Report: Nord returning to UK

Ex-Wildcat player would replace Ortmayer

ccosby@herald-leader.comJuly 3, 2010 

It looks like it didn't take Kentucky Coach Joker Phillips long to find a replacement for Steve Ortmayer.

Illinois Coach Ron Zook told the News-Gazette in Champaign that one of his assistants, former University of Kentucky player Greg Nord, had left to join the UK staff.

Nord would replace Ortmayer, who was fired by Phillips earlier this week after seven seasons at UK. Ortmayer's job was posted on the school Web site Friday, and a job must be posted for seven days before a hire can be made official.

Nord lettered at UK in 1975 and 1977-78 and became a graduate assistant in 1979. He then served as part-time coach in 1981 before accepting a full-time position coaching running backs coach under Jerry Claiborne from 1982-89. Phillips and Nord developed a relationship during Phillips' playing days as a Wildcat from 1981-84 and have remained close since.

After leaving Kentucky, Nord coached running backs at East Carolina in 1990-91 and Georgia Tech from 1992-94. Nord spent the next 15 seasons at Louisville. He coached running backs and was the recruiting coordinator last season. He joined Zook's staff at Illinois in the off-season.

Ortmayer declined to get into specifics about his firing but did say he was surprised. He said he plans on remaining in Lexington and will pursue other job opportunities.

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