Kentucky's Rich Brooks has been named Southeastern Conference Coach of the Year by CollegeFootballNews.com.
Brooks, in his seventh season at UK, led the Wildcats to a 7-5 record and a fourth consecutive bowl game for the first time in school history.
Kentucky will play Clemson on Dec. 27 in the Music City Bowl.
UK broke the school record for consecutive non-conference wins in 2009 with 18 straight. It also won three SEC road games — at Auburn, Vanderbilt and Georgia — for the first time since 1977.
UK entered the season having to replace starters at several positions, including defensive end, where it lost All-SEC performer Jeremy Jarmon to an NCAA suspension.
The Wildcats' setbacks also included injuries to All-America-hopeful cornerback Trevard Lindley and starting quarterback Mike Hartline.
■ CollegeFootballNews.com also honored UK junior Derrick Locke as its All-SEC first-team kickoff returner.
Locke led the SEC with 29.6 yards per return. He had a 100-yard touchdown runback against Louisville.
Herald-Leader Staff Report