With success comes the wolves: just ask Illini basketball after Coach Cal poached both Orlando Antigua and Chin Coleman. Now it strikes Kentucky football, as Michigan came in and poached Coach Clinkscale from Mark Stoops' staff. No worries BBN, put your trust in Coach Stoops. He has options, and he has a track record of bringing in great assistant coaches. Here's a few names we need to keep an eye on:
Ed Reed: I know, I know - we've heard this rumor before, right? Well, it's still a viable option. Reed has previously stated how much respect he has for Coach Stoops, and how coaching is something he'd like to do. Coach Stoops definitely wants a defensive mind and wants a big time recruiter. Ed Reed fits both criteria, hard not to be "wowed" by a Hall of Famer and one of the most notorious recent defensive players in the NFL. This would absolutely big a headline-hire, but is a long shot - Reed is the least likely name on this list to join the staff, but he's still a big name! Last time around, the timing just wasn't right for Ed Reed and coming to UK's staff. Is it different this time?
Jonathan Cooley: For those of you who don't know, he's a position coach right now with the LA Rams - you know, the same organization our new OC came from. Coincidence? Cooley is a young assistant coach with NFL experience, which not only can pay dividends in player development at UK, but also on the recruiting trail. Cooley was also a Graduate Assistant at UK in 2015, so he has familiarity with Coach Stoops and the program. Seems surprising that UK football can go grab 2 assistant coaches from the LA Rams, but Cooley sounds like a promising candidate
Archie Collins: This is a name you're hearing thrown around quite a bit as of late. Collins is currently at Pitt, so a chance to come to the SEC is a major upgrade from Pitt. Collins is what Stoops wants and needs: defensive back/secondary coaching experience, youthful energy, and a proven recruiter. Here's an important note: Collins spent 5 years coaching at Central Michigan, so if Stoops and Vince Marrow want to continue recruiting Michigan, Collins would be a great addition to the staff. To go one step further, Collins also spent time on the Michigan State football staff. Collins might not be a big name to BBN, but he would be a great hire.
A few other names of note:
Frank Buffano, UK's safeties coach right now.
Greg Manusky, UK quality control and analyst currently on staff.
Wesley Woodyard, former UK standout player, some time in the NFL, currently on UK's staff as an off-the-field assistant
Coach Stoops brother, Mike, is currently the DC at Florida Atlantic University. Would he see a move to U
K's defensive staff as a good move for his long-term future as a football coach? Well, I doubt it, but still think Mike is worth mentioning here.
NOT likely, but mentioned...
Will Muschamp: A once very young, promising defensive mind: has NOT been a very successful head coach in his stints at Florida and South Carolina. Is he committed to being a HC or nothing at all? Would he be willing to work as an assistant to Coach Stoops? I doubt it, really doubt it, but this stuff can be unpredictable at times
One final thought...
It's completely possible that Stoops decides not to simply, or straightforward, replace Clink's position - he could use multiple coaches to coach the DBs (including himself), and instead bring in a coach that specifically addresses recruiting the defensive side of the ball, first and foremost. Almost like a recruiting coordinator for the defensive side of the ball.