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Offensive Coordinator Hot Board 2.0: NFL Assistants Emerge

Almost 48 hours removed from the termination of Eddie Gran and Darin Hinshaw, a leading candidate has yet to emerge as Kentucky’s next offensive coordinator. There have been some intriguing developments in the search.

“The nice thing is we have a lot of people interested,” Stoops said during Monday night’s call-in show.

In the first hot board we provided you with a long list of potential candidates. After doing some digging, the latest trend ties the vacancy to various NFL assistant coaches. Mark Stoops said on Sunday that hiring a coach from the NFL ranks, “it’s certainly an option.” Not only does Stoops have experience hiring a coordinator from the NFL, Brad White, more and more NFL assistants are jumping into the college ranks to call plays. Boston College, Cal and Washington each made that move last season.

If Stoops does in fact modernize the offense by seeking out the services of an NFL assistant, there are a few names we’ve heard, folks with connections to the University of Kentucky and coaches who could be ready to get out from underneath the comfortable confines of a head coach and call plays for the first time.

Deland McCollough (Chiefs Running Backs Coach) 

When looking for someone to modernize the passing game, why not take a stab at the guy coaching the best quarterback in the NFL? The only problem with Patrick Mahomes’ quarterbacks coach, Mike Kafka, is that he’s in line to become the Chiefs’ offensive coordinator next season once Eric Bieniemy takes a head coaching job elsewhere.

Even though he might not be a QB coaching wizard, McCollough is a Youngstown native, something at least four other UK staffers can also say. McCullough has experience at the collegiate level, coaching USC’s running backs in 2017 after five years at Indiana, four of which he shared with UK head strength coach Mark Hill.

Shane Waldron (Rams QB Coach)

Hiring from the Sean McVay coaching tree has been a popular choice for NFL owners in recent years, making way for Matt LaFleur to take the reins in Green Bay and Zac Taylor in Cincinnati. If Mark Stoops can successfully satisfy this option, Waldron is the ideal candidate.

A seven-year NFL vet, he’s spent the last four coaching Jared Goff and the rest of the Rams’ quarterbacks. Prior to moving to the West Coast, he worked on the same 2016 Washington Football Team staff with UK quality control analyst Greg Manusky. The one problem with Waldron is that he is probably over-qualified for the job. Like the Chiefs’ Kafka, Waldron is in line to be hired to a prominent role somewhere in the NFL. Last season he interviewed for the Cincinnati Bengals’ head coaching vacancy, losing out to his L.A. colleague, Taylor.

Press Taylor (Eagles QB Coach)

The younger brother of Zac Taylor, Press is considered a wunderkind of sorts after helping the Eagles win a Super Bowl as a 30-year old assistant QB coach. After Cason Wentz was benched, now might be the perfect time to jump ship and return to the college game.

Pep Hamilton (Chargers QB Coach)

A name Luckett mentioned Sunday, Hamilton has helped Justin Herbert seamlessly transition into the NFL. Before taking the job in LA, Hamilton coached the XFL’s D.C. Defenders. His connection to Stoops is through Brad White. Hamilton was the Colts’ offensive coordinator when White was in Indy.

Most importantly, Hamilton has experience running a balanced pro-style offense. He mastered it coaching Andrew Luck at Stanford and implemented it at Michigan in the early years of Jim Harbaugh’s tenure.

Jedd Fisch (Patriots QB)

Like Hamilton, Fisch is another former Harbaugh play-caller at Michigan. Unlike Hamilton, since his stint in Ann Arbor he’s spent the last three seasons working for two of the NFL’s brightest offensive minds, Sean McVay and Josh McDaniels.

Ken Dorsey (Bills QB Coach)

You know him as the quarterback of the Miami Hurricanes that went to consecutive BCS National Championships. For the last eight seasons he’s been coaching quarterbacks in the NFL. He helped turn Cam Newton into an MVP with Carolina and has spent the last two seasons developing Josh Allen (not our Josh Allen, the Buffalo Bills’ Josh Allen). Stoops did not regularly work with Dorsey at Miami, but he did coach the Canes’ defensive backs when Dorsey helped Miami win the 2001 national title.

Kevin Patullo (Colts Passing Game Specialist)

Even though Stoops said he does not need to have a previous working relationship with a coach to hire them, Patullo can at least check that box. He was a graduate assistant for three years when Mark coached Mike Stoops’ defense at Arizona. Patullo was spent most of his time in the NFL, but he did take an analyst role for a year at Texas A&M.

Mike McDaniel (49ers Run Game Coordinator)

Mark Stoops wants to play an exciting brand of football that fills the stands. That can happen with a creative rushing attack that takes you to the Super Bowl. This Kyle Shanahan disciple has no experience calling plays, which might be enough to entice him to give coaching at the college ranks a shot.

Article written by Nick Roush

"Look upon the doughnut, and not upon the hole." @RoushKSR

24 Comments for Offensive Coordinator Hot Board 2.0: NFL Assistants Emerge

  1. BigBluSoTru
    6:17 pm December 8, 2020 Permalink

    Here we go Ksr at it’s best getting us in BBN all hyped up with NFL coaches clamoring to beat down the door to get to Lexington. I’m sure KC chiefs Qb coach has had us on wish list for years.

    • BigBluSoTru
      6:20 pm December 8, 2020 Permalink

      I didn’t even read who authored this article . I thought to myself before looking Rousch and behold the KSR Matt Jones fanboy writer of all time expected.

  2. brainesman
    6:37 pm December 8, 2020 Permalink

    Google McCollugh, there’s a fantastic story about him that either ESPN or SI did.

  3. wildcatdon
    7:00 pm December 8, 2020 Permalink

    No NFL guys please.

    • BigBluSoTru
      7:16 pm December 8, 2020 Permalink

      Well you might as well get ready that’s all ksr is going too sell you. Give you the impression UK is going to have the best of the best offensives minds in the game.

    • itsfootballtimeinthebluegrass
      9:51 pm December 8, 2020 Permalink

      We got Brad White from the Colts?????

  4. dukeisking
    7:18 pm December 8, 2020 Permalink

    KSR is gonna ramp that hype train. No one listed is interested in coming to Lexington. KSR is equal to a used car lot.

    • chris gettelfinger is not walking through that door
      8:37 pm December 8, 2020 Permalink

      Come back Duke is relevant in football and plays in a conference that is not a one team league.

    • chris gettelfinger is not walking through that door
      8:39 pm December 8, 2020 Permalink

      When Duke is relevant…

  5. blueballs80
    7:23 pm December 8, 2020 Permalink

    Gran was a good running backs coach but not a good OC. We need someone from the NFL assistant that has called plays and been involved in QB development.

  6. BigBogee
    7:30 pm December 8, 2020 Permalink

    From this list? I would take Pep Hamilton. Prior OC experience at UM when they were winning 8 -10 games a year.

  7. peaches76
    8:30 pm December 8, 2020 Permalink

    Let’s not overlook the recruiting aspect. Losing a couple of good recruiters.

    • Middy
      9:21 am December 9, 2020 Permalink

      Maybe overstating… I think they actually just recruited a bunch of south FL guys who never panned out on offense.

  8. ukyelecteng
    8:30 pm December 8, 2020 Permalink

    Ksr content has really gone down the drain… this list is a joke .. you really think someone in Super bowl contention every year for the foreseeable future like the KC chiefs coach wants to come to lexington Kentucky to coach a mid tier sec school

    • chris gettelfinger is not walking through that door
      8:41 pm December 8, 2020 Permalink

      A position coach who’s never been an OC and/or called his own plays might. Brad White came over from the Colts where he was the LB coach.

    • Ryan Lemonds Toupee
      8:43 pm December 8, 2020 Permalink

      Colts ain’t the Chiefs, Einstein

    • chris gettelfinger is not walking through that door
      8:43 pm December 8, 2020 Permalink

      Granted, if he’s successful, he might not stay around long if a Bama or NFL team comes calling.

    • ukyelecteng
      8:57 pm December 8, 2020 Permalink

      Im just surprised Nick “overhype” Roush didn’t include Bill Belichick as part of the hotlist

    • chris gettelfinger is not walking through that door
      7:07 am December 9, 2020 Permalink

      DUH, Ryan. Nice classy response. Sometimes a guy still wants to call his own plays. I didn’t say they would get someone from the Chiefs, but it’s not out of the realm of possibility. Likely? Probably not. Impossible? No.

  9. blueballs80
    9:20 pm December 8, 2020 Permalink

    Brad had a year under Matt House to learn the ropes and understand the D coordinator position and has Stoops help as well. The OC will have to hit the ground running so if they are a position coach, they better know the pass game well because no one is here to mentor them.

  10. Middy
    8:49 am December 9, 2020 Permalink

    Mahomes success has very little to do with his OC or position coach at this point. A majority of coaches would look good with him as their QB.

  11. CJKAssassin123
    3:34 pm December 9, 2020 Permalink

    Either Jay gruden or Jack del Rio would make a lot of sense I think.

  12. WILDCATS1968
    5:20 pm December 9, 2020 Permalink

    Why are some of you being so negative ? And if you hate the site so much, why post here ? I never understood someone who complains and talks down about a site, but here they are everyday posting on it ? Attention seeking drama queen is the only explanation. The writer even said a few of those guys are over qualified. Funny, I do not see a list of YOUR possible hires, if you know so damn much, post your candidates. Oh that is right, you have no clue and would get laughed at and ribbed for your list.

    Position coaches will consider a coaching position in college a step up. UK is a middle team in the SEC (about the only truth in your post), which is the most visible conference there is. Even the middle of the road teams are on tv a ton, and they know if they produce, they will get noticed and be in line for a step up to head coach, even in college that is a pay raise compared to position coach in the NFL, or a specialist position for NFL teams. Those guys, unless they are the elite of the elite go unnoticed in the league. Every year NFL position or specialist coaches switch to the college ranks for a better , more visible job in the college ranks. Some get tired of waiting their turn to move up to OC or DC and decide to take a college position because they know they will be more visible in the NCAA, even for a middle of the road SEC school like UK. What was Gran’s job before UK ??

  13. Thetruthshallsetbennyfree
    3:55 pm December 10, 2020 Permalink

    Except we lost our DC to a position coaching job in the NFL. So it actually seems like the opposite.

    Gran was the OC for the Cincinnati Bearcats.