UK Hires Two Highly-Regarded Assistants From Cincinnati; Eddie Gran Named Assistant Head Coach; Hins
It's now official after many rumors involving Mark Stoops' coaching staff at UK have been going around in recent weeks.
A 28-year collegiate coaching veteran, Eddie Gran has been named assistant head coach of the offense/offensive coordinator as well as running backs coach, head coach Mark Stoops announced Tuesday, Dec. 29.
Gran (pictured) joins the Kentucky staff after a three-year run as the offensive coordinator at Cincinnati and is reunited with Stoops after serving as the associate head coach, running backs coach and special teams coordinator at Florida State from 2010-12. "Having worked with Eddie at Florida State, he is an outstanding coach with great experience, including a lot of years in the SEC," Stoops said. "He is a great leader with tremendous passion for the game." A veteran offensive mind with coaching stops including Miami (Fla.), Ole Miss, Auburn, Tennessee and Florida State, Gran boasts a reputation for mentoring running backs. He has helped develop dynamic running backs at nearly every coaching stop during his decorated career, including former Auburn stars Carnell Williams, Ronnie Brown, Rudi Johnson, Ben Tate, Brandon Jacobs, Heath Evans and Kenny Irons, and Ole Miss greats Deuce McAllister and John Avery. While at Tennessee, he guided Montario Hardesty to a 1,000-yard season.
“I’m very excited to be at Kentucky,” Gran said. “I had the opportunity at Florida State to work three years with Coach Stoops, and No. 1, it’s his passion for football and what he stands for – family. I really got know Chantel and the kids as my kids were able to be with them for three years. All of that matters in this profession and being around great people is important. “I’m excited about the challenges. It’s a great conference. It’s the best conference in America and if you’re a college football coach this is the level you want to be coaching. I spent 15 years in the SEC and being in those stadiums and the defenses you will be facing, it’s what you want if you’re a competitor and if you want to play against the best.” Gran also boasts an impressive record on the recruiting trail, succeeding throughout his career in Florida. He helped Florida State obtain the nation’s top ranked class in 2011 and was named by ESPN.com as one of the top 25 recruiters of the year in 2011, helping secure a bevy of talent that helped the Seminoles to the national championship in the 2013 season.
While teaming with Stoops on the Florida State coaching staff, Gran served as associate head coach, running backs coach and special teams coordinator, helping lead the Seminoles to their first Atlantic Coast Conference Championship since 2005, first 11-win season since 2000 and ninth Orange Bowl appearance in 2012. He had an immediate impact at Cincinnati, guiding a record-setting offense in 2013, as the Bearcats led the American Athletic Conference in total offense (472.1) and rushing offense (168.3) with the offense totaling a school-record 6,137 yards. In 2015, those marks were eclipsed. Through games of Dec. 26, Cincinnati ranks seventh in the nation in total offense at 537.8 yards per game, having accumulated a staggering 6,992 total yards. UC is sixth in the nation in passing offense with 359.9 yards per game and also rushed for 177.9 yards per game this season. Gran’s coaching career began at his alma mater Cal Lutheran, where he played four seasons as a wide receiver. He spent 14 seasons as a running backs coach and special team coordinator in the Southeastern Conference, including 10 years at Auburn, followed by a stop at Tennessee. While guiding the special teams unit for FSU in 2012, kicker Dustin Hopkins set the NCAA career record for scoring by a kicker and was a finalist for the Lou Groza Award for the second-straight year in addition to All-America honors and First Team All-ACC accolades. Hopkins set the NCAA career scoring record for kickers (466 points), as well as establishing NCAA, ACC and FSU records with 88 career field goals. The Seminoles’ punt return and kickoff return units were arguably the most dynamic in the country, as each ranked second in the ACC and No. 7 and No. 17 in nation, respectively. Rashad Greene scored two touchdowns on punt returns and ranked second in the country with a 15.35 punt return average, while Tyler Hunter also had a punt return score. On kickoff returns, Lamarcus Joyner and Karlos Williams combined to average 24.6 yards per return. Under Gran’s direction, FSU’s stable of running backs also had one of the most prolific seasons in the country and in school history, averaging 203 rushing yards per game and tallying 2,639 yards and an FSU-record 37 touchdowns on the ground in 2012. The Seminoles rushed for over 200 yards seven times, including a 385-yard performance versus Wake Forest, and had three different running backs rush for over 500 yards in Chris Thompson (687 yards, five touchdowns), Devonta Freeman (630 yards, eight touchdowns) and James Wilder, Jr. (583 yards, 13 touchdowns). Thompson, who played in eight games before suffering a season-ending knee injury, was named Second Team All-ACC and captured the ACC’s Brian Piccolo Award given to the conference’s “most courageous” player. Florida State boasted the nation’s second-best special teams unit in 2011 based on the Football Outsiders Efficiency Ratings. Shawn Powell became FSU’s first consensus All-America punter and the school’s all-time leader in multiple punting categories as a three-year starter. Powell led the Football Bowl Subdivision with a 47-yard overall average and the Seminoles ranked second nationally in net punting (41.3). Hopkins was named one of three finalists for the Lou Groza Award and Gran’s return game featured some of the most electrifying players in Greg Reid, Joyner and Williams. Reid was one of the nation’s most dangerous punt return specialists in the ACC, averaging 10.7 yards per return and scoring two touchdowns during the 2010 and 2011 seasons. In 2011 for FSU, Gran’s running back corps played behind a banged-up offensive line, bringing down the group’s production from the 2010 season. However, Gran still produced one of the top freshman running backs in FSU history as Freeman ran for 579 yards - the fifth-best single season total by an FSU freshman. Freeman also led the team with eight rushing touchdowns. Gran helped develop Florida State’s running game into one of the strongest in the ACC in his first season in Tallahassee in 2010. The Seminoles averaged nearly 5.0 yards per carry and ranked third in the league in rushing touchdowns with 27. The Seminoles ranked fourth in the league in scoring as compared to sixth the year before Gran’s arrival. In 2010, three Seminole running backs gained more than 400 yards rushing on the ground led by FSU’s leading rusher Thompson, who gained 845 yards. It was only the sixth time in FSU history that a trio gained more than 400 yards in a season. FSU ran for more than 200 yards five times as a team including a 298-yard performance against in-state rival Miami, which capped off a string of four consecutive 200-yard rushing games – BYU (278), Wake Forest (201), Virginia (256) and Miami (298). FSU ran for 218 yards in the Chick-fil-A bowl win over SEC East Champion South Carolina. Gran has a strong record for developing backfield talent. Tennessee’s Hardesty (1,345 yards) added his name to the lengthy list of 1,000-yard rushers Gran has worked with over the course of his career in ‘09. Hardesty, who did not fumble on 282 carries from scrimmage in 2009, was a second-round draft pick of the Cleveland Browns in 2010. He was selected one slot after Auburn’s Tate (Houston Texans), whom Gran coached in 2008. Gran’s tenure as a special teams coach included oversight of Auburn kicker John Vaughn, who was the SEC Special Teams Player of the Year in 2006. Gran has four daughters, Bently, Dillan, Sydney and Lucy Grace. He is deeply involved in the community for a cause that has changed his life and continues to impact others. The Sydney Gran Foundation is a charity designed to support children’s hospitals and other families whose children are facing serious illness. Sydney, the third of the Gran’s four daughters, was born with the rare disease called Holoprosnecephaly. She passed away just shy of her sixth birthday in 2005. EDDIE GRAN FILE Personal Daughters: Bently, Dillan, Sydney and Lucy Grace Academic 1987, B.S. Cal Lutheran (WR) – 1984-87 Coaching Kentucky – Head coach of the offense/offensive coordinator, running backs coach - 2016 Cincinnati – Offensive coordinator, running backs coach – 2013-15 Florida State – Associate head coach, offensive coordinator, running backs coach – 2010-12 Tennessee – Special teams coordinator, running backs coach – 2009 Auburn – Special teams coordinator, running backs coach – 1999-2008 Ole Miss – Special teams coordinator, running backs coach – 1995-98 Idaho State – Wide receivers coach - 1994 Cincinnati – Wide receivers coach - 1992-93 Miami (Fla.) – Graduate assistant coach - 1990-91 East Carolina – Graduate assistant coach – 1989 SE Missouri State – Running backs coach - 1989 Cal Lutheran – Wide receivers coach – 1987-88 GRAN’S BOWL HISTORY Year School - Bowl 1990 Miami (Fla.) - Cotton 1997 Ole Miss - Motor City 1998 Ole Miss - Independence 2000 Auburn - Citrus 2001 Auburn - Peach 2002 Auburn - Capital One 2003 Auburn - Music City 2004 Auburn - Sugar 2005 Auburn - Capital One 2006 Auburn - Cotton 2007 Auburn - Chick-fil-A 2009 Tennessee - Chick-fil-A 2010 Florida State - Chick-fil-A 2011 Florida State - Champs Sports 2012 Florida State - Orange 2013 Cincinnati - Belk 2014 Cincinnati - Military 2015 Cincinnati -Hawaii
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DARIN HINSHAW NAMED UK's CO-OFFENSIVE COORDINATOR
Darin Hinshaw (pictured), who helped guide some of the best offenses in University of Cincinnati history, has been named Kentucky's co-offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach, head coach Mark Stoops has announced.
"Darin has a great offensive mind and his experience includes time in the Southeastern Conference," Stoops said. "I've been impressed with how well they've produced at Cincinnati and how prolific they have been in throwing the football." Hinshaw, a former record-setting quarterback at UCF, joins the Kentucky staff after serving on the Cincinnati coaching staff since 2013. Before his time with the Bearcats, Hinshaw coached three seasons with Tennessee, including functioning as the recruiting coordinator in 2012, with Rivals.com ranking him as one of the top 10 recruiters in college football in 2011. "This is a great opportunity to be back in the SEC and I'm really looking forward to it," Hinshaw said. "I've always looked at Kentucky as a program that has the potential to be very, very good and we can put up the points and yards that will equal wins and help get us to bowl games. That's why I'm taking this opportunity. I'm very excited to be back in the SEC and be a part of Kentucky and the Big Blue Nation." In each year, Hinshaw has helped guide the Bearcats to a bowl game, with UC collecting 25 wins. In 2013, UC led the American Athletic Conference in total offense (472.1) and rushing offense (168.3) with the offense totaling a school-record 6,137 yards. Those marks were erased in 2015. Cincinnati amassed 6,992 offensive yards, 537.8 yards per game, including 359.9 passing yards per contest and 177.9 rushing yards per game. Through bowl games of Dec. 26, Cincinnati rates sixth in the nation in passing offense and seventh in total offense. Hinshaw is no stranger to record-setting offenses, helping direct Tennessee to 5,711 yards in 2012, the second-most in school history. His star wide receiver, Cordarrelle Patterson, a First-Team All-SEC selection, set UT's single-season record with 1,858 all-purpose yards. Included in that total were 46 receptions for 778 yards and five TDs. Justin Hunter, who earned Second-Team All-SEC honors, grabbed 73 balls for 1,083 yards and nine TDs, the second-best single-season mark for receptions. Hinshaw guided QB Tyler Bray to a record-setting start to the 2011 season as the signal caller set a school record for completion percentage in a game. He also started the year with the most passing yards in a three-game span in UT's storied history. In 2010, Hinshaw's impact was immediate as Tennessee's quarterbacks coach. The former signalcaller helped a pair of UT quarterbacks debut in leading the Vols’ offense to a bowl game and a third-place finish in the SEC's Eastern Division. Hinshaw's quarterback duo of Matt Simms and Bray combined for 3,309 yards passing and 26 touchdowns in 2010. Bray assumed the starter's role in November and guided the team to a 4-0 finish to claim bowl eligibility. Hinshaw, a Punta Gorda, Fla., native, was at Memphis from 2007-09 as the wide receivers coach. He joined the Tigers' staff after serving one season as offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach at Georgia Southern. In 2006, Georgia Southern ranked 27th nationally in total offense, averaging 359.9 yards per game. Prior to that, Hinshaw worked at Middle Tennessee for five seasons. He was the running backs coach his first two seasons before being elevated to co-offensive coordinator in February 2003. Under Hinshaw's guidance, the MTSU offense consistently led the Sun Belt Conference and was among the nation's statistical leaders. A highlight was in 2003, when the Blue Raiders’ offense was the highest scoring unit in the league at 27.7 points a contest. Hinshaw made his way to Middle Tennessee from Central Florida, his alma mater. Hinshaw spent 1999 as a graduate assistant before taking over the quarterback coaching duties in 2000. As a player, Hinshaw set numerous school records for the Knights, finishing as the career leader in every major passing category, including yards (9,000) and TDs (82). During his time under center, UCF had a combined 28-16 record, including a 9-3 mark in 1993 that resulted in a berth in the Division I-AA playoffs. Hinshaw was named to UCF's 25th Anniversary Team in 2004. Following his playing days at UCF, Hinshaw began a career in pro football. After a brief stint with the Cleveland Browns, he spent two years with the Orlando Predators of the Arena Football League. Hinshaw earned his bachelor's degree in finance in 1993 and a master's in business administration from UCF in 1996. Hinshaw and his wife, Pam, have four children: daughters Sydney, Hayley and Carley; and son Darin Jr.
Below is a video spotlight on Hinshaw in 2014 by University of Cincinnati.
Photos by University of Cincinnati Athletics