UK Football

Steve Brown discusses Kentucky football firing

A defensive coordinator has to be able to predict what's going to happen on the next play.

So co-defensive coordinator Steve Brown said he saw his departure from the University of Kentucky football staff coming a long time ago.

"The decision technically was made a year ago when they brought in Rick Minter, but now was the time," Brown said in a phone interview with the Herald-Leader on Friday, explaining his firing.

Brown was referring to head coach Joker Phillips' decision to bring on his friend and mentor, Rick Minter, as "co-defensive coordinator" last December. Minter changed the scheme, became responsible for defensive decisions and did the play calling all season.

Brown, who was at UK for nine seasons, retained the title "co-defensive coordinator," but was mostly responsible for coaching defensive backs.

Brown was the third-highest paid assistant on the staff. His one-year deal, set to expire on June 30, was worth $324,000. Minter and offensive coordinator Randy Sanders both make more.

"Another one of Coach (Rich) Brooks' guys is gone," Brown said. "That's how it works in this business."

The only coaches left from Brooks' head coaching time at UK that Phillips has kept around are Sanders and linebackers coach Chuck Smith.

Brown said he didn't have a coaching destination yet, but planned to keep doing what he loves. Before coming to Kentucky, Brown was a position coach for the St. Louis Rams.

"I'm a coach, it's what I do, I'll find another job," he said. "My deal is insignificant."

With Brown as defensive coordinator from 2007-10, Kentucky allowed 24.6 points a game, the school's best four-year stretch of scoring defense in 17 seasons, according to the media guide,

Brown said he was happy for the time he had at UK, which included a stretch of five straight bowl games and wins over ranked opponents.

"I'm just so happy for the players that they could end the season strong and finally beat Tennessee and end things on a high note," Brown said. "I'm truly in this for the players and I loved my time with them."