Benton Smith reporter

Photo of Benton Smith

Benton Smith was born in Kansas City, Mo., and bounced around in the years that followed, living in Pennsylvania, Iowa and North Carolina, before moving to Lawrence in 2006.

Along the way, he lived in Sanford, N.C., for a huge chunk of his life and graduated in 2002 from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill — an institution, he assures diehard Kansas fans, which he attended primarily for its in-state tuition and journalism program.

Shortly after moving to Lawrence, Smith began working part-time at the Journal-World, initially covering youth sports. Next, he covered Free State High athletics and area sports for the J-W, before taking on the position of sports editor for one of The World Company's weekly newspapers, The Mirror, in Tonganoxie. He worked there from 2008 to 2011, until returning to the Journal-World to lead its high school sports coverage.

In 2013, Smith took on a new role with, as a digital editor, blogger and writer and that role changed again in 2016, when Smith was promoted to KU football beat writer shortly after the World Company sold the Lawrence Journal-World and to Ogden Newspapers.

Since the sale, Smith has become an even more important member of the team, expanding his coverage to include writing columns at men's basketball games and continuing to oversee our coverage of KU football, which included the hiring of Les Miles as KU's new head football coach in late 2018.

Recent Stories

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Emmett Jones pleased with Jayhawks' progress through 5 spring practices

Now a third of the way through the 15-practice spring schedule, interim Kansas football coach Emmett Jones left Saturday’s session convinced the Jayhawks are on the right track. “A lot of flying around, a lot of energy. Guys getting after each other, plenty of physicality going on. Guys playing with grit,” Jones reported following practice No. 5, which included some scrimmage situations.

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Some younger Jayhawks are grabbing the veterans' attention at KU spring practices

A couple of weeks into spring practices, some of the Kansas football team’s more experienced players already are spotting promising traits and signs from their young teammates.

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Jayhawks' QBs splitting reps during spring practices

In the early stages of what very well could be a lengthy quarterback competition for the Kansas football team in 2021, a number of contenders are getting their chances to make their case for the job.

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AD Travis Goff addresses KU football team after Thursday's spring practice

New University of Kansas Athletic Director Travis Goff made his second appearance at a KU football practice on just his third day on the job Thursday. And this time Goff addressed the players to conclude his visit.

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KU football's 2021 roster features an abundance of sophomores, freshmen

Whether it’s Emmett Jones or someone else leading the Kansas football program when the season begins in September, the Jayhawks will be taking a youthful roster into their 2021 schedule.

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New AD Travis Goff taking 'open-minded' approach to future of KU football program

While new University of Kansas Athletic Director Travis Goff has a strategy and some possible scenarios under consideration for the future of the KU football program, Goff described himself Wednesday as “open-minded” about the team’s head coaching vacancy.

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Players focusing on spring practices as future of KU football head coaching job remains unresolved

The Kansas football program had a new visitor at practice on Tuesday when Travis Goff, KU’s athletic director, stopped by. With Goff set to have an introductory press conference on Wednesday, many are wondering what his plans for the future of the program entail, and exactly how long interim head coach Emmett Jones will remain in charge of the program.

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Bill Self: New AD Travis Goff gives KU 'exactly what we need'

A&M AD also raves about fellow Dodge City native

The head coach of the University of Kansas athletics department’s flagship program, Bill Self, who has lived and worked in Lawrence for nearly 18 years now, considers the Jayhawks “fortunate” to have Travis Goff as the new athletic director.

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KU football lands another 2022 commitment from College Station

College Station, Texas, is becoming a popular recruiting spot for the Kansas football program. The Jayhawks have added their second commitment for the Class of 2022 from the city where offensive line coach Lee Grimes used to play and work.

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'It's a new me': Nate Betts moving to LB for final season with KU football

Although he started in the secondary for Kansas in six of the final seven games of 2020, Nate Betts headed into the offseason looking for a way to make even more of an impact during his final year with the Jayhawks. And his search led him to a new job entirely.

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