Jen Smith on UK Football

Some early thoughts on Kentucky’s special teams adjustments

I’m spending at least part of my week in Jacksonville covering the Southeastern Conference Tournament, but I just saw that Mark Stoops promoted Andy Buh to full-time special teams coordinator and remembered this quote from Buh after he was hired. The outside linebackers coach is passionate about special teams.

“I’ve always had a piece of the special teams my entire career and really, I love the special teams,” Buh said last fall. “And in fact if someone said, ‘Hey, tomorrow you need to be the special teams coordinator,’ I’d love to do that.”

Buh coached the punt return and kickoff return coverage units this season, which Stoops was happy with at season’s end.

“I’m very confident in particular with the units that are exposed the most, the coverage units, punt and kickoff,” the head coach said. “I could not be more confident with coach Andy Buh and the way he coaches it. I don’t know if there’s a more passionate, thorough, disciplined, tough coach that I could find and name him special teams coordinator that would do that.”

One thing UK lacked this season was someone to work with the kickers and punters -- a problem on most staffs nationally -- but Stoops seems to have gone a long way toward remedying that situation as well with the newly created special teams quality control assistant position filled by Louie Matsakis, a three-year placekicker and punter at Emporia State. He also was special teams coordinator at Kansas.