KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Kansas named an interim head football coach Thursday, three days after Les Miles “parted ways” with the program amid revelations detailing a sexual harassment investigation during his tenure at Louisiana State.
Emmett Jones, who has served as the Jayhawks’ wide receivers coach for the last two seasons and also was promoted to passing game coordinator last season, has been tapped to fill the role until Miles’ replacement is hired.
“I am incredibly grateful to Chancellor Girod and Mr. Watson for the opportunity to lead this program during a critical time of change,” Jones said in a statement. “Since arriving here, I have developed a deep love of this program and university, and it is an honor to be named interim head coach. I will rely on our talented assistant coaches, as well as (KU football Director of Sports Performance) Ben Iannacchione and the strength and conditioning staff to guide our student-athletes and be there for them on and off the field.”
Kansas posted a statement on the football team’s website Thursday afternoon announcing the decision.
“Chancellor (Doug) Girod and I discussed what was in the best interest of our student-athletes, and we came to the conclusion that Emmett Jones is the best man to fill the role of interim head coach,” KU’s Interim Athletic Director Kurt Watson said in a statement.
Watson stepped into his interim role Wednesday after Jeff Long “stepped down” as part of the fallout from the Miles debacle.
“Emmett’s relationship with our football student-athletes is vital as we venture through this time of transition within our football program and athletics department,” Watson said in a statement. “I am confident in his abilities to ensure this program functions at a high level in preparation for the 2021 season.”
Jones was instrumental in landing Skyline wide receiver Quaydarius Davis — a lightning quick, 6-foot tall, vertical threat from the Dallas area who also had offers from Alabama, Florida, LSU and USC among others — as part of the 2021 recruiting class.
Davis, who is ranked No. 59 in the nation by Rivals, is the highest-ranked football recruit Kansas has ever signed.
Jones previously served as a high school football coach at South Oak Cliff High School in suburban Dallas and also spent three seasons as outside receivers coach under Kliff Kingsbury at Texas Tech University.
As a player, Jones walked on with the Red Raiders before beginning his coaching career with various assistant coaching jobs in the Dallas area.