Bio: Unlike most coaches, Stoops' pedigree comes as much from his lineage as his resume. His father was a longtime high school head coach at Cardinal Mooney High School in Ohio, and two of his brothers have been major college head coaches. He served as Mike Stoops' defensive coordinator at Arizona from 2004-09, and his brother Bob has won a national championship and eight conference championships at Oklahoma. Mark, who has also been an assistant at Miami and Houston, among others, really made his name with the Seminoles. His defenses ranked 42nd, fourth, and second nationally in the last three seasons.His salary increases $100,000 per year for the next five years.
What to expect: First-time head coaches are likely to spend at least a bit of time finding their own style, and Stoops won't be any different. He'll run a 4-3 on defense and base his coverages out of cover-3, but his defensive fronts and blitzes can be a bit more complex at times. Like both of his brothers, he chose a variant of the spread offense, though it remains to be seen how involved he'll be on that side of the ball. He wasn't Florida State's top recruiter, but he has a strong reputation for attracting and developing talent, and still has ties to Florida and his native Ohio. As a public figure, he's been personable while showing he means business.
Name Neal Brown
Position Offensive coordinator/Quarterbacks
Previous School Texas Tech
Previous position Offensive coordinator
Bio: The first of three former Wildcats to join the staff, Brown became a high-profile coordinator thanks primarily to the performance of his offenses as Texas Tech. Brown played receiver for Kentucky from 1998-00 in Hal Mumme's Air Raid before transferring to Massachusetts. He cut his teeth as a coach at UMass and made a couple other brief stops before arriving at Troy in 2006 as wide receivers coach. He became offensive coordinator in 2008 and two seasons later, was hired by Tommy Tuberville at Texas Tech. The Red Raiders never finished lower than 15th nationally in total offense in his time there, and Troy ranked third nationally in total offense in 2009.
What to expect: It's the Air Raid offense, to be sure. But don't expect a return to the days of Hal Mumme. The offense has evolved over the last 15 years, and Brown has spent five years putting his own touches on the system as a coordinator. Expect a more robust running game, a more physical offensive line, and a more refined system than what Mumme installed when he first came to Lexington. Texas Tech's rushing attack ranked 115th nationally before he arrived, then jumped to 75th in his first year. Brown expects it to only take a few days of spring practice to install the offense. From there, the footballs will fly.
Name Chad Scott
Position Running backs
Previous School Texas Tech
Previous position Running backs
Bio: Scott was the second former Wildcat to join the staff, and he came tied with Brown. Scott was teammates with Brown in 2000, his freshman year, when he rushed for 611 yards. He transferred to North Carolina after his sophomore season and ended up with a short NFL career. After one year as a GA in Chapel Hill in 2006, he rejoined Brown at Troy in 2007. He's been the running backs coach on Brown's staff ever since - for the last six seasons. His offenses have averaged in the neighborhood of 140 rushing yards per game for the last three years.
What to expect: Brown's offensive staff is all about continuity and familiarity, and Scott has more experience with Brown than anyone. The Red Raiders' rushing offense spiked from 84 yards per game in 2009, the year before Brown and Scott arrived, to 141.3 yards per game in their first season in Lubbock. Scott is a young coach with a strong reputation as a recruiter, and he can also be versatile. He might have ended up as Kentucky's wide receivers coach if another strong candidate for running backs coach emerged. He's a primary recruiter on many of UK's top skill position targets.
Name Tommy Mainord
Position Wide receivers
Previous School Texas Tech
Previous position Outside receivers
Bio: Of the four offensive coaches Brown has to work with, three of them are intimately familiar with his offensive system. Mainord spent the last three years at Texas Tech with Brown and Scott after more than a decade as a coach at smaller schools in Texas. He was at D-II Tarleton State for six years and spent five years in the FCS at Sam Houston State and Lamar. While working with Brown and Scott, the Red Raiders' passing offense never finished lower than seventh nationally in yardage. Texas Tech had 114 touchdowns through the air in the last three seasons.
What to expect: Time is critical in implementing a new system, and by assembling a staff with lots of carryover from his days at Texas Tech and Troy, Brown figures to have his offense up and running quickly. Mainord, Scott and John Schlarman don't need to learn a new offense before they can teach it to their players. Texas Tech had two wide receivers with over 1,000 yards and 10 touchdowns this season, one of only three schools to do so.
Name Vince Marrow
Position Tight ends
Previous School Nebraska
Previous position Graduate assistant
Bio: Marrow's only season as a full-time assistant in college was at Toledo in 2008. He was a graduate assistant at Nebraska the last two seasons, where he coached tight ends. He and Stoops have known each other for decades, going back to their roots in Youngstown, Ohio. Marrow played for five NFL teams, an XFL team and an NFL Europe team as a tight end, and his early coaching days were similarly nomadic. He spent two seasons with the NFL Europe before arriving at Toledo, then served as a high school head coach in Ohio for a year before becoming an assistant in the UFL in 2010.
What to expect: The connection to Stoops was obvious when Marrow was hired, but he's still a new coach. Many staffs don't have a full-time assistant devoted solely to tight ends, but Marrow is already proving his worth. He's helped the Wildcats land two high-profile recruits in Ohio since he signed on (Jaleel Hytchye and Kyle Meadows) and is still involved with several others. He has a wealth of experience at the position he's coaching and could become even more valuable when spring practice begins, but for now, he's already having a major impact.
Name John Schlarman
Position Offensive line
Previous School Troy
Previous position Offensive line
Bio: Schlarman is the third and final former UK player now on staff. He was a four-year starter for UK from 1994-97 and was All-SEC in his senior year before beginning a coaching career. He spent three more seasons with the Wildcats as a graduate assistant from 2000-02 before becoming a high school head coach in the state for four seasons. He arrived at Troy in 2007, while Brown was an assistant, and has been the offensive line coach there for the last six seasons. Schlarman played at Highlands High School, the same high school as UK quarterback Patrick Towles.
What to expect: He has three returning starters on the offensive line, but faces the task of replacing two massive cogs on the inside. Finding a center is the first priority, because there isn't one on scholarship on the roster right now. There's some ability among the returners, but the Wildcats' depth on the offensive line last year was a major issue. Adding his own players to the system and finding a redshirt or two who can become a part of the rotation will be an even bigger challenge than installing a new offense with unfamiliar reads and terminology.
Name D.J. Eliot
Position Defensive coordinator/Linebackers
Previous School Florida State
Previous position Defensive ends
Bio: Eliot played linebacker at Wyoming in the late 1990s, but has coached all over the defensive side of the ball. He coached defensive backs at Texas State, then linebackers for a time before coaching the defensive line at Rice for three years, where he was also recruiting coordinator. Stoops brought him on board to coach defensive ends at FSU in 2010. Seminole defensive ends Bjoern Werner and Cornellius Carradine finished 2nd and 15th nationally sacks and ranked 1-2 in the ACC. He worked with Stoops at Wyoming, Houston and Miami before Florida State.
What to expect: This is his first time as a playcaller, but his experience with Stoops shows the kind of defense he'll run. He was an important recruiter for the Seminoles, with strong ties to Florida and Texas. Eliot will have plenty of help implementing the 4-3, and his time coaching different defensive positions should help him as a coordinator. He has a key returner at linebacker in Avery Williamson, and will have to decide where to put Bud Dupree. Stoops and Eliot helped engineer a major defensive turnaround in Tallahassee. Now they have to do it again in the SEC.
Name Jimmy Brumbaugh
Position Defensive line
Previous School East Mississippi Community College
Previous position Defensive line/Strength & Conditioning
Bio: Brumbaugh was an All-SEC player at Auburn from 1995-99 before bouncing around pro football for five years. He got his coaching start in 2004 at FCS Jacksonville State, then spent 2005-06 at Tennessee-Chattanooga. He spent 2006-07 at LSU, helping the Tigers win the 2007 national championship as a strength coach before getting back to on-field coaching as Louisiana Tech's defensive line coach in 2008-09. He spent 2010-11 at Syracuse, then spent 2012 as defensive line coach at East Mississippi Community College.
What to expect: Location, location, location. Brumbaugh arrived at UK from one of the strongest junior colleges in Mississippi (8-2 this season), and it happened to be stocked with defensive line talent. He already helped Kentucky earn a surprise commitment from four-star defensive end Za'Darius Smith, and he'll continue to be the Wildcats' primary recruiter in the talent-rich Mississippi JUCO system. On the field, he'll be as important as any position coach in helping UK shift from a 3-4 on defense to a 4-3.
Name Derrick Ansley
Previous School Tennessee
Previous position Cornerbacks
Salary $125,000 in 2013
Bio: Ansley played at Troy from 2001-04, though none of the UK assistants who spent time coaching the Trojans were there at that time. The first thing on his resume that jumps out is two years spent at Alabama as a graduate assistant, from 2010-11. The Tide won a national championship in 2011 with three All-Americans in the secondary in Mark Barron, Dre Kirkpatrick and DeQuan Menzie. Ansley briefly took a job at Central Florida, but ended up coaching corners at Tennessee in 2012. The Vols' defense struggled all around, and they ranked 114th nationally in passing defense. Ansley's salary increases to $250,000 in 2014.
What to expect: Kentucky's corners were a mess last year, which allowed three young players to get a ton of experience. He'll be tasked with developing young players like Cody Quinn, Fred Tiller and J.D. Harmon. There aren't any veterans there, though, and Ansley is no veteran himself. He doesn't have much of a track record as an assistant in major college football, but his background at Alabama bodes well. There's a lot to be determined about Ansley at this point in his young career, including his prowess as a position coach and a recruiter.
Name Bradley Dale Peveto
Position Safeties/Special teams
Previous School Northwestern (La.) State
Previous position Head coach
Bio: Peveto has by far the most experience of any member of the staff. He has six years of SEC experience with stops at Arkansas and LSU, and helped the Tigers win a national championship in 2007. He was linebackers coach that year as LSU ranked third nationally in total defense. He was also special teams coordinator, and both his kicker and punter were named All-SEC that year. The Razorbacks won the SEC West in 1995, his final year there. He spent the last four years as head coach at Northwestern State but has made stops all over the south during his career, including jobs in Tennessee, Texas and Mississippi. He and Stoops first met during their time at Houston.
What to expect: Peveto is the highest-paid position coach for the Wildcats, and with good reason. He has 26 years of college coaching experience. He's noted for building strong relationships with players, but has strong credentials for developing talent. He won't be the top recruiter on staff, but he'll land his share of players. Stoops will be able to look to his brothers for coaching advice, but having a veteran like Peveto on staff can also be critical to help guide a first-time head coach.