Tuesday, December 4, 2018

KU announces Les Miles’ hiring of Chip Lindsey as OC

FILE — Auburn quarterback Jarrett Stidham with offensive coordinator Chip Lindsey in the second half of Auburn A-Day NCAA college football game on Saturday, April 8, 2017 in Auburn, Ala. (AP Photo/Todd J. Van Emst)

FILE — Auburn quarterback Jarrett Stidham with offensive coordinator Chip Lindsey in the second half of Auburn A-Day NCAA college football game on Saturday, April 8, 2017 in Auburn, Ala. (AP Photo/Todd J. Van Emst)


New Kansas football coach Les Miles officially has his offensive coordinator.

As reports from the Journal-World and other outlets indicated Monday, former Auburn offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach Chip Lindsey was Miles’ choice.

KU announced Lindsey’s hiring Tuesday morning.

"It is a great day when you can add a coach like Chip Lindsey to your staff," Miles stated in a release. "He has a proven track record of putting exciting, electric offenses on the field and he also has built a strong reputation of developing his players. With the returning players we have on offense and the pieces that we are putting together now in recruiting, we have the potential to be much improved."

So far, KU has announced just two members of Miles’ first staff: Lindsey and defensive backs coach Chevis Jackson.

While no announcement has been made, Tony Hull, KU’s running backs coach under former head coach David Beaty, has been actively recruiting since Miles’ arrival, and appears a likely candidate to remain on board in some capacity.

Lindsey’s Twitter bio lists him as KU’s offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach. But a KU official said Tuesday morning the team hadn’t made any official decision on which position group Lindsey would oversee.

Lindsey, who reportedly also interviewed for the offensive coordinator position at Tennessee before leaving Auburn for KU, spent the past two years in the SEC. The Tigers are 7-5 this season, with victories over Pac-12 champion Washington, which is currently ranked No. 9, and Texas A&M;, now ranked No. 19.

This season, Auburn ranked 11th in the SEC in total offense (373.6 yards a game) and averaged 28.3 points per game.

The Tigers fared far better offensively in 2017, when Auburn went 10-4 and the team became the first in program history and just the eighth in the annals of SEC play to rush and pass for 3,000 yards in the same season.

The Tigers also ranked 26th nationally in total offense and set an Auburn record by scoring 327 points in SEC play, winning the SEC West in the process.

Under Lindsey’s guidance, All-SEC QB Jarrett Stidham, the second Auburn QB ever to throw for 3,000 yards in a season, led the SEC and ranked ninth nationally in completion percentage (66.5 percent) in 2017. Running back Kerryon Johnson (1,391 rushing yards) was SEC Offensive Player of the Year, and Ryan Davis (815 receiving yards) set an Auburn receiving record with 84 catches.

This past season at KU, the Jayhawks’ offense was coordinated by Doug Meacham the first six games and by former head coach David Beaty in the final six, once Beaty fired Meacham.

KU finished ninth in the Big 12 in points per game (23.8) and yards per game (350.8).

Lindsey’s first stint at Auburn came as an offensive analyst during the Tigers' SEC Championship and BCS National Championship in 2013.

Lindsey returned to Auburn in January of 2017, after working as the offensive coordinator and QBs coach at Arizona State in 2016. That year, the Sun Devils started 5-1 before three of their quarterbacks suffered injuries and they dropped their final six games. ASU running back Kalen Ballage tied an NCAA record early on that season, by scoring eight touchdowns in one game, a 68-55 win over Texas Tech.

As offensive coordinator at Southern Miss from 2014-15, Lindsey developed the Conference USA 2015 Offensive Player of the Year, QB Nick Mullens, who ranked second in the league in passing yards (4,145) and TD passes (36), and ranked in the top eight in the nation in both categories.

The Southern Miss offense broke five single-season school records in 2015: completions (312), passing yards (4,263), total offense yards (6,758), touchdowns (67) and points (528), as the Golden Eagles went 9-5, won the Conference USA West and played in the Zaxby's Heart of Dallas Bowl against Washington, losing 44-31.

Lindsey's 2015 Golden Eagle offense ranked fifth in the nation in total touchdowns, seventh in total points, eighth in total passing yards and completions, and 12th in points per game and passing yards per game. The 2015 Golden Eagles racked up more than 4,200 passing yards and just under 2,500 rushing yards. The national leader with 102 explosive plays, they were just the second school in FBS history with a 4,000-yard passer, a 1,000-yard receiver and two 1,000-yard rushers.

Lindsey served as quarterbacks coach at Troy University in 2010, after working his way up through the prep ranks from 1997-2009, in both football and baseball. At Troy, he coached the 2010 Sun Belt Freshman of the Year Corey Robinson.

Prior to his time at Auburn as an analyst, Lindsey was the head coach at Spain Park High (Ala.) from 2011-12, leading the school to its first Class 6A regional championship.

A native of Madison, Ala., Lindsey graduated from Bob Jones High School, where he was a three-sport letterman. Lindsey and his wife, Cecily, have four children: Claire, Caroline, Cooper and Conner.


Matt Gauntt 1 year, 8 months ago

Appears that Coach is trying to bring in top notch talent, not low level guys that are trying to climb the ladder. The two announced certainly seem like winners.

Getting more excited about our future.

Brett McCabe 1 year, 8 months ago

Just seems like a really solid hire, for many reasons. Can’t wait to see the rest of the staff.

Gerry Butler 1 year, 8 months ago

I agree. - I think this potential group of guys on this staff could be very salty. - - -Kind of interesting , not sure if anyone picked up on it BUT Coach stated " - -with the group of returners coming back , and the pieces we are putting together now in recruiting thinks we have a chance to be a lot better " - to me maybe reading too much into that statement - BUT sounds like Maybe , he has landed a few guys just not putting out names until official -might have some recruits in the cuff or very close. - would be great.

I don't think I've been as fired up about the team as I am now for a long time. -kind of funny on a couple of KU sites " The Phog " - -you go on the football site there is now like 3-4 different footlball posts. - -the football site has like 28 pages just recently - -we couldn't have gotten 28 pages of comments before in like 3 whole seasons - now we getting 28 pages in like 2 months - -shows how fired up the crimson and blue can be. - We want our football team to do well , and now w have some hope -we have a reason. - -ROCK CHALK ALL DAY LONG BABY

Dirk Medema 1 year, 8 months ago

I seem to recall that the year he went back to the HS level was to coach Nick Mullen his senior year.

From other articles, it Sounds like he has recruited and developed QBs at high level. A former HS HC commented that during a playoff game he plugged in a sophomore reserve when the starter got hurt and they didn't miss a beat. Bodes well for the future as well as next year even if a new QB isn't among the 15.

Steve Grimm 1 year, 8 months ago

I find it really interesting that Les Miles, when asked by the announcers for the KU-Stanford BBall game, "Why Kansas?", responded (paraphrased): "Well, I want to do what has perhaps never been done: take an historically bad football program and make it a yearly contender."

I am betting that is the angle he is taking with his coaches and even recruits: "Want to be a part of history? You think you are good? How about doing something that has never/rarely been done?"

For coaches that know success and want to build a legacy (instead of a resume), this is a great sales approach.

Same for players that want top notch coaching plus a part of history.

Don't know if this is his approach, but playing the high risk/reward angle would be an awesome one if so.

Joe Ross 1 year, 8 months ago

I love this, Steve!

"Build a legacy. Not a resume."

Jim Stauffer 1 year, 8 months ago

This should be true for every assistant. To move to the next level, HC, OC or DC, these guys could have no better point to sell them than look what we did at Kansas.

Chris DeWeese 1 year, 8 months ago

Seems like a solid hire. A proven OC from a P5 team/conference. He'll have his work cut out for him, but he also has a history of developing players. Give him a couple of years, and I can see him having the offense humming.

Freddie Garza 1 year, 8 months ago

Admittedly, I thought we had about as good a chance of hiring Bill Belichik as we did Les Miles, so clearly I was incorrect about that. Hi, I'm captain obvious.

This seems to all be awesome timing for the KU football program though, with Snyder hanging it up at K-State, maybe we can build some momentum and in a few years be the premier college football team in the state and a tough out for the big boys in the league (namely Oklahoma and Texas).

I'll say it again though...Les Miles deserves (and his list of accomplishments DEMANDS) extended time to work on building up this program. Bill Belichik himself couldn't turn this dumpster fire into a winner in one season, but now that we've extinguished the fire with this hiring of Les Miles and the new OC, let's see what they can build here. I'm excited to see!

Brian Wilson 1 year, 8 months ago

I agree. Miles certainly deserves no less than Beaty. With that said, KU's team is not that far off. By year two, with a few redshirts and a recruiting class of 15 KU will over 70 scholarlship players and by year three we will have close to 80.

Marius Rowlanski 1 year, 8 months ago

Great to read the positive news for Kansas football. Actually getting a little excited.

Karen Mansfield-Stewart 1 year, 8 months ago

I don’t think many fans can be upset with this hire. Seems like the second solid hire this week. We need to land a couple key recruits for me to start getting excited though as next year will be tough with the senior class we lost - even if the ship is starting to turn around, it might take a while.

Jim Stauffer 1 year, 8 months ago

Developing players is the key phrase with all these guys from Les on down. Our talent has certainly not been the best but it wasn't with Mase and Mark and they developed them and were able to compete. These guys will too.

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