Last night, Matt Jones and Kentucky Sports Radio were the first to report Vince Marrow has decided to stay at Kentucky rather than take the opportunity to work for Jim Harbaugh at Michigan. Hank previously wrote about Marrow's Herculean efforts in Ohio, and why so much of the young talent on UK's roster is a direct result of him. It was important for UK to hold on to their ace recruiter, and it's impressive UK and Mark Stoops were able to fend off Michigan.
As Matt Jones states in his post, and as the Courier-Journal's Steve Jones later corroborated, UK appears to have matched Michigan's so far undisclosed salary offer. Marrow received a $100,000 pay raise last January, and received the title of "recruiting coordinator". That last contract raised his annual salary to $265,000 through 2016. More details of Marrow's latest contract are to be announced Monday. Presumably, his salary will see at least another $100,000 bump, but it's difficult to imagine Marrow's new salary rising about the $500,000 level of UK's coordinators.
It'd be interesting to hear from the football coaching industry how many in their ranks go from a graduate assistant to making Vince Marrow pay in three years and not be at the coordinator level. It's likely that number is extremely low, but these are the sort of deals UK has to do to ward off schools like Michigan and continue to build a viable program. UK has a great recruiter in Vince Marrow, and you don't let him go without a fight.
This is the latest example of Kentucky making a financial commitment to the football program the last two to three years. Former UK coach Rich Brooks rarely missed a media opportunity after his retirement in 2010 to urge the administration to invest more in the football program. UK spent nearly $10 million on infrastructure during Rich Brooks tenure, but the new football facility has an estimated cost of $45 million alone. Some of this is helped by SEC Network dollars, and other substantial media and merchandising deals, but new facilities or retaining quality coaches wouldn't be possible without administrative commitment.
Stay tuned for later today when UK sounds set to officially announce Vince Marrow's latest contract. We're now less than one month away from National Signing Day festivities, so remember to light the first candle in your National Signing Day Advent Wreath.