Emmett Jones Hired To Coach Jayhawk Wide Receivers

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Courtesy of Kansas Sports Information

LAWRENCE, Kan. – Emmett Jones is the latest addition to Kansas football head coach Les Miles’ staff, as he was hired Tuesday and will oversee the Jayhawks wide receivers. Jones arrives at KU fresh off of coaching some of the top receivers in Texas Tech history.

“Emmett Jones is a dynamic wide receivers coach,” said Miles. “The players he has worked with have really flourished under his guidance. He has developed them to have highly productive careers in college and also to go on to find success at the next level. His familiarity with the Big 12 landscape will also help us greatly in recruiting.”

Jones recently completed his third season as outside receivers coach on Kliff Kingsbury’s staff at Texas Tech after being 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.

Under Jones’ direction, Tech’s outside receivers accounted for 1,835 receiving yards and 16 touchdowns, which were led by Dylan Cantrell, who finished with 650 yards and eight touchdowns through the air. Cantrell wrapped his career with 1,873 receiving yards and 18 touchdowns, the majority of which came during his final two seasons under Jones.

Cantrell and fellow receiver Keke Coutee both heard their names called during the 2018 NFL Draft as Cantrell was selected in the sixth round by the Los Angeles Chargers. Fellow outside receiver Derrick Willies also received an opportunity at the next level as he signed a free agent agreement with the Cleveland Browns shortly after the draft.

T.J. Vasher developed into a significant deep threat under Jones after catching 29 passes for 545 yards and six touchdowns as only a redshirt freshman in 2017. Vasher turned in two 100-yard performances during Big 12 play as he recorded all but two of his receptions during the final eight games of the year. He averaged 18.8 yards per catch overall, which ranked 22nd nationally at the end of the season.

In 2018 Jones coached Antoine Wesley, who was named a first-team All-American by the Football Writers Association of America, All-Big 12 First Team by the Associated Press and All-Big 12 Second Team by the league coaches and a semifinalist for the Biletnikoff Award.

Wesley was among the FBS leaders in 2018 in almost every receiving category after hauling in 88 passes for 1,410 yards and nine touchdowns. He ranks second nationally in receiving yards and receiving yards per game (117.5) as well as eighth in receptions per game (7.3). He was the Big 12 leader in all three categories. Wesley’s 1,410 receiving yards ranks third all-time in Texas Tech history.

Jones arrived in Lubbock to oversee Tech’s player development in February 2015. In his one season in that role, Jones 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.

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Derek Nester was born and raised in Blue Rapids and graduated from Valley Heights High School in 2000. He attended Cowley College in Arkansas City and Johnson County Community College in Overland Park studying Journalism & Media Communications. In 2002 Derek joined Taylor Communications, Inc. in Salina, Kansas working in digital media for 550 AM KFRM and 100.9 FM KCLY. Following that stop, he joined Dierking Communications, Inc. stations KNDY AM & FM as a board operator and fill-in sports play-by-play announcer. Starting in 2005 Derek joined the Kansas City Chiefs Radio Network as a Studio Coordinator at 101 The Fox in Kansas City, a role he would serve for 15 years culminating in the Super Bowl LIV Championship game broadcast. In 2021 he moved to Audacy, formerly known as Entercom Communications, Inc. and 106.5 The Wolf and 610 Sports Radio, the new flagship stations of the Kansas City Chiefs Radio Network, the largest radio network in the NFL. Through all of this, Derek continues to serve as the Digital Media Director for Sunflower State Radio, the digital and social media operations of Dierking Communications, Inc. and the 6 radio stations it owns and operates across Kansas.