Kentucky Sports Radio

University of Kentucky Basketball, Football, and Recruiting news brought to you in the most ridiculous manner possible.
December 18th, 2014

KSR answers your FAQs about Shannon Dawson

It’s been about 24 hours since we learned that Shannon Dawson will be UK’s new offensive coordinator, but for many of us, he’s still a mystery. To help us get better acquainted with our new OC, I spent the day getting to know Dawson via Google. Here’s a brief profile, along with some of your frequently asked questions.


Age: 37
Hometown: Clinton, Louisiana
Alma Mater: Wingate, Class of 2001

Coaching Career

2013: West Virginia (offensive coordinator/quarterbacks)
2012: West Virginia (offensive coordinator/receivers)
2011: West Virginia (inside receivers)
2008-10: Stephen F. Austin (offensive coordinator)
2006-07: Millsaps (offensive coordinator)
2005: New Mexico State (graduate assistant/offense)
2004: Southeastern Louisiana (running backs)
2003: Southeastern Louisiana (offensive quality control)
2002: Wingate (wide receivers)

He’s a guy and his name is Shannon?

Yes, and I’m a girl and my name is Tyler. It’s 2014, get over it.

How did he learn the Air Raid?

Dawson coached under Hal Mumme for three seasons at New Mexico State and Southeastern Louisiana, where he learned the Air Raid system, which he took to Millsaps and Stephen F. Austin before joining the West Virginia staff. At Stephen F. Austin, Dawson had the #1 passing offense, the #4 scoring offense, and the #6 total offense in the FCS. In 2011, Dana Holgorsen hired him as the receivers coach at West Virginia, where he eventually became offensive coordinator.

So, he ran his Air Raid at West Virginia?

Not exactly. Dana Holgorsen is also an Air Raid disciple under Mike Leach and Hal Mumme, and has his own version that Dawson helped run. Dawson helped boost the West Virginia offense to ninth nationally in passing (314.6 yards), 11th in total offense (502.1 yards), 38th in scoring (33.2) and 44th in rushing (187.5). The Mountaineers’ run-to-pass ratio this season was 52%/48%. Under Dawson and Holgorsen, quarterback Clint Trickett passed for 3,285 yards and 18 touchdowns.

Between Dawson and Holgorsen, who called the plays?

Great question. West Virginia beat writer Patrick Southern came on the show today to tell us about Dawson and he said Holgorsen called the plays while Dawson read defenses up in the press box. While Dawson undoubtedly had a hand in whatever the offense did, ultimately, the unit was Holgorsen’s.

Dawson was once asked the difference between his philosophy and Holgorsen’s, and he responded “Dana’s a lot more conservative than I am.” For example, at Stephen F. Austin, Dawson’s offense once threw the ball 89 times in one game. UK only threw the ball 29 times vs. Louisville. Shew-wee. Since then, he’s warmed up to the run game enough to implement a balanced attack at West Virginia, and he’ll have a whole stable of running backs to use in his new role. At Kentucky, Dawson will finally have complete control over the offense, and after years of splitting decisions with Holgorsen, I’m sure he’s ready to let loose.

Are we sure he’s not Tony Vanetti’s twin?

He really does look like him, doesn’t he? Especially in this picture:

So, how is he different than Neal Brown?

We’ve heard Dawson’s offense is very similar to Brown’s, but plays will be called even faster. With SEVERAL Air Raid pieces in place, Dawson can jump in with both feet. Some other people have suggested Dawson will use a more vertical passing attack than Brown with a simpler running game.

What about recruiting?

Dawson is considered a good recruiter, and has commitments from two pro-style QBs at West Virigina, one being David Sills, a four-star. Dawson and Holgorsen are obviously very close, so it’s not clear whether or not Dawson will attempt to bring his commitments with him, but that’s something to keep an eye on.

What’s he like off the field?

Apparently, he’s hilarious and cusses a lot, which means he’ll fit right in with the KSR crew.

Anything really random about him?

He favorited this photo on Twitter:

So I guess he likes cats, which is good because he is one now.

Welcome aboard, coach.

Campus Report: Kentucky

This week’s Campus Report looks ahead to Saturday’s game against UCLA and predicts big things from Willie Cauley-Stein. Check ‘er out.

Rajon Rondo will be traded to the Mavericks

Rajon Rondo

After years of speculation, it looks like Rajon Rondo is finally being traded. According to ESPN, the Boston Celtics have agreed to trade Rondo to the Dallas Mavericks for Brandan Wright, Jae Crowder, and Jameer Nelson, along with a future first-and second-round draft pick.

Rondo and Dirk on the same team???


Stop what you’re doing and listen to Chester’s call to Mark Stoops

That losing streak is gonna end. It’s gonna end in the new Commonwealth Stadium.

BBN was on Humans of New York today

Screen Shot 2014-12-18 at 4.27.30 PM

Several of you have sent us this screenshot from the popular website Humans of New York, a photoblog featuring portraits and interviews with people on the streets of NYC. Four years ago, Brandon Stanton set out with the mission to photograph and interview 10,000 New Yorkers. The blog has over 11 million followers on social media, so I’d say it’s pretty popular.

Stanton is about 6,000 portraits in to his quest, and I’m shocked it took so long to find a Kentucky fan.

Trey Lyles and the Harrisons will share Alex’s minutes

The biggest question after Alex Poythress’ injury has been whether or not John Calipari will stick to the platoons using Derek Willis or Dominique Hawkins or go back to being a normal team. As we expected, Cal said on today’s CBS Sports Teleconference that his team will still “platoon,” even though they’ll only use nine guys…which doesn’t really make it a platoon, but whatever. As for Alex’s minutes, Cal said that Trey Lyles and the Harrison Twins will split them.

“Well, what we’ve done is we’re still platooning. And what I’m doing is we’ll platoon nine, and we’re going to have time to see if Derek Willis or Dom Hawkins deserve to be in the rotation of 10. I’m not going to take minutes away from any player just to platoon. That’s not the idea. We were platooning for one reason: to try to take care of 10 players. I’ve never done it before, may never do it again, but right now it’s what’s best for these players.

So when I went to nine, I told either Andrew, Aaron or Trey, ‘Whichever one of you is playing the best will stay in.’ And then whoever’s playing the second best, if that guy needs a sub, he’ll go in. So play well and you’ll play more. So we reward the guys that are playing well and give them some extra minutes.”

Can someone get a “Platoon or bust” sticker for Calipari to put on his Vespa for Christmas?

Cal called this the “tallest bad defensive rebounding team in the history of the game”

(Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)

(Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)

We’ve all been struggling to find things to nitpick with this team, but John Calipari had no problem finding several in his press conference today. “We’re the 13th best defensive rebounding team out of 14 in our league. Really? The tallest bad defensive rebounding team in the history of the game,” Cal said. “There are things that I look at right now and I’m like, ‘Come on.’”

Cal was particularly hard on his guards. “Our guards right now, we may have the worst group of rebounding guards in the country, too. So we’re doing stuff to hold them accountable,” Cal said, mentioning drills the group will do from now through the end of “Camp Cal,” which starts after the Louisville game.

On the flip side, Steve Alford called UK “the best rebounding team–hands down–in the country” during the CBS Sports Classic teleconference earlier this afternoon. Who’s right? While Kentucky is tied for 23rd nationally in total rebounds per game with 41.1, they are tied for 81st in defensive rebounds per game, with 25.9. Ouch. (Fun fact: guess who’s also 81st? Duke.)

Always good to have something to work on, I guess.

Louisville’s Akoy Agau is transferring to pursue a future in basketball

Louisville’s Akoy Agau is leaving the program, according to multiple people who have the unfortunate job of covering Louisville athletics on a daily basis. The sophomore’s reasoning for leaving is unclear, however, common sense tells KSR he is going somewhere else because he would like to play the game for a living after college.

Agau is the guy who once said, “I personally feel like our fans are more mature [than Kentucky’s].”

He was averaging 3.7 minutes per game this season.

Dana Holgorson confirms Dawson’s hire with a parting statement

West Virginia head coach Dana Holgorsen released a statement today regarding the departure of Shannon Dawson, his offensive coordinator. Holgorsen has known Dawson for years; he was his quarterback and wide receiver coach at Wingate when Dawson played both positions in 1999.

“I want to congratulate Shannon Dawson on becoming the offensive coordinator at Kentucky,” Holgorsen said. “Shannon has been a friend of mine for many years and over these last four years at WVU, he has been an outstanding member of our staff. I wish him nothing but the best in his coaching career. He has a great future ahead.”

“I couldn’t be happier for him. I’ve known Shannon for a long time and trust him as much as any coach that I’ve ever been with.”

Dawson will be formally announced as UK’s new offensive coordinator tomorrow.



Good news, Cats fans!

We knocked off all shipping costs in The KSR Shop today and today only. Spend $30 or more on any merchandise and you’ll receive free shipping on the entire order.

Buy stocking stuffers, hats, shirts, accessories or any of our many UK products and the order will arrive at your front door without any additional costs. But it must be ordered today because the deal is gone tomorrow.

Get to it!


Craig Naivar is leaving Kentucky for Houston

According to a report from our friends over at The Cats Pause, UK special teams and safeties coach Craig Naivar is leaving Kentucky for a job at Houston. Naivar leaves Lexington after one season with the Wildcats and some forgettable moments on the sideline with Coach Stoops.

Don’t everyone cry at once, please.

LIVE Stream of Coach Cal’s pre-UCLA press conference

Mark Stoops discussed offensive coordinator and the future on KSR this morning


Mark Stoops made his first public appearance of the offseason today on Kentucky Sports Radio radio, the day after news broke that he had his offensive coordinator, coincidentally. Stoops cannot publicly comment on the position until it is officially filled, but KSR did get him to open up about potential hires, particularly one offensive coordinator at West Virginia.

Stoops also discussed the disappointing finish in his second season and what he expects moving forward. You can read a rundown of his comments below and the entire interview is embedded at the very bottom for your listening pleasure.


He took his time finding his new offensive coordinator and was amazed by the interest in the job.

Stoops said he took a step back and evaluated his first two years in Lexington before really pursuing his next offensive coordinator. He was amazed by the interest in the job but he wanted to narrow down exactly what he wanted from the position before fielding any calls.

“It’s different now than it was two years ago when I took this job,” he said. “There was quite a few people who were interested. Once again, I just took a step back, evaluated things and thought about what I wanted and where we wanted to go.”

He “wholeheartedly” believes in the Air Raid.

“The roots of whatever you want to call it — Air Raid or Hal Mumme or Mike Leach — there’s a lot of good coaches and a lot of branches off of that and I think that is important to me,” Stoops told KSR. “Ultimately, some of the guys I talked to had roots back to that system, back to Hal Mumme and back to Leach.”

Stoops said he “absolutely” agrees with that system. “That’s why I hired Neal.”

“I think we need it here to win games and I’m here to win games.”

The offensive coordinator needs to be a leader.

Stoops was looking for someone to lead, someone who can stand in front of the offense and make the players believe in him. He wanted someone with strength and toughness who can take charge of the team.

Consistency is also key in the new hire. He didn’t want to bring someone in with a brand new philosophy for the entire staff and all of the players to learn.

“I didn’t want to take a step back by bringing someone in and completely changing our style.”

He has great respect for West Virginia’s offensive coordinator.

Since Stoops can’t mention Shannon Dawson directly, Matt asked what he thought of West Virginia’s offense. Stoops couldn’t help but laugh when he said he has great respect for West Virginia’s offensive coordinator.

He was pleased with Patrick Towles but the job will be open in the spring.

All positions will be open entering next season, including starting quarterback.

“I love it here.”

Stoops raved about how he’s been treated by the administration and the fans and he plans to be here a long time, even if he has a solid Year 3 next season and calls start coming in.

He understands there was frustration with how the season ended and he was equally as frustrated as the fans.

“When I told you ‘We’re just getting started bro,’ I really meant we’re just getting started.”


Listen to the entire interview:

Kentucky woman attends “Shop With A Cop” event, gets arrested for shoplifting


Police arrested a woman yesterday during  “Shop With A Cop” at the Wal-Mart in Manchester, Kentucky.

Before we go any further, I would like to point out that “Shop With A Cop” is an event where cops, as in police officers, go to Wal-Mart with underprivileged children to shop for Christmas presents for their family members and friends. That means the Wal-Mart was full of cops. And it was a charity event. A charity event that was full of cops.

Back to the story…

Samantha Henson, the woman pictured above, thought this would be the ideal time to shoplift — when in reality, it was arguably the worst time to shoplift. Henson was attending the event with her son, who was likely shopping for his mother, when she was busted for stealing jewelry.

Security personnel at the Wal-Mart noticed Henson concealing the items under her clothing so they alerted police, the same police that were all over the store doing good deeds during the holiday season.

Coach Cal with an update on Alex Poythress


While you were listening to Mark Stoops on Kentucky Sports Radio radio, John Calipari hopped on the CBS Sports Classic teleconference with the three other head coaches competing in Saturday’s event. Cal was the last to speak on the call and he gave listeners an update on the current status of Alex Poythress:

He’s doing as well as can be expected. The guys are all hitting him up, talking to him, checking on him. The swelling has to go down before he does the surgery, so he’s still probably 10 days away from that. I was going to meet with him today to see what he and his family have decided as far as surgery and when and where and all of those things. But that’ll be going forward.

Poythress will likely stay home when the team travels to Chicago and he will spend Christmas break with his family in Clarksville.