University of Kansas

Kansas tabs Cal’s Rob Likens as next offensive coordinator

During the last year, the Cal football program developed a distinct offensive motto: “Let’s drop 50.”

Rob Likens, the Bears’ assistant head coach and receivers coach, was part of that offensive resurgence in Berkeley under head coach Sonny Dykes. Now Likens is bringing his experience in Dykes’ high-powered spread offense to Kansas.

Likens is scheduled to become Kansas’ offensive coordinator under first-year head coach David Beaty, a source confirmed to The Star on Monday. Beaty, who was hired in early December, has yet to officially announce any staff additions. Dykes confirmed Likens’ move to Kansas to the San Francisco Chronicle on Monday.

Before spending two seasons at Cal, Likens worked as an assistant head coach and wide receivers coach for Dykes at Louisiana Tech during 2010-12. Likens, a 1990 graduate of Mississippi State, is expected to run a version of the Air Raid offense, a spread attack popularized and used by Kevin Sumlin at Texas A&M and Dana Holgorsen at West Virginia.

Beaty became familiar with the offense after spending the last three seasons as an assistant coach under Sumlin at Texas A&M.

Likens, who also was Cal’s passing-game coordinator, helped run an offense that ranked sixth in the country in passing yards this last season. The Bears also ranked 11th in the country in scoring, averaging 38.3 points per game.

The hiring of Likens fills the most high-profile vacancy remaining on Beaty’s staff. Beaty previously retained former interim coach Clint Bowen as defensive coordinator.

The Star has also learned that Beaty will officially hire former Kansas linebacker and Northern Illinois assistant Kevin Kane, former Tulsa assistant Calvin Thibodeaux (defensive line) and former Vikings assistant receivers coach Klint Kubiak.

Reggie Mitchell, KU’s running backs coach under Charlie Weis, will also return, while Beaty is set to add former KU assistant coach Je’Ney Jackson as the program’s strength and conditioning coordinator.

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