LAWRENCE, Kan. – Kansas Head Football Coach Lance Leipold announced his full coaching staff today, selecting a group that brings a wealth of experience and a strong record of player development.
The staff features five coaches who worked with Leipold at Buffalo and five coaches who were already on the Kansas coaching staff.
“I am extremely proud of the staff we have assembled here at Kansas,” Leipold said. “It’s no secret how much I value continuity among a coaching staff, and I truly believe we’ve achieved that here. This is a great blend of coaches who know the philosophies and principles I want to bring to this program and coaches who know the ins-and-outs of Kansas Football as well as our current personnel. We have elite talent developers, excellent recruiters and hard workers ready to do their very best for the student-athletes on this roster.
““Every single coach is ready to dig in and get this team ready to compete at the highest level.””
Here’s a closer look at each assistant coach:
Defensive Coordinator – Brian Borland
|The Borland File|
|Alma Mater: Morningside College, 1985|
|Children: Evan and Jaren|
Borland brings more than 30 years of coaching experience to the Kansas Jayhawks staff, and has served as Leipold’s defensive coordinator at both Buffalo and Wisconsin-Whitewater. In his very first season at Buffalo in 2015, Borland’s defense scored a school-record seven defensive touchdowns to rank second in the nation. He also directed the 2019 defense to one of the best seasons in school history. That unit ranked seventh in the nation in total defense and led the MAC.
Borland spent 21 seasons at Wisconsin-Whitewater, prior to his time at Buffalo. He is a member of the Wisconsin Football Coaches Association Hall of Fame. He played collegiately at Morningside College in Iowa, where he was a defensive back and team captain.
Leipold on Borland: “I’ve coached with Brian by my side for more than a decade, and I’m very happy he’ll be my side here at Kansas as well. He has directed some dominant defenses throughout his career, and I know he is eager to get things going here. Brian has ties to this area, having coached at Baker University, and will undoubtedly do great things here in Lawrence. There are obviously some very talented offenses in the Big 12, and I know Brian and our staff will be up to the challenge each week.”
Defensive Line Coach – Kwahn Drake
|THE DRAKE FILE|
|Alma Mater: Nicholls State|
|Hometown: New Orleans, La.|
Drake is preparing for his third season with the Jayhawks after two strong years with the Kansas defensive line. In his first year, Jelani Brown earned all-conference honors, while Sam Burt earned All-Academic honors from the conference. Last season, defensive end Caleb Sampson was one of just two players on the roster to start all nine games on defense.
Drake has also coached at Colorado, Eastern Illinois, Memphis and Tulane, prior to his time at Kansas. He also coached high school football in Louisiana prior to beginning his career as a college coach.
Leipold on Drake: “Kwahn has done great job developing talent on the defensive line and making that group a strength of our team. He is an energetic and passionate coach, who always gets the best out of the players at his position. We have a lot of young players with great potential on the defensive line, and it’s imperative Kwahn continues to develop them and work with them. He is going to be a great fit with what Brian Borland does on defense.”
Offensive Line Coach – Scott Fuchs
|The Fuchs File|
|Alma Mater: North Dakota State, 1995|
|Children: Hank, Jack and Gus|
A 26-year veteran of coaching, Fuchs spent the past two seasons at Buffalo with Leipold as the team’s offensive line coach. He also coached with Leipold at Nebraska-Omaha from 2004-2006. In 2020 at Buffalo, Fuchs was named a finalist for the FootballScoop Offensive Line Coach of the Year Award and was also a nominee for the Broyles Award, given to the top assistant coach in college football.
In both 2019 and 2020, the offensive line at Buffalo was named a semifinalist for the Joe Moore Award, given to the best offensive line unit in the country. Fuchs has also spent time at Wyoming and North Dakota State, where he also earned a national championship as a player.
Leipold on Fuchs: “Scott is a dynamic coach, who has developed elite offensive linemen in his career wherever he has been. I’ve coached with him at Buffalo and Nebraska-Omaha, and I’m thrilled he’s here in Kansas with us. Scott is a former National Champion as a player and a coach and understands the effort and sacrifice it takes to succeed up front. His offensive lines have been strong and well-coached, and that’s what I’m looking forward to here.”
Defensive Backs Coach – Chevis Jackson
|THE JACKSON FILE|
|Alma Mater: LSU, 2008|
|Hometown: Mobile, Ala.|
After coaching Karon Prunty to Freshman All-America honors in 2020, Jackson is preparing for his third season with the Jayhawks in 2021. Prunty started all nine games as a true freshman for the Jayhawks last year and tied for the freshmen national lead with 10 pass breakups. In his first year at Kansas, Hasan Defense earned all-conference honors after starting all 12 games and breaking up nine passes.
Jackson coached at Ball State prior to arrival at Kansas, and has also spent time as a graduate assistant at LSU and South Alabama. As a player at LSU, he won a national championship with the Tigers.
Leipold on Jackson: “The cornerbacks group is another position group on this team with exciting young talent. Chevis has stood out in his recruiting and development since joining the staff, and that will no doubt continue moving forward. A former NFL player at the position and a national champion in college, Chevis understands what’s needed for team success and personal development. We’re thrilled to have Chevis on staff.”
Wide Receivers Coach – Emmett Jones
|THE JONES FILE|
|Alma Mater: North Texas, 1999|
|Children: Emily and Emmett|
Jones will prepare for his third season in Lawrence as the wide receivers coach. Jones was originally hired prior to the 2019 season, and has had a strong start to his tenure as a Kansas coach. He had two players earn all-conference honors in 2019, and then led a third – Kwamie Lassiter II – to additional conference honors
An accomplished recruiter with deep ties to the state of Texas, Jones spent four seasons at Texas Tech prior to his time at Kansas. He also has extensive experience coaching in the high school ranks of Texas, serving as the head coach at South Oak Cliff High School.
Leipold on Jones: “We are very excited to keep Emmett on staff. He did a tremendous job leading this program during the spring and made it a productive month for the student-athletes. It’s extremely obvious after talking to people here that Emmett brought great energy to every practice and pushed this program in the right direction. He is an excellent wide receivers coach and recruiter, and I am very excited about having the opportunity to coach with him.”
Offensive Coordinator – Andy Kotelnicki
|The Kotelnicki File|
|Alma Mater: Wisconsin-River Falls, 2004|
|Children: Maximus and Joy|
A veteran offensive coach, who has worked with Coach Lance Leipold at Buffalo and Wisconsin-Whitewater, Kotelnicki directed one of the prolific offenses in school history last season at Buffalo. He was named one of four finalists for FootballScoop Offensive Coordinator of the Year Award in 2020 after the Bulls led the nation in rushing offense.
Kotelnicki served as the offensive coordinator for two national championship teams at Wisconsin-Whitewater and helped the Warhawks go 30-0 in his two seasons with the program.
Leipold on Kotelnicki: “Andy is someone who I know very well since our first days together at Wisconsin-Whitewater. He does an excellent job leading our offense and maximizing the strengths of our team each season. He is a smart and detailed coach, who has guided some very productive offenses throughout his career. Our guys are really going to enjoy being coached by Andy because he relates with his players so well. He is going to do a great job in this role, and I’m excited for him.”
Special Teams Coordinator – Jake Schoonover
|The Schoonover File|
|Alma Mater: Missouri Western, 2008; American Public University, 2010|
|Children:Jackson and Kenley|
Schoonover became the special teams coordinator for Kansas in February, and will continue in his role under Leipold. Schoonover is an accomplished special teams coach, who spent the past three seasons at Bowling Green. Schoonover’s special teams units at Bowling Green were among some of the best in the MAC, as the unit in 2020 ranked second in the conference in kickoff returns and fourth in punt returns.
He also coached special teams at Illinois State for five seasons before joining Bowling Green. Under his direction at Illinois State, punter CJ Laros established a new school single-season record in yards per punt at 40.6. Schoonover played collegiately locally at Missouri Western State.
Leipold on Schoonover: “Special Teams is an incredibly important part of what we do and how we attain success, and Jake has an excellent track record of leading good special teams units. He began putting his fingerprints on the special teams this spring, and we certainly want to continue that momentum into next season. Jake is a meticulous coach, who will have a detailed plan on how we want to operate on special teams.”
Linebackers Coach – Chris Simpson
|The Simpson File|
|Alma Mater: Wisconsin-River Falls, 1998|
|Children: Jarryn, Riley and Noah|
Simpson arrives at Kansas after spending six seasons as an assistant coach under Leipold at Buffalo. Simpson also coached at Wisconsin-Whitewater with Leipold and was a part of the 2007 National Championship team. At Buffalo, he served as the team’s linebackers coach and was promoted to co-defensive coordinator in 2020. Simpson had at least one all-conference player in each of his six seasons, including middle linebacker James Patterson, who earned first-team honors last year after leading the team in tackles.
Simpson also mentored Khalil Hodge at Buffalo, who finished his career with 421 tackles, which ranked third all-time in school history. Simpson has also coached at Eastern Michigan, Grand Valley State and Nebraska-Omaha. Simpson has also been selected for an NFL Minority Coaching Internship on six occasions, including with the Green Bay Packers and Dallas Cowboys.
Leipold on Simpson: “Chris did a stellar job with our linebackers at Buffalo and helped develop and recruit some very productive players. He and Coach Borland complement each other very well because of Chris’s knowledge of our scheme and history on our staff. Chris coached an all-conference player in each of his six seasons at Buffalo and has a great command of the linebacker position. Our guys are really going to enjoy playing for him.”
Running Backs Coach – Jonathan Wallace
|THE WALLACE FILE|
|Alma Mater: Auburn|
|Hometown: Phenix City, Alabama|
Wallace will enter his second season at Kansas in 2021 and will oversee the running backs for the second straight season. In his first year at Kansas, Wallace oversaw running backs Pooka Williams Jr., Velton Gardner, Daniel Hishaw and Amauri Pesek-Hickson, all of whom averaged at least 3.6 yards per carry. As true freshmen, Hishaw and Pesek-Hickson combined for more than 400 rushing yards and two touchdowns on just north of 90 carries.
A former quarterback at Auburn, Wallace has also coached at Air Force and Bethel College, and was a graduate assistant at his alma mater following his playing career.
Leipold on Jonathan Wallace: “Jonathan is a bright, young coach who has done a very good job developing talent in the running backs room. That is a position that will be vital to what we do on offense and I know it is in good hands with Jonathan. He is eager to learn and grow and I think he will work very well with Andy Kotelnicki. I’m very excited to have Jonathan on staff moving forward.”
Quarterbacks Coach – Jim Zebrowski
|The Zebrowski File|
|Alma Mater: Mount Union, 1991|
|Children: Zachary and Lauryn|
A coach with extensive experience coaching quarterbacks, Jim Zebrowski will take over as quarterbacks coach for the Jayhawks. Zebrowski spent the past four seasons at Buffalo with Leipold, where he coached 2018 MAC Offensive Player of the Year, Tyree Jackson. Prior to his time with Leipold at Buffalo, Zebrowski coached quarterbacks at Minnesota from 2011-2015, helping lead the Gophers to three-straight bowl game appearances.
He also spent time coaching at Northern Illinois, where he coached all-conference quarterback Chandler Harnish. Zebrowski also coached with Leipold at Wisconsin-Whitewater with Leipold from 2007 to 2009. The team went 42-3 in that time and advanced to the national championship game in all three seasons, winning two.
Leipold on Zebrowski: “Jim has 30 years of coaching experience and has a tremendous track record of developing quarterbacks. We have some talented quarterbacks on our roster here, and I think Jim is going to do a great job of working with them and developing them. He’s worked with several different types of quarterbacks in his career and can tailor his style to his personnel, which is a great trait in a college coach.”
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