Thursday, February 13, 2020

RBs coach Tony Hull leaving KU football

FILE — Kansas running backs coach Tony Hull watches from the sidelines during the second quarter on Friday, Nov. 23, 2018 at David Booth Kansas Memorial Stadium.

FILE — Kansas running backs coach Tony Hull watches from the sidelines during the second quarter on Friday, Nov. 23, 2018 at David Booth Kansas Memorial Stadium.


After sticking around for one year as the Kansas football program transitioned from one coaching regime to another, running backs coach Tony Hull is leaving the team.

Hull, a four-year KU assistant who helped the program land a number of talented recruits from his home state of Louisiana, announced his move Thursday afternoon, with a lengthy message attached to a tweet.

“I would like to take this time to thank Rock Chalk nation — you welcomed me and the boys from Louisiana with open arms,” Hull began.

A source told the Journal-World that Hull is expected to join the coaching staff at Hawaii. He was under contract with KU through the end of this month.

Originally hired by former KU head coach David Beaty in 2016, Hull played a primary role in the Jayhawks establishing a recruiting pipeline of sorts to his native New Orleans and the surrounding area.

With Hull’s connections and reputation in the area, KU successfully brought in players from Louisiana such as Mike Lee, Daylon Charlot, Malik Clark, Pooka Williams Jr., Corione Harris and Takulve Williams.

The departing assistant made a point to thank his “entire Louisianimal family” in Lawrence on his way out.

“You guys are my world,” Hull’s note read, “and we will forever be family. All of your support throughout this process means a lot to me.”

In Hull’s departing letter, he thanked Beaty, as well as current KU coach Les Miles, who kept him around after taking over the program in November of 2018.

Hull also shared his appreciation for the running backs he coached at KU, calling them a part of his family and thanking them for "allowing me to develop you on and off of the field."

Hull is leaving behind a running back group that currently includes KU’s star offensive player, Pooka Williams Jr., Velton Gardner, Torry Locklin and Amauri Pesek-Hickson.

“I’m excited about the new opportunity that GOD has blessed me with,” Hull wrote to wrap up his Twitter letter to the KU faithful. “Once a Jayhawk, always a Jayhawk! ROCK CHALK!”

With Hull moving on, Miles has now lost four position coaches from his first KU staff during the offseason.

Tight ends coach and recruiting coordinator Jeff Hecklinski left to become the offensive coordinator at San Diego State, reuniting with head coach Brady Hoke, whom Hecklinski spent several seasons with previously at Michigan, SDSU and Ball State.

Longtime KU assistant Clint Bowen, like Hull, a holdover from the Beaty era, took a defensive coordinator position at North Texas. The Mean Green also hired Mike Ekeler, who spent 2019 as the inside linebackers coach and special teams coordinator at KU.

Miles promoted from within to fill two of the vacancies, naming former senior offensive analyst Joshua Eargle the replacement for Hecklinski and moving Chidera Uzo-Diribe from a defensive quality control position to outside linebackers coach.

To replace Bowen as the safeties coach, Miles turned to former New Mexico defensive coordinator Jordan Peterson.

Additionally, KU switched strength coaches this offseason, with Zac Woodfin leaving for Missouri. Miles hired a onetime LSU colleague of his, Ben Iannacchione, as the new director of sports performance.

Hull was a successful high school coach in New Orleans, at Warren Easton, before landing his first college job at KU.

An offensive lineman at UL Lafayette in his playing days, Hull went on to become an engineer and spent three years working at NASA before embarking on his coaching career.

None by Coach Tony Hull


Brett McCabe 2 years, 7 months ago

Writing was on the wall when Hull’s name virtually disappeared from the recruiting news. Miles was smart to keep him for a transition year, especially after Zenger panicked and overpaid him. I do wish him well but this was kind of inevitable.

Michael Maris 2 years, 7 months ago

And now, we know why Ashaad Clayton went to Colorado (he had insider information). Is this is why Khalil Herbert and Dominic Williams entered the tranfer portal as well (they knew Coach Hull was leaving as well)?

So, I'm with Austin Lopez on this replacement. Reggie Mitchell ready to leave El Paso yet?

Dane Pratt 2 years, 7 months ago

Players transferring, coaches leaving, lawsuit pending. For a program teetering on the brink of collapse, none of this is good news. Not devastating but certainly not good either.

Robert Brock 2 years, 7 months ago

Still battling to get past the messy Beatty regime. Miles will see us through. We’ll be alright.

Stephen Johnson 2 years, 7 months ago

Seriously? You somehow see this as a positive. A coach who had brought in a load of talented players is leaving. Maybe Miles is cleaning house, but last years season didn't leave me with the feeling that Miles knew what he was doing.

Andy Tweedy 2 years, 7 months ago

I met a group from LSU this past December, and they worship Les Miles. While I appreciate everything Tony Hull did for KU, I doubt this really changes our influence with Louisiana kids.

Michael Maris 2 years, 7 months ago

Andy, while your closing statement may be true. I will still credit David Beaty for having the insight to go abroad the Collegiate Coaching ranks inner circles and offer Coach Hull an opporunity to join the college coaching staff. Coach Beaty's offer to employ Coach Hull initially opened the doors to the Louisiana recruits to travel North to Lawrence, Kansas way earlier than what it would've been once AD Long employed Coach Miles to take over the football program).

Ryan Mullen 2 years, 7 months ago

Aloha pal! Good for him coaching in paradise. He obviously doesn’t care about his career; just wants a nice place to live. Coaches go to die at Hawaii. But I would do it.

Joe Black 2 years, 7 months ago

June Jones made a very nice career for himself in Hawaii! "Doesn't care about his career"?? He is getting to coach Division One football and he gets to live in Hawaii!! What could be better than that? North Dakota State?

Bob Strawn 2 years, 7 months ago

Aloha's last head coach took Mike Leach's Washington State Cougars job.

Stephen Johnson 2 years, 7 months ago

Well Kansas certainly has not been the place to build a coaching career.

Chris Condren 2 years, 7 months ago

Bye, no loss here. This guy is easily replaced. His alleged recruiting prowess is way overrated.

Mike Hart 2 years, 7 months ago

Really, and in what position are you in to be able to assess his recruiting prowess? Not arguing one way or the other, but your post is "amusing".

Jim Stauffer 2 years, 7 months ago

A healthy departure for both Hull and KU. Let's Miles hire his man and allows Hull to find somewhere to coach where his boss is the one who chose him. In coaching that is always a key element. The coaching departures were nearly all predictable. Bowen and Hull were retained due to contractual obligations that have since expired. Hecklinski left for a promotion. Ekeler, while a very enthusiastic guy had a unit, special teams, that performed poorly last year. I am sure the original staff Miles had was not exactly what he wanted. It takes some time at KU (not a destination for top level guys) to get the staff the way you want. We will be fine.

Waylon Cook 2 years, 7 months ago

Saved money on buyouts was what was said about Bowen and Hull...

Looks like that was likely spot on.

Jeff Coffman 2 years, 7 months ago

This started with the run off of Mangino to hire Gill. Gill set the program back 5 years. Weis added to it by introducing Jucos. Beaty decimated the program by accelerating Jucos and not hiring and assessing coaches well. Miles has a ways to go, but a full set of high school recruits. Hull was great for Beaty, was the only one recruiting high schools, however, miles can recruit loisiana and we.need to continue to improve our backfield coaching.

Thank you coach Hull for making a wonderful transition and bringing in solid recruits. We wish you well at Hawaii.

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