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SLATE: Phil Bennett has a new job

Plus results from day one at the Jayhawk Classic

The former Cat DC is back in football after a layoff.
The former Cat DC is back in football after a layoff.
Photo by George Gojkovich/Getty Images

In 2018, when Herman Edwards took over at Arizona State, he offered former Kansas State assistant Phil Bennett the chance to hold over from the fired Todd Grantham’s staff. But Bennett declined because he’d been suffering from back problems.

He’s been out of work ever since — at least until yesterday. Seth Littrell announced in a statement that he’d hired Bennett, now 65, as the defensive coordinator at North Texas. Bennett replaces another name with which you’re familiar — former Kansas DC Clint Bowen, whose lone year in Denton was a complete disaster.

Although his stint at Baylor soured some Wildcat fans on Bennett, his brief and tragic tenure in Manhattan as Bill Snyder’s defensive coordinator has always been an emotional tether to K-State in many ways, and we wish Phil all the best in his new gig.

Over in Lawrence, the Wildcat track team did not have an exceptional day on Friday. In day one of the Jayhawk Classic, K-State notched only a single victory, a podium sweep of the women’s weight throw led by Shaelyn Ward. Ward slung a 19.20m on her third throw then fouled three straight times trying to better the mark. She didn’t need to; that throw beat teammates Taylor Latimer by more than a full meter and Jasmine Greer by more than two as they finished second and third.

The lineup of the Classic is the same as the KU-KSU-WSU triangular, which K-State easily swept on both sides. After day one, however, the Cats are in last place in the women’s standings and second in the men’s. Compounding the problem: only Kansas entered athletes in the pentathlon and heptathlon, events K-State generally excels, so Kansas will sweep all the points in those two events regardless of what transpires today. The meet resumed at 11:00.

We will of course return later in the day with your open thread for the men’s basketball game against West Virginia, scheduled for 3:00 at Bramlage; the women tip off at 4:00 for the Sunflower Showdown in Lawrence.