KU officially adds McDonald to coaching staff

photo by: AP Photo/Lindsey Wasson

Philadelphia Eagles defensive backs coach D.K. McDonald looks on from the sideline during the second half of an NFL football game against the Seattle Seahawks, Monday, Dec. 18, 2023, in Seattle. The Seahawks won 20-17.

The Kansas football team has officially hired former Philadelphia Eagles assistant D.K. McDonald as its co-defensive coordinator and cornerbacks coach, KU Athletics announced Thursday afternoon.

McDonald served as the defensive backs coach for the Eagles in 2023 after spending the previous two seasons, including Philadelphia’s 2022 run to the Super Bowl, as assistant defensive backs coach.

At KU he replaces Jordan Peterson, who left Lawrence for his alma mater, Texas A&M. McDonald will now serve as one of the top assistants under head coach Lance Leipold.

“D.K. is a well-respected defensive coach and high-quality person and will be a great fit with our coaching staff and players,” Leipold said in a press release. “D.K. has coached at a very high level and brings great college football, Big 12 and NFL experience and has built great continuity with his staffs throughout his career. We’re excited to welcome D.K., his wife Kayla and their three daughters, Reagan, Margot and Fiona to Lawrence.”

McDonald previously spent nine seasons on Matt Campbell’s coaching staffs at Toledo and Iowa State. With the Cyclones, he had stretches as a position coach for cornerbacks and then for safeties; on KU’s staff, the safeties are tutored by defensive coordinator Brian Borland.

McDonald’s first Division I job was with William & Mary in 2011 after he had previously served as a secondary coach at Edinboro and Indiana University of Pennsylvania.

In his playing career, McDonald, a native of Orville, Ohio, was an all-conference cornerback for Edinboro.


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