94 Days: Big Changes for Kansas Football in 2024 Offseason

It was an eventful offseason for the Kansas Jayhawks, but there are a couple things that will go a long way to shaping the upcoming season.
The press box and seating looking from the west show the current state of David Booth Kansas Memorial Stadium Thursday.
The press box and seating looking from the west show the current state of David Booth Kansas Memorial Stadium Thursday. / Evert Nelson/The Capital-Journal / USA
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Last season saw a lot of great developments on the field for the Kansas Jayhawks, as the team went to back-to-back bowl games and picked up a win despite dealing with significant injury issues throughout the season. But there have been plenty of significant updates and changes to the program over the last few months, including some infrastructure updates, some changes to the staff and the huge amount of production returning.

Renovations of David Booth Kansas Memorial Stadium

One of the biggest announcements of last season was the additional financial commitment that Athletic Director Travis Goff was able to secure to the football program. That came both in terms of another update to Lance Leipold's contract, but more importantly the necessary beginning of the major renovation to the football stadium as part of the Gateway District project.

After the final whistle sounded on the home finale against Kansas State, preliminary work on the demolition of the west side of the stadium was being done. It didn't take long for the entire section being renovated in the first phase of the construction to be demolished, and the updates have been coming often showing the progress.

It's a huge undertaking, and the athletic department quickly pulled together a plan for the Jayhawks to play this season's home games at Children's Mercy Sporting Park and Arrowhead Stadium while construction is ongoing.

Staff Turnover

It's usually a good sign when other programs are trying to hire away your coaches. Sure it is not ideal to have to find replacements for the guys that are leaving. But that means that your staff has been doing a very good job developing players and preparing the team for game days. And if your head coach hired that assistant, it's a pretty good bet that he has an opportunity to identify a guy that can fill in just as well.

And it appears that Lance Leipold might have done just that. Offensive Coordinator Andy Kotelnicki, long credited with being an offensive wizard, was lured away to Penn State, a move that is probably essential for his long term career. Replacing him is Jeff Grimes, who was recognized for his work at BYU before failing to mesh with the rest of the Baylor staff last season. He isn't quite as established in this system, but he is a pair of fresh eyes that uses a lot of the same concepts.

Co-defensive coordinator Jordan Peterson was tabbed to join Mike Elko down at Texas A&M, his alma mater. He also worked with the defensive backs, a unit that has been absolutely critical for the Jayhawks. But Leipold replaced him with D.K. McDonald, who was very successful in the Big 12 at Iowa State before heading to the NFL to coach with the Eagles.

Also on the offensive side, the offensive line coach Scott Fuchs, another secret weapon on the Leipold staff, was tabbed for a shot in the NFL with the Tennessee Titans this upcoming season. Leipold went back to a familiar face, hiring Daryl Agpalsa, who was with Leipold at Buffalo and UW-Whitewater. Agpalsa has spent the last five seasons at Northern Illinois and seen a lot of success.

Given the track record for the football program, it's both unsurprising to see guys move on, but fans can have hope that the replacements should be able to step in and succeed.

Andy Mitts


Andy Mitts is an alumnus of the University of Kansas, graduating in 2007. He previously covered the Jayhawks at Rock Chalk Talk and is now the editor-in-chief at Blue Wing Rising. He hosts the Kansas-themed Rock Chalk Podcast, and is VP of Membership of the Ten 12 Podcast Network. Follow him on Twitter @AndyMitts12.