Thursday, January 5, 2017

Jason Phillips leaves KU football staff

Kansas wide receivers coach Jason Phillips throws passes to his players during practice on Tuesday, April 5, 2016.

Kansas wide receivers coach Jason Phillips throws passes to his players during practice on Tuesday, April 5, 2016.


After spending one season on David Beaty’s Kansas football staff, wide receivers coach Jason Phillips has left the program to head to Pac-12 country, where he’ll work for coach Gary Andersen at Oregon State.

A former assistant at SMU, Houston and Baylor, as well, Phillips will coach receivers at Oregon State and serve as the team’s passing-game coordinator.

Phillips became the second assistant to leave Kansas for the Pac-12 in the past several weeks, after former offensive coordinator Rob Likens moved on to work at Arizona State.

The departure of Phillips gives Beaty and Kansas an opening for one of the team’s nine full-time coaching spots.

In Phillips’ brief time with KU, sophomore receiver Steven Sims Jr. and junior LaQuvionte Gonzalez emerged as legitimate Big 12 receiving threats. Sims, a 5-foot-10 wideout from Houston, finished fourth in the conference in receptions per game (6.0), while Gonzalez ranked 10th in the category (5.2).

Sims also cracked the top 10 in receiving yards per game, ranking ninth, at 71.6.

In 2015, when Kansas went 0-12, Tre’ Parmalee led the team with 41 receptions, 599 yards and three touchdowns. This past fall, under Phillips’ tutelage, Sims emerged as the Jayhawks’ top pass-catcher and produced significantly larger numbers: 72 receptions, 859 yards, seven touchdowns.

Gonzalez, a transfer from Texas A&M;, also helped Phillips positively impact the passing game, adding 62 catches, 729 yards and three scores.

During the season, Sims credited Phillips for playing a major part in his development, following a 30-catch freshman campaign.

“I’ve learned a lot from Coach Phillips in the couple months he’s been here,” Sims said at the time.

Andersen announced the hiring of Phillips and safeties coach John Rushing (who left the Los Angeles Rams) on Thursday.

“Coach Phillips and Coach Rushing are tremendous additions to our coaching staff," Andersen said in a release. "Both are very experienced coaches, great recruiters and take great pride in building young men and pushing them to excel at a high level on and off the field. The entire staff is excited to get to work for the upcoming season.”

Oregon State finished 4-8 overall in 2016, and 3-6 in the Pac-12. Kansas went 2-10 this past year, with a 1-8 mark in the Big 12.


John Brazelton 4 years, 9 months ago

Salaries need to raised for KU's assistant coaches to the level, at least, of Iowa State which is our immediate competition within the Big 12. Coach Phillip's also probably wanted the opportunity to at least be co-Offensive Coordinator which is probably blocked at the moment.

Michael Maris 4 years, 9 months ago

Perhaps, Kubiak will want to come back? Since, his dad's taking a sabbatical, just a thought.

Tom Keegan 4 years, 9 months ago

Would not surprise me at all if that happened.

Dillon Davis 4 years, 9 months ago

I'm sure Beaty will try to take this on just like he has done with OC and Special Teams...smh

Jay Beakum 4 years, 9 months ago

The only guys who’ve impressed me so far are Beatty himself, and Bowen.

Position coaches come and go. Likens was a bust. Phillips was a bust.

Sorry but I believe the road was paved for every, and all position coaches, to take any opportunity that popped up. Beatty surely has guys in mind to fill their spots. Probably guys that are a better fit for the 2017 Jayhawks.

Dirk Medema 4 years, 9 months ago

Phillips was far from a bust. In addition to the performance improvement, he has been responsible for much of the recruiting success. The good news though is that Beatty has done a great job replacing and even upgrading assistants so far. Hopefully, he does again and Dr Z finds some funds to give each more reason to stay.

Sean Kelly 4 years, 9 months ago

Jay, I disagree. There was a marked improvement in the WR position from 2015 to 2016. As the article mentioned, players specifically cited his instruction as a major contributor to their improvement and production, not to mention his recruiting ties to Houston.

Depending on the quality of his replacement, this could be a big negative, considering how reliant this offense is on high level receiver play and production.

Are you saying Tony Hull's contributions haven't impressed you with the recruiting prowess as well as the RB production? How about Michael Slater and the performance of the defense line?

Richard Duran 4 years, 9 months ago

This is a big loss, but we should worry if the defensive assistants start leaving those guys made a HUGE difference. Just in the scheme we were much improved yet alone the play at the various positions. We lost a kid who was supposed to be our best linebacker in week 2 and our LBs played at a high level. Keep that defensive staff together, and get a better play caller for the offense!

Commenting has been disabled for this item.