Miles’ KU coaching staff almost complete

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Courtesy of Kansas Athletics

LAWRENCE, Kan. –Les Miles’s first coaching staff as head coach at The University of Kansas is nearly complete, and will include two familiar faces in Clint Bowen and Tony Hull. Bowen will coach the KU safeties, while Hull will continue to lead the running backs.

“I can’t say enough great things about Clint and Tony,” said Miles. “The work they have done since I have been here to help us in regards to the players already in our program and in recruiting has been extremely beneficial. They are talented coaches and recruiters, but what sets them apart is their ability to establish strong relationships with their student-athletes. Their familiarity with the program is a great asset to us as we move forward in building something special together here at KU.”

Bowen recently completed his 23rd year in the Kansas program, including 20 seasons as a coach. He has coached cornerbacks, safeties and linebackers during his time at his alma mater. In 2018, Bowen worked with the KU cornerbacks, guiding true freshman Corione Harris to Freshman All-America honors by

In his most recent stint coaching safeties at Kansas in 2016, Bowen coached a pair of hard-hitting safeties, led by veteran Fish Smithson with 93 tackles and then-freshman Mike Lee with 77 stops. Smithson earned All-Big 12 First Team honors on his way to signing a free agent contract with the Washington Redskins. Lee found his name on Athlon Sports’ Freshman All-America Team, while he also picked up All-Big 12 honorable mention honors.

In 2015, Bowen guided Smithson to an FBS-leading 87 solo tackles. Smithson came within three tackles of tying Bowen’s top-three mark in KU history for tackles in a season by a defensive back and became the first DB to lead the team in tackles since one of KU’s all-time great players, Darrell Stuckey in 2009. Smithson’s 111 tackles were the most by a DB since 1998.

Hull, who just completed his third season in Lawrence, has seen success in his role coaching the Jayhawks running backs. In 2018 he guided Pooka Williams Jr., to All-America Second Team honors from both the Football Writers Association of America (FWAA) and Phil Steele Magazine.

Under Hull’s guidance, Williams took home Big 12 Offensive Freshman of the Year honors and was also named to the All-Big 12 First Team as both a running back and as a returner. He was named the Big 12 Newcomer of the Year and was a first-team honoree as an all-purpose player by the Associated Press, while taking home second-team honors at running back.

Williams rushed for a total of 1,125 yards on 161 carries, good for 102.3 yards per game, 7.0 yards per carry and seven rushing touchdowns. He added 289 yards and two scores on 33 receptions and 246 yards on 11 kick returns to lead the Big 12 and rank sixth in the FBS in all-purpose yards at 150.9 per game. Williams also threw for a touchdown—a nine-yard pass against Oklahoma.

Hull also mentored running back Khalil Herbert as he exploded for a 291-yard rushing game against West Virginia in 2017–the third-best single-game rushing performance in KU history and third-best in the NCAA that season.

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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.