Beaty Welcomes Six New Staffers, Including Rob Likens as OC
LAWRENCE, Kan. –Kansas head football coach David Beaty announced the hiring of six members to his coaching staff, including the arrival of four on-field assistant coaches, on Tuesday.
With the role of defensive coordinator filled by assistant head coach Clint Bowen, Beaty announced that Rob Likens will orchestrate the offensive side of the ball as KU’s offensive coordinator.
Likens arrives at Kansas after serving two seasons on the coaching staff at Cal as the assistant head coach and passing game coordinator. Under his tutelage in 2013, the Golden Bears’ aerial attack set school records for completions, yardage and attempts. Likens and the passing game followed up their record-setting 2013 season by rewriting the Cal single-season passing yardage record in 2014 with 4,152 yards.
“I’m very excited to announce that we have added Rob Likens to our staff as our offensive coordinator,” Beaty said. “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.”
Beaty also revealed the additions of five other coaching components of his inaugural staff at Kansas.
Je’Ney Jackson will serve as the head strength and conditioning coach, while on the defensive side of the ball the linebacker position will be overseen by Kevin Kane and the defensive line will be coached by Calvin Thibodeaux. On offense, Klint Kubiak will coach the wide receivers, while Gene Wier will fill the post of 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 – where he once coached cornerbacks and was an assistant strength coach for the Jayhawks – 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.
Over his time at Indiana, Jackson helped the Hoosiers to a 2013 Big Ten Championship and assisted in producing three first-round National Basketball Association draft picks. While at Kansas, he mentored cornerback Aqib Talib to consensus All-America honors and oversaw corner Chris Harris earn a Freshman All-America Honorable Mention selection.
“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.”
Joining Jackson in a return to Lawrence is Kane who served as a former captain for the program and was a two-time all-conference linebacker from 2002-05. The Kansas City, Missouri native spent the last four seasons at Northern Illinois University where he coached the tight ends and fullbacks for one year, while spending the next three seasons coaching the linebackers. Additionally he served as the Huskies’ special teams coordinator in 2013-14.
“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 joins the Kansas staff tasked with coaching the same position he held for the previous three seasons at the University of Tulsa. While at TU, Thibodeaux helped guide the team to an 11-win season and a Liberty Bowl victory in 2012. Prior to his time with the Golden Hurricane, Thibodeaux coached in the same capacity at Dartmouth College where the Big Green posted their first winning season in Ivy League play in seven seasons.
“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 to coach the wide receiver unit after a stint in the National Football League. Kubiak worked with the Minnesota Vikings for two seasons 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 closely alongside Beaty in 2012.
“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.”
Beaty also introduced Wier as the program’s director of high school relations. In his position with the Jayhawks, 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 during his 25-year tenure as the Eagles’ head coach.
“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.”
With Beaty’s announcement of the six new staff members Tuesday and the retention of Bowen, Reggie Mitchell (recruiting coordinator/running backs) and Louie Matsakis (director of personnel) the Kansas football staff is taking formation in anticipation of the 2015 spring football season.
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