Sources close to the Kansas University football program told the Journal-World that former KU linebacker Kevin Kane is expected to rejoin the program as a part of new head coach David Beaty's coaching staff.
Kane, who has spent the past four years coaching at Northern Illinois — linebackers and special teams in 2013 and 2014 and tight ends and fullbacks prior to that — likely will coach linebackers in his return to his alma mater.
Kane went to NIU after three seasons on the staff at Wisconsin, where he was a graduate assistant in 2008-09 before serving as the quality control assistant for the UW defense in 2010. Kane earned a master's degree in education from Wisconsin in 2010.
Prior to going to Wisconsin, the Kansas City, Mo. native served as a graduate assistant coach at Kansas for two seasons and, in 2007, was a part of the KU coaching staff that led the Jayhawks to the 2008 Orange Bowl championship. Kane earned a degree in communication studies from KU in 2006.
His return to Lawrence and the program he played for from 2002-05 figures to be about more than just taking a new job or getting a promotion into a bigger conference. The former Jayhawk, who played his high school football at Rockhurst High, figures to bring a ton of Jayhawk pride to the staff and, like Beaty and assistants Clint Bowen and Reggie Mitchell, has been around the program long enough to know what it takes to succeed at KU.
More than that, Kane, 31, figures bring the same mentality to the sideline that helped the KU defense become known for its linebackers during his playing and coaching days at KU.
“The good defenses at Kansas that I was on were always centered on good linebackers,” Kane said earlier this season in an interview with the Journal-World. “We laid the groundwork of successful linebackers. And there were successful ones before I got there, too. But when we left there it was a staple.”
In other potential staff news, FootballScoop.com, through a source, is reporting that former Tulsa defensive tackles coach Calvin Thibodeaux is joining the Kansas staff, as well, but that has yet to be confirmed by anyone in or close to the program. It's definitely a name worth keeping an eye on, though, and the timing would make sense, given that Beaty said Thursday that he was closing in on finalizing his staff.