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Offensive coordinator Neal Brown not surprised by excitement over Kentucky football

By LARRY VAUGHT

Kentucky offensive coordinator Neal Brown has sensed the excitement UK football fans have after the hiring of new coach Mark Stoops and the staff he has assembled even thought UK is coming off a 2-10 season, it’s third straight losing year.

“I am not surprised by the excitement. I grew up here. I watched when coach (Hal) Mumme came in here with (assistants) Mike Leach and Tony Franklin and Sonny Dykes and Chris Hatcher and those guys. I watched the state become football crazy,” Brown said. “Then the support when (coach Rich) Brooks got it going really strong here was great and the support at the (Music City) bowl game was unbelievable. So I am not surprised at all by the excitement.

“This is a state that likes football and supports football at the high school level and always supports UK. Look at the attendance all these  years and you can tell that. We need to maintain that excitement and need to maintain it year round. We need to do a good job getting fans involved at the spring game.”

Brown isn’t worried about a schedule that will include Sugar Bowl winner Louisville, Western Kentucky and new coach Bobby Petrino, Alabama, Georgia, Florida and other SEC rivals.

“All the pressure is internal. We get so focused on the next thing whether it is recruiting, spring practice or something else that you really don’t have time to think about the pressure aspect,” Brown said. “There was some adjustment for me schedule-wise when I went from Troy to the Big 12. There will be some adjustments in other areas here but one thing I will not have to adjust to is that you have to come to play every game. If you do not come to play, you will not only get beat, you will get embarrassed. That aspect from the Big 12 to the SEC will not change. That’s a life I have been living the last few years.”

Brown said having a three-year contract — defensive coordinator D.J. Eliot does also — shows the commitment UK athletics director Mitch Barnhart and the administration has to football.

“They are committed to building a program and not making it just a quick fix. That is what the presentation of a three-year contract meant to me. It shows a long term commitment to everyone connected to the program,” Brown said.

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10 comments

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  1. Ira

    We go lights out in year one I hope the admin have the sense to renegotiate and try to keep them longer. Isn’t Brumbaugh killing it on the recruiting trail right now? Can’t wait to see what this staff can do with a full year recruiting.

  2. UKFAN197TONE

    THREE YEAR CONTRACT? I would have at least, at least, offered them a Five year contract. Unless of course it was an obvious mutual agreement for three. However, me personally, I would have offered five. I like them that much.

    1. UKFAN197TONE

      Oh, I’m VERY excited about the football program and where it appears to be going. VERY excited. I’m a football fan first, believe it or not, and I can’t wait.

      1. Ira

        Always been football fan first, I mean basketball is fine but football is where it’s at!

  3. Larry Pup

    We have not played a game yet or won one yet, but the excitelment is electric. It’s crazy. I love it!

  4. Jim

    I am bummed. Haven’t heard of a new commit in the last couple of days.

  5. Shinny

    This is awesome! So glad Brown came on board with Stoops. The one feeling I had during the Mummie years was we were never out of the game! This is going to be exciting!!! Remember we will have a defense to go with “Air Raid” this time!!!!!!!!

    1. Terry Hall

      For 50 some years I was basketball first by a good margin, when Tubby struggled and Brooks brought respectability to our program I changed. There’s a reason football is king in most of the nation. Go Big Blue!

  6. David

    Here I was just about to turn in my seats, and Kentucky hire’s Stoops. Now I am stuck forking out 3 grand again next year. I am excited about how this group of coaches have been bringing in a lot of 4 star players and signing a few too. I have to agree with Ira’s post above, just think if they could have started recruiting a little earlier. Go Big Blue!!!

  7. Gene T

    I agree with David, I only put out a grand each year. I was really ready to give it up also till we made this hire and now I will also be back. I love my CATS Basketball and Football. I have more fun at Football, because we can tailgate and it is so much more fun if we have quality on the field. GO CATS!

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