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.
The Kansas football team lost on the last play of the game in offensive coordinator Brent Dearmon’s sideline debut Saturday at No. 15 Texas. Even so, the offensive output fortified the Jayhawks’ conviction that the midseason switch to Dearmon will make a significant difference moving forward. By Benton Smith
In college football, motivational ploys know no bounds. And it appears one such behind-the-scenes tactic carried out by the Kansas staff this past week left its mark on quarterback Carter Stanley. By Benton Smith
In the exhilarating moment, the Kansas Jayhawks were convinced they had done it. They arrived at Darrell K. Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium on Saturday convinced they could knock off No. 15 Texas. And when KU quarterback Carter Stanley found receiver Daylon Charlot in the back of the burnt orange south end zone for a two-point conversion late in the fourth quarter, the underdogs felt justified in their confidence. By Benton Smith
Austin, Texas — Although still listed on the game day roster as a quarterback, Kansas football freshman Torry Locklin took all of his pregame reps with the Jayhawks’ running backs.
Austin, Texas — Les Miles didn’t shake up his coaching staff in the middle of the season to play it conservatively with a chance to knock off a top-15 ranked Texas team on the road. Benton Smith
No, the Jayhawks aren’t completely overhauling their offense in the middle of the season. But head coach Les Miles decided to fire offensive coordinator Les Koenning and replace him with Brent Dearmon, so changes should be expected as KU returns from a week off to play at No. 15 Texas. By Benton Smith
KU football's offense needs to improve significantly in the second half of the season, but Les Miles sn’t interested in broadcasting the ways new O.C. Brent Dearmon plans to go about making that happen. A head coach doesn’t fire an O.C. six games into his tenure if the offense is humming along. Examine the statistical output from KU’s first six games and it’s easy to spot warts. By Benton Smith
It lasted close to eight months, but as of Wednesday the connection appears to be severed between the first Class of 2020 prospect to commit to Kansas and Les Miles' coaching staff. By Benton Smith
The third offensive coordinator Les Miles has hired since taking over the Kansas football program in November of 2018, Brent Dearmon’s contract could keep the recently promoted senior offensive consultant with the Jayhawks through the 2025 season. Dearmon’s first two years — which include the remainder of this season, and all of the 2020 and 2021 seasons — are guaranteed and will pay him $250,000 each of those years. By Benton Smith
Both before and after his Kansas football team’s midseason bye week, head coach Les Miles spoke of the importance of self scouting during the Jayhawks’ relative downtime. However, as often is the case with Miles, he didn’t allow outsiders much of a peek behind the curtain in terms of how this past week’s practices benefited KU’s defense. By Benton Smith