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Wednesday, January 20, 2021

Eargle, Uzo-Diribe and Woodruff join Kansas football staff

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Derek Nester was born and raised in Blue Rapids, and graduated from Valley Heights High School in May of 2000. He attended Cowley College in Arkansas City and Johnson County Community College in Overland Park studying Journalism & Media Communications. After stops at KFRM and KCLY radio in Clay Center, he joined KNDY in 2002 as a board operator and play by play announcer. Derek is now responsible for the digital content of Dierking Communications, Inc. six radio stations. In 2005 Derek joined the staff of KCFX radio in Kansas City as a production coordinator for the Kansas City Chiefs Radio Network, which airs on over 94 radio stations across 12 Midwest states and growing. In 2018 he became the Studio Coordinator at the Cumulus Kansas City broadcast center for Kansas City Chiefs Football.

Courtesy of Kansas Sports Information

LAWRENCE, Kan. – Kansas football’s support staff grew by three on Friday as head coach Les Miles added Joshua Eargle, Cidera Uzo-Diribe and Sarah Woodruff to the Jayhawk family. Eargle will serve as a senior analyst for the offense, Uzo-Diribe will fill a quality control for defense position and Woodruff was hired as the associate director of football operations.

Joshua Eargle, Senior Analyst-Offense
Josh Eargle joined the Kansas football staff as a senior analyst for the offense after spending the previous three seasons as the run game coordinator and offensive line coach at Austin Peay.

During his time at Austin Peay, the Governors completed one of the best turnarounds in all of college football. After going 0-11 in 2016, Austin Peay forged an 8-4 record in 2017 tying for the program’s most wins in a single-season in school history.

Two of his pupils, left tackle Kyle Anderton and left guard Ryan Rockensuess, were named Second-Team All-OVC at the end of the 2017 season for their work in paving the way for the best offense in program history. The Austin Peay rushing attack ranked sixth in the country after amassing 3,105 yards – a program record. The squad also set program highs in rushing touchdowns (32) and yards per rush (5.35).

Eargle came to Austin Peay from East Texas Baptist, where in his three seasons as head coach, he turned around a program that won three games in his first season to a share of the conference title in 2015.

The 2015 American Southwest Conference Coach of the Year, Eargle has experience at the FBS, FCS, Division II and Division III levels of collegiate coaching. Over that time, he has served on both sides of the ball, including as offensive coordinator (Monticello State, 2010) and defensive coordinator (Southeastern Oklahoma State, 2012). Despite being a man who has largely coached offense during his career, Eargle’s Southeastern Oklahoma State defense ranked 29th nationally among 156 Division II programs, and was 11th in pass defense.

At ETBU, Eargle’s ascent saw him coach 23 All-ASC first- and second-team players, including six Division III All-Americans—quarterback Josh Warbington and running back Kendall Roberson posted back-to-back All-American campaigns in 2014-15. In total, ETBU established 42 individual or team season records during Eargle’s three seasons at the helm.

Eargle gained his coaching start in 2003 as a graduate assistant at Southern Miss, spending two years as a GA and another season with the program in 2006—the 2003 Golden Eagle squad captured a Conference USA championship with an 8-0 league record, and the 2006 team won the East Division at 6-2.

Eargle previously worked under KU head coach Les Miles as he coached LSU’s offensive line in 2009. His four FBS season’s yielded four bowl trips—2003 Liberty Bowl, 2004 New Orleans Bowl, 2007 GMAC Bowl and 2010 Capital One Bowl.

Austin Peay will be Eargle’s second FCS level stop—he coached the offensive line at Nicholls State in 2007-08. His other coaching homes have included Ouachita Baptist (2005) and Hallsville High School (2011). At the collegiate level, Eargle has had at least one player at each coaching stop earn an all-conference honor.

A 2001 Memphis graduate, Eargle won the inaugural Top Tiger Award, presented by Tommy West to the player who battled back from adversity or overcame difficult circumstances to return to the field. He earned his Master’s in Sports Administration from Southern Miss in 2004. He and his wife Kristen have three children–two daughters and a son.

Chidera Uzo-Diribe, Quality Control–Defense
Chidera Uzo-Diribe has joined the Jayhawks’ staff as quality control for defense. He came to Kansas after spending the previous four years at his alma mater, Colorado. While at CU he was a graduate assistant for the defense for three seasons after initially joining the staff as a recruiting intern.

Uzo-Diribe participated in the Bill Walsh NFL Diversity Coaching Fellowship program in the summer of 2018 with the San Francisco 49ers. The program was initially created by Walsh as a way to get minority coaches more opportunities to learn, coupled with greater exposure to job opportunities.

A Long Beach, California, native, Uzo-Diribe was a four-year letterman at defensive end for the Buffaloes, and graduated from CU in December 2014 with a bachelor’s degree in communications. He finished his career tied for sixth in quarterback sacks (20), tied for 17th in tackles-for-loss (31) and second in forced fumbles (10); his percentage of solo tackles (99) to overall tackles (118), or 83.9 percent, is the highest in CU history.

As a senior team captain, Uzo-Diribe earned first-team All-Colorado honors from the state’s chapter of the National Football Foundation, was named CU’s Defensive Trench Award winner and played in the East-West Shrine game. For the season, he was in on 46 tackles (36 solo), with 11 for losses including four quarterback sacks; he had seven tackles for zero gain, meaning he had 18 total stops at or behind the line of scrimmage. He was second in the nation in forced fumbles with five, and he also batted down four passes in 739 snaps of action. He was one of 27 players on the final watch list for the Ted Hendricks Award (defensive end of the year), and was one of 76 players on the official preseason watch list for the Bednarik Award.

Sarah Woodruff, Associate Director of Operations
Sarah Woodruff will serve as Kansas football’s associate director of football operations, where she will assist the director of football operations in all facets. The operations staff is responsible for developing and implementing the football program’s annual budget, while overseeing team travel, personnel and scheduling.

Woodruff came to Kansas after spending the 2018 season at Georgia Tech, where she served as recruiting coordinator for the football program.

Prior to her time on The Flats, Woodruff was at the University of Minnesota, where she served as executive assistant to head coach P.J. Fleck for 16 months. Prior to her arrival at Minnesota, she held several positions at her alma mater, Southern Methodist University, from 2015-17. Her roles at SMU included football recruiting and operations assistant, football operations intern and assistant event and ambassador coordinator for the university’s undergraduate admission office.

Woodruff graduated magna cum laude from SMU in December 2015 with a B.S. in applied physiology and sport management (health management concentration, sport management minor) and a B.A. in music (piano concentration).

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