Stoops, Gran will “iron something out” on contract

Eddie Gran (Vicky Graff Photo)

Eddie Gran (Vicky Graff Photo)

By LARRY VAUGHT

Kentucky coach Mark Stoops and offensive coordinator Eddie Gran remain “on the same page” about a new contract for Gran after what his offense did this season to help UK finish 7-5.

“We don’t have everything ironed out specifically at this point, but he and I were on a plane together, traveling a bunch so we’ve been in touch quite a bit. We don’t need to talk about it every day. We have a understanding that we’re going to iron something out here pretty quick.”

That’s what Gran and quarterbacks coach Darrin Hinshaw had to do when starting quarterback Drew Barker went out with a back injury after two games. The Cats shifted from a pass-oriented attack to a strong running attack with Stephen Johnson at quarterback.

“I think they did a really good job. We’ve talked about it all year. I thought the coaches did an excellent job of putting our players in a position — we talked about the right recipe for both sides of the ball to be successful,” Stoops said Friday.

“We kind of worked our way through that early on. Once Drew got hurt, we started evolving to the offense that we really liked at the end of the year. I think that we all like the way that we were playing and it helps us across the board.

“It helps us with our team as we move forward, being physical, being able to run the ball and being able to defend the run. It helps your football team. It’s been a good change.”

Athlon Sports on Friday named Stoops, in his fourth year at the helm of the program, runner-up for Southeastern Conference Coach of the Year, while Gran also was named runner-up in the SEC Offensive Coordinator of the Year category. Alabama’s Nick Saban and Lane Kiffin, respectively, won the awards.

3 comments

  1. Stoops and his staff performed exceptionally well down the stretch. While I would’ve preferred Coach of the Year for Stoops, being listed behind Saban is definitely noteworthy. Gran, on the other hand, outperformed Kiffin. Eddie didn’t have a 5 star roster to tap when his original plan got upended. I think that top slot should’ve gone to him. Still… for a HC that started the season as one of those guys “on the hotseat” and an OC team that just rolled into town, these gents kicked down some doors and have successfully paved the way for a bright (perhaps even brilliant) future.
    When Stoops came on board I got my first tattoo at the age of 58 (a football clutching Wildcat) in commemoration of the event. Certain that he was a winner, I hoped he could build a dynasty here. Looks like we’re heading in that direction thanks the the AD, Stoops, his Staff and of course, Stoops Troops. Thank you so much. You guys made this old fan very happy.

    BELIEVE
    GO CATS!!!!!!!!

    1. Norman, when Stoops was hired, many people were disappointed because we could have hired Bobby Petrino. I wasn’t one of those folks, and in fact, would have turned in my fan card if we had sunk that low in the name of winning. Four years later, how thankful I am that Mitch Barnhart didn’t stoop that low, and Tom Jurich did. How does that man still have a job at Louisville? The future hasn’t looked this bright in a long time. I look at the two-deep depth chart and it is littered with freshmen and sophmores, The schedule next year is more manageable than it has been in a while, and we could have one of those years that we remember for a long time.

      1. Same here John. I did not want anything to do with Petrino. As a fan, I am especially proud of the fact that we place such a high value on character. It is the glue that binds a winning team. And yes… next year could be amazing. Who would have thought that this year would be defined by a record breaking running game? Great time to be a Wildcat football fan.

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