Eargle, Uzo-Diribe and Woodruff join Kansas football staff
LAWRENCE, Kan. – Kansas football’s support staff grew by three on Friday as head coach Les Miles added Joshua Eargle, Chidera Uzo-Diribe and Sarah Woodruff to the Jayhawk family. Eargle will serve as a senior analyst for the offense, Uzo-Diribe will fill a quality control for defense position and Woodruff was hired as the associate director of football operations.
Joshua Eargle, Senior Analyst-Offense
Josh Eargle joined the Kansas football staff as a senior analyst for the offense after spending the previous three seasons at Austin Peay. During his time at APSU, Eargle spent time in multiple different roles, including interim head coach, offensive coordinator, run game coordinator and offensive line coach.
In 2018, Joshua Eargle took over the reins of the offense after the second game of the year after entering the season as the run game coordinator and offensive line coach. In his first game as offensive coordinator for APSU, Eargle’s offense set the Ohio Valley Conference record for most points scored against a Division I opponent in a 78-40 victory over Morehead State. That game set a tone as the Govs continued to smash the offensive record books. For the season, the Govs set school records in yards per game (419.0), points scored (340), touchdowns scored (47), points per game (30.9) yards per play (6.19) and yards per rush (5.39). The Governors finished as the top rushing offense in the OVC, and number No. 16 in the FCS, averaging 237.5 yards per game on the ground. Third-team AP All-American Kentel Williams led the FCS with 7.99 yards per carry, and the Govs finished 17th in the nation in rushing yards per carry (5.39). Additionally, the Govs led the OVC and finished 13th nationally in passing yards per completion (15.1). Eargle’s offensive line finished top ten nationally and led the conference, allowing just nine sacks on the season. Under Eargle’s tutelage, Williams earned First-Team All-OVC recognition and offensive linemen Byron Glass and Ethan Self were named Second-Team All-OVC.
Eargle played a pivotal role in recruiting and helping to lead one of the most remarkable turnarounds in college football history. Prior to the 2017 season, Austin Peay went from having just one win in four years to finishing with an 8-4 mark, including an 8-1 record in FCS competition. With seven OVC victories, the Governors set the program record for conference wins. Two of his pupils, left tackle Kyle Anderton and left guard Ryan Rockensuess, were named Second-Team All-OVC at the end of the 2017 season for their work in paving the top rushing attack in school history.
Following the 2018 season, Eargle won a national online public vote for his work in raising awareness for his young daughter Landrey’s fight against life-threatening illnesses she’s been battling her entire life. The award is presented to “a leader in the world of college football who has realized his or her potential to make a positive and lasting impact on the rare disease community.” Eargle will accept this award as a part of the Maxwell Awards Ceremony in March in Atlantic City, New Jersey.
The Texas native started his coaching career at the University of Southern Mississippi. In his first year as a graduate assistant, he was a part of the 2003 Conference USA Championship with a perfect 8-0 record. The Golden Eagles earned a bowl bid to the AXA Liberty Bowl. The second season the Eagles notched a win in the GMAC Bowl. Eargle became the Offensive Line Coach at Ouachita Baptist University in 2005 before returning to Southern Mississippi as an Assistant Offensive Line Coach for the Golden Eagles as they won the Conference-USA East title and a victory in the New Orleans Bowl in 2006.
From there, Eargle was named the Recruiting Coordinator and Offensive Line Coach at Nicholls State University in Thibodaux, Louisiana. Nicholls State shocked the football world in 2007 when the FCS Colonels knocked off FBS opponent Rice Owls 16-14. In 2009, Eargle took a quality control position at Louisiana State University under Head Coach Les Miles. During the season, the Tigers were ranked #4 in the country winning big matchups against Washington, Louisiana-Lafayette, Georgia, Mississippi State, Vanderbilt, Auburn, Arkansas before being invited to the Capital One Bowl in Orlando, Florida, January 1, 2010.
His versatility in playing both ways in high school and college provided opportunities being able to call plays on both sides of the football as a coach. Eargle would be named Offensive Coordinator at the University of Arkansas at Monticello before being named Defensive Coordinator at Hallsville High School in East Texas. Eargle helped lead the Bobcats to their first bi-district playoff appearance in five years.
In 2010, Eargle became defensive coordinator for the Southeastern Oklahoma State University. The Savage Storm’s pass defense finished as the 11th best in the Division II and first in the Great American Conference. The overall defense finished 29th in the nation out of 156 programs and third in the GAC. After the 2010 season, Eargle notched a career total of 10 players earning first-team all-conference and 17 players earning an all-conference award. At every program he had coached for, at least one player had earned a first-team all-conference award.
The Texas native returned home as he was named head football coach at East Texas Baptist University in Marshall, Texas on January 22, 2013. He turned around a struggling program to win the American Southwest Conference Championship in his third season. He led ETBU to a 7-3 record with a 4-1 record in the ASC and received their first national ranking since 2004. Heading into the final week of play, ETBU was 23rd in the D3football.com poll, receiving votes in the AFCA national poll, and 10th in the NCAA regional poll. ETBU had their first winning season and defeated their first nationally ranked opponent (#8 Hardin-Simmons) in 10 years. Eargle was named the ASC Coach of the Year in 2015 for his efforts. At ETBU, Eargle had 5 All-Americans, and 30 All-Conference Players. Quarterback Josh Warbington and running back Kendall Roberson posted back-to-back All-American campaigns in 2014-15. Additionally, he had 30+ ASC All-Academic players, 17 All-ASC Honorable Mention, 4-1000 yard receivers, 4 All-Region Players, 2 Undrafted NFL Players. In total, ETBU established 50+ combined individual or team season records during Eargle’s three seasons at the helm.
A 2001 Memphis graduate, Eargle won the inaugural Top Tiger Award, presented to the player who battled back from adversity or overcame difficult circumstances to return to the field. He earned his Master’s in Sports Administration from Southern Miss in 2004. His wife Kristen has spent her career as a TV Sports Reporter on various ABC affiliates and ESPN+. She founded and hosts a national podcast, Coach’s Wife Life. He and his wife Kristen have three children—Kourtney, Landrey and Stallings. .
Chidera Uzo-Diribe, Quality Control–Defense
Chidera Uzo-Diribe has joined the Jayhawks’ staff as quality control for defense. He came to Kansas after spending the previous four years at his alma mater, Colorado. While at CU he was a graduate assistant for the defense for three seasons after initially joining the staff as a recruiting intern.
Uzo-Diribe participated in the Bill Walsh NFL Diversity Coaching Fellowship program in the summer of 2018 with the San Francisco 49ers. The program was initially created by Walsh as a way to get minority coaches more opportunities to learn, coupled with greater exposure to job opportunities.
A Long Beach, California, native, Uzo-Diribe was a four-year letterman at defensive end for the Buffaloes, and graduated from CU in December 2014 with a bachelor’s degree in communications. He finished his career tied for sixth in quarterback sacks (20), tied for 17th in tackles-for-loss (31) and second in forced fumbles (10); his percentage of solo tackles (99) to overall tackles (118), or 83.9 percent, is the highest in CU history.
As a senior team captain, Uzo-Diribe earned first-team All-Colorado honors from the state’s chapter of the National Football Foundation, was named CU’s Defensive Trench Award winner and played in the East-West Shrine game. For the season, he was in on 46 tackles (36 solo), with 11 for losses including four quarterback sacks; he had seven tackles for zero gain, meaning he had 18 total stops at or behind the line of scrimmage. He was second in the nation in forced fumbles with five, and he also batted down four passes in 739 snaps of action. He was one of 27 players on the final watch list for the Ted Hendricks Award (defensive end of the year), and was one of 76 players on the official preseason watch list for the Bednarik Award.
Sarah Woodruff, Associate Director of Operations
Sarah Woodruff will serve as Kansas football’s associate director of football operations, where she will assist the director of football operations in all facets. The operations staff is responsible for developing and implementing the football program’s annual budget, while overseeing team travel, personnel and scheduling.
Woodruff came to Kansas after spending the 2018 season at Georgia Tech, where she served as recruiting coordinator for the football program.
Prior to her time on The Flats, Woodruff was at the University of Minnesota, where she served as executive assistant to head coach P.J. Fleck for 16 months. Prior to her arrival at Minnesota, she held several positions at her alma mater, Southern Methodist University, from 2015-17. Her roles at SMU included football recruiting and operations assistant, football operations intern and assistant event and ambassador coordinator for the university’s undergraduate admission office.
Woodruff graduated magna cum laude from SMU in December 2015 with a B.S. in applied physiology and sport management (health management concentration, sport management minor) and a B.A. in music (piano concentration).