LAWRENCE — Les Miles’ first-year Kansas football staff has undergone its second major shakeup at offensive coordinator.
Miles on Sunday announced the firing of Les Koenning, who served that position as well as quarterbacks coach for the Jayhawks. Koenning has been replaced in those roles by analyst Brent Dearmon.
The Jayhawks enter their bye week ranked 92nd nationally in total offense (356.6 yards per game), 95th in scoring offense (22.6 points per game) and 116th in average time of possession (26:08).
“This was a difficult decision, but it is in the best interest of our football program both now and in the future,” Miles said in a news release. “There is still a lot of football left to play this season and I want to put our players in the best position to be successful, which is why I am making the change now.”
Dearmon, who joined Miles’ staff after a one-year stay as head coach at NAIA program Bethel University in Tennessee, was labeled a “rising star in the world of high-scoring offenses” in the KU news release announcing his hiring as a senior offensive consultant in January. Bethel’s offense finished 2018 as the nation’s highest-scoring at any level with 55 points per game.
Dearmon said he is “humbled and grateful” to Miles for this latest opportunity.
“I am excited to get to work right away with the staff and players and invest in their future both on and off the field,” Dearmon said. “There are a lot of talented young men on this team and it’s up to us as an offensive staff to have them prepared each and every week, and that will be our number one priority.”
In addition to coaching his alma mater Bethel, Dearmon has spent three seasons as offensive coordinator at Arkansas Tech and two years as an analyst at Auburn under head coach Gus Malzahn. Arkansas Tech saw a 360-percent increase in rushing yards per game in Dearmon’s first year with that program.
Dearmon is perhaps best known for innovation in the run-pass option, the subject of a book he wrote titled “The Evolution of the RPO.”
“Brent is one of the brightest individuals I have encountered in all of my years coaching,” Miles said. “His experience as a record-setting coach and quarterback at the collegiate level will benefit our offense immediately. I believe our players will be naturally drawn to Brent’s leadership and coaching ability.
“I have the utmost trust in his ability to lead young men and this move puts our players in the best position to be successful moving forward.”
Koenning was also involved in Miles’ first major shakeup — the former Mississippi State offensive coordinator replaced Chip Lindsey, who Miles had hired for that role at KU before Lindsey left for a head coaching job at Troy after just one month in Lawrence.
In the news release, Miles thanked Koenning for his contributions to the program.
KU returns to action at 6 p.m. Oct. 19 against No. 11 Texas at Darrell K Royal–Texas Memorial Stadium in Austin.