🏈 Jonathan Wallace Selected to AFCA’s 35 Under 35 Coaches Leadership Institute
LAWRENCE, Kan. – Kansas Running Backs Coach Jonathan Wallace has been announced as a member of the 35 Under 35 Coaches Leadership Institute, presented by the American Football Coaches Association (AFCA).
The AFCA 35 Under 35 Coaches Leadership Institute is a prestigious program aimed at identifying and developing premier, future leaders in the football coaching profession. Selected participants are invited to attend the one-day institute that features a curriculum of interactive lectures focused on topics specifically tailored to emphasize leadership in the coaching profession, ethics, influential responsibilities, career progression, and family balance.
This is the second coaching recognition of the season for Wallace, who was also on the 247Sports 30Under30 list of rising stars for 2023 in August.
Wallace is in his fourth season at Kansas after joining the coaching staff in February 2020. This season, his running back room has been among the best in the nation, led by junior Devin Neal, an All-Big 12 Second Team selection. Neal is fifth in the Big 12 with 1,209 yards on the ground, while ranking third in the league with 15 rushing touchdowns and an average of 6.6 yards per carry. With 1,209 yards, Neal ranks fourth on KU’s single season rushing list and he’s fifth in school history with 3,006 career yards.
Neal and Daniel Hishaw Jr. have been a dynamic duo in the backfield, rushing for a combined 1,808 yards, which ranked fourth among FBS programs during the regular season. Hishaw ran for 599 yards and eight touchdowns on 116 carries, averaging 5.2 yards per carry. On November 30, Hishaw was named one of 15 semifinalists for the 2023 Comeback Player of the Year award. His strong performance this season came following a season-ending hip injury in 2022.
In KU’s 51-22 victory over UCF on Oct. 7, Neal and Hishaw led the way as Kansas rushed for 399 yards and five touchdowns. The duo combined for 288 yards and three touchdowns, with both players rushing for more than 130 yards, marking the fourth time in KU history and first time since 1995 that two players rushed for 130+ yards in the same game.
Wallace is also highly regarded on the recruiting trail, where he assisted in landing Neal as one of the highest-ranked recruits in program history as a four-star prospect in the class of 2021. All four of KU’s running backs with more than 10 carries this season have averaged at least 5.0 yards per carry, with Sevion Morrison (6.2) and Dylan McDuffie (5.5) joining Neal (6.6) and Hishaw (5.2).
Members of the 2024 AFCA 35 Under 35 Coaches Leadership Institute will be published in AFCA Magazine, AFCA Insider weekly emails, and have their articles and videos added to the AFCA Educational Library. Additionally, participants will be placed on the AFCA Foundation Committee and become a part of a prestigious network of rising coaches in the profession along with many other great benefits.
Wallace becomes the first Kansas assistant coach recognized by the AFCA 35 Under 35 since defensive backs coach Chevis Jackson was selected for the Coaches Leadership Institute in 2020.