Kim Dameron joined Kansas head coach Les Miles’ staff as a senior defensive analyst in March 2019. A veteran defensive coach in the college game, Dameron comes to KU after serving as the head coach at Eastern Illinois for the previous five seasons.
During Dameron’s tenure at EUI, he led the Panthers to their third-straight winning season in 2017 with all six victories coming by three points or less with a total margin of victory of 15 points for the year. EIU placed seven players on the All-OVC team and had defensive back Mark Williams earn Freshman All-American honors.
In 2016 the Panthers quickly climbed into the FCS playoff picture as they knocked off FBS member Miami (Ohio) and beat No. 5-ranked Illinois State in the Mid-America Classic. Dameron guided EIU to a No. 13 ranking in the polls at the midway portion of the season. The Panthers faced several key injuries late in the season and finished the year at 6-5 overall. The Panthers had four players earn All-OVC honors with Devin Church and Seth McDonald both earning first team honors.
Dameron returned the Panthers to the FCS playoffs in 2015 as EIU won seven of their last eight regular season games to finish with a 7-4 regular season record. EIU lost in the opening round of the FCS playoffs at Northern Iowa. The Panthers were ranked No. 23 in the final FCS Coaches poll after making their 16th all-time FCS playoff appearance. During the season Dameron’s team produced six All-OVC players including co-Defensive Player of the Year Dino Fanti. Dameron had his first player from Eastern Illinois drafted in May of 2016 when linebacker Kamu Grugier-Hill became a sixth round selection of the New England Patriots.
In his first season Dameron coached the Panthers to a 5-7 record including 5-3 in the Ohio Valley Conference as the Panthers were in the championship race until the final weeks of the season. The team featured three All-American selections including first team offensive lineman Collin Seibert and freshman All-American kicker Nick Bruno. Dameron’s squad had five first team All-OVC selections and five second team All-OVC honorees. The team was among the best on both sides of the ball in the OVC ranking second in total offense (11th nationally) and third in total defense.
Dameron spent the 2013 season as the defensive coordinator at Louisiana Tech where he directed a much improved defensive unit. The Bulldogs finished ranked 69th in the nation in total defense under Dameron’s direction after being ranked 120th the previous season. Dameron’s defense was the fourth most-improved squad in the FBS in 2013.
An experienced defensive coach with more than 15 years as a defensive coordinator Dameron took over an Eastern Illinois program that advanced to the FCS playoff quarterfinals in 2013. It was Dameron’s second stint in Charleston, as he previously worked as the defensive coordinator at EIU in 2000 as a member of head coach Bob Spoo’s staff. During that 2000 season, Dameron helped transform the Panthers defense as they rebounded from a 2-10 season in 1999 to 8-4 and Ohio Valley Conference Champions in 2000.
Dameron spent three seasons as the safeties coach at Ole Miss as the team appeared in two Cotton Bowls. Two of his players were selected in the NFL draft as his pass defense unit ranked 11th in the NCAA in pass efficiency defense and 15th in pass defense.
Prior to his stint at Ole Miss, Dameron was the defensive coordinator at Louisiana-Monroe as the program became bowl eligible at the FBS level for the first time in 2007, while also picking up a win over Alabama. The ULM defense led the Sun Belt Conference in fewest points allowed and ranked third nationally in turnovers gained.
Dameron has previous stops as the defensive coordinator at Stephen F. Austin and as the secondary coach at Cincinnati and UNLV. He spent the 1999 season as the secondary coach in the Canadian Football League with the Toronto Argonauts.
He has previous coaching experience on the staffs of Murray State and Missouri State where he helped coach both teams to FCS playoff appearances.
Dameron began his coaching career as a graduate assistant under Lou Holtz at Arkansas, his alma mater, after earning his degree. He was a four-year player for the Razorbacks from 1979-82 at wide receiver and defensive back. As a Razorback he participated in four bowl games including the 1979 Sugar Bowl.
Dameron and his wife Debbie, have one daughter Krystle. Krystle and her husband Mike, gave birth to daughter Emma the day prior to Dameron coaching his first collegiate game as a head coach on August 28, 2014. Dameron has since added another granddaughter Ava.