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New Offensive Leadership, Different Results?


Mark Stoops has his man, or men to be more accurate. Eddie Gran has officially been named as the Assistant Head Coach of the Offense/Offensive Coordinator/RB Coach and Darin Hinshaw is his new Co-Offensive Coordinator as well as QB coach. With the incoming former Bearcats, Chad Scott is moving from the running backs to lead the receivers.

Quite the day for Kentucky Football. Fans wanted, no, fans demanded change and Mark Stoops delivered.  With 29 years of coaching experience, Gran is a trusted Stoops ally but more importantly brings proven player development, play calling, organization and game management experience to the UK sideline. Those attributes were displayed as his former team finished seventh in the nation in total offense.

An argument could be made that Darin Hinshaw’s appointment may be the most crucial announcement of the day. With a young and indeterminable amount of talent at quarterback, Hinshaw’s experience at Tennessee and Cincinnati automatically becomes an immediate necessity for the Wildcat signal callers. Having a dedicated quarterback coach that is not the primary play caller will accentuate fundamental teaching and technical player development. This has been a missing element during Stoops’ tenure. From this aspect alone, expect to see improved quarterback decision making, footwork, and execution.

Chad Scott’s move from running back to receiver coach is a career boosting opportunity. Most, if not all SEC assistant coaches strive to be coordinators and/or head coaches. Diversifying his positional approach will enhance Scott’s resume and keep a proven recruiter in Lexington. There’s no way around it, Chad will have his hands full. Balancing egos and establishing a depth chart with several talented options at his disposal will be challenging. But now with Gran at the helm, he has a veteran offensive coordinator to mentor him through the transition. Vital. Scott’s ability to manage personalities to maximize performance will be an interesting 2016 subplot.

Chad Scott won't be working side-by-side with Boom Williams anymore.

Chad Scott before he celebrates at practice with RB Boom Williams.

In terms of recruiting, Kentucky definitely improved its sales force. Both Gran and Hinshaw are former recruiting coordinators as well as accomplished evaluators that have inked elite talent at multiple locations. Today was a good day for tomorrow at the EJ Nutter Center.

Hiring Gran alone has to be considered a success. Hiring both Gran and Hinshaw is a major step in moving forward. The pair’s continuity, familiarity, in-game communication, and other factors are already in place. Kentucky will have an offensive identity and plan. The multiplicity of Gran’s scheme is a factor that I feel is its strength.

How will these hires translate to 2016 offensive success? Answer lies within results and is to be determined. The Cats will be tested early as Southern Miss will travel to Lexington with full intentions on winning the football game. The new offense will be on public display. With the Golden Eagles returning a record-breaking quarterback and a slew of skill players, UK may have to match TD for TD in order to exceed the visitors on the scoreboard. We shall see.

I asked for your Twitter questions and you Delivered

@draderukfan asked: How will players respond to new demand for maturity from shifts in staff?

-Great question and one that cannot be avoided. With a new coordinator and co-coordinator, players normally put forward their best performances to impress the new coaches. Any sense of entitlement should be thrown out of the window. Position competitions are looming and could lead to a refreshing effort increase.


@shelm63 asked: Do you think we will see anything from Jabari Greenwood this season?
-Yes, Jabari could have played in 15 but WR depth allowed him to redshirt. Eddie Gran likes big receivers, Greenwood fits that mold. Was extremely impressed with him coming out of DC.


@BBNtees1 asked: Why should the fan base believe anything will actually change?

-Another excellent question that I actually was asked when I walked through the door at home. I’d say 3.7 million reasons would be my best guess. Going into year four, Mark Stoops’ team has to show vast improvement from consecutive negative season endings. Regaining BBN confidence and mustering enthusiasm going into Southern Miss game are crucial for the university.


@willdawson77 asked: What are your realistic expectations for the 16 offense?

-An increase in total yards and scoring average. 24 points and 372 yards per game won’t cut it nor sell tickets. Realistically, I can foresee UK nearing the 30 points mark and 420 yards per game. However, much is dependent upon quarterback and offensive line play. As for wins and losses, coaching changes have lessened the severity of difficulty level. But 16 will be much more difficult. Excellent question by the way.


@juliamarie82 asked: What do you think will be the first thing Gran changes?

-Julie I’d say that’s already been done. Moving Chad Scott from RB coach to WR’s. I’d also expect Eddie Gran and Darin Hinshaw to examine everything from depth charts, personnel, practice schedules and so forth before making assessments on moving forward. Secondly; discipline, cohesion and offensive attitude will require a refurbishment. Simply, the Cats have to become more physical offense. An actual offensive plan and identity are also great starts to the process.


@theandrewjacobs asked: Will we see a difference in game planning and OL play?

-Yes, absolutely. Gran plays a high tempo offense which lessens offensive tackle strain by scheme. With 29 years of experience, planning shouldn’t be an issue.


@Donsquatch asked: Who do you foresee being the biggest benefactors of our skill players and why?

-Wow, have to limit this answer, could ramble for days. WR’s as a groups for starters. UC had multiple receivers with 70 catches last season to go along with three RB’s with 700 yards. QB’s will be asked to think less but produce more. I’ll expand in a later post.


@DJLETSGO asked: Why would RB coach get moved after it was the lone bright spot in the offense? RB coaching WRs?

-If Chad Scott wants to become a coordinator he needs to expand his positional horizons. Also, Gran’s inherited problem position is wide receiver. Scott’s familiarity with personnel accompanied by a veteran offensive coordinator’s supervision will make for a great combination for group improvement. Tommy Mainord instilled fundamentals and technique that can carry over. This move is also predicated on Gran being a RB coach and Hinshaw coaching quarterbacks. Scott was to be retained as he’s a proven recruiter and position coach. Win, win for all involved.

Article written by Freddie Maggard

Former University of Kentucky Quarterback and Andy Griffith Fan Club President

29 Comments for New Offensive Leadership, Different Results?

  1. bigblueforever
    10:14 pm December 29, 2015 Permalink

    More blue Koolaid please. Hiring UC’s staff that just got spanked by San Diego State, but they gonna get real good in next 6 months and we will win SEC!!! I want to vomit. Please stop with articles like this nonsense. If you want to take the bait, good luck! Let’s talk about this time next year.

    • inside info2
      9:17 am December 30, 2015 Permalink

      I didn’t read anything in this article about being real good in the next 6 months or winning the SEC. Another fair and balanced article from Freddie.

      This was probably the best hire that we were going to get. Stoops and Gran have history together so hopefully Stoops will trust him more than he did with the previous 2 OCs. Gran has been in the SEC at major programs and was successful. We have a desperately needed proven QB coach now. I don’t see any negatives to this hire. You can’t make one game representative of his 3 seasons at UC. The only negative I see is that he was OC at an ACC school. That isn’t the same as being an OC at an SEC school. But I like the hire. Now if we could just find a good HC…

  2. bigblueforever
    10:21 pm December 29, 2015 Permalink

    Hiring Gran and Hindshaw a major success? Remember those words by the all knowing Freddie Maggard. I bet UK is worse next year. Nothing about it will feel like a major improvement. This is a train wreck. Name one team ever that has had major improvement with third OC in three years. Maggard’s blue colored projections have very little to do with reality. I wish I were wrong. But I’m not…..

    • blueballs80
      10:33 pm December 29, 2015 Permalink

      Geeze man let it play out and then we can all collectively determine if it worked or not. No one said we were gonna win the SEC.The whole offense needs a redo due to lack of having any offensive identity before. What we are looking for is a chance to go bowling and be competitive in the process and come with a game plan. We didn’t have any of that last season.

    • bigblueforever
      10:54 pm December 29, 2015 Permalink

      Blue balls: hope springs eternal and stick your head in sand and keep you fingers crossed. Dawson was the sacrificial lamb for Stoops ineptness. Do these changes feel like big improvements? Wait until Barker gets hurt,which he will with our awful o line. Can’t wait to see Elam, our “best” d lineman, get stood up every play. We play Alabama, UT, Florida, Missouri, Louisville on road. We have So. Miss, Georgia and Miss State at home. Vandy and USC are toss ups. Do you really think UK is going to a bowl next year with direction this program is heading?

    • J-Dub421
      12:07 pm December 30, 2015 Permalink

      Who do you want to hire then bigblueforever?

    • UK Big Board Update
      6:36 pm December 30, 2015 Permalink

      J-Dub: he’ll never tell…..

  3. The Frizz
    10:39 pm December 29, 2015 Permalink

    Freddie, only one receiver topped 70 receptions last year.

  4. kybeau1
    10:40 pm December 29, 2015 Permalink

    Hey Freddie, I really have the name of a good doc for you, Stoops and Ditch-Mitch Barnhart as all three of you, et al, seem to be afflicted with the same overbearing malady: Delusions of Eddie Grandeur.

    Until we learn fundamentally powerful football, quintessentially ground control and clock control, i.e. that implemented by Guy Morris, J. Lo and ‘Artose Spinner or Bill Curry with Moe Williams and Derick Logan, we are going nowhere. And considering Gran’s offensive philosophies and offensive approach, I don’t see it (winning) materializing at UK with Gran, or exhibited by Stoops either.

    • UK Big Board Update
      10:55 pm December 29, 2015 Permalink

      You posted this stupid shit, again?

      Get over yourself. It wasn’t clever the first time, and is even dumber the second.

    • inside info2
      9:21 am December 30, 2015 Permalink

      Nice to see Big Board is infatuated with someone other than me.

      But kybeau1, you lost credibility with me when you associated Curry with success at UK. He had good players that he couldn’t maximize on.

      I agree with your general philosophy on what the UK offense should look like, but I am going to give Gran a chance. He is everything that Dawson wasn’t.

  5. Long Dong Silver
    10:41 pm December 29, 2015 Permalink

    I’ll be happy if the players get along, there’s no off field issues, and the team gets better as the season progresses. I’m not even worried about the record or a bowl. Just no more disorganization and coaches looking like they have never seen a football field before. And no dumb shit and squabbles.

  6. kybeau1
    11:04 pm December 29, 2015 Permalink

    Let me say one thing about this hire: Eddie Gran and Darin Hinshaw are losers! I don’t care if you make a million excuses for him. This is a terrible hire and it will be proven that he is not even superior to Shannon dawson. I don’t know what is the infatuation with this guy. He and his team were split-roasted by a far superior offensive display by San Diego State. Did anyone actually watch that game? I watched it meticulously and from where I was sitting and standing San Diego State demonstrated pro-style, under-center offensive sets, continually and exceedingly using their ground game to score, control the line of scrimmage, control the clock and control and obliterate Cincinnati. That is real football, that is the name of the game: an emotional game with the object to physically exhaust your opponent. That is the only way to play, that is the only way to Win.

    Eddie Gran is a poor, poor choice and apparently one aided and abetted by mitch barnhart who knows absolutely nothing about winning or any other kind of football. So go ahead and pad your pocket-book Stoops and coaching bosom buddies and look for the ship to capsize next year without a life-jacket in sight.

    • blueballs80
      11:29 pm December 29, 2015 Permalink

      Awesome, thanks for the rant. So do us all a favor and don’t watch UK football next season if it pains you this much already.

    • ClutchCargo
      12:14 am December 30, 2015 Permalink

      Wow, kybeau1 actually has worse takes than BTI.

    • CATandMONKEY
      4:02 am December 30, 2015 Permalink

      Second. String. Quarterback.

      One -dimensional analysis, like yours above, is; just that.

  7. woohop1
    12:03 am December 30, 2015 Permalink

    Freddie……so well written. Your knowledge insight is the Best! Pseudo fans ,such as kybeau1 haven’t a clue how the dynamics of coaching works. They are most comfortable with a “glass half-empty”. Keep up the great reporting and commentary!

  8. Irememberharrylancaster
    6:41 am December 30, 2015 Permalink

    My question is…….WHO and WHERE is our Special Teams coach????

  9. KTower
    7:24 am December 30, 2015 Permalink


    You sir are a two bit troll……if you don’t like Kentucky Football then what are you doing posting that garbage on this site? Do you need attention? Are you lonely and frustrated?

    Go Away

  10. ucanthandlethetruth
    8:06 am December 30, 2015 Permalink

    Stoops needs to do two things immediately: hire Guy Morris as OL coach and hire a Special Teams coach. The complete failure of the OL to pass protect and avoid drive-killing penalties cost us at least 2 wins last season. Guy is coaching at the HS level in Lexington, he’s available, let’s get him today.

    The sad truth is we can be much improved next yr and have a worse won-loss record.

    • inside info2
      9:24 am December 30, 2015 Permalink

      Guy Morris ain’t walking through that door. Sorry. He despises Barnhart.

    • DACats86
      3:16 pm December 30, 2015 Permalink

      Morris, Pease, Hatcher, Nelson, Ort, Joker, Leach, Mumme… Let it go, people. Let it go…

  11. inside info2
    9:26 am December 30, 2015 Permalink

    Hey guys, you can disagree with things pertaining to UK sports and still be a fan. Not everyone that says something negative is a troll. I don’t think Stoops is the answer but I still love UK football and want to see it succeed. I won’t apologize for wanting a successful program and being upset that Barnhart can’t seem to get one in place.

  12. Howdy Doody
    10:52 am December 30, 2015 Permalink

    Condolences to the new Kentucky assistant football coaches who chose career suicide.

    • UK Big Board Update
      1:57 pm December 30, 2015 Permalink

      #L1C8, bitch