The Kent State football program is in need of a new head coach, and two current Kansas assistants reportedly have factored into the search.
According to Bruce Feldman of FOX Sports, KU defensive coordinator and assistant head coach Clint Bowen is one potential candidate for the Kent State job.
What’s more, Football Scoop reported KU quarterbacks coach Garrett Riley interviewed with Kent State athletic director Joel Nielsen for the opening within the past week.
A former KU colleague of Bowen, Minnesota offensive line coach Ed Warinner, also reportedly is in the running for the job. Warinner coordinated the Jayhawks’ offense from 2007-09, and has worked at Notre Dame, Ohio State and Minnesota since.
Feldman also identified Syracuse offensive coordinator Sean Lewis as a “strong candidate” for the vacancy.
Kent State, a member of the Mid-American Conference, fired five-year head coach Paul Haynes in November.
Bowen, who has been out of town recruiting, just completed his sixth consecutive season as a KU assistant. Each of the past four years, Bowen has served as defensive coordinator for former head coach Charlie Weis and current head coach David Beaty, while also serving as an interim head coach himself in 2014, following Weis’ dismissal.
A Lawrence native who played three seasons for the Jayhawks in the early 1990s, Bowen’s coaching career began at KU, as a graduate assistant in 1996. He became an official staff member for the program in 2000, serving as assistant director of football operations in his first stint on staff. Bowen then coached special teams at KU from 2001-05. He worked as co-defensive coordinator on Mark Mangino’s staff in 2006-07, and served as lone coordinator from 2008-09.
The longtime KU assistant spent 2010 at Western Kentucky and 2011 at North Texas, coordinating the defense at both programs, before returning to Kansas in 2012. In total, he has worked 16 seasons at KU — not counting three years as a grad assistant.
Riley, the younger brother of Oklahoma head coach Lincoln Riley, joined Beaty’s staff as an offensive analyst in early 2016 and coached KU’s quarterbacks this past year, his first as an on-the-field assistant at a Power 5 program.