University of Kansas

KU football adds assistants Je’Ney Jackson, Calvin Thibodeaux

LAWRENCE – Day by day, David Beaty’s Kansas football staff continues to fall into place.

The latest names to surface: Former Kansas assistant Je’Ney Jackson is set to return to become the program’s strength and conditioning coordinator, while former Tulsa assistant Calvin Thibodeaux will become the defensive line coach. A source familiar with the situation confirmed both additions Tuesday, but spoke on the condition of anonymity because official announcements on staff additions could wait until early next week.

Jackson, who worked as an assistant strength coach and later as an on-field assistant for KU coach Mark Mangino, has been the strength and conditioning coach for the Indiana basketball program since 2010. While at Indiana, he helped the Hoosiers win the 2013 Big Ten title and helped develop future first-round picks Victor Oladipo, Cody Zeller and Noah Vonleh.

Indiana coach Tom Crean confirmed Jackson’s departure in a statement on Tuesday afternoon.

“When you have talented people there is never a good time to see a staff member go, but Je’Ney has a wonderful opportunity in front of him to become a head strength coach for a BCS football program,” Crean said. “He will work with two of his best friends in David Beaty and Clint Bowen and will continue his growth as one of the elite strength coaches on the collegiate level.”

Thibodeaux, meanwhile, is a former Oklahoma defensive lineman who spent the last three seasons as the defensive line coach at Tulsa. A Houston native, Thibodeaux played for Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops during the program’s run of Big 12 titles and BCS appearances in the mid-2000s.

“I’d describe my coaching as being passionate, a motivator and a teacher,” Thibodeaux said in 2012, after being hired at Tulsa. “In order to be a great coach your players have to trust you and believe in what you’re doing.

“I take the experiences from the University of Oklahoma and learning from Bobby Jack Wright and Jackie Shipp and playing for Brent Venables. Then being able to work beside Jim Jeffcoat at Houston, a guy who played 15 years in the NFL, won a couple Super Bowl rings and coached in the NFL, I’ve been able to carry over all those experiences into my coaching philosophy.”

The latest additions came one day after a source said Klint Kubiak, an assistant wide receivers coach for the Minnesota Vikings, is set to join the KU staff as an assistant coach. Kubiak, the son of former Houston Texans coach Gary Kubiak, is expected to become a full-time assistant, though his specific position is still unknown. Kubiak, who grew up in Aurora, Colo., played football at Colorado State from 2005-09 and also spent three seasons as a graduate assistant at Texas A&M from 2010-12, where he worked closely with Beaty.

Beaty, hired in early December, has yet to make any formal announcements about his staff since retaining former interim coach Clint Bowen as the Jayhawks’ defensive coordinator. And one big question remains: Who will be Beaty’s offensive coordinator?

For now, though, it appears that Reggie Mitchell, the running backs coach and recruiting coordinator under Charlie Weis, will also return, while Northern Illinois linebackers coach Kevin Kane will take a similar position at KU. Kane played linebacker at Kansas from 2002-05. In addition, Beaty has chosen Olathe North coach Gene Wier to serve in an off-field, high school relations role that will deal primarily in recruiting.

Reach Rustin Dodd at rdodd@wichitaeagle.com. Follow him on Twitter: @rustindodd.

  Comments