By LARRY VAUGHT
Kentucky coach Mark Stoops and offensive coordinator Eddie Gran remain “on the same page” about a new contract for Gran after what his offense did this season to help UK finish 7-5.
“We don’t have everything ironed out specifically at this point, but he and I were on a plane together, traveling a bunch so we’ve been in touch quite a bit. We don’t need to talk about it every day. We have a understanding that we’re going to iron something out here pretty quick.”
That’s what Gran and quarterbacks coach Darrin Hinshaw had to do when starting quarterback Drew Barker went out with a back injury after two games. The Cats shifted from a pass-oriented attack to a strong running attack with Stephen Johnson at quarterback.
“I think they did a really good job. We’ve talked about it all year. I thought the coaches did an excellent job of putting our players in a position — we talked about the right recipe for both sides of the ball to be successful,” Stoops said Friday.
“We kind of worked our way through that early on. Once Drew got hurt, we started evolving to the offense that we really liked at the end of the year. I think that we all like the way that we were playing and it helps us across the board.
“It helps us with our team as we move forward, being physical, being able to run the ball and being able to defend the run. It helps your football team. It’s been a good change.”
Athlon Sports on Friday named Stoops, in his fourth year at the helm of the program, runner-up for Southeastern Conference Coach of the Year, while Gran also was named runner-up in the SEC Offensive Coordinator of the Year category. Alabama’s Nick Saban and Lane Kiffin, respectively, won the awards.