Mark Stoops continues to impress the college football world with his program, and the Kentucky Wildcats coaching staff continues to impress. He also has one of the best contracts in college football, but today we look at the personnel he’s assembled in Lexington, Kentucky.
Kentucky Wildcats Coaching Staff
Head Coach: Mark Stoops
One of the best program builders in college football, Mark Stoops turned Kentucky into a consistently winning program since he took over in 2013. While his first few years didn’t go well (12-24), he’s only had 1 losing season since (and went 58-35 in that time). Kentucky has gone to 7 consecutive bowl games since 2016 under his watch.
Before he came to Kentucky, Stoops held the defensive coordinator position for a Florida State program that went 31-10 during his 3 seasons there. Before Florida State, he held the same role with Arizona.
He’s also coached defensive backs at Miami, Houston, Wyoming, and USF. He got his start in coaching as a graduate assistant with Iowa in 1990.
Offensive Coordinator: Liam Cohen
Cohen returns to the Kentucky Wildcats coaching staff after spending a year with the Los Angeles Rams in the NFL. He called plays for the Wildcats in 2021 and helped create the hype surrounding former quarterback Will Levis.
Before that, Cohen came from the Rams where he was coaching the wide receivers and quarterbacks from 2018 to 2020. He helped Cooper Kupp produce his first 1,000-yard season, and helped the Rams reach the Super Bowl in 2019.
Before his work in the NFL, Cohen made a name for himself as the Offensive Coordinator of the Maine Black Bears. He helped running back Josh Mack lead the FCS in rushing yards for the 2017 season, and the Black Bears were the 4th best-scoring offense in their conference.
After his playing days, Cohen got starts as a Quarterbacks Coach at Brown, Rhode Island, and UMass. He also was the Pass Game Coordinator with the Minutemen.
Defensive Coordinator: Brad White
White enters his 6th season with the Kentucky Wildcats coaching staff, and 5th as the defensive coordinator. He also serves as the outside linebackers coach. He’s helped the Wildcats produce some of the best defenses in college football, finishing in the Top 40 the last 5 years in a row.
In his first year with the Wildcats, he helped turn Josh Allen into a Top 10 pick, National Defensive Player of the Year, and 1st team All-American. A big reason for that success was White’s time spent as a linebackers coach and Defensive Quality Control with the Indianapolis Colts from 2012 to 2017.
Before the NFL, he coached Inside Linebackers at Air Force from 2010-11, Safeties for Murray State in 2009, and was a Graduate Assistant for Wake Forest from 2007-08.
Special Teams Coordinator: Jay Boulware
Boulware also serves as the Running Backs coach for Kentucky after coming from the Pittsburgh Steelers. He’s had multiple jobs coaching both special teams and running backs at his previous stops. Boulware’s full coaching resume can be found here:
- 1994-95 Student Assistant Texas
- 1996 Graduate Assistant Texas
- 1997-2000 Tight Ends/Co-Offensive Line Northern Illinois
- 2001-03 Tight Ends/Running Backs/Offensive Line Arizona
- 2004 Runnings Backs Stanford
- 2005-06 Tight Ends/Co-Special Teams Utah
- 2007-08 Running Backs/Special Teams Iowa State
- 2009-12 Tight Ends/Special Teams Auburn Outback
- 2013-19 Running Backs/Special Teams Oklahoma Sugar
- 2010 Assoc. Head Coach/Tight Ends/Special Teams Texas
- 2021-22 Offensive Intern Pittsburgh Steelers
- 2023-Pres. Running Backs Kentucky
Tight Ends Coach: Vince Marrow
In addition to being a tight ends coach, Marrow also serves as the Associate Head Coach, Recruiting Coordinator, and NFL Liason for the Kentucky Wildcats coaching staff. He joined Stoops’ staff in 2012 with 3 of those roles and was elevated to Associate Head Coach in 2019.
Marrow’s coached tight ends at multiple different stops, including Nebraska, Omaha (UFL), and Toledo, and doubled as a Tackles and Tight Ends Coach for both Rhein and Berlin of NFL Europe.
Safeties Coach: Frank Buffalo
Buffano and Stoops worked together at Arizona from 2008-09 where Buffano was a Graduate Assistant. He then went to Youngstown State for 3 years to coach the secondary and linebackers before taking a break from coaching. in 2020, Stoops brought him to Lexington to coach the safeties.
Defensive Backs Coach: Chris Collins
Collins sent multiple defensive backs to the secondary since taking over as the position coach with the Kentucky Wildcats coaching staff. Before his current role, he served as mostly an assistant position coach at Georgia State and Western Carolina. He also held roles with Appalachian State and Catawba.
Defensive Line Coach: Anwar Stewart
To start his coaching career, Stewart joined the Montreal Alouettes and held roles as defensive quality control, defensive ends coach, and defensive line coach from 2014-16. He came to Kentucky for the first time as a defensive assistant from 2017-18 before coaching the defensive line at Appalachian State. He came back to Kentucky in 2020.
Inside Linebackers: Mike Stoops
Mark’s brother joined the staff in 2022 after holding multiple different positions at various schools. His most recent role was at FAU in 2021 as the defensive coordinator. His full coaching resume can be found here:
- 2022-Pres. Kentucky Inside linebackers
- 2021 Florida Atlantic Defensive Coordinator/Safeties
- 2019-20 Alabama Quality Control Citrus Bowl, Rose Bowl (National Champs)
- 2015-18 Oklahoma Asst. Head Coach/Defensive Coordinator/Outside Linebackers
- 2012-14 Oklahoma Asst. Head Coach/Defensive Coordinator/Defensive Backs
- 2004-11 Arizona Head Coach
- 1999-2003 Oklahoma Asst. Head Coach/Co-Defensive Coordinator/Defensive Backs
- 1998 Kansas State Asst. Head Coach/Co-Defensive Coordinator/Defensive Backs
- 1997 Kansas State Co-Defensive Coordinator/Defensive Backs
- 1996 Kansas State Co-Defensive Coordinator/Defensive Ends
- 1992-95 Kansas State Defensive Ends
- 1988-91 Iowa Volunteer Assistant
- 1987 Iowa Graduate Assistant
Wide Receivers: Scott Woodward
While he didn’t have any experience as a wide receivers coach, Stoops hired Woodward in 2021 to run the position. He served as offensive quality control for Pittsburgh from 201-20 and coached tight end and quarterbacks for UMass from 2017-19. He also has experience as an offensive coordinator for Farleigh Dickinson from 2013-15.
Offensive Line Coach: Zach Yenser
Yenser has experience at all three levels of football. Before coming to Lexington, he served as assistant offensive line coach for the San Francisco 49ers. He also worked with the offensive line at Kansas, Cal, Louisiana Tech, Henderson State, and Colquitt County High School.