Kansas Jayhawks Coach Staff 2023

Lance Leipold once again worked his magic, and the Kansas Jayhawks coaching staff continues to underrated talent into a winning formula

When Lance Leipold took over the Kansas Jayhawks coaching staff, he relied on familiarity and a winning formula. It’s worked, and Kansas has become a different program thanks to him. Today, we look at the staff that helps this program go.

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Kanas Jayhawks Coaching Staff

You’ll see a common theme in Leipold’s staff. He likes familiar faces and guys that he knows can get the job done. Typically, his coaches fit both of those categories.

Head Coach: Lance Leipold

Fun fact: DJ Khaled’s hit “All I Do Is Win” is based on Leipold’s coaching career. Jokes aside, Leipold continues to be one of the most impressive coaches in the sport, and the Jayhawks program turned around because of him.

He began his coaching career at Wisconsin-Whitewater and also served roles at Doane, Nebraska-Omaha, Nebraska, and Wisconsin. In 2007, one of the greatest coaches in college football history took the head coaching job at Wisconsin-Whitewater.

Leipold turned the Warhawks into a Division 3 powerhouse, leaving in 2014 with a 109-6 record with 6 national championships. In 5 of those 8 seasons, Leipold’s teams didn’t lose a single game.

It became evident that Leipold reached his peak with the Warhawks, and it was on to the next challenge: the Buffalo Bulls. Since 2000, the Bulls had just one winning season before he arrived, and he turned the Bulls into a 10-win program in 2018.

Once again, his departure was inevitable, and another project came calling: the Kansas Jayhawks coaching staff.

The Jayhawks lived in the cellar of the Big 12 since 2008, but once again, Leipold worked his magic. In their second season (2022), Kansas went to a bowl game. To start the 2023 season, they started 4-0.

Defensive Coordinator: Brian Borland

Brian Borland and Leipold go back to their time at Wisconsin-Whitewater, where Borland served as an assistant coach from 1994-2014. Before that, Borland held positions at:

  • Baker University (1991-94)
  • Minnesota-Morris (1989-91)
  • Florida (1988-89)
  • Arizona Western (1986-88)
  • Wisconsin (1985-86)

When he left Whitewater, he followed Leipold to Buffalo, where he helped produce some of the best defenses in school history. After helping produce the 35th-best defense in college football, he followed Leipold to Lawrence, Kansas.

Offensive Coordinator: Andy Kotelnicki

There’s a consistent trend with Leipold’s staff: he likes to keep familiar faces around, and Andy Kotelnicki has been with him since 2013.

He helped Wisconsin-Whitewater to two undefeated seasons and two national championships as an offensive coordinator for the Warhawks in 2013 and 2014. His offenses led the conference in multiple different categories, and that performance was a big reason Leipold brought him to Buffalo.

With the Bulls, Kotelnicki helped turn Tyree Jackson and Jaret Patterson into two of the best players in Bulls history. The two stars helped the 2018 team shatter program records under Kotelnicki’s watch.

At Kansas, he’s already posted a single-season record for yards per play at 7.0 and broke a school record for most yards in a bowl game last year (603).

Kotelnicki also served as an offensive coordinator for the University of Mary (2011-12) and UW-River Falls (2006-10) while also holding a role as an assistant coach at Western Illinois (2004-05).

Special Teams Coordinator/Defensive Ends Coach: Taiwo Onatolu

Since 2015, Taiwo Onatolu’s held multiple roles within both the Buffalo and Kansas programs. He started with the Jayhawks as an analyst before getting promoted to his current role, and he held the same position at Buffalo from 2019-20. He also held roles as cornerback coach and Director of Player Personnel there.

Before Buffalo, he was the Linebackers Coach at Missouri State from 2011-14 and an Assistant Coach at Nebraska-Omaha from 2007-10.

Offensive Line Coach: Scott Fuchs

Fuchs and Leipold go back all the way to 2004, where they both coached for Nebraska-Omaha. After spending 13 years apart, they reunited at Buffalo in 2019 before coming to the Kansas Jayhawks coaching staff. Scott Fuchs has been an offensive line coach since 2000 and has held that job at multiple schools:

  • Offensive Line, Kansas (2021-present)
  • Offensive Line, Buffalo (2019-20)
  • Offensive Line, Wyoming (2014-18)
  • Offensive Line, North Dakota State (2009-13)
  • Offensive Line, Southern Illinois (2008)
  • Offensive Line, Grand Valley State (2007)
  • Offensive Line, Nebraska-Omaha (2003-06)
  • Offensive Line, Minnesota-Crookston (2000-02)
  • Defensive Line, UW-Eau Claire (1999)
  • Offensive Line, Valley City State (1997-98)
  • Graduate Assistant, North Dakota State (1994-96)

Defensive Tackles Coach: Jim Panagos

Since 1993, Jim Panagos spent time at every level of football from high school to the NFL. His most recent position at Rutgers as a defensive line coach helped the Scarlet Knights finish 11th in the country in tackles for loss per game in 2020. The full breakdown of his coaching career can be found here:

  • 2022-Present Kansas Defensive Tackles Coach
  • 2020-21 Rutgers Defensive Line Coach
  • 2019 Minnesota Defensive Line Coach
  • 2017-18 Temple Assistant Head Coach/Defensive Line/Run Game Coordinator
  • 2016 Pittsburgh Defensive Consultant
  • 2012-15 Rutgers Defensive Line Coach
  • 2007-11 UCF Defensive Line Coach
  • 2002-05 Minnesota Vikings Assistant Defensive Line/Assistant Special Teams
  • 1994-97 C.R. James (Fla.) HS Assistant Coach
  • 1993 Maryland Defensive Line Assistant

Defensive Backs Coach: Jordan Peterson

Jordan Peterson’s the definition of a team player for the Kansas Jayhawks coaching staff. He started with them as a safeties coach in 2020 before switching to a defensive analyst in 2021 and then back to safeties in 2022. Now, he’s in charge of the entire secondary.

Wide Receivers Coach: Terrence Samuel

Terrence Samuel brings multiple years of experience coaching wide receivers to Kansas. He’s held that role with Syracuse, UNLV, Michigan State, Central Michigan, North Dakota State, and Southeast Missouri State.

Linebackers Coach: Chris Simpson

Chris Simpson followed Leipold to the Kansas coaching staff after spending 6 seasons as co-Defensive Coordinator and Linebackers Coach at Buffalo. Before that, he coached linebackers at Eastern Michigan and Grand Valley State.

He also coached at Nebraska-Omaha, Wisconsin-Whitewater, Wisconsin-Platteville, Loras College, and Waunakee High School.

Running Backs Coach: Jonathan Wallace

Jonathan Wallace is the unicorn of the coaching staff, mostly because his career started in 2016. With no prior connections to Leipold, he was retained on the staff in 2021 as the Running Backs Coach.

Before Kansas, he held multiple different roles at Air Force (Assistant Coach), Bethel College (Assisant Coach), and Auburn (Graduate Assistant).

Quarterbacks Coach: Jim Zebrowski

Jim Zebrowski helped elevate both Tyree Jackson and Kyle Vantrease at Buffalo, and he’s played an integral role in helping Jalon Daniels improve his game, too. Before Buffalo, he served as Quarterbacks Coach at Minnesota and Northern Illinois.

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