Steve Ortmayer
Steve Ortmayer

Asst. Head Coach/Special Teams & Tight Ends Coach

Steve Ortmayer has multiple duties on the Kentucky football staff, including assistant head coach, special teams coordinator, and tight ends coach.

Ortmayer's special teams have posted numerous accomplishments in his six seasons.

In 2003, Derek Abney led the SEC in kickoff returns, earned All-America honors as a return specialist and was drafted by the NFL's Baltimore Ravens. Abney tied the NCAA record for most kick return touchdowns in a career (8) and it is interesting to note that two of the three players who share the record of eight kick return TDs have been coached by Ortmayer--Abney at UK and Cliff Branch at Colorado.

The 2004 season saw UK set a school record by blocking nine opponent kicks. Anthony Thornton finished his career with the third-highest punting average in school history.

The accomplishments were abundant in 2005:

  • Kentucky broke the school records for kickoff return average and punt return average, and was the only team to rank in the nation's top five in both kickoff and punt returns;
  • Rafael Little led the SEC in punt returns and all-purpose yardage;
  • kicker Taylor Begley concluded his reliable career as the No. 3 scorer in school history and a school-record streak of 92 consecutive extra points; and
  • the Wildcats swatted six opponent kicks.

Milestones continued to accrue in 2006, as UK led the nation in punt returns and was the only school to rank in the nation's top 10 in both punt and kickoff returns.

In 2007, Lones Seiber set the school record for most points by a kicker in a season, UK led the SEC in net kickoff coverage and Keenan Burton set the SEC career record for kickoff return average (min. 50 returns).

At tight end, Jacob Tamme earned first-team All-SEC honors in 2006 and `07 and was drafted by the Indianapolis Colts.

Last year, UK again led the SEC in kickoff returns and net kickoff coverage, ranking third nationally in KO returns. Tim Masthay was the first-team All-SEC punter after leading the league in that category.

In 2009, Ortmayer must replace the valuable Masthay, who handled punting, kickoffs and placekick holding, along with a new punt returner and placekick snapper.

Ortmayer has plenty of experience to handle those tasks. His 25 years in the NFL includes 18 seasons as special teams coach and 19 years as director of football operations. Obviously, he held dual roles during much of his time in the NFL, a testament to his energy, efficiency, and organizational ability.

Ortmayer spent the majority of his NFL career with the Oakland/Los Angeles Raiders and coached the special teams for the 1981 and 1984 Super Bowl champions. He also coached special teams with the Kansas City Chiefs and Green Bay Packers, and held administrative positions with the San Diego Chargers and St. Louis Rams. It was in St. Louis that Brooks and Ortmayer worked together for the first time.

Ortmayer's special teams skill was best displayed in 1991 when his Raiders squad was ranked first in the NFL by the Dallas Morning News, using a statistical analysis of 17 special teams categories.

Ortmayer's collegiate experience began in 1967 at the University of Colorado. He moved to Georgia Tech in 1974 before beginning his career in pro football.

All totaled, Ortmayer has participated in eight college bowl games and eight NFL playoffs.

Born in Painesville, Ohio, Ortmayer grew up in Nashville, Tenn., and Dallas, Tex. He played one season at Vanderbilt before transferring to La Verne (Calif.) College and playing three seasons there.

Ortmayer and his wife, Merylee, have two sons, Beau and Cody.

Coaching Experience

1967 Colorado Graduate Assistant, one bowl game
1968-73 Colorado Assistant Coach (Offensive Line, Defensive Line) four bowl games
1974 Georgia Tech Assistant Coach (Offensive Line)
1975-77 Kansas City Chiefs (NFL) Assistant Coach (Special Teams Coordinator)
1978 Oakland Raiders (NFL) Director of FB Operations
1979-86 Oakland/LA Raiders (NFL) Director of FB Operations (Asst. Coach, Special Teams Coord.), five playoffs, two Super Bowl titles
1987-89 San Diego Chargers (NFL) Director of Football Operations
1990-94 Los Angeles Raiders (NFL) Director of Football Operations (Assistant Coach, Special Teams Coordinator), three playoffs
1995-96 St. Louis Rams (NFL) Vice President for Football Operations
1997-98 St. Louis Rams (NFL) Consultant to the Team President
1999 Green Bay Packers (NFL) Assistant Coach (Special Teams Coordinator)
2000-01 Memphis Maniax (XFL) Director of Player Personnel
2003-present Kentucky Assistant Head Coach (Special Teams Coordinator, Tight Ends), three bowl games
2015 National Signing Day Commonwealth Stadium