Kansas University's football team ranked ninth in the Big 12 Conference last season with an average of 126.2 rushing yards per game, and Friday coach Mark Mangino addressed the need for a better ground game.
Mangino filled the final opening on his staff, hiring Ed Warinner to coach the offensive line. The Strasburg, Ohio, native spent the last three years in the same capacity at Air Force, which led the nation in rushing in 2002.
Prior to his stint at the Colorado Springs, Colo., academy, Warinner spent 13 seasons at another military academy -- Army. The Mount Union (Ohio) College graduate also has coached at Michigan State (1985-86) and Akron (1984).
Air Force and Army are each known for their run-oriented offenses.
"Ed's skill as an offensive line coach will enhance our entire offense," Mangino said. "His expertise in the run game makes him a valuable addition to our staff."
Air Force averaged 307.8 yards a game in 2002, finishing 8-5 and earning a trip to the San Francisco Bowl.
In Warinner's two other seasons at Air Force, the Falcons led the Mountain West Conference and ranked third in the nation in rushing with averages of 273.5 yards per game in 2001 and 294.9 in 2000.
During Warinner's tenure as offensive line coach at Army, the Black Knights led the nation in rushing in 1993 and 1996. Army also led the nation in rushing in 1998, Warinner's first season as offensive coordinator.
Warinner (pronounced Warner) arrived at Army in 1987, coaching centers and offensive guards. He served as recruiting coordinator the next three years before returning to the field in 1991 to coach the defensive line. He moved to the offensive line in 1992.
Warinner was a standout football and baseball player at Mount Union and in 1983 was the school's leading rusher, scorer and receiver.
He earned a bachelor's degree from Mount Union in 1984 and his master's from Akron in 1985.
Warinner replaces Ken Conatser, who resigned two games into the 2002 season. Tight ends coach Brandon Blaney, who took Conatser's role for the final 10 games last season, will assist Warinner on the offensive line.
Mangino named Northern Colorado assistant Earnest Collins cornerbacks coach on Monday and hired Minnesota's Chris Dawson as head strength and conditioning coach Feb. 7.
The Jayhawks begin spring drills March 10.