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Q&A: Vince Marrow on why he stayed at Kentucky

At halftime of today’s game, Vince Marrow spoke with the media about his decision to turn down Michigan State’s offer and stay at Kentucky. We’ll have more coverage of this press conference as the evening goes on, but there’s a video and transcript of his comments.

Opening statement…

“Just want to say thank you for a little bit of privacy. The last three days have been very hard, but at the end of the day, I’m very glad that I am staying here. I just want to say thank you for always supporting us. It was hard. I never thought an assistant coach would get this much attention, but I’m glad it’s over now.”

On if there is a lifetime contract and if you’ll commit to it…

“No sir, but it’s a contract. I want to give credit to Dr. (Eli) Capilouto, Mitch Barnhart, Marc Hill and the administration who made it all come together. I was very happy with what we finally came up with.”

On the investment Kentucky has made in the football program over the last couple of years…

“I talked to one of the top coaches in college football last night and he said he watched all of this and said, ‘You guys have really got that thing going.’ And, for Kentucky to make the investment to keep me here, he said, ‘You guys are really going in the right direction, it says a lot about your administration.’ So, like I said, I want to think them all for being supportive and stepping up to keep me here.”

On being at Kentucky for so many years and making the decision to stay…

“Yeah, it was hard. When you sit in a lot of living rooms with parents… and it really weighed heavy on me. A lot of the guys I recruited, a lot of guys were texting me saying, ‘You know, you said it was a family atmosphere.’ And, that did play a big part. Also, this community played a big part. Normally, people don’t pay much attention to this kind of stuff, but it really was the people of this community, too. It was the support. I’ve got to say, you know, texting and direct messaging my daughter while she is in school, you know, I thought that was a little crazy, but I just told her, this is what the fan base is. I really think this football fan base is really strong, I really believe that.”

On how hard it was to turn down Mel Tucker…

“It was very, very hard. We are very close. It was very hard. But, I’m also close to the red-head guy, too (Mark Stoops). We grew up together and it was just hard. I can’t put it no other way, it was very hard. He really wanted me, and they really made an effort, so it was hard. Like I said, the last three days, yes I got a raise, but I wouldn’t wish that situation on anyone, especially when it is two friends. Now I know how recruits feel when they’re down to two schools and one day it’s this school and the next day it’s this school. Anything can trigger. But, I just have to say, the eight years I’ve spent here, they’ve really invested in me and it really meant something. That really played a big part. And, our administration. I’m not just throwing that out. This is a really great administration to work for.”

On how this experience will make you an even stronger recruiter…

“You know, I’m going to be seeing those guys in a couple months in spring recruitment. We all know that it’s no secret. We are going to battle, we all go to Ohio. It’s a thing where I think most kids will see, I have been here for eight years now, and there’s been a lot of opportunities now to go other places. I really like what we have built here. Like I said, it was tough. If it were any other coach, it might’ve been easier, but that one was tough.”

On now having to recruit against Tucker…

“Once I decided to stay here, my message, I don’t care who I’m recruiting against, it could be my brother, the message is that we are going to keep our foot in Ohio. We are going to win there. I think it’s probably a little bit more intense now because of the way this things played out, but to me, it’s going to be a thing where we have to really, really recruit Ohio hard. A lot of people have seen the success we have had, and a lot of other schools … I was at a high school clinic last week, and a lot of people, more SEC schools were there because they’re saying, ‘Man, Kentucky has really gotten some players there, we want to get them, too.’ So, we have got to keep our footprint there.”

On recruiting against Mel Tucker…

“Like I said, this is going to be, Mel Tucker is a good coach and he’s a good recruiter. I can tell you this, a lot of Big Ten schools are probably not happy that he is at Michigan State because he is a good recruiter, but we’re good recruiters, too. It’s going to be interesting. This is going to be funny and a battle to watch, because they’re saying Ohio is their first place that they’re going to try to get in there. So, it’s going to be interesting.”

On how much contact you had with Coach (Mark) Stoops over the last few days and what was his message…

“That’s probably something, they ought to do a ‘30 for 30’ on this, when coaches are about to leave and you go through the conversations because they ain’t always pretty. They’re tough. But, I will say this. I am very close with him. I actually think you take friendship for granted both ways, and there is no doubt in my mind that he is a real good friend. He shared with me why he did not want to move me and it would have been hard to leave him, too. I mean, we are pretty close. It’s not like that a lot in this business, but where we’re from is a very small town. His uncle sent me a text and it was kind of like a mafia guy sending you a text like saying, ‘Hey, you better keep your butt there.’ But, it was all jokes. But, I really appreciate it, his brother sent me a real touching text, too. So, I love Mark, but we’re still in a business. Did our friendship play a big part of this? Yes, it did, because anywhere else, for what Michigan State offered, I think a lot of other coaches would’ve took it. But, with my relationship with him, and like I said, this is not a sales pitch, my relationship with the community and the administration really played a big part in this. I said, I don’t really know what they have up there, but I know what we have here, and I know I didn’t want to leave it.”

Article written by Mrs. Tyler Thompson

No, I will not make you a sandwich, but you can follow me on Twitter @MrsTylerKSR or email me.

3 Comments for Q&A: Vince Marrow on why he stayed at Kentucky

  1. Thetruthshallsetbennyfree
    7:16 pm February 15, 2020 Permalink

    And now when he’s in a recruiting battle he has another school on the list of places where he could have went if they were worth leaving for.

  2. bigblue98
    7:34 pm February 15, 2020 Permalink

    I can’t wait for football season. The big dog makes me want to run through a brick wall. He and this staff don’t back down from anyone, whether it be in recruiting or on the field. It is a great time to be a fan of the Cats – Go Big Blue!

  3. JASUN74
    7:49 pm February 15, 2020 Permalink

    I’m extremely happy that he chose to stay with Kentucky!, especially now that we’ve got it rolling so we’ll. I’m tickled to death we’re recruiting on a better level, but I definitely look for our recruiting to go up another notch now! I think Coach Click is turning into one of the better recruiting Coaches in America right now and he’s still fighting to make a name for himself.

    With Click and Vince, we need to move up into the top 10-15 area and stay there, if so, with the way Kentucky develops players, we have a legitimate chance to win a Championship! I’m not just talking about a SEC championship either!! Of course we’re still a few years away from thinking like that but for us that follow college football like madmen, we know how close we’re getting to the upper teams.

    I hope all of Kentucky Basketball fans and the whole state and alumni will get behind this program more and more! It’s going to take a lot of people to get serious if it’s going to become a dream come true type of program, the thing is it’s so close right now it’s amazing! Every Football program lately that’s done something special has happened because of fan support, recruiting and development, we’re on that second step ready to climb on up, we just have to realize it can happen and get behind them.

    This is definitely a good step to show the country how serious we really are about Football in the Bluegrass. Let’s never look back now and keep working towards the EAST CHAMPIONSHIP, after that the sky is truly the limit!! Thanks and Go Cats!!