JoJo Kemp’s playing days are over, but he is not finished with football. This morning the former Kentucky running back announced he will now be known as “Coach Kemp” to wide receivers at the University of the Cumberlands.
“I’m going to be out there recruiting and on the sideline,” Kemp said in an interview with Kentucky Roll Call. “It’s something I’ve always had dreams and aspirations of doing. I’m finally getting started in my career and you’re going to be seeing me a lot more.”
Kemp will be a graduate assistant for the Patriots as he pursues his MBA in Williamsburg. The University of the Cumberlands plays in the NAIA’s Mid-South Conference and will face other colleges around the state this fall, like Union College, Campbellsville and UPike.
After completing his Kentucky career at the 2016 TaxSlayer Bowl, Kemp initially pursued a career in the NFL. When teams quit calling, he decided against leaving the states to pursue foreign football opportunities. Not long after, UK’s Director of Player Development, Freddie Maggard, reached out to Kemp to talk about his future.
“I’ve been talking to Freddie for a while now and he played a part as well,” Kemp said. “We sat down and he asked me: ‘What do I want to do? What’s my plan B?’ We talked it up and that’s something I pointed out to him. He definitely had a part in helping me start on this new journey, getting me this first step.”
During his Kentucky career, Jojo rushed for 1,709 yards, 19 touchdowns, while helping improve the team’s record from 2-10 in his freshman year, to 7-6 and a bowl berth in his final season. He learned a lot of lessons from Mark Stoops that he will take with him to Williamsburg.
“All of the stuff Coach Stoops taught us, I’m going to keep it in my heart. Nobody gives you nothing. Keep fighting. Control what you can control. Those are all things that I learned being at Kentucky. At times it’ll be hard, but you just gotta keep fighting. Those are tools I can never forget.”
Kemp is starting small, but he has big dreams for his coaching career.
“This is a very exciting first step for me and I can’t wait to see in five, ten years where I’ll be…maybe at Kentucky.”
Sometimes It’s The Journey That Teaches You A Lot About Your Destination; I’m Going To Continue To Inspire You. I Thank All My Role Models?? pic.twitter.com/Dp9oKpjgK9
— Jojo Kemp III (@JoKempIII) July 24, 2018
Below you’ll find the entire interview with Jojo. He talked about his favorite memories from Kentucky, what it took to successfully create a winning culture in Lexington and what he saw when Benny Snell first stepped onto the Kentucky practice field.