It always seems that Pete Thamel is the bearer of bad news for the Kentucky Wildcats, but he was the first to report that Kentucky Wildcats footballs offensive coordinator Neal Brown will be leaving to be the head coach of Troy. More from Thamel:
Kentucky offensive coordinator Neal Brown will be the next head coach at Troy, according to a source with direct knowledge of the situation. Brown will receive a five-year contract worth nearly $3.5 million. A formal announcement by the school will come on Monday. Fox first reported the hire.
Brown brings a history of prolific offenses at both Kentucky and Texas Tech. He also spent four seasons working at Troy, two of which he served as the offensive coordinator. His strong relationships from his time on staff there helped greatly in getting him the job.
I have to admit that after the last half of the season, I am a bit surprised that Brown is headed to another job, but remember that Brown was up for some head jobs when he came to Kentucky. I think that a change is good for Brown, who seems to have become a polarizing figure that frustrated Kentucky fans focused on as the season went south. I think a third season of Brown would have finally achieved that “Air Raid” status that Kentucky fans have been yearning for, but it does not look as if it will be.
If you are looking for an early leader for the new Kentucky offensive coordinator, look at James Coley at Miami. Coley came very close to following Mark Stoops to Kentucky from Florida State and Coley has done a great job of developing Hurricanes QB Brad Kayaa. As a true freshman, Kayaa passed for 2,666 yards and had 23 TDs against 11 TDs. Finding an OC that can work with young QB’s will be vital as Patrick Towles did not have more than 176 yards through the air in his last four games and finished with 2 TDs vs 5 INTs over that span.