Les Miles hires Mike DeBord as Jayhawks’ next offensive coordinator

photo by: AP Photo/Wade Payne

AP File — Kansas football hired Mike DeBord as its new offensive coordinator on Feb. 2, 2021. DeBord, Tennessee's offensive coordinator at the time, is pictured in this file image walking off the field after his team defeated Georgia 38-31 on Saturday, Oct. 10, 2015, in Knoxville, Tenn. (AP Photo/Wade Payne)

KU has hired college football coaching veteran Mike DeBord as its next offensive coordinator, the university announced Tuesday, less than a week after the previous coordinator’s departure was announced.

DeBord, who has more than three decades of experience in coaching, most recently worked as an offensive analyst for Michigan in 2020. He’s also worked in the offensive coordinator position for several programs, as well as doing some work at the professional level.

“We are adding a coach with a wealth of experience in Mike,” Kansas head coach Les Miles said in a news release. “He has squared off with just about every defensive scheme in the book, and has worked within and led several offensive systems.”

DeBord, 64, has been the offensive coordinator for the San Diego Fleet in the AAF (2019), as well as at the college level with Indiana (2017-18), Tennessee (2015-16), Michigan (2006-07 and 1997-99) and Fort Hays State (1985-86).

During his most recent stop as an offensive coordinator at the college level, his Indiana team averaged 395.8 yards and 26.8 points in 2017 and 415.2 yards and 26.4 points in 2018. And at Tennessee, the Vols averaged 35.2 points and 422.3 yards in 2015 and 36.4 points and 443.7 yards in 2016.

DeBord also has experience as a head coach — at Central Michigan, where he went 12-34 from 2000 to 2003 — and in the professional ranks. He worked as the tight ends coach for the Chicago Bears from 2010 to 2012 and as a tight ends and assistant offensive line coach for the Seattle Seahawks from 2008 to 2009.

Miles and DeBord have some history together, as they were both assistant coaches at Michigan in the early 1990s, when Bo Schembechler led the Wolverines.

“I have had the honor of working alongside Mike before, as have some of the best coaches in college football and the NFL,” Miles said in the release. “He makes his fellow coaches better, and will have an instant impact on the Jayhawks.”

DeBord said in the release that he was “looking forward to reuniting with Les Miles, and joining his mission of building Jayhawk Football into a championship program.”

“I love coordinating offenses and helping the players become better individually, and as a unit to help us win,” DeBord said. “That will be done with the great help of the offensive coaches, and the buy-in and hard work by the (players).”

DeBord will be replacing Brent Dearmon, who left this past week to become the offensive coordinator at Middle Tennessee State. Kansas has now had four offensive coordinators since Miles took the helm in late 2018 — the other two were Chip Lindsey, who left to become the head coach at Troy, and Les Koenning, who was fired six games into the 2019 season.

The Jayhawks began their team strength and conditioning sessions for the spring semester on Monday. KU has not yet announced when spring practices will begin.


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