LAWRENCE — The long-struggling Kansas football offense has its new director.
The program on Tuesday morning announced the hiring of Chip Lindsey as first-year head coach Les Miles’ offensive coordinator, a role Lindsey held the last two seasons at Auburn before stepping down Monday ahead of his move to KU. Details of Lindsey’s agreement with KU were not immediately available.
The Jayhawks have cycled through offensive play callers over the last four years — Rob Likens, David Beaty, Doug Meacham and, most recently, back to Beaty midway through the most recently completed season, a campaign which saw KU finish ninth in the Big 12 in both scoring offense (23.8 points per game) and passing yards per contest (192.2).
“It is a great day when you can add a coach like Chip Lindsey to your staff,” Miles said in a news release. “He has a proven track record of putting exciting, electric offenses on the field and he also has built a strong reputation of developing his players.”
An offensive analyst during Auburn’s national championship run in his first stint with the team in 2013, Lindsey last season worked with a Tiger offense that finished the regular season ranked 71st nationally in scoring (28.3 points per game), 88th in passing (209.5 yards per game) and 67th in rushing (164.1). It’s worth noting, however, that head coach Gus Malzahn takes a hands-on approach with his teams’ offensive play-calling.
Lindsey’s first year as Auburn’s offensive coordinator finished on a higher note, with the Tigers becoming the eighth Southeastern Conference team all-time to both rush and pass for 3,000 yards in a single season. Auburn finished that campaign with the nation’s 26th-best offense, an attack led by running back and SEC offensive player of the year Kerryon Johnson.
“With the returning players we have on offense and the pieces that we are putting together now in recruiting,” Miles continued, “we have the potential to be much improved.”
A native of Madison, Ala., Lindsey’s previous offensive coordinator stops include Arizona State (2016) and Southern Miss (2014-15), with a one-year stint as quarterbacks coach at Troy sandwiched between a long career at the high school level (1997-2009, 2011-’12). At Southern Miss, Lindsey coached future NFL quarterback Nick Mullens, who finished in the top eight nationally in both passing yards and touchdown passes.
Todd Reesing’s 3,616-passing yard, 22-touchdown performance in 2009 remains the Jayhawks’ last great showing at quarterback, where the program has in the nine years since failed to start a signal caller who posted more than 1,899 passing yards or 13 touchdowns. Both modest marks were achieved this past season by outgoing senior Peyton Bender, but the program’s 192.7 passing yards per contest was the lowest total of Beaty’s four-year tenure, which was marred by the former head coach’s inability to identify a quarterback.
Lindsey joins defensive backs coach Chevis Jackson, who was announced Sunday, as the two earliest members of Miles’ coaching staff at KU.