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UK defensive line coach Anwar Stewart knows first-hand that players will quit if you “lie to them”


New Kentucky defensive line coach Anwar Stewart was recruited to play at Kentucky by coach Bill Curry, a defensive minded coach, and finished his career playing for coach Hal Mumme, a coach who always went all-in for offense.

Stewart, a linebacker at UK, played 13 years in the Canadian Football League at defensive end after leaving UK and won four Grey Cup championships. He was the CFL’s outstanding defensive layer in 2004, was a two-time all-star and had 70 sacks and 10 interceptions.

“I was a starting linebacker when coach Mumme came in and moved everybody around,” Stewart said during an appearance on WPBK-FM Thursday morning. “If you want kids to quit on you, lie to them and BS them. Those guys weren’t honest to the defensive guys.”

Stewart joked that the defensive players called the offensive players —which included quarterback Tim Couch, receiver Craig Yeast and running back Anthony White — “pricks” because of the preferred treatment Mumme had for offensive players.

“The one thing that did was help me grow a tough skin. We might be playing Florida and on fourth and 10 coach Mumme would go for it from our own 30. Just one of those things we had to accept.”

Don’t think Stewart was unhappy. He said he had a “great time” playing at UK but just wished the defensive talent had not been mishandled by Mumme and defensive coordinator Mike Major.

“Tim was a great leader. Anthony is my boy. He ain’t changed one bit,” Stewart said. “Craig Yeast was a great talent. He was really good. I didn’t know Harrodsburg had that many Yeasts running around. Was it just Yeasts and Johnsons that lived there? But Craig was one of the leading receivers in the SEC. He was awesome.

“We were good. We went to back to back bowls. It was a great time for Kentucky football and we really enjoyed it despite not really getting to show the talent we did have on defense. We had a top 20 defense with coach Curry and (assistant) coach (Mike Archer). We were tough, played hard. I get you have to score points to win games but there’s nothing wrong with having a great offense and great defense and we could have had that.”

1 comment

  1. Mumme lost me as a fan when he did what he did to Dusty Bonner as the starting UK QB one year. Not taking anything away from Jared L, he is forever a UK great, but Bonner had won the starting job that spring, and Mumme went with the freshmen instead. Bonner transferred and set records at Valsdosta State. The Mumme era was OK in some ways for UK, I guess, but I am not a big fan of Mumme after what finally happened to the UK program with him at the helm. Coach Stewart makes good points on Mumme’s defensive philosophy. He could have cared less. The losing scores proved that. Makes one appreciate what we have at UK now.

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