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The Big Dog Stayed Home: Vince Marrow’s Return is the Next Step to Atlanta

Kentucky has a new training facility, recruiting room, and an upgraded stadium. The return on investment has been an 18-8, 2-year record, a 10-win season, SEC Coach of the Year honors, multiple national award winning players, back-to-back Governor’s Cup victories, and two consecutive bowl wins. Retaining Vince Marrow is the next step in the Wildcat’s competitive climb to Atlanta.

Shiny new brick and mortar facilities are college football’s new craze. Kentucky Football’s new home is the $45-million-dollar Joe Craft Football Training Facility. From Clemson’s giant slide to Alabama waterfalls, programs are investing millions of dollars to allure top prospects. Mitch Barnhart and Mark Stoops topped catchy architectural designs by keeping Vince Marrow in Lexington. 

To paint Vince Marrow as simply the recruiter that covers Ohio is a lazy narrative. He’s also responsible for securing quality in-state talent including the Louisville area as well as venturing into Indiana, Kansas, and Maryland. The Big Dog represents the BBN. Heck, the Big Dog is the BBN. Highly relatable and likable to both fans and administrators, Marrow publicly verbalizes what many fans think, but don’t have a platform to say. He’s the personality behind the brand that pushes the needle of Kentucky Football more so than any other assistant coach in the program’s history. Yes, he’s worth every penny. 

We have entered a new era in Lexington. Winning comes with a price tag and the University of Kentucky has ponied up its share of Benjamins. UK has wisely invested in head coach Mark Stoops who surpassed Jerry Claiborne in all-time wins at Kentucky and is poised to become second only to Bear Bryant in that category. It now appears that Vince Marrow will receive a significant pay raise. This escalating level of investment and commitment marks the beginning for higher staff salaries that could lead to continued success on the field and on the recruiting trail.  

Rival and friendly programs have taken notice of Mark Stoops’ success. They will continue to do so. College football is a conglomeration of copy cats.

Dean Hood and Walt Wells were lured away to become head coaches at the FCS level. Defensive line coach Derrick LeBlanc now holds the same title at Arkansas. Defensive back coach Steven Clinkscale drew attention from Michigan after experiencing immense recruiting accomplishments in Detroit and by leading the Wildcat secondary to finish the season ranked second in pass defense. The nation’s fourth-best rush offense was led by a receiver turned quarterback,  designed and coordinated by Eddie Gran who was mentioned for a similar position at Georgia as well as head coach openings. Brad White is a rising star in college football, leading the nation’s 20th-ranked team defense in his first year calling the shots. He will soon garner competitive compensation and consideration from colleges and the NFL.

Yes, the Marrow situation is significant. However, it is the next logical step and a gateway for the program’s advancement. 

What does all this mean? 

Mitch Barnhart has steadily proven that he’s committed to Kentucky Football more so than any other UK athletic director, ever. UK asks for fan commitment through season ticket sales and donations. Barnhart has answered his own call and given accordingly. Mark Stoops has built his program for sustainment. First there were stadium and facility upgrades. Now, the next step in the climb to Atlanta is increasing salaries for coaches. I’ve followed the Kentucky Football program for five decades. I don’t have five more in me, but I’m sure glad I’m alive to witness this era. Buckle up; it’s going to be one heck of a ride. 

Article written by Freddie Maggard

Former University of Kentucky Quarterback and Andy Griffith Fan Club President

44 Comments for The Big Dog Stayed Home: Vince Marrow’s Return is the Next Step to Atlanta

  1. ukkatzfan
    6:22 pm February 14, 2020 Permalink

    Great Days to Be a Wildcat !!!

  2. Kelkat
    6:23 pm February 14, 2020 Permalink

    I think all of Big Blue Nation is stoked about keeping Big Dog Vince Marrow. KENTUCKY FOOTBALL is SERIOUS y’all !!!

  3. Bluebloodtoo
    6:36 pm February 14, 2020 Permalink

    This is great news, but don’t fooli yourself BBN. great programs have attrition. Mitch will do his best to keep the talent we have, but we won’t win them all. Trust Stoops and mitch the same way to identify new talent when the need arises. They have proven themselves successful at that, too.

  4. mashburnfan1
    6:36 pm February 14, 2020 Permalink

    Next step is to give all other Assistants a raise as well. All have earned it and we need to hang on to Clink and White especially. Talked to Clink last season and is no wonder recruits like him. Also the strength and conditioning guys need a bump in pay. Football is making enough money to warrant paying those responsible. Thank you to Stoops and the entire football operations.

  5. Thetruthshallsetbennyfree
    6:39 pm February 14, 2020 Permalink

    If both the offense and defense end in the top 25 the assistants deserve to ask for another figure a year.

  6. TonyMontana
    6:42 pm February 14, 2020 Permalink

    I had to google “Clemson Slide” & “Alabama Waterfall” to figure out what that was all about. And wow, that stuff is impressive. Then I googled what we got and ehhh, we need to step our game up. I’m thinking we should put a roller coaster in a locker room!

  7. channell
    7:09 pm February 14, 2020 Permalink

    Whew! Thank you Mitch for stepping up.

  8. peaches76
    7:37 pm February 14, 2020 Permalink

    Praise the lord. I can now unclench my butt cheecks

  9. CombatMedic_98
    11:17 pm February 14, 2020 Permalink

    Sky’s the limit NOW…!

  10. UKgrad80
    11:18 pm February 14, 2020 Permalink

    I can now lay my head down and get some sleep and dream of a big game in Atlanta. Thank you Vince for staying we are crazy about OUR BIG DOG!!

  11. Rick_S
    11:24 pm February 14, 2020 Permalink

    LMAO ..Yes, It is the “next step”, but this team is far from getting to Atlanta

    • Thetruthshallsetbennyfree
      4:10 am February 15, 2020 Permalink

      Why? Wilson/Sawyer doesn’t get hurt we beat UF, probably beat MSST, have a shot at SC and Tenn, UGA was the only team on the list that we really had to worry about and that game didn’t get ugly to late. So ATL was attainable just everything went wrong.

    • bigbluebg
      4:00 pm February 15, 2020 Permalink

      I think we are 2 years from a serious push at ATL. Joey Gatewood, Drennen, and all the WRs we have with a good OL and a stacked Defense….that is the team I expect to make a push. But will have hope for this season…as always lol.

  12. Rick_S
    11:25 pm February 14, 2020 Permalink

    Marrow got what he wanted..more $$$$$$$ now he needs to stop the distractions

    • 4everUKBlue
      9:34 am February 15, 2020 Permalink

      I’ll bet you’d cause some distractions over a lot less than a million dollars, but go ahead and be a hypocrite, it’s who you are.

    • sp
      12:39 pm February 15, 2020 Permalink

      Shut up stupid

    • The Big Lebowski
      4:25 am February 17, 2020 Permalink

      So, you’re saying that people should not seek their market value on the employment market?

      Anyone with any sense would do the same.

      If Kentucky wasn’t willing to pay, he’d have gone AND I would not have blamed him. Stoops probably would have been next out the door. There are people talking to Stoops. I guarantee it.

      Stoops is building a program. That takes money and investment. One of those investments is in Coaching Staff.

      Kentucky is on the way to winning the East. That is the next step. It may be two or three years away. It may come next year. It’s going to happen.

      Unless Kentucky Athletics gets cheap.

      SEC membership brings loads of cash.

      I like what is happening in Kentucky Football. If these coaches keep winning and, more importantly, keep building, they deserve every dollar.

  13. timer2
    11:54 pm February 14, 2020 Permalink

    Keeping The Big Dog ranks up there as one of UK Football’s biggest wins….

  14. friendsofcoal
    2:25 am February 15, 2020 Permalink

    “Head Coach in waiting”

  15. dan1965
    2:53 am February 15, 2020 Permalink

    As I said in the other thread,I’m thrilled Mitch continues to put money into the football program to make it what it is,to continue to grow,it shows everyone of his commitment,glad you stayed home Big Dog.
    On a side note,I’m sure its not,but the writer,Freddy Maggard,he isn’t from Harlan,Ky, Evarts high school is he ?
    Wouldn’t ask,but I went to school there with a guy by that name,around same age to. Funny thing is, Scott Counties basketball coach,Billy Hicks was my gym teacher at Evarts as well,that’s why I wondered about this Freddy Maggard writer,who also played football there,if he was also the same guy I knew way back.

    • UKgrad80
      8:16 am February 15, 2020 Permalink

      You don’t know who Freddie Maggard is?? He went to Cumberland High School, played QB for the Cats was on the staff and is a legend????

  16. cattycat
    8:44 am February 15, 2020 Permalink

    UK needs a buy-out clause for Marrow.

  17. BIGblueFootBallGuy
    9:22 am February 15, 2020 Permalink

    Big Dawg deserves that money. Already renewed my tickets for next year. I can’t wait till it Football time in the bluegrass.

  18. Hot Stuff Eddie Gilbert
    10:28 am February 15, 2020 Permalink

    Glad he is staying and never thought he would leave. But he has never been an actual coach. He’s a coach in title only. More of a bag man than a coach. And I don’t mean that I’m a bad way. Basically, every power five program has one ons staff. Otherwise, teams would not get good players. Just reality. And for any good we that disagrees and gets offended, I actually played college football. And I have a brother and 2 cousins that played D1 as well.

    • Hot Stuff Eddie Gilbert
      10:30 am February 15, 2020 Permalink

      In not I’m

      On not ons

      Goober not good

      Dumb phone

    • bigbluebg
      4:16 pm February 15, 2020 Permalink

      I halfway agree with you…but I do think he has done a good job with TEs. I think you could phrase it as Marrow is “a relationship guy” more than a “bag man”. I’m not saying it doesn’t happen…I’m just saying you don’t have to say it LOL. I feels tho…I played a sport at UK…not a money sport but I was around the athletes and know some guys get thicker envelopes than others.

    • bigbluebg
      4:17 pm February 15, 2020 Permalink

      And it ain’t cuz they’re paying them in 1s and 5s haha

    • Miller45
      4:46 pm February 15, 2020 Permalink

      The phone ills are real

  19. classof68
    10:49 am February 15, 2020 Permalink

    I’m elated we were able to keep Vince, but how many people were jumping with joy and dreaming of Atlanta just a week ago before all this started happening? Really nothing has changed since then except the Big Dawg’s bank account. The new recruiting class is good but still only considered 8th in the SEC. It’s OK to dream but get a grip.

    • RAGE
      4:52 pm February 16, 2020 Permalink

      I agree Classof68…. I am excited about football as anybody but we have some fans that have some super high expectations… I know it was maybe our greatest recruiting class ever here at UK… But yeah it was 8th or maybe 9th in the SEC… I know that ranking don’t mean anything… Before we dream about Atlanta maybe Marrow and Stoops can draw up a game plan on how to beat Tennessee…

  20. BluKudzu
    2:55 pm February 15, 2020 Permalink

    Pay them big time money, hold them accountable for big time results.

  21. zoupman
    4:18 pm February 15, 2020 Permalink

    I hope this is last time. UK shouldn’t have to keep giving this guy more money to stay. If he has a bad recruiting year, they aren’t going to pay him less. Getting good players is what he is suppose to do.

  22. W.C.
    7:09 pm February 15, 2020 Permalink

    I wrote in a vote for Freddie Maggard for president in 2016 and it looks like I may do it again this year

  23. dan1965
    2:03 am February 16, 2020 Permalink

    Ukgrad80 ive followed UK since 1970,remember tons of players,especially the 70’s, but I also have dementia and many times it is already affecting certain memories.
    I can remember some things from years ago,yet watch a movie and 5 minutes later not tell u what it was about,something I hate,but sadly I can’t do anything about. But thanks for the info.

  24. KYCat4EVER
    2:53 pm February 16, 2020 Permalink

    A coach to be proud of for sure!


  25. UoKFB PHAN
    3:03 pm February 16, 2020 Permalink

    Hey Freddie, what’s your take on UK’s current facilities vs the other teams in the SEC? Yes, Kentucky did a major upgrade in 2016 but other teams in the conferences have upgraded since them. If you were to make a wish list of facility upgrades for the football team what would be your top three when you compare the Cats to others around the league? Yes, it is a recruiting arms race in SEC football.

  26. Urincatland
    3:40 am February 17, 2020 Permalink

    Thank goodness! Big Dog, the BBN loves you!

  27. The Big Lebowski
    4:28 am February 17, 2020 Permalink

    This says that there is a commitment to football. That hasn’t always been the message in the UK Athletics department.

    This kind of move can be messaged to recruits. Kentucky is committed to building a future as an SEC Football Power.

    That is what has changed.

  28. HackRichards
    5:15 am February 17, 2020 Permalink

    I love Big Dog. I am thrilled he is staying. BUT instead of taking the money and runned…he simple took the money and stayed.

  29. FactsOnlyDude
    7:32 am February 17, 2020 Permalink

    Was he ever offered the HC job at Youngstown State?

    • StillBP
      7:48 am February 17, 2020 Permalink

      you probably still think Gran wasn’t offered the GA job.