Lamar Thomas and Steve Clinkscale were hired by Mark Stoops in 2016. At the conclusion of the two-year contracts, only Clinkscale’s has been renewed.
According to Jon Hale of the Courier-Journal, Stoops will retain defensive backs coach Steve Clinkscale for the 2018 season. The details of Clinkscale’s extension are not yet known, but the news has been confirmed by a UK spokesperson.
Known as “Coach Clink” by his players, his secondary was arguably the most critiqued unit on the team in 2017. With a highly-touted wealth of experienced depth, UK’s pass defense fell from 5th in the SEC in 2016 (206 yards per game), to 13th in 2017 (251.6 ypg).
However, Clinkscale has done something no Kentucky football coach has ever done before him: recruit Michigan. The top-ranked player in the state of Michigan, Marquan McCall, is the top-ranked player in UK’s 2018 recruiting class and will fill the Cats’ greatest position of need, nose guard. Clinkscale also signed early enrollee safety DeAndre Square from Detroit powerhouse Cass Tech.
Even though the secondary did not live up to the hype in 2017, Clink has plenty of redeeming qualities as an assistant and a year of success from 2016 his unit could rediscover in 2018.