UK announces hirings of Minter, Pardue

Phillips has long ties to both

ccosby@herald-leader.comDecember 17, 2010 

  • BBVA Bowl

    Kentucky vs. Pittsburgh

    When: noon Jan. 8Where: Birmingham, Ala. TV: ESPN

Rick Minter and Steve Pardue were officially announced as the two newest members of Kentucky Coach Joker Phillips' staff on Thursday.

Minter will serve as co-defensive coordinator with Steve Brown, and Pardue will coach running backs.

Phillips has an extensive history with both coaches. In 1997, Phillips coached wide receivers and in 1998 coached defensive backs for Minter at the University of Cincinnati. Minter coached at UC from 1994-2003 and has the most wins in the program's history.

Other current head coaches who were on Minter's staff at UC include New York Jets Coach Rex Ryan, Baltimore Ravens Coach John Harbaugh, Pittsburgh Steelers Coach Mike Tomlin and Florida State Coach Jimbo Fisher.

"Rick is a tough, hard-nosed defensive coordinator who has put together outstanding defenses at numerous schools," Phillips said in a release.

"When I worked with him at Cincinnati, Rick had great knowledge of both sides of the ball. He does a great job of communicating with players and putting them in position to make plays."

Pardue, a Hopkinsville native, developed a relationship with Phillips on the recruiting trail and sent several players from his powerhouse program at LaGrange (Ga.) to UK, including Quentin McCord, Wesley Woodyard, Braxton Kelley and current starters Randall Burden and Mychal Bailey.

"I've watched Steve for a lot of years and how he handles himself as a coach," Phillips said. "He's earned the respect of his players and of his fellow coaches through his work on the state boards in Georgia.

"Being a Kentucky native, he brings a lot to the table in Kentucky and Georgia."

Minter has been a defensive coordinator at Notre Dame, South Carolina, Ball State and Marshall, and he spent this season as linebackers coach at Indiana State. Minter had two stints at Notre Dame; during his first the Irish finished 10-1-1 with a No. 4 ranking in 1992 and 11-1 in a national runner-up season in 1993.

"I'm ecstatic about coaching at the University of Kentucky and returning to the Southeastern Conference," Minter said. "It's a privilege to work with Joker Phillips and I appreciate the opportunity to join the team and work with the existing defensive staff and players."

"The number one reason I came to Kentucky is because of Joker Phillips," Pardue said. "I believe in the way he's doing things here and his vision for the program. And, because it's the University of Kentucky, the state school of my home state. This was the toughest decision I've ever made, to leave the town of LaGrange, and if it weren't for Joker Phillips and the University of Kentucky, I wouldn't have left. But I'm ready for a new challenge and am excited about the future of Kentucky football."

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