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Morriss Introduces Three New Coaches




Head Coach Guy Morriss
Head Coach Guy Morriss
"We're extremely pleased to have all three of these new coaches. We think they all three are extremely good people. That's what we were looking for, good people and good 'x's and o's' guys. All three of them love to be around kids, which is good because that's the kind of business we're in."

"Mark Nelson will coach the tight ends and coordinate the special teams. We coached together in San Antonio when the Canadian league was here for a year. We got to know each other pretty well."

"Harold Jackson, of course, is well known. We coached together at New England under Raymond Berry. We're excited about having Harold and what he brings."

"Rick Smith, as you know, was here under Coach (Bill) Curry. Rick and I have never worked together, but we've known each other for about five years. Rick also has an extremely good reputation as a secondary coach. Everywhere he's been as a position coach and coordinator, they've had good defenses and good secondaries. He's a good person with great integrity. He's going to handle the secondary for us and head up recruiting. He'll also be the assistant head coach, and I will lean on him heavily because of his experience."

"Rick will coach the corners and our safety. We will go with one safety. Coach Hoefer will work with outside linebacker-types. It's actually a two strong safety -type of front. Coach Goodner will coach the linebackers, the two inside guys. Coach Adams coaches the two tackles, and Coach Lancaster coaches the two defensive ends."

"Coach McGriff will coach the running backs. He coached there a year and played that position. Bottom line with Coach McGriff is he's a good coach, and great coaches can coach any position on the football field. I like the fact that he will bring a defensive-type mentality to our running backs. He coaches with a lot of enthusiasm, and I think he'll bring a lot to the guys on that side of the ball."

"We didn't have any type of timetable on hiring. We were looking for the best people for the jobs. It just happened to work out the way it did, fairly quickly."

"We're in the process of rebuilding our recruiting office. We're pretty sure of the direction we're going in, we just need to find the right people to fill those positions. We're going to change it up as far as how we recruit. We won't position recruit anymore like they have in the past. We'd also like to find someone to assist Coach Smith in recruiting. I thought we were missing too many kids by position recruiting. We thought we'd be better off by going back to a system where we recruit by areas and see more kids and contact more coaches."

Assistant Head Coach Rick Smith

Assistant Head Coach Rick Smith
"It's good to be back in Kentucky. I was down in Tulane for a while and won 19 games, including a 12-0 season. Last year I was up in Cincinnati. I'm glad to be back."

"I feel like the lifeblood of any program is recruiting. The difference in how I'll do things is that it won't be a one-man show with me. It will be something the entire staff will be involved in. I'm not trying to make a reputation for Rick Smith here."

Coach Harold Jackson, Wide Receivers

Wide Receivers Coach Harold Jackson
"I was excited about the opportunity when Coach Morriss called me about the job. I have known him for quite some time. We worked together at New England. We also played against each other. It was just a fantastic opportunity to get into the college coaching ranks. Kentucky gets a lot of notoriety and I want to be a part of that."

On the offense at UK...
"I know they have thrown the ball a lot. I do not know if we will throw the ball as much as they did in the past because Coach Morriss wants to have a balanced attack. We have to get a little more running into the game. I am a passing guy. I like to throw the ball."

On assessing the talent already at UK...
"I started watching tapes this morning. We have some speed here. I want to meet each receiver on a one-on-one basis to talk with them."

Coach Mark Nelson, Special Teams and Tight Ends

Special Teams and Tight Ends Coach Mark Nelson
On his Special Teams philosophy...
"We are going to play our best players. That means possibly some of the starters from offense and defense. We are not going to start kids that are not our best players. We are going to have our best players out on the field. As a coach my job is to put the best people out there in a position so they can be successful."

On coaching the kickers...
"Kickers are like golfers...if they have a good swing you do not want 10 different people talking to them. If they have gotten to this level then they have someone they trust and I am going to let them talk to that person. If I see some things that I know are wrong, then of course I will step in and help."

 

 

2014 National Signing Day Commonwealth Stadium