🏈 Leipold Announces Key Off-Field Roles
LAWRENCE, Kan. – Head Coach Lance Leipold announced the addition of five members to the Kansas Football support staff today.
Leipold and the Jayhawks have added Rob Ianello (General Manager), Grant Murray (Director of Player Personnel), Taiwo Onatolu (Senior Special Teams Analyst), Michael Painter (Director of Football Operations) and Jordan Peterson (Senior Defensive Analyst) to the Kansas Staff.
Ianello, Painter, Murray and Onatolu were at Buffalo with Leipold last season, while Peterson spent the 2020 season on staff here at Kansas as the safeties coach. The addition of these five staff members continues the continuity of blending members of Leipold’s staff in Buffalo with members of the Kansas staff.
“We’re very excited about adding these five great football minds to our staff,” Leipold said. “Each of them has specific skills that will allow them to thrive in their roles here at Kansas. Rob has assembled some incredibly productive and talented recruiting classes at several different Power 5 programs and will be a great resource here. Michael, Grant and Taiwo were all big parts of the success we had in Buffalo, and will fit right in here.
“Jordan has an outstanding track record and resume, and is very impressive in the way he approaches the game. It was important to me to retain him to keep building this program.”
In his role as general manager, Ianello will oversee the recruiting department for the Jayhawks, while also helping to lead the day-to-day operations and management of the Kansas program. He brings more than 30 years of experience to the Kansas staff, after spending the last six seasons as the wide receivers coach at Buffalo with Leipold.
Ianello also spent three seasons here in Lawrence as the recruiting coordinator and wide receivers coach for the Jayhawks from 2012 to 2014. He has also coached as an assistant at Notre Dame, Wisconsin and Arizona, in addition to serving as the head coach at Akron for two seasons.
Painter served as the Director of Football Operations at Buffalo the past two seasons, and has extensive experience, similar to Ianello. Painter worked as the Director of Football Operations at Western Carolina for two seasons after a three-year stint at Connecticut as the Director of Player Personnel.
He also has worked at UMass and Minot (N.D.) State, and has also served as a graduate assistant at both Notre Dame and Cincinnati.
Murray served as both the Director of Player Personnel and Director of High School Relations for the Bulls prior to his arrival at Kansas. Previously, Murray was an on-field coach at Southwest Minnesota State University, working with the tight ends, and also serving as the program’s strength and conditioning coordinator.
He also spent time at Millikin University in Illinois as the running backs coach. Murray also played for Leipold at Wisconsin-Whitewater as an offensive lineman and was a part of three national championship teams.
Peterson coached the safeties last season for Kansas, after joining the staff in February of 2020. He came to Kansas from New Mexico where he served as the defensive coordinator. Peterson also coached safeties there, after coaching the secondary and outside linebackers at Fresno State from 2012 to 2016.
Peterson also worked as a graduate assistant at Texas A&M after a four-year playing career there for the Aggies.
Onatolu spent six seasons at Buffalo, where he served in a number of different roles, including defensive ends coach, cornerbacks coach, special teams coach and director of player personnel. Last season, the Buffalo defensive line led the conference in sacks with 20, thanks in large part to the defensive ends.
Malcolm Koonce led the way with five sacks and was named first-team all-conference tor the second-straight season. He was then selected by the Las Vegas Raiders in the third round of the NFL Draft last month. Onatolu has also coached at Missouri State and his alma mater, Nebraska-Omaha. Prior to his coaching career, he was a all All-American linebacker for Nebraska-Omaha and is the program’s No. 2 all-time leading tackler with 371 stops.