Originally published June 4, 2011 at 01:28a.m., updated June 4, 2011 at 01:28a.m.
His uncle’s eyes are some of the most famous ever to play linebacker.
Now, future Kansas University football players who line up at that position for the Jayhawks will be tutored by a man who has looked into those eyes many times.
Friday, KU coach Turner Gill announced that Vantz Singletary, the nephew of Hall-of-Famer, Mike Singletary, would join the Jayhawks’ coaching staff as the new linebackers coach.
Singletary fills the vacancy left by the departure of defensive coordinator Carl Torbush — who also was in charge of linebackers — who announced his retirement last Tuesday to focus on battling prostate cancer.
The move to acquire Singletary, who most recently coached linebackers under his uncle with the San Francisco 49ers in 2009 and 2010, developed quickly because Gill had worked with Singletary in the past. In 2008, the 46 year-old Singletary coached the defensive line at the University of Buffalo, where Gill was the head coach. Together, they led the Bulls to their first ever bowl appearance and a Mid-American Conference title. Gill’s previous experience with Singletary made this an easy hire.
“I am thrilled to announce the hiring,” Gill said. “Vantz is not only a great teacher and recruiter, but also a tremendous person.”
Including his season at Buffalo, Singletary has a total of 17 years as a college assistant on his resume. His other stops include Tennessee-Chattanooga, Hawaii, Southern and Trinity College.
Singletary left Buffalo to join his uncle in San Francisco, where he worked as the assistant inside linebackers coach. Mike Singletary was fired by the 49ers before the final game of the 2010 regular season and Vantz was relieved of his duties a few days later.
Now reunited, KU’s second-year head coach did not wait long to begin praising his new assistant.
“Vantz will bring great ideas on pass rushing to our linebackers,” Gill said. “He is very detailed in his instruction to the student-athletes and will provide phenomenal chemistry to our entire program.”
Gill’s not the only one at KU energized by the news.
“We’re excited to have another coach,” said Vic Shealy, KU’s new defensive coordinator. “We’re sorry to see Carl go, but we’re excited about gaining another mind that will bring in fresh ideas.”
After two seasons as an All-American at Blinn College, Singletary, a native of Houston with recruiting ties throughout Texas, finished his playing career at Kansas State. He lettered at KSU in 1987 and 1988 and graduated in 1990.
Singletary and his wife, Shawndra, have four daughters.
Border War kickoff time set
The Big 12 announced Friday that kickoff for the annual Border War football game between Kansas and Missouri at Arrowhead Stadium, in Kansas City, Mo., has been set for 11 a.m. on Nov. 26.
Fox Sports Net will broadcast the game to a national audience.
It also was announced Friday that KU’s third game of the 2011 season — 11:30 a.m., Sept. 17 at Georgia Tech — will be picked up regionally by FSN. Originally, the game only was scheduled to be shown on the ACC’s Regional Sports Network.
All other television announcements will be made throughout the season. The Missouri and Georgia Tech games are the only ones with set start times as of now. The Jayhawks open the season Sept. 3 at home against McNeese State.