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Mitch Barnhart assists the move to hire Eddie Gran


Eddie Gran has been the top candidate for Kentucky’s offensive coordinator position since the job came open almost two weeks ago. Rumor had it Gran was Stoops’ guy and the interest was mutual, but Gran had to coach Cincinnati in its Christmas Eve bowl game before anything became official.

But then Gran got cold feet, we’re told, and had second thoughts about leaving the Bearcats to take over the Wildcats’ offense. Maybe it was the quarterback transfers, maybe it was something else; but the green light turned yellow with hesitation on Gran’s end.

It wasn’t until yesterday that things got back on track, with a little help from Mitch Barnhart. Though Stoops and his relationship with Gran were ultimately the deciding factors, Barnhart’s involvement helped showcase Kentucky’s commitment to Gran. The two sides are close to an agreement and it could be a done deal as soon as tomorrow.

So be on the lookout for that.

Article written by Drew Franklin

I can recite every line from Forrest Gump, blindfolded. Follow me on Twitter: @DrewFranklinKSR

45 Comments for Mitch Barnhart assists the move to hire Eddie Gran

  1. Long Dong Silver
    3:04 pm December 28, 2015 Permalink

    Whoever they get, I hope Stoops doesn’t micromanage him to death. And he is competent.

  2. Capurnicus
    3:07 pm December 28, 2015 Permalink

    I don’t understand why he would leave Cincy… Had a great year there and went to a bowl game.

    • Kernel Sanders
      3:19 pm December 28, 2015 Permalink

      Follow the money. He didn’t make near as much as Dawson’s $550k salary at UK last year. However, if I was him (and maybe this is why he is hesitant), I would consider the very real possibility that he will only be at UK for one year at $550k or whatever vs. the lesser salary at Cincy, but more stable environment.

      Barnhart is taking a huge chance. If Gran’s offense performs like it did in the bowl game vs. SDSU, then Mitch is going to take a lot of heat for helping to bring him on board.

    • roflectomy
      3:22 pm December 28, 2015 Permalink

      Kernel Sanders, I doubt that’s a huge consideration. He could likely find another job just based off his resume with Cincy even if somehow he ended up being here only one year.

    • Kernel Sanders
      3:25 pm December 28, 2015 Permalink

      Ok, then roflectomy, then you tell me why he would leave Cincy for UK. The glamour of UK football?

    • Capurnicus
      3:32 pm December 28, 2015 Permalink

      Was thinking he made around 350k at Cincy… Perhaps more, if they have any kind of “You made a bowl game!” bonus. ESPN has them as 6th ranked in total offense… I would take the total over 1 game any day.

    • ClutchCargo
      3:35 pm December 28, 2015 Permalink

      Kernel Sanders, I will go out on a limb and say that Tuberville’s seat is at least as hot as Stoops’, despite the winning record and bowl appearance. So I doubt that job security at Cincy is a consideration. UK may not be glamorous, but we are at least in a glamorous conference.

    • Kernel Sanders
      3:49 pm December 28, 2015 Permalink

      Clutch, gimme a break. If being in a glamorous conference mattered, then do you really think we would have the long line of mediocre coaching that we have had? Don’t you think we may have had a few big name coaches at least show interest in the job instead of having to practically beg someone to take it? (no Bill Parcells was NEVER coming here, and no Alabama did not beg Bill Curry to stay. They were overjoyed when he left) Maybe UK being in the SEC is why Stoops took the HC job here. Think he has had any second thoughts?

      Who knows? I don’t really care…the whole staff’s days are numbered anyway.

    • Buckeye Fan
      3:50 pm December 28, 2015 Permalink

      Glamorous conference? Bah. Being the worst team in a decent conference gets you nowhere.

    • Catsby80
      4:01 pm December 28, 2015 Permalink

      why does this “buckeye fan” continue to peruse a UK fan site? I can assure you that I have never once been to any OSU site, or any other fan site for that matter. Not sure why you feel the need to come here and offer your two cents. Shouldn’t you be trolling a Notre Dame website or something?

    • ClutchCargo
      4:05 pm December 28, 2015 Permalink

      Kernel, the long line of mediocre coaches was hired by a long line of AD’s that didn’t know or care enough about football to bother trying to move the program forward, so I’m not buying that argument. I only mention the “glamorous conference” as a possible incentive to be a coordinator here because you can at least get noticed here for consideration for a head coaching job.

  3. Blueheart
    3:23 pm December 28, 2015 Permalink

    Can anything go smoothly for UK football?

    • UK1977
      3:37 pm December 28, 2015 Permalink

      Why would it? UK has never been a consistent winner in Football. At least Curry and Mumme took the team to bowls.

  4. Kernel Sanders
    3:24 pm December 28, 2015 Permalink

    Cold feet due to the QB transfers, but maybe it was something else? LOL Maybe the fact that Dawson was canned after 1 year? Maybe the fact that its UK football? Maybe the coaching rumor mill knows more about Stoops’ program than we do? Maybe because he has looked at next year’s schedule and weighed the possibly of winning more than 3 games? Maybe UC is counter offering?

    If I’m him, I can think of a hundred reasons to get cold feet. On the other hand, I can’t think of many to come on board except for $$.

  5. UK1977
    3:34 pm December 28, 2015 Permalink

    Is the UC QB part of the deal? If Barker is the starter, why would he come? Gran could be canned in 1 or 2 years. Stoops has about zero chance of taking the Cats to a bowl in 2016, the schedule is impossible.

  6. secrick
    3:37 pm December 28, 2015 Permalink

    Maybe he wants to be part of the rebuilding of the Ky football program. No that can’t be it. Maybe he and Stoops are just friends and i mean big friends or else he stays at Cinn.

  7. kjd
    3:45 pm December 28, 2015 Permalink

    First, when going against a top 25 team, his offense tanked. His numbers are against AAC talent.
    Second, we have to beg him to hire on!?
    This hire, if it happens, will not excite me, nor will it for the majority of BBN football fans, IMO.

    • UK1977
      3:48 pm December 28, 2015 Permalink

      UK could not have won the OVC in 2015, only someone that’s really unhappy would come to Lexington right now. 2016 is mission impossible.

  8. inside info2
    3:48 pm December 28, 2015 Permalink

    Barnhart: “Gran, pleeeeeeaaaaasssseeee come work for us”

    Gran: “Are you crazy? I have a great job. We just went to a bowl. Why would I take a chance on coming there with a team that is underperforming and will have a tougher schedule next year? Stoops could get fired.”

    Barnhart: “Oh, you don’t have to worry about that. I signed Stoops to the worst contract for a college that has ever been signed. There is no way we could afford to fire him in the next two years.”

    Gran: “So you’re saying you are an idiot and pay people way too much? Ok, where do I $ign?”

    • Kernel Sanders
      3:51 pm December 28, 2015 Permalink

      Gran: “And I hear you agree to some swwweeeettt buyout clauses!”

  9. Bluebloodtoo
    3:50 pm December 28, 2015 Permalink

    Too many negatives and very few positives around UK football these days. Can’t be an easy thing to sell someone on… If you discount the negatives from very young adults, then maybe it’s not so bad. You have to wonder what comments he would get from Dawson, since it would be an obvious place to go for comments. Dawson might be professional and refuse to comment, but even a “no comment” says something.

  10. Bluebloodtoo
    3:53 pm December 28, 2015 Permalink

    I often wonder if the fan base or specific boosters have too much power in these situations. I realize it’s their money, but I also realize how little they might know about this profession.

  11. pithuahua
    3:54 pm December 28, 2015 Permalink

    If they hire Gran, who will coach the QB’s? Because Gran is a RB coach, will Chad Scott be cut loose?

    • inside info2
      4:15 pm December 28, 2015 Permalink

      Gran has coached at most positions on the offense. They can be pretty flexible where they put him. I can’t imagine Scott being let go.

  12. theSkinny81
    3:56 pm December 28, 2015 Permalink

    Are you coming here for some sort of validation or something?

    • theSkinny81
      3:57 pm December 28, 2015 Permalink

      Well, that comment disappeared!! haha

  13. secrick
    4:06 pm December 28, 2015 Permalink

    Who would be a great hire? I can’t think of anyone.

    • Bluebloodtoo
      4:14 pm December 28, 2015 Permalink

      Harold Goodwin

    • UK1977
      4:14 pm December 28, 2015 Permalink

      With Stoops, UK needs someone like Cam Camron who has years of experience.

  14. Sentient Third Eye
    4:13 pm December 28, 2015 Permalink

    Would Gran be joining a coaching staff on the hot seat? No doubt, but are there any seats that aren’t hot or soon-to-be hot these days? Stoops has been here three years, going into his fourth, and he is the co-dean of the SEC East (longest tenure). Forget dog years, coaching tenures in 2015 age in fly years (average lifespan of a fly: 28 days).

    • UK1977
      4:18 pm December 28, 2015 Permalink

      82 teams went to bowls, how many of those coaches got fired? Most of the changes were moved to better jobs.

    • Sentient Third Eye
      4:20 pm December 28, 2015 Permalink

      How many of those 86 will be fired within four years? At least half.

  15. blueballs80
    4:18 pm December 28, 2015 Permalink

    Course he would have wet feet. Stoops is on the hot seat. A porous OL line and not to mention locker room dysfunction in addition to being in the SEC and if Stoops is fired what becomes of him? Too many questions marks on the program.

  16. UK1977
    4:24 pm December 28, 2015 Permalink

    Watching NAVY, I want their whole staff.

  17. UK1977
    4:28 pm December 28, 2015 Permalink

    My son never became a UK football fan, he roots for WKU, lucky him. 🙂

  18. KevinM
    4:31 pm December 28, 2015 Permalink

    Getting Gran at this juncture, and begging him is not a good look.

    He’s gonna have a easy job being OC & QB coach…with only one QB.

    • UK1977
      4:41 pm December 28, 2015 Permalink

      The UC QB is coming with him, why else would he leave UC?

    • Kyblue34
      5:06 pm December 28, 2015 Permalink

      Very doubtful on Kiel. Why would Kiel want to waste his last year of eligibility to sit on the bench for a team that will likely not be going to a bowl? Stoops has already went all in on Barker. If Kiel were to come and be the starter, Barker would follow Towles and Philips out the door and then we would really be screwed at QB for 2017.

  19. UK1977
    4:47 pm December 28, 2015 Permalink

    Done deal according to Cats ILL

  20. Tyds555
    4:55 pm December 28, 2015 Permalink

    This seems pretty normal to me. Stoops, logically, reaches out to Gran. Gran shows interest. Cincy becomes aware of Gran’s interest, and counteroffers. I believe it was mentioned in UC’s bowl game that the AD at Cincy approved more money for football salaries (Gran). Uk, via Barnhardt, ups their offer. Negotiations are part of the process.

  21. Catlogic15
    8:01 pm December 28, 2015 Permalink

    The fact that Barnhart has to convince Stoops’ friend to take the job tells me we’re toast.

  22. cats paw
    8:31 pm December 28, 2015 Permalink

    with the raises and buy outs UK had paid this staff over the last 3 yrs we could have easily got any coach in the nation by offering them about 10 million/year. but lets just keep throwing cash at people that have little to no experience. only in america!

    • UK Big Board Update
      2:08 am December 29, 2015 Permalink

      ^ Aaaaand the dumbass shows up and opens his mouth once again, and everyone’s IQ drops a few points after reading his incoherent rambling.

      What a retard.

    • UK Big Board Update
      2:09 am December 29, 2015 Permalink

      Almost forgot – #L1C8 😉

      Still crying, I’m sure.

  23. EdC
    9:31 pm December 28, 2015 Permalink

    Wouldn’t pretty much ANY football coach doubt themselves if Barney wanted them? He’s pure poison. I would love if this magically worked out but I really don’t see UK football ever being anything as long as Barney is AD. All he cares about is profitable football to fund other sports. Excellence is just not part of the equation.