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Kentucky Makes It Official With Hiring Of Rich Scangarello As Offensive Coordinator

The Kentucky football team lost one of the key pieces of their 2021 season earlier this week when offensive coordinator Liam Coen decided to head back to the Los Angeles Rams. The move was a blow to an offense that put up some fantastic numbers last season, and that has Will Levis and Chris Rodriguez returning in 2022.

But Mark Stoops moved pretty quickly in finding a replacement to call plays in 2022. Tom Pelissero first reported that San Francisco 49ers QB coach Rich Scangarello had accepted the job. Scangarello rejoined the Niners this past season after taking a job as the Denver Broncos’ OC in 2019 and a job with the Eagles in 2020.

Mark Stoops released a statement Friday night about the hire.

“When the Rams hired Liam Coen, I knew I wanted to find a replacement that would continue what we’ve built here,” Stoops said. “We just hired Zach Yenser from the 49ers to coach the offensive line and having both Rich and Zach, who come from the same (Mike and Kyle) Shanahan tree, (Sean) McVay tree and (Liam) Coen tree, not only bring a wealth of experience but they also help keep continuity. It’s a seamless transition.

“Rich is inarguably one of the best quarterback coaches in the country,” Stoops continued. “Rich is experienced, he’s coached elite quarterbacks, he’s called plays in the NFL and college, and the fact that he is interested in this job just shows the growth of our program. We have hired two coaches from one of the best organizations in all of sports. I couldn’t be more excited about where our program is headed.”

Scangarello was last in the college game as the OC and QBs coach at Wagner during the 2016 season. He has also previously held offensive coordinator jobs at Northern Arizona, UC Davis, and Carleton.

Rich Scangarello also released a statement about joining the Wildcats.

“I’m very excited to be coaching at Kentucky and in the Southeastern Conference,” Scangarello said. “The timing was perfect for me to be a coordinator again especially under a head coach who has a vision for the offense we will run. His belief in a pro-style system felt like the right opportunity for me and at the right time. I’ve watched UK play on film and I really like the quarterback Will Levis. Seeing how he plays in this high-level system was part of the appeal. I think we will continue doing great things and I’m ready to get started.”

He will join new OL coach Zach Yenser, whom he spent one season alongside in San Francisco. So the transition should be easy for the two coaches who worked together in San Francisco last season to work together now in Lexington. That connection and similar coaching philosophy should keep things running smoothly in the offensive meeting room and on the field.

It looks as though Mark Stoops just cut a branch off the Kyle Shanahan coaching tree over the last week and has planted it in Lexington. We’ll see whether it soon bears fruit.

Written by Trey Wallace

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