All of the speculation about Kentucky’s next offensive coordinator appears to have reached a crescendo as Eddie Gran will reportedly be the next man up to guide the Cats offense in 2016.
— Justin Rowland (@RowlandRIVALS) December 28, 2015
As soon as the final buzzer sounded on Kentucky’s 38-24 loss to the Louisville Cardinals thoughts shifted to staff changes as another 5-7 off-season without a bowl game began to sink in. It seems like an eternity since the season ended, it seemed like it took a long time before Mark Stoops was prepared to talk about possible changes to his coaching staff.
Yet, a month to the day later, things are getting finalized as Gran and Darin Hinshaw will leave the Cincinnati Bearcats staff to join Mark Stoops at UK. No doubt it took a little bit longer to iron everything out with Gran since Cincinnati was preparing for a bowl game, the Hawaii Bowl, where they fell 42-7 to the San Diego State Aztecs.
The following reaction among UK fans was predictable, its human nature. Once Gran was reported to be on Kentucky’s radar as potentially the next offensive coordinator the eyes of the fan base were glued to the television sets in hopes of seeing glimpses of how Kentucky would attack future opponents.
We did the same thing in Shannon Dawson’s final game as West Virginia’s offensive coordinator.
One game, especially a bowl game, does not a hiring decision make. It doesn’t carry over to that coach’s next job either. If that was the case Shannon Dawson would still be at UK because West Virginia beat Texas A & M and put up some big numbers in the process.
As mentioned Gran and Cincinnati were beaten soundly and looked feeble offensively.
Mark Stoops has looked at the entire resume’.
Gran’s resume’ is impressive. He’s been the SEC (Ole Miss, Auburn, Tennessee) and coached with Stoops at Florida State.
Familiarity, and hopefully trust, will already have been established because this hire needs to work for out for Mark Stoops and Kentucky. Gran will be his third OC in four years. Neal Brown left to take a head coaching job, Shannon Dawson didn’t work out.
Gran, Hinshaw and Drew Barker will have to hit the ground running. Last year’s struggles are fresh on everyone’s minds. There will be pressure for success in all phases of the game for Kentucky football next season but the offense will definitely be highly scrutinized. All of these guys know what they signed up for.
This is a critical hire heading into a critical season for Mark Stoops. Hopefully this will be a decision that everyone can look back on and say that it was a springboard to big things.