LAWRENCE, Kan. – Kansas Athletics announced today that Emmett Jones has been named Kansas Football interim head coach.
“Chancellor 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,” Interim Director of Athletics Kurt Watson said. “This afternoon, I met with the four individuals we considered for this role including Emmett, D.J. Eliot, Joshua Eargle and Mike DeBord, as well as our entire coaching staff and team to inform them of this decision. 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. I am confident in his abilities to ensure this program functions at a high level in preparation for the 2021 season.”
An innovative coach and accomplished recruiter, Jones is entering his third season with the Jayhawks and has served as the wide receivers coach and passing game coordinator for the Kansas offense.
A former head coach at Texas high school power South Oak Cliff High School, Jones has been a major asset for the Jayhawks during his time in Lawrence, and will now lead the team as it continues offseason workouts.
“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. “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 Ben Iannacchione and the strength and conditioning staff to guide our student-athletes and be there for them on and off the field.”
Jones has thrived during his time at Kansas, both in recruiting and with on-field development. He served as the primary recruiter for wide receiver Quaydarius Davis, who signed with Kansas in February and is the highest-ranked recruit in Rivals history to sign with the Jayhawks.
Jones also helped Kansas sign seven players from Texas to the 2021 recruiting class that received its highest recruiting ranking in 10 years. The class was also ranked as the fourth-best in the Big 12, marking the highest Kansas has ever been ranked since the inception of Rivals in 1997.
On the field, Jones coach Andrew Parchment and Stephon Robinson Jr., to all-conference honors in 2019. The two combined for 1,558 yards and 15 touchdowns in 2019. This past season, Kwamie Lassiter II earned all-conference honors as an honorable mention selection and totaled a career-high 43 catches for 458 yards and two touchdowns.
Jones also guided true freshman Luke Grimm this past season to an impressive debut that saw him catch 19 catches for 255 yards and two touchdowns.
Jones came to Kansas after spending three seasons as outside receivers coach on Kliff Kingsbury’s staff at Texas Tech. He was promoted to the position immediately following the 2015 season. Jones, who previously served as Tech’s Director of Player Development in 2015, saw his unit find immediate success during the 2016 campaign as the Red Raiders led the country in total offense (566.6 yards per game) as well as passing offense (463.0 yards per game). Tech averaged 43.7 points per game – its third-highest mark in school history – which ranked fifth nationally among FBS programs.
Jones arrived in Lubbock to oversee Tech’s player development in February 2015. In his one year in that role, he served as a mentor for the Red Raider offense and was also instrumental in Tech’s on-campus recruiting activities.
Jones came to Tech following three seasons as the head coach at South Oak Cliff, one of the top high school programs in the state of Texas. The Golden Bears were a combined 30-8 under Jones, advancing deep in the Class 4A and 5A playoffs over all three seasons. In addition, South Oak Cliff was a hotbed for talent and annually produced several players who signed with Division-I programs, including five players who signed in 2014.
South Oak Cliff was the first head coaching position for Jones after making several stops as an assistant in the Dallas area. Jones previously spent seven seasons at nearby Dallas Skyline High School prior to his arrival at South Oak Cliff. He began his tenure at Skyline as wide receivers coach before later being promoted to offensive coordinator.
Jones, who was a walk-on at Texas Tech during the mid-1990s, began his coaching career at his alma mater Seagoville High School from 2001-04. He later joined the Dallas Lincoln staff for one year before heading to Dallas Skyline.
Jones graduated from North Texas in 1999. He and his wife, Marlo, have two children, Emily and Emmett.