Sidelines with John Clay

There are many friendships among Kentucky and South Carolina coaches

Kentucky Coach Mark Stoops, right, has led the Wildcats to four straight victories over South Carolina. Stoops talked with Gamecocks head man Will Muschamp before the 2016 meeting between the teams in Lexington.
Kentucky Coach Mark Stoops, right, has led the Wildcats to four straight victories over South Carolina. Stoops talked with Gamecocks head man Will Muschamp before the 2016 meeting between the teams in Lexington.

At his press luncheon Tuesday, Kentucky football coach Mark Stoops referenced the relationships between the two staffs when UK and South Carolina meet Saturday night.

“I have a lot of friends on that staff,” Stoops said.

There are a lot of friendships and former work relationships on both sides.

For example:

South Carolina’s new quarterbacks coach Dan Werner worked with Mark Stoops at Miami from 2001 to 2003 under Larry Corker. Stoops left in 2004 to be defensive coordinator for his brother Mark at Arizona. Werner stayed at Miami until after the 2005 season. It was the first of his two stints with the Hurricanes.

Before he came to Miami, Werner was an offensive consultant under Tommy Tuberville at Auburn in 1999. Current UK offensive coordinator Eddie Gran was the running backs coach on Tuberville’s staff in 1999.

South Carolina offensive line coach Eric Wolford was the head coach at Youngstown State from 2010 through 2014. One of his assistants was Ron Stoops, the older brother of Mark Stoops. Ron Stoops is still on the YSU staff. He’s the special teams coordinator for head coach Bo Pelini.

South Carolina defensive coordinator Travaris Robinson played at Auburn for Tommy Tuberville from 1999 through 2002. He was graduate assistant at Auburn in 2006 and 2007. Eddie Gran was on the Auburn staff from 1999 through 2008.

South Carolina head coach Will Muschamp was Tuberville’s defensive coordinator at Auburn in 2006 and 2007. Robinson, Gran and Muschamp worked together again. Muschamp hired Robinson at Florida and then South Carolina.

South Carolina’s defensive line coach Lance Thompson worked with Eddie Gran on Phil Fulmer’s staff at Tennessee in 2009.

South Carolina’s special teams coordinator Coelman Hutzler was an assistant to defensive coordinator Andy Buh at Stanford in 2008. Buh coached outside linebackers for Stoops in 2016 at UK.

South Carolina’s linebackers and special teams coach Kyle Krantz was graduate assistant at UK in 2011-12. He was hired by Will Muschamp at Florida in 2013.

Bryan McClendon was promoted to offensive coordinator at South Carolina in January, replacing Kurt Roper. Rich Brooks hired Kurt Roper as his quarterbacks coach at Kentucky in 2005. Roper left in 2006 to rejoin offensive coordinator David Cutcliffe on Phil Fulmer’s staff.

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