Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Oklahoma announces hiring of former KU D-Line coach Calvin Thibodeaux

Kansas defensive line coach Calvin Thibodeaux pulls players off the line during practice on Thursday, Aug. 13, 2015.

Kansas defensive line coach Calvin Thibodeaux pulls players off the line during practice on Thursday, Aug. 13, 2015.


The University of Oklahoma and head football coach Bob Stoops on Wednesday morning made official the hiring of now-former Kansas University defensive line coach Calvin Thibodeaux, the fifth full-time assistant to leave KU coach David Beaty’s coaching staff this offseason.

Like a couple of coaches who left Lawrence before him, Thibodeaux’s departure came down to accepting an opportunity that simply was too good to pass up.

"It's a dream come true," Thibodeaux said in a news release sent out by the Sooners. "To have this opportunity is special. It's home. I know the culture, I know what the expectations are. It's truly a blessing. When I got into coaching back in 2008, it was always one of my goals to come back home. For it to happen is just remarkable."

The 32-year-old Thibodeaux, who spent one season on Beaty’s staff at Kansas after three seasons with Tulsa, played at OU from 2002-06 and was an all-Big 12 selection during the 2005 season.

It was Thibodeaux’s familiarity with and fondness for the program that landed him on Stoops’ short list to replace Diron Reynolds, who left Oklahoma for Stanford after just one season on Stoops’ staff.

"We're excited to have Calvin back in our program," Stoops said in the release. "He's a longtime Sooner and was an excellent player for us. He's gained great defensive line experience coming up through the coaching ranks and was being sought after by other programs. He'll provide great leadership and direction to our players and will make big contributions to our defensive scheme.”

Well-liked by the players and coaching staff during his lone season at KU and viewed within the coaching fraternity as an up-and-comer, Thibodeaux said during the 2015 season that his time as a player with the Sooners played a big part in shaping his coaching path, which now has included stops at six schools since 2008.

“Most of my coaching philosophy has really been shaped by my experience at the University of Oklahoma and those experiences,” he said prior to KU’s game against the Sooners in Lawrence in 2015. “You carry a lot of those thoughts and ideas with you. As a player, when you’re playing at Oklahoma, you’re not really concerned about (your coaching future) but you carry yourself in a manner that, when your time is up, they remember (you) took care of your business on and off the field and possibly a door would open.”

Thibodeaux’s departure creates a third vacancy at KU, where Beaty is working around the clock to find replacements for running backs coach Reggie Mitchell (Arkansas), special teams coordinator Gary Hyman (demoted, then Indiana State) and now Thibodeaux.

Wide receivers coach Jason Phillips replaced Klint Kubiak, who left to join his father’s staff with the Denver Broncos, and linebackers coach Todd Bradford came in to replace Kevin Kane, who returned to Northern Illinois to become NIU’s defensive coordinator.

Beaty is expected to finalize his second staff before the start of spring practices on March 6 and said last week at a rally in Topeka that the list of quality coaches reaching out to Kansas about the openings was “a mile long."

Recent stories from KU's coaching carousel


David A. Smith 6 years, 3 months ago

Well, I'd say that OU has done about as much to our defensive line as I'd like to see happen for a while.

Michael Sillman 6 years, 3 months ago

It will be interesting to see how this works out for him. DL coach has been a bit of a spinning door for Stoops.

Matt Tait 6 years, 3 months ago

I think that's the reason OU hired him instead of going with a bigger name or more expensive option.... They believe, because he played there and it was a dream job, he'll stick around. I'd lean toward thinking they're correct.

Don Everett 6 years, 3 months ago

Conspiracy theory, was this a package deal with Bledsoe all along?

Mike Barnhart 6 years, 3 months ago

Just bad luck, all of these guys went on to better jobs. I'd be a little more freaked if a coordinator left to be a line coach at Tulane or something of that sort!

Suzi Marshall 6 years, 2 months ago

This robbery and sexual assault thing at Jayhawk Towers by some of the football players have me concerned. Perhaps the coaches know the character of some of our players is not good, leading them to want to jump from a ship that will not float.

Michael Maris 6 years, 2 months ago

Suzi, with all due respect, I'm sure that the departing coaches did not leave due to such actions. Those issues will be handled outside of the University (eventually). Just like past actions have been handled (in previous coaching era's).

Do these player actions shed a positive light on the program? Nope. But, a lot of the other University Athletic programs have some issues.

Coach Kane ='s job promotion to DC Coach Thib ='s Going back to his College Roots Coach Hyman ='s job demotion (evidently from what I've previously read) Coach Mitchell ='s more $$$$$$$$$ (more than likely) Coach Kubiak ='s back to the NFL and working under his father

So, I don't think that players attitudes and behavior has anything to do with these coaching changes.

Suzi Marshall 6 years, 2 months ago

You're probably right. I can't begin to tell you how much I hate this kind of thing that's happening on the football team. It turns me off to the point that I don't want anything to do with a program with kids like that.

Dirk Medema 6 years, 2 months ago

10 players from KS signed with Big 12 schools. It stinks that we got so few, but it definitely disproves the notion that there isn't enough talent in-state. We just need to develop the program into one they're interested in.

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