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 KUsports.com, 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 KUsports.com to Ogden Newspapers.
Since the sale, Smith has become an even more important member of the KUsports.com 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.
A fixture around the Jayhawks’ facilities since he was hired way back in 1988, KU equipment manager Jeff Himes retired at the end of April, closing the book on his 32 years with the team. By Benton Smith
When the COVID-19 pandemic nixed spring football and everything else Miles Kendrick had planned for this stretch of the offseason, the University of Kansas quarterback had a decision to make. By Benton Smith
A football rivalry left for dead almost a decade ago, the Border War reportedly will be exhumed and brought back to the gridiron sometime in the not too distant future.
Like most people doing their best to navigate through the COVID-19 crisis, former University of Kansas football coach Mark Mangino isn’t sure what will come next in these unpredictable times. And for the retired Mangino, who often spends his fall Saturdays attending college football games or watching them on TV, that uncertainty is hanging over the sport he loves. By Benton Smith
This year college football coaches haven’t been able to invite recruits to campus for spring visits as they normally would, due to the COVID-19 crisis. Nevertheless, Les Miles’ staff at the University of Kansas has seen in recent weeks a number of prospects identify KU as one their top college choices.
One of the new voices in the Kansas football program got to share some of his defensive philosophies this week, as safeties coach Jordan Peterson made his debut appearance for the team’s ongoing “KU comes to you” series on Twitter. A former defensive coordinator at New Mexico, Peterson used his video session to discuss forcing fumbles in particular. By Benton Smith
Lawyers for former Kansas football coach David Beaty are zeroing in on the university’s treatment of allegations against Les Miles — allegations that they say are just as serious as the ones that the university is using to justify not paying Beaty a $3 million buyout.
Lawyers for Kansas Athletics Inc., in a reply filed Wednesday, accused David Beaty’s law team of attempting to distract from facts relevant to the former KU football coach’s lawsuit with “salacious allegations against Jeff Long made by a disgruntled former employee.”
Newly released depositions from former Kansas football coach David Beaty’s ongoing court battle with Kansas Athletics Inc. include claims that Athletic Director Jeff Long planned to fire Beaty even before the coach’s final season with the Jayhawks began.
It came as no big surprise when a new study on spending in high-profile college athletics found that the University of Kansas has paid more than most to get rid of football coaches.