Kansas football head coach Les Miles was pursuing a veteran offensive coordinator with a proven track record in the NFL and Power 5 ranks. Tuesday, he found his man in Mike DeBord.
A former Division I head coach with three-plus decades of coaching experience at the collegiate and professional levels, DeBord has coached more than 50 players who went on to play in the NFL, was the offensive coordinator for a National Championship winning team, and has appeared in 16 bowl games.
“This is a great day for Kansas football,” Miles said. “We are adding a coach with a wealth of experience in Mike. He has squared off with just about every defensive scheme in the book, and has worked within and led several offensive systems. In addition to the qualities he brings as a football coach, he is a man of high character, and will be an outstanding addition to our program as we continue to instill the culture we want in place.
Miles continued: “I have had the honor of working alongside Mike before, as have some of the best coaches in college football and the NFL. He makes his fellow coaches better, and will have an instant impact on the Jayhawks.”
DeBord has served previously as the offensive coordinator at Michigan (1997-99, 2006-07), Tennessee (2015-16) and Indiana (2017-18), while also serving as Central Michigan’s head coach from 2000 to 2003. He was also an assistant in the NFL with the Chicago Bears (2010-12) and the Seattle Seahawks (2008-09). Most recently, DeBord served as an offensive analyst at Michigan for the 2020 season.
“I am excited to be the offensive coordinator at the University of Kansas,” DeBord said. “I’m really looking forward to reuniting with Les Miles, and joining his mission of building Jayhawk Football into a championship program. I love coordinating offenses and helping the players become better individually, and as a unit to help us win. That will be done with the great help of the offensive coaches, and the buy-in and hard work by the student-athletes.
“I can’t wait to get started.”
In his nine years as an FBS offensive coordinator, DeBord’s teams have a proven track record of winning. He amassed an 80-33 record overall and a 47-27 record in conference games during his time as a coordinator. In addition, he helped guide Michigan to the 1997 National Championship. He has also coached five future NFL quarterbacks as an offensive coordinator, including Tom Brady, Chad Henne, Brian Griese and Drew Henson at Michigan and Joshua Dobbs at Tennessee.
During his two years at Indiana in 2017 and 2018, DeBord helped set the stage for the Hoosiers to become one of the top teams in the country this past season. In his first year in Bloomington, Indiana averaged 395.8 yards per game, while scoring 26.8 points per contest. Quarterbacks Richard Lagow and Peyton Ramsey combined to throw for 3,188 yards and 25 touchdowns in DeBord’s first season.
In 2018, Indiana’s offense improved even more, averaging 415.2 yards per game and rushing for 1,888 yards as a team. Ramsey threw for 2,875 yards and 19 touchdowns, while DeBord oversaw running back Stevie Scott produce a 1,000-yard rushing season, collecting 1,137 yards and 10 touchdowns on the ground.
At Tennessee, DeBord’s 2016 squad was one of four teams in the conference to end the year in the top half of the SEC in scoring, passing, rushing and total offense. The Volunteers ranked 24th nationally with 36.4 points per game. Dobbs finished the season with 15 touchdown passes and 10 rushing touchdowns, becoming just the third quarterback in the conference’s history to do that.
Also that season, the Volunteers scored 473 points and 63 touchdowns – both school records –while totaling 5,768 yards of total offense, which is the second-most in program history.
In 2015, Tennessee running back Jalen Hurd rushed for 1,288 yards, and the team finished with 2,908 rushing yards, marking the second-highest total in program history. Hurd was selected in the 3rd round of the 2019 NFL Draft by the San Francisco 49ers.
DeBord earned his first opportunity as an FBS offensive coordinator in 1997 with the Wolverines, after serving as the program’s offensive line coach for five seasons. In his first season at Michigan, the program went 12-0 and captured the National Championship. DeBord led a balanced offensive attack with Griese as the starter, averaging 201.2 passing yards per game and 187.3 rushing yards a contest. Michigan didn’t score fewer than 20 points in any of its 12 games that season.
Following a three-year stint at Michigan where the Wolverines went 52-11 and won three-straight New Year’s Day bowl games, DeBord was hired as the head coach at Central Michigan. In his second season with the Chippewas, the team’s offensive output improved more than 100 yards from his first season. The team averaged 92.4 rushing yards per game in DeBord’s first season, before improving that number to 206.1 yards per game by his third season.
In addition to his time in the NFL and as a coordinator in college, DeBord has also spent time coaching at Northwestern, Colorado State and Ball State.
DeBord graduated from Manchester College, and was an honorable mention All-American offensive lineman. He received his master’s from Ball State in 1981.
DeBord and his wife, Deb, have two sons, Tyler and Kyle, and four grandchildren.
The DeBord File:
Alma Mater: Manchester College, 1978
Hometown: Gaston, Ind.
Children: Tyler and Kyle
YEARS COACHING BACKGROUND
2020 Offensive Analyst, Michigan
2019 Offensive Coordinator, San Diego Fleet
2017-2018 Assistant Head Coach, Offensive Coordinator, Tight Ends Coach, Indiana
2015-2016 Offensive Coordinator, Quarterbacks Coach, Tennessee
2013-2015 Sport Administrator, Michigan
2010-2012 Tight Ends, Chicago Bears
2008-2009 Tight Ends, Assistant Offensive Line, Seattle Seahawks
2006-2007 Offensive Coordinator, Tight Ends, Michigan
2004-2005 Special Teams Coordinator, Recruiting Coordinator, Michigan
2000-2003 Head Coach, Central Michigan
1997-1999 Offensive Coordinator, Michigan
1992-1996 Offensive Line, Michigan
1992 Offensive Line, Northwestern
1990-1991 Offensive Line, Colorado State
1988-1989 Offensive Line, Ball State
1987-1988 Offensive Line, Eastern Illinois
1985-1986 Offensive Coordinator, Quarterbacks, Wide Receivers, Fort Hays State
1984 Offensive Line, Fort Hays State
1982-1983 Offensive Line, Franklin College
Bowl Games – Coach
2016, Music City Bowl (Tennessee)
2015, Outback Bowl (Tennessee)
2007, Capital One Bowl (Michigan)
2006, Rose Bowl (Michigan)
2005, Alamo Bowl (Michigan)
2004, Rose Bowl (Michigan)
1999, Orange Bowl (Michigan)
1998, Citrus Bowl (Michigan)
1997, Rose Bowl (Michigan)
1996, Outback Bowl (Michigan)
1995, Alamo Bowl (Michigan)
1994, Holiday Bowl (Michigan)
1993, Hall of Fame Bowl (Michigan)
1992, Rose Bowl (Michigan)
1990, Freedom Bowl (Colorado State)
1989, California Bowl (Ball State)