFL. The Eagles led the league in fewest passing yards allowed per game (179.8) and finished third in opponent passer rating (81.6), fourth in interceptions (17) and fifth in passes defensed (81) as well. Furthermore, McDonald assisted the only cornerback duo in the league to produce at least 14 passes defensed and three interceptions each in 2022, as James Bradberry earned Associated Press All-Pro honors and Darius Slay was selected to the Pro Bowl. Safety C.J. Gardner-Johnson also tied for the most interceptions (six) in the NFL, despite missing five games.

In his first season in Philadelphia, McDonald aided a defense that allowed the fifth-fewest explosive plays (117) and eighth-fewest passing yards per attempt (6.8) in the NFL. Slay paced the Eagles with nine pass breakups, five takeaways, including three interceptions, and a league-leading three defensive touchdowns en route to Pro Bowl accolades.

Prior to joining Philadelphia’s staff, McDonald spent five seasons at Iowa State, where he served as the pass game coordinator working with the Cyclones’ safeties (2019-20) and cornerbacks (2016-18). He played an essential role in Iowa State’s improvement, as the team made four straight bowl games and annually appeared in the national rankings.

In 2020, McDonald helped Iowa State rank second in the Big 12 in scoring defense (21.4 ppg) and total defense (340.4 ypg). In addition, he guided three safeties – Greg Eisworth, Lawrence White and Isheem Young – to All-Big 12 accolades. Eisworth became the first player in program history to receive first-team all-conference honors three times and Young was selected Big 12 Co-Defensive Freshman of the Year.

As the Cyclones’ cornerbacks coach, McDonald coached three players to a combined five All-Big 12 honors. Brian Peavy earned first-team All-America recognition and was lauded as an all-conference performer for the fourth straight year in 2018.

From 2012-15, McDonald worked with Toledo’s cornerbacks and was a part of three nine-win seasons. In 2015, he assisted a defense that led the Mid-American Conference in opponent points per game (21.1.).

McDonald coached the defensive backs at William & Mary in 2011, following a five-year tenure (2006-10) as the secondary coach and recruiting coordinator at Indiana University of Pennsylvania. With the Crimson Hawks, he tutored a pair of All-Americans and five all-conference picks, highlighted by cornerback Akwasi Owusu-Ansah.

Before working at IUP, McDonald mentored the secondary at this alma mater, Edinboro from 2003-05. During that period, he developed two All-Americans and four all-conference selections. In 2005, the Fighting Scots led the nation in scoring, rushing and total defense.

A native of Orville, Ohio, McDonald was a four-year starter at cornerback at Edinboro from 1997-200, finishing his career with 108 tackles, 34 passes defended and four interceptions. He garnered first-team All-PSAC West honors as a junior after registering a career-high 11 passes defended.

McDonald, who graduated with a bachelor’s degree in history, served as the president of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes and also was an Erie, Pennsylvania area representative for the organization. He and his wife, Kayla, have three daughters: Reagan, Margot and Fiona.

The McDonald File
Alma Mater: Edinboro, 2000
Wife: Kayla
Children: Reagan, Margot and Fiona

Coaching Experience 
YearsUniversityRole
2024-PresentKansasCo-Defensive Coordinator/Cornerbacks
2023Philadelphia EaglesDefensive Backs
2021-22Philadelphia EaglesAssistant Defensive Backs
2019-20Iowa StatePass Game Coordinator/Safeties
2016-18Iowa StatePass Game Coordinator/Cornerbacks
2012-15ToledoCornerbacks
2011William & MaryDefensive Backs
2006-10Indiana (PA)Secondary
2003-05EdinboroSecondary

 Bowl Game Experience 
YearBowlSchool/Team
2023Super Bowl LVIIPhiladelphia Eagles
2019Camping World BowlIowa State
2018Alamo BowlIowa State
2017Liberty BowlIowa State
2015GoDaddy BowlToledo
2012Famous Idaho Potato BowlToledo