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KU names Emmett Jones as interim head football coach

Published: Mar. 11, 2021 at 5:26 PM CST
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LAWRENCE, Kan. (WIBW) - The University of Kansas Athletics Department has named Emmett Jones as its interim head football coach.

“Chancellor Girod and I discussed what was in the best interest of our student-athletes, and we came to the conclusion that Emmett Jones is the best man to fill the role of interim head coach,” Interim Director of Athletics Kurt Watson said. “This afternoon, I met with the four individuals we considered for this role including Emmett, D.J. Eliot, Joshua Eargle and Mike DeBord, as well as our entire coaching staff and team to inform them of this decision. Emmett’s relationship with our football student-athletes is vital as we venture through this time of transition within our football program and athletics department. I am confident in his abilities to ensure this program functions at a high level in preparation for the 2021 season.”

According to KU, Jones is an innovative coach and accomplished recruiter. It said he is entering his third season with the team and has served as the wide receivers coach and passing game coordinator for the Kansas offense.

KU Athletics said Jones is a former head coach at South Oak Cliff High School in Texas and has been a major asset to the team during his time in Lawrence. It said he will now lead the team as it continues its offseason workouts.

“I am incredibly grateful to Chancellor Girod and Mr. Watson for the opportunity to lead this program during a critical time of change,” Jones said. “Since arriving here, I have developed a deep love of this program and university, and it is an honor to be named interim head coach. I will rely on our talented assistant coaches, as well as Ben Iannacchione and the strength and conditioning staff to guide our student-athletes and be there for them on and off the field.”

According to the school, Jones has thrived in recruiting and on-field development during his time in Kansas. It said he served as the primary recruiter for wide receiver Quaydarius Davis, who signed with the Jayhawks in February and is the highest-ranked recruit in Rivals history to sign with the team.

KU said Jones also helped it sign seven players from Texas to the 2021 recruiting class that got its highest recruit ranking in a decade. It said the class was also ranked as the fourth-best in the Big 12, which makes the highest the Jayhawks have ever been ranked since the inception of Rivals in 1997.

On the field, KU said Jones coached Andrew Parchment and Stephon Robinson Jr., to all-conference honors in 2019. During the2020 season, it said Kwamie Lassiter II earned all-conference honors as an honorable mention and totaled a career-high 43 catches for 458 yards and two touchdowns.

According to KU, Jones also guided freshman Luke Grimm to an impressive debut that saw him catch 19 catches for 255 yards and two touchdowns.

KU said Jones came to Kansas after he spent three seasons as outside receivers coach on Kliff Kingsbury’s Texas Tech staff. It said he was promoted to the position after the 2015 season. It said he previously served as Tech’s Director of Player Development in 2015 and watched his unit find immediate success during the 2016 campaign as the Red Raiders led the country in total offense as well as passing offense. It said Tech averaged 43.7 points per game, which is its third-highest mark in school history, and ranked fifth nationally among FBS programs.

According to the school, Junes arrived in Lubbock to oversee Tech’s player development in February of 2015. It said in his single year in that role, he serves as a mentor for the Red Raider offense and was instrumental in Tech’s on-campus recruiting activities.

KU said Jones was a walk-on at Texas Tech during the 1990s and began his coaching career at his alma mater Seagoville High School from 2001-2004. It said he later joined the Dallas Lincoln staff one year before heading to Dallas Skyline.

According to KU, Jones graduated from North Texas in 1999 and he and his wife, Marlo, have two children, Emily and Emmett.

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