Kansas offensive line coach Tim Grunhard, who spent a decade playing center for the Chiefs, will not return to the KU staff next year, he and coach Charlie Weis confirmed Wednesday night.
“Sunday, Tim Grunhard is stepping down as offensive line coach so he can spend more quality time with his family,” Weis said in a statement. “We began talking about this a month ago. Next year, all four of his kids will be in the same high school at the same time. Tim and his wife, Sarah, are great parents, but Tim felt it wasn’t fair to put that all on her. We started as friends and that friendship has only grown stronger. I wish Tim and the entire Grunhard family happiness and success.”
Grunhard’s departure appears to be part of what could be a larger staff overhaul as Weis’ second season comes to a conclusion Saturday when the Jayhawks (3-8) play rival Kansas State (6-5).
The Lawrence Journal-World reported on Wednesday that Kansas plans to hire Rice offensive coordinator John Reagan to serve as the Jayhawks’ offensive coordinator. Weis has served as KU’s offensive coordinator the last two seasons. Weis’ statement said, “We have already hired a replacement for Tim. When that coach becomes available, we will provide more details.”
Before joining the Rice staff in February 2010, Reagan spent five seasons at Kansas as the offensive line coach and run-game coordinator. During that span, KU improved its rushing average in each of his first four seasons, including running for 188.8 yards per game in 2007.
This season, Reagan has guided a Rice offense that ranks 51st in the country in total offense, averaging 431.1 yards. He also helped the Owls defeat Kansas the last two seasons. Reagan, who still has two children living in Lawrence from a previous marriage, developed plenty of offensive line talent during his Kansas tenure, which coincided with the program’s Orange Bowl victory in 2007.
Kansas’ offense has largely been ineffective during Weis’ two years at the school. Earlier this year, Weis minimized his role as offensive coordinator, delegating more responsibility to quarterbacks coach Ron Powlus and tight ends coach Jeff Blasko.
Former Kansas offensive tackle Anthony Collins grew into an All-America lineman in 2007 and a finalist for the Outland Trophy, given annually to the nation’s best interior lineman. Former KU center David Ochoa also earned All-Big 12 second-team honors in 2007.
Reagan, however, could face a difficult situation if Rice (8-3) beats Tulane on Saturday. The Owls are in first place in the West Division of Conference USA and a victory would clinch a berth in the conference title game.
Grunhard, meanwhile, will leave Kansas after spending two years at the school. A Notre Dame alum with ties to Weis, Grunhard joined the staff shortly after Weis was hired in December 2011.
Before coming to Kansas, Grunhard served as the coach at Bishop Miege High, where his children are students. He was instrumental in KU’s recruitment of freshman quarterback Montell Cozart, who graduated from Miege last spring.