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Is Neal Brown going to be the offensive coordinator at Kentucky or not


Since it seems like I get constant calls, emails and texts about the offensive coordinator position at Kentucky, I’ve spent a lot of time on this potential hire for new coach Mark Stoops.

Obviously with Texas Tech offensive coordinator Neal Brown being a former player at Boyle County and a candidate for the job, much of my time deals with sources who know Brown.

So is he taking the job?

I don’t know. Honestly.

If he was going to accept an offer, I thought it might be done by now because in the last two days several head coaching jobs have opened and at least two places have expressed an interest in interviewing Brown.

But that doesn’t mean he has put taking the job at UK on hold in hopes of becoming a head coach because getting an interview does not guarantee becoming head coach. And based on what offensive coordinators make at many high profile programs, UK could present Brown with a financial package that would be equal or above what a head coaching salary might be if UK wanted to do that.

Also a chance to get closer to home could be a big plus for Brown and his wife, who is also from Boyle County. That would also put their two grandchildren closer to their grandparents in Boyle County.

I also have a pretty good idea of at least a couple of assistant coaches Brown would like to have with him at UK and they would both be great.

But will it happen? I still say it is about 50-50. I think Stoops wants Brown to run his offense. I think Brown will like to run the offense for Stoops. But I’m just not sure UK is ready to fully commit to what it will take to make that happen. However, I do think if this is not done with Brown by maybe Friday night, then odds are both Stoops and Brown will have to look at other options.

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  1. Joe

    If Brown really is the best hire, and he goes elsewhere because Barnfart or someone else at UK isn’t willing to commit to the football program… then we are destined for another cycle of getting a little better, then crashing back down, probably when Stoops leaves for a better job where the school will commit to football.

    1. Love SEC FBall

      I agree – We hire a great coach and we “Can’t fully commit to what it will take” to get the right OC ??

    2. Andy S

      Why all the name calling like Barnfart? Seriously grow up. We don’t even know what is going on and your bashing him already?

  2. Larry Pup

    Larry V..I think coach said he would more than likely have his DC and OC in place in two days or so. He said that on his first radio show. The DC is already in place in Eliot isn’t it? You are probably right about the NB issue, I don’t know. Who are some other names he might look at?

  3. WeRuk

    If he chooses to take a HC job over being a OC at UK would you blaim him?I wouldnt,but many would use it as an excuse to bash Mitch. Eliot was done deal as DC when Stoops was hired so that has nothing to do with OC. Chris Hatcher at Murray St may be a backup plan to Neal Brown.

  4. remember Bill Curry

    Neal may also be thinking is this really a better situation thanTT…With all of the new hires in the SEC there may be a lot better opportunities with a real chance of success…I am sure Tuberville and others are telling Neal to lead with his head not his heart.

    1. Larry Pup

      Tennessee may hire him, they are running out of names. Dykes old team is also looking for a HC too.

    2. larryvaught

      time could be ripe for uk to make a move up with the right coaches maybe

  5. Larry Pup

    If UT don’t hire Petrino, he would make a good oc for Kentucky. Can U imagine a Stoops/Petrino combo.

  6. shinny

    USM is offering Neal brown as HC? I heard that was a possiblity. Also the co-offensive coor at Oklahoma might come or Tony Franklin(would he really want to go to U Cal). Many ,many possibilties and it is not or should not be a negative toward Stoops or the program. I trust Stoops to make the right hire PERIOD.

    1. Love SEC FBall

      I agree – I will be happy with Coach Stoops choice.

  7. Eric

    WeRuk, I like the Chris Hatcher idea. He is a very good coach. Would this be a step down though.

    1. larryvaught

      Don’t think it would be step down for Hatcher. Would be another great choice and would work his butt off too

      1. Here's Hope

        Hatch was good I thought. HC thing may not be working like he hoped. This may be a good option.

  8. Eric

    That is a step down for Hatcher, not our search.

  9. OldFan

    Why do some people want to immediately jump on Mitch when they aren’t hearing what they want to hear? For Brown to come to UK, Stoops must make an offer, Brown must accept that offer, and then Mitch must agree to the terms. It is not just an MB hire. He went out and got us what looks to be a great coach. Give this all time to pan out and then criticize or jump for joy; whichever it brings. Don’t jump to conclusions and finger pointing when you don’t have a clue as to what is going on behind the scenes.

  10. Larry T Clemons

    OH ! LV, that ” Headline was Mean ” , it grabbed my attention, made me smile…took me high and had me falling back down, so fast, I laughed all the down, ” or not ” !

    1. Lance

      That’s what she said.

  11. Bill

    Coach Stoops knows what he wants. I don’t think money will be an issue. There is so much to consider before moving …. anywhere. It has to be the right “fit” for the coach and his family. I trust Stoops to make the right choice. He doesn’t impress me as someone who will “settle” for anything less than what he wants. I think we have some real talent on the offensive side of the ball. The coach who can look at what we have, what we need, and come up with an offensive plan will be he one hired. I guarantee he knows the candidates much better than I do.

  12. coldspringmike

    From one Old Fan to another OLDFAN/ well said, geez hasn’t even been a week yet and here we go, but maybe expectations with Stoops are so high we just want more good news to keep coming.

  13. Larry Pup

    Opinions are like elbows, everybodys’ got em. Mark Stoop’s is the only one that matters right now. I say hold your horses and wait for the announcement. He is the one who will be held accountable in the long run.

    1. Here's Hope

      Well said.

  14. RJ

    All this conjecture is entertaining but in reality, nothing has yet happened relative to the OC spot. Until it does there is not much to talk about beyond wishful thinking.

  15. TrueBlueJohn

    Does everyone realize what is happening? It is the month of December after a 2-10 season, and we are still talking FOOTBALL!!!!!!! I think that speaks volumes about what kind of excitement this hire has generated. My youngest son told me last night that he was one of the ones who had turned his season tickets in, but now was renewing them.

    1. Love SEC FBall

      Good point – It is great that the fan base is excited again!

      1. Larry Pup

        Excitement is contagious. It will be hard to wait for late August and September 2013. I can only imagine the excitement when the Cats take the field for the first time under “Steady Stoops.”

    2. larryvaught

      Great news about your son TrueBlue. Guessing there are a lot like him

    3. Larry T Clemons

      That’s what I’m Saying…nice work LV…you got the pulse of BBN.

  16. Bryan

    ” I think Stoops wants Brown to run his offense. I think Brown will like to run the offense for Stoops. But I’m just not sure UK is ready to fully commit to what it will take to make that happen. ” It sounds like it comes down to UK not wanting to pay what it would take to get Brown here as opposed to him taking a HC job at a mid-major. IF this is the case, here we are only a week into this new era and UK is backtracking on some of the comments made about giving Stoops the resources he needs to succeed with regards to his staff. La Tech and So Miss both paid their last HC’s 800K. There are quite a few assistants in the SEC that make over 800K: Kirby Smart, Chavis at LSU, UGA’s DC, to mention a few. If UK is serious in their commitment to football, I don’t think it’s unreasonable to give Brown a salary comparable to some of these guys, seeing that he would basically be the head coach of offense.

    1. WeRuk

      What if its not all about the money and Neal wants the chance to run his own program?

      1. Bryan

        I’m just going on the quote in the article. Larry states Stoops wants Brown, Brown wants to run the offense, but he (Larry) is not sure UK is ready to commit to making that happen.

      2. Larry Pup

        Bryan..in all due respect what you have said is all speculation. I have not heard a single reported word from coach Stoops as to who he wants as OC. What if he don’t want Brown. As to your remarks about UK not wanting to pay top dollar for a good OC is really difficult to determine at this date solely based on the latest info. I say coach Stoops and UK will get it done.

        1. Bryan

          Again…I’m commenting on the quote in the above article. The first sentence of my original post is a direct quote taken from the last paragraph of the article. Sure it is speculative, but it’s Larry V.s speculation, not mine. My only assumption is about the financial situation, which is the only way I can interpret a statement about UK not wanting to commit to make this happen. You are correct, Stoops hasn’t mentioned any names, so he might not even want Brown. But this whole article is about Brown to UK as OC.

          1. Larry Pup

            Yes, I see that now.

  17. Bryan

    It’s the last part about UK not wanting to fully commit that gets me. If UK offered a financial package similar to whatever job he is offered, and he chooses to run his own program, then ok, at least we tried. Then everybody can move on. BUT if he wants to come here and UK isn’t willing to ante up, then I think that’s a problem. I know, however, that I am making some assumptions based on the statements in the article.

    1. WeRuk

      That’s the problem,Larry is making an assumption and if you have noticed he doesn’t like Mitch,so their is that. I like Larry and follow his work but his negativity towards Mitch and the Athletic Dept is getting old.

      1. Bryan

        I’m aware that with regards to Brown, Larry is probably biased. The Boyle Co. connection is why I keep checking in here for info. Didn’t much notice his dislike for Mitch. Mitch does seem to keep things close to the vest, which isn’t a bad thing (see UT coaching search). It does however invite a lot of speculation.

        1. Love SEC FBall

          Bryan, I understand all of your points & I agree.

          A lot of us like the local connection with Neal. However he has earned his good reputation as evidenced by his results and the many programs that want him.

          I think that Larry has reported Mitch’s actions with fairness.
          Mitch has made some GREAT decisions (Hiring Cal & Coach Stoops)
          -And he has made some POOR decisions – I have made a lot of POOR decisions in my life but most of my bad decisions are not in the public eye. If the Stoops hire works out like we think it will and
          If Mitch and the administration fully support Coach Stoops then that will heal a lot of wounds from his poor decisions. Let’s hope that Mitch opens the checkbook for Coach Stoops assistants, recruiting and Etc. like he promised on Sunday. At this point we have to believe that Mitch will do so.

  18. RJ

    I’ll step in and defend Larry about MB. MB is not a football person. He is a sports administrator. This means he is a budget man. He weighs income and costs and if given the chance (ah la the Joker Phillips debacle) he will take the cheap way out when making the decision.

    Most, if not all, people that comment on this page are football people. They (we) do not necessarily want to hear or talk about the budget reality aspects of building a championship calibre team. I understand budgets and I understand committment to a program and seldom do they mix real well.

    It’s easy to critize MB and the UK administration for being bean counters and not understanding that demographics have changed the complection of UK football fans and their patience for a winning program. They missed the change which says something about their vision or lack thereof. I think by hiring Stoops they hope to buy some time for the economy to improve and UK fans go back buying tickets regardless of the product put on the field. I still believe that the administration does not understand that those days are gone. Beyond buying time, I think the administration is wishing for a miricle from Stoops so they won’t have to do this again. Schoo is still out on that…..

    Therefore if Larry does dislike MB (and I have never heard him say or write that) there is plenty of reason to do so.

    1. Love SEC FBall

      I agree RJ. And sometimes Bean Counters don’t add enough beans to make the pot overflow. Let’s hope Mitch is not holding back on the beans already. We have to give him the benefit of the doubt until he proves otherwise.

  19. Love SEC FBall

    Many of you have said to relax & let Coach Stoops & Mitch work this out. You are probably right. We are impatient because of the fear that the best candidates will be swallowed up by the many vacancies.

  20. Marion County

    I want the best Offensive Coordinator we can hire. I want to thump Tennessee so bad I can taste it….. Go Blue!

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