LAWRENCE — Kansas football’s most tenured assistant coach has left the program.

Clint Bowen, who served as the Jayhawks’ safeties coach last season, has accepted the position of defensive coordinator with North Texas, Bowen’s new employer announced Thursday. A member of the KU coaching staff for 21 nonconsecutive seasons, Bowen was the Jayhawks' interim head coach for the final eight games of the 2014 season and a defensive coordinator at two separate times (2006-09, 2014-18).

"It had to be the perfect situation for me to leave KU and that is exactly what UNT offers,” Bowen said in a news release. “Coach (Seth) Littrell is so well respected in the coaching profession and has established a foundation and culture at UNT that puts the program in position for tremendous success. I am excited to be a part of the future of Mean Green football."

This will be Bowen's second stint with the Mean Green — he held the role of defensive coordinator in 2011 before returning to KU.

"Coach Bowen is a huge addition for us and we are happy to have the opportunity to bring such an experienced defensive coach back to Denton," Littrell said. "He has been successful throughout his career, and is someone I respect greatly. I can't wait to bring him into our family and culture and give him the opportunity to leave a great mark on our program."

A former Jayhawk defensive back (1990, '92-93), Bowen first joined the KU coaching staff as a graduate assistant (1996, '98-99). Since then, Bowen has spent only one two-year stint away from Lawrence, serving as Western Kentucky's defensive coordinator (2010), followed by the first stop at UNT.