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 KU to become the program’s strength and conditioning coordinator, while former Tulsa assistant Calvin Thibodeaux is headed to KU to become the defensive line coach.
A source familiar with the situation confirmed both additions to The Star on 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 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 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 of 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 The Star learned that Klint Kubiak, an assistant wide-receivers coach for the Minnesota Vikings, is set to join the Kansas football staff as an assistant coach.
Kubiak, son of former Houston Texans coach Gary Kubiak, is expected to become a full-time assistant coach at KU, though his specific position is still unknown. Kubiak, who grew up in Aurora, Colo., played football at Colorado State during 2005-09 and also spent three seasons as a graduate assistant at Texas A&M during 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 Bowen as the Jayhawks’ defensive coordinator. And one big question remains: Who will be Beaty’s offensive coordinator?
For now, 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, a graduate of Rockhurst High School, played linebacker at Kansas during 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.