The University of Oregon announced the addition of Jovon Bouknight, Ken Wilson, and Kenny Sanders to Mario Christobal’s staff for the 2019 football season.
Bouknight is the new wide receivers coach. He spent the last 10 years with Utah State, where he started as a graduate assistant. Bouknight spent time as the WRs coach (2010-13), outside receivers/passing game coordinator (2014-15), co-offensive coordinator (2016) and outside receivers (2017-18).
“Jovon is a tireless worker who brings passion, energy and commitment to our staff. His experience as a player and ability to teach the game will make him a great mentor for our wide receivers,” Christobal said in a press release. “Jovon has built a reputation as a great recruiter and his familiarity with the West Coast will help us to continue to bring elite talent to the University of Oregon.”
Next, Wilson leaves Mike Leach and Washington State to join the Ducks as linebackers coach. Wilson coached LBs at WSU from 2013 through last year.
“Ken has worked extensively with inside and outside linebackers and brings a complete body of work to the defensive side of the ball. He has developed NFL players at several positions,” Christobal said. “I can’t wait for him to get to work with our guys. He already has great connections with our staff, and I have no doubt he will make an immediate impact on our program.”
Finally, Sanders will be the new director of recruiting. He spent the last five years as the assistant director of player personnel at Penn State.
“Kenny’s experience in the NFL and the collegiate level combined with his commitment to those he works with make him the right leader for our recruiting department,” Christobal said. “He has a great feel as an evaluator, but, more importantly, a professionalism and demeanor that allow him to forge great relationships with prospects and their families.”
More from the Oregon Press Release below:
JOVON BOUKNIGHT – WIDE RECEIVERS
Bouknight joins the Ducks after a brief stint with Texas Tech and 10 seasons at Utah State.
A Biletnikoff Award finalist in 2005 at Wyoming, Bouknight’s 10 years at Utah State was primarily focused on working with the wide receivers while he was also the co-offensive coordinator in 2016 and the passing game coordinator for two seasons from 2014-15.
His tenure at Utah State coincided with the program’s most-successful stretch in school history as the Aggies reached seven bowl games in a span of eight years and claimed the 2012 Western Athletic Conference title. Utah State had only six bowl game appearances in its history and none since 1997 prior to his arrival in 2009.
In 2018, Utah State finished second in the nation in scoring offense (47.5), while equaling the program record for wins (11) and the Mountain West record for points in a season (618). Bouknight’s wide receiver group helped the Aggies lead the country with 29 scoring drives that latest under a minute while leading the Mountain West and ranking 11th nationally in total offense (497.4). Utah State reached as high as No. 13 in the Associated Press Poll during the season, good for the program’s best ranking since 1961.
Bouknight coached several of Utah State’s top receivers in its history, highlighted by current Cincinnati Bengals wideout Hunter Sharp, who led the Mountain West with nine receiving touchdowns as a senior in 2015. Sharp also finished second in the Mountain West and 19th in the FBS with 71 receptions that season and third in the league with 76.3 receiving yards per game.
Bouknight joined the Utah State staff after one season as a graduate assistant at his alma mater, Wyoming. He was an offensive graduate assistant during the 2008 campaign, working with the Cowboys’ wide receivers.
Bouknight was a standout wide receiver at Wyoming where he concluded his career ranked 20th all-time in NCAA history for both career receiving yards (3,626) and career receptions (250). He also ranks second all-time in Mountain West history in each of those two categories.
One of the top wide receivers in Mountain West history, Bouknight remains one of Wyoming’s top pass catchers and is still the school’s all-time leader in both all-purpose yards (5,921) and kickoff return yards (2,016). He also ranks second in career receptions and third for receiving yards after catching at least two passes in all 47 games of his collegiate career. That streak remained a Wyoming record up until 2014.
Bouknight was among the nation’s best receivers as a senior in 2005 as he was named one of 15 semifinalists for the Biletnikoff Award. He also earned honorable mention All-America honors from College Football News and first team All-Mountain West accolades after hauling in 1,116 yards through the air. He ended that season ranked ninth in the FBS for average receiving yards per game (101.5), 10th in all-purpose yards per game (160.45), 11th in kickoff return average (27.75), 12th in average receptions per game (7.0) and 15th in total receiving yards.
A native of Denver, Colorado, Bouknight received his bachelor’s degree in kinesiology and health promotion from Wyoming in 2006. He is married to Jeanine Hernandez, a former Utah State softball student-athlete. The couple has one son, Breeze, and one daughter, Brene.
2017-18 Outside Receivers Utah State
2016 Co-Offensive Coordinator Utah State
2014-15 Outside Receivers/Passing Game Coord. Utah State
2010-13 Wide Receivers Utah State
2009 Graduate Assistant Utah State
2008 Graduate Assistant Wyoming
KEN WILSON – LINEBACKERS
Owning nearly 30 years of coaching experience, Wilson spent 19 years on the Nevada staff, which included five seasons as associate head coach and four as defensive coordinator, before his six seasons (2013-18) at Washington State. He has been part of 16 teams that have advanced to a bowl game, including 13 of the last 14 years.
In 2018, Wilson’s work with the linebackers helped Washington State finish with a program record 11 wins, including a victory in the Alamo Bowl, and a No. 10 ranking in both the Associated Press top 25 poll and USA Today Coaches poll. The Cougars led the Pac-12 and ranked tied for 16th nationally in sacks (38) while ranking in the top three in the conference in takeaways (2nd), rushing defense (3rd) and third down defense (3rd).
Washington State’s linebacker corps supplied its top two tacklers in 2018 to go along with its top two leaders in sacks and leader in tackles for loss. Senior Peyton Pelluer and sophomore Jahad Woods both earned Pac-12 All-Conference honors, while the position group totaled 37.5 tackles for loss and 17.5 sacks.
Wilson’s linebacker group helped Washington State finish in the top four in the Pac-12 in tackles for loss each of the last four seasons, highlighted by a league-best 103.0 in 2017, good for eighth nationally. The Cougars also finished in the top three in the Pac-12 in rushing defense each of the last three seasons (2016-18).
Under Wilson’s guidance, Washington State’s linebacker room produced a pair of players that finished in the top five in the Pac-12 in tackles in Pelluer (2015 & 2016) and Justin Sagote (2013). A three-time Pac-12 All-Conference choice, Pelluer recently played in the NFLPA Collegiate Bowl after finishing his career fifth all-time in tackles (352) at WSU. In 2015, Pelluer combined with Jeremiah Allison to give the Cougars two of the top seven leading tacklers in the Pac-12.
Wilson has seen over 20 of his former players sign professional contracts, including six linebackers who were all in the NFL all at once in 2012 and 2013. He currently has four former players in the NFL: Deone Buchanan (LB – Arizona Cardinals), Shalom Luani (SS – Seattle Seahawks), Frankie Luvu (LB – New York Jets) and Brandon Marshall (LB – Denver Broncos).
Over his 19 seasons at Nevada, Wilson coached the defensive line, linebackers and safeties, while serving as defensive coordinator for four seasons. The Wolfpack reached a bowl game 11 times, including each of the last eight seasons, and Wilson was part of five Big West championship teams, two WAC titles and two Big Sky championships.
Wilson served as associate head coach at Nevada over his final five seasons (2008-12), while splitting time between coaching linebackers and defensive ends. In his final season at Nevada in 2012, Wilson helped senior Albert Rosette successfully move back to middle linebacker after playing defensive end the year prior. Rosette went on to lead the Mountain West Conference – Nevada’s first year in the conference – with 135 tackles, good for the third-most in program single-season history, and earned All-Mountain West first team honors.
In 2009, Wilson headed up the linebackers and oversaw the development of a youthful group that included second-team All-WAC selection James-Michael Johnson, who went on to be taken by the Cleveland Browns in the fourth round of the 2012 NFL Draft. In 2008, he coached a pair of future NFL linebackers in Joshua Mauga (New York Jets & Kansas City Chiefs) and Jerome Johnson (St. Louis Rams).
Prior to going back to coaching when Chris Ault took over the program in December 2003, Wilson had served as an assistant athletics director/sports services at Nevada the previous four and half years. He oversaw football, men’s basketball, baseball, track and tennis while coordinating grant-in-aid for all student-athletes in Nevada’s 19-sport athletics program.
Wilson spent six seasons working with Ault from 1989-92 and 1994-95. He was also an assistant coach for Jeff Horton in 1993 and Jeff Tisdel from 1996-98, spending those final three seasons as defensive coordinator. As the nation’s youngest Division I defensive coordinator, he directed the 1996 defense to the top of the conference in every defensive category and was part of the Las Vegas Bowl victory over Ball State.
2013-18 Linebackers Washington State
2012 Associate Head Coach/Linebackers Nevada
2010-11 Associate Head Coach/Defensive Ends Nevada
2008-09 Associate Head Coach/Linebackers Nevada
2007 Defensive Coordinator/Safeties Nevada
2004-06 Assistant Head Coach/Linebackers Nevada
1996-98 Defensive Coordinator Nevada
1989-95 Assistant Coach Nevada
1987-88 Graduate Assistant New Mexico
1986 Graduate Assistant North Central College (Ill.)
KENNY SANDERS – DIRECTOR OF RECRUITING
Sanders arrives after spending the last five years as the assistant director of player personnel at Penn State. He helped the Nittany Lions land five consecutive recruiting classes ranked in the top 20 nationally, highlighted by the country’s No. 6 class in 2018.
Prior to Penn State, Sanders worked in the NFL from 2009-14 with the Baltimore Ravens in the organization’s pro and college scouting department. His time with the Ravens came on the heels of spending three years in the player personnel department at the NFL league office.
Sanders graduated from Gettysburg College in 2004 and earned his masters in sports administration from Louisville in 2005.