Originally published June 4, 2011 at 01:28a.m., updated June 4, 2011 at 01:28a.m.

Vantz Singletary hired as new KU linebackers coach


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.


ahpersecoachingexperience 8 years, 8 months ago

Ties to ksu so zenger should be happy

Ties to JC so gill should be happy

Ties to buffalo so we should be scared out of our minds!

LAJayhawk 8 years, 8 months ago

Ties to Mike Singletary so we should hope he keeps his pants on.

ahpersecoachingexperience 8 years, 8 months ago

can't play with'em

can't win with'em

can't do it

i want winners!

(dude you're cracking me up lately)

hawk316 8 years, 8 months ago

Actually, this appears to be a good hire. Based on Gill's other choices to fill his staff, one must assume that Singletary will be yet another great addition to an already excellent coaching staff. Gill really knows how to surround himself with quality coaches.

Phoggin_Loud 8 years, 8 months ago


Congratulations, Matt Tait.

You were correct, my friend. Good call.

Joe Joseph 8 years, 8 months ago

Keep your pants on Vantz!

^^^That rhymes.

CardHawkFan 8 years, 8 months ago

Might rephrase statement above. Mike Singletary is a former coach, but he will most likely always be a NFL legend. Not a Bears' fan, just a thought...

LAJayhawk 8 years, 8 months ago

I grew up in Chicago as a huge Bears fan. My entire childhood is basically marked by the time I lived before the '85 Bears and the time since. There was nothing like the Monsters of the Midway 46 defense, and there has been nothing like it since. Mike Singletary, as captain, was a guy I absolutely adored and still think was a phenomenal middle linebacker... one of the best of all time. And he's a good guy.

But, come on, pulling his pants down is freakin' hilarious. It's okay to laugh sometimes. Even at people we've looked up to.

kureader 8 years, 8 months ago

OK, Tait ... fess up.

You predicted this hire a couple days ago.

Was it because of your incredible football IQ, your vast knowledge of college football, and your deep insight regarding Gill's football philosophy.

Or, did you have an inside source who tipped you off? Be honest, man.

Matt Tait 8 years, 8 months ago

It's my job to bring you the best, most accurate, most up-to-date information I can every day. That's what I was doing here.

It wasn't so much of a prediction as it was gathering good information.

Trust me, my football IQ is merely average.

Dirk Medema 8 years, 8 months ago

Does he have the Singletary stare?

Ray Lewis comes close, but no one compares to Mike's stare.

Great hire!

Matt Tait 8 years, 8 months ago

Thanks! Here ya go...

  1. DJ Marshall is getting stronger every day. He still has a ways to go as far as adding weight and getting back into game shape, but he could be a pleasant surprise this fall.

  2. No word on how Bourbon's leg is heeling but it was originally said that he'd miss 6-8 weeks and would be ready to go by August. In short, I think we will see him play this year. I definitely hope so.

  3. There's no hot seat with Berglund, it's just the unknown with him that's making it a hard read. We'll know more as soon as they're both on campus competing for the job. But both have the potential to become the starter, but both will have some serious catching up to do since they're freshmen and missed the spring.

Hope that helps! Keep the questions coming!

Kevin Randell 8 years, 8 months ago

Ok, Matt,

I have a couple of questions for you. :) 1. Did the person who came up with those god awful uniforms for the KU/Mizzou game get fired or "disappeared" ;), 2. Will we see those terrible uniforms (mainly the all white helmets) again this season?

Pitthawk34 8 years, 8 months ago

How about bringing the damn names back..I am still ticked off that it ever happended.

John Boyle 8 years, 7 months ago

That is the least of the worries for this football team.

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