With head coaching job vacant, Jayhawks endorse Emmett Jones

photo by: Nick Krug

Kansas receivers coach Emmett Jones slaps hands with players at the start of practice on Thursday, Aug. 8, 2019.

With the future of the Kansas football program in limbo, some Jayhawks on Wednesday night began publicly drumming up support for Emmett Jones to become the team’s next head coach.

The endorsements for Jones, KU’s third-year receivers coach, began hitting the Twittersphere hours after Jeff Long stepped down as athletic director and two days removed from KU parting ways with Les Miles.

Having those two mammoth vacancies coincide made what will come next for the head coaching position all the more unpredictable, perhaps prompting players to voice their preference for Jones.

The social media movement began with freshman cornerback Jacobee Bryant tweeting, “(Jones) for head coach.” That simple recommendation picked up backing in the form of quote tweets from KU safety Kenny Logan Jr., as well as cornerback Valerian Agbajw Jr.

One of Jones’ position players, sixth-year senior Kwamie Lassiter II, also made his thoughts on the matter clear, posting, “Put Jones in that spot and (let’s) get to it!” Lassiter’s tweet was soon after retweeted by running back Velton Gardner, receiver Takulve “T.K.” Williams, defensive end Marcus Harris and other Jayhawks.

More calls for Jones, who also serves as KU’s passing game coordinator, to take over would follow, too. Receiver Lawrence Arnold wrote, “As a player at KU we need a coach in office right now that (knows) the players and (has) a relationship with the players.” Jones followed that opinion with a hashtag in support of Jones.

De’Kedrick Sterns, a freshman offensive tackle who just enrolled at KU this semester, shared a similar tweet to Arnold’s.

Yet another receiver, Luke Grimm, posted a game photo of him and Jones, with the caption, “Y’all know what to do.”

On Tuesday, before he left KU, Long stated he planned on naming an interim head coach within the next couple of days. While the specifics of the new plan and timetable for naming an interim haven’t yet been made public, it’s likely KU Chancellor Douglas Girod and Kurt Watson, a KU alumnus and prominent donor whom Girod named interim A.D., will decide with current KU assistant will be the interim head coach.

It might be as soon as a few weeks, per Girod, that KU has a new athletic director in place. But it won’t be until then that the next steps for finding the permanent KU football coach will be solidified.


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