UK rewards assistant Marrow with $100,000 raise, title of recruiting coordinator

broberts@herald-leader.com jsmith3@herald-leader.comJanuary 25, 2014 

University of Kentucky tight ends coach Vince Marrow has been given a raise and the title of "recruiting coordinator" in a new deal that was recently finalized by the university.

Marrow has received much of the credit for UK's unprecedented recruiting efforts since coming to Lexington in December 2012.

He also has been a rumored target for several other major college programs, though he has vowed to stay at Kentucky as long as Mark Stoops is head coach.

The new contract runs through June 30, 2016, and will pay Marrow an annual salary of $275,000. His previous salary was $175,000.

The salary increase makes Marrow the fourth-highest paid assistant coach on staff behind only offensive coordinator Neal Brown ($550,000), defensive coordinator D.J. Eliot ($500,000) and special teams coach Bradley Dale Peveto ($300,000).

Marrow was the ceremonial "Y" during UK's basketball game against Georgia on Saturday, and he was introduced to the Rupp Arena crowd as the "recruiting coordinator" for the football program.

Stoops has implied that Marrow would receive that title, but there is no language in the new contract acknowledging the promotion. A team spokesman later confirmed to the Herald-Leader that Marrow has indeed been named recruiting coordinator.

UK has commitments from 11 players from Ohio for the Class of 2014, including seven of the Buckeye State's top 25 prospects, according to the Rivals.com rankings. Marrow — a native of Youngstown — is the program's lead recruiter in Ohio and has received national attention for his success in recruiting the state.

Marrow was an assistant coach at Nebraska for two seasons prior to joining Stoops' staff at UK.

Elam's final visit

John Hardin defensive tackle Matt Elam braved the snow to make one last visit to Lexington before his college decision, and he received a warm welcome from the Rupp Arena crowd.

Following the first-half introduction of UK's seven early enrollees — including quarterback Drew Barker — the Rupp crowd started a "We Want Elam!" chant directed at the visiting football recruit. Elam, who was seen speaking to Stoops during the game, immediately tweeted his appreciation for the chant.

He could make his college decision between UK and Alabama sometime this week.

The focus on football during Saturday's basketball game against Georgia also included the UK mascots dressed up in Broncos jerseys, a nod to the three former Wildcats who will play for Denver in next week's Super Bowl.

Elam wasn't the only UK football recruit in Lexington this weekend. Four-star cornerback Kendall Randolph, who committed to UK last week, and junior-college commitment Michael Mathis were in town for their official visits.

Stoops talks recruiting

Stoops was the guest speaker at the Kentucky Alumni Association Board of Directors meeting on Saturday morning, and the Kentucky head coach discussed a number of topics, including:

■ There will be no coaching staff changes this off-season. Stoops said a few coaches had opportunities but opted to stay at Kentucky. As of Saturday afternoon, the only known restructuring of a coach's contract was Marrow's.

■ Stoops indicated that he'd like to sign two more players on national signing day (Feb. 5), and he would like them to be an offensive tackle and a defensive lineman.

■ Stoops told the group that he thinks Kentucky's recruiting class will finish ranked somewhere between 10 and 15 nationally, which would be the highest ever for the program.

■ The three former UK players playing for Denver in next weekend's Super Bowl have said they will wear UK blue items during workouts this week, part of care packages the program sent to them. Jacob Tamme, Danny Trevathan and Wesley Woodyard will represent the Broncos — and the Cats — in East Rutherford, N.J.

■ The Kentucky coach told the alumni group that he likes the idea of playing Louisville at the end of the season because UK will be a much better football team by the end of the year.

Kentucky and Louisville have traditionally met in the season opener or early in the year. In 2014, their game is set for the regular-season finale on Nov. 29.

Ben Roberts: (859) 231-3216. Twitter: @NextCats. Blog: ukrecruiting.bloginky.com.

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