The University of Kentucky football team snapped a 26-game losing streaking to Tennessee by beating the Volunteers 10-7
Randy Sanders' most recent appearance on the sideline at the close of the 2011 season will certainly be among his most memorable.
As offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach, Sanders was without two injured QBs as the Wildcats headed into the season finale vs. Tennessee. In a week's time, Sanders turned senior wide receiver Matt Roark into a quarterback and guided him through a victory over the Volunteers.
That game is an indication of the impact Sanders has had during his term on the UK staff.
Upon his arrival in 2006, Sanders helped Andre' Woodson develop from an inconsistent performer into one of the top quarterbacks in the nation. Seemingly overnight, Woodson blossomed as a player and a field general, leading the Wildcats to some of the most memorable triumphs in school history, including a pair of Music City Bowl championships.
Along the way, Woodson led the Southeastern Conference in passing yardage, total offense and touchdown passes, including an SEC record of 40 TD tosses in 2007. He earned All-SEC honors both seasons and was drafted by the NFL's New York Giants.
Sanders went back to square one in 2008. He did a masterful job of melding the inexperienced talents of then-sophomore Mike Hartline and freshman Randall Cobb into a capable tandem. The QB duo led the Wildcats to a third-consecutive postseason victory in the AutoZone Liberty Bowl.
Sanders turned in another deft coaching performance in 2009. Hartline was the starting quarterback until going down with an injury in the fifth game. For the remainder of the season, Sanders juggled Cobb, seldom-used junior Will Fidler and true freshman Morgan Newton at QB. And, once again, the offense produced enough points to advance to a bowl game, along with ground-breaking victories at Auburn and Georgia.
Hartline stayed healthy in 2010, enjoying a terrific season and finishing his career among the top five in school history in every passing category.
Sanders has been offensive coordinator since 2009 and took on primary playcalling duties in 2010. In his first year in that role, UK averaged 6.1 yards per play, second best in school history, and 406 total points ranks third in UK history.
Prior to Kentucky, Sanders spent 22 seasons (1984-2005) as a player and coach at the University of Tennessee, including the last seven as offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach. He was named offensive coordinator after the 1998 regular season when David Cutcliffe became head coach at Ole Miss. Sanders' first game as offensive coordinator was the 1999 Fiesta Bowl when the Volunteers defeated Florida State for the national championship.
A native of Morristown, Tenn., Sanders was a quarterback on the Tennessee football team from 1984-88. He earned four varsity letters and was a four-year member of the SEC Academic Honor Roll. He remained with the team as a volunteer assistant coach, helping coach the quarterbacks, in 1989-90 under Coach Johnny Majors.
Sanders was promoted to full-time assistant coach in 1991, working with the wide receivers in 1991-92. New head coach Phillip Fulmer named him running backs coach and recruiting coordinator in 1993. Sanders stayed in those roles through `98, recruiting the players that took Tennessee to the national title, before moving to offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach following Cutcliffe's departure.
While Sanders was on the Tennessee coaching staff, the Vols had a record of 162-46-2 (.776) and won four SEC championships and six Eastern Division crowns in addition to their national title. The Vols played in 16 bowl games, including four Citrus Bowls, three Fiesta Bowls, three Cotton Bowls, two Peach Bowls, and once each in the Sugar, Orange, Hall of Fame and Gator bowls.
Sanders and his wife, Cathy, have two daughters, Kelly and Kari.
Volunteer Assistant (Quarterbacks), two bowl games
Assistant Coach (Wide Receivers), two bowl games
Assistant Coach (Recruiting Coordinator, Running Backs), six bowl games
Assistant Coach (Offensive Coordinator, Quarterbacks), six bowl games
Assistant Coach (Quarterbacks), two bowl games
Assistant Coach (Recr. Coord., Quarterbacks), one bowl game
Assistant Coach (Offensive Coordinator, Quarterbacks), two bowl games