University of Kentucky safety Matt Lentz has decided to give up his playing career because of concussions, Coach Joker Phillips announced Wednesday.
"It breaks my heart because I was a huge part of getting Matt here," Phillips said. "Knowing how much this program means to him and his family and for him to have to give up football ... He'll be a part of our program still. He'll be a student-coach. We're excited about having him on our staff."
Phillips noted that Lentz will apply to remain on scholarship because of medical hardship. A junior from Simpsonville, S.C., he can graduate in the summer or fall of 2010 with a degree in management.
Lentz came to UK in 2007 as a quarterback and redshirted that season. He moved to safety in the spring of 2008. He played in 25 games during the last two years, including six starting assignments. He totaled 46 tackles, two interceptions and two pass breakups. He had a career-high seven tackles in the 2008 win over Arkansas and his interceptions came in Wildcat victories in 2008 at Louisville and 2009 vs. the University of Louisiana at Monroe.