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Steve Clinkscale hire announced by Kentucky Football

Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports

The Kentucky Wildcats have announced the hiring of Steve Clinkscale to be the team's new defensive backs coach.

The former Cincinnati Bearcats co-defensive coordinator was originally rumored to be the guy back on Feb. 21, but the move is now official as UK appears to have their 2016 coaching staff set.

"I am very impressed with Coach Clinkscale's knowledge and the way he handles himself with players," said head coach Mark Stoops. "He is well-seasoned in terms of experience. Coaches I greatly respect - Coach (Eddie) Gran and Coach (Darin) Hinshaw - who worked with him in Cincinnati speak very highly of him."

Clinkscale joins the Kentucky coaching staff after serving three seasons with Cincinnati as secondary coach, including the 2015 campaign as co-defensive coordinator.

A native of Youngstown, Ohio, Clinkscale previously spent a year as the cornerbacks coach at Illinois (2012), after a three-year run with Toledo, so he has plenty of experience coaching in the Ohio valley region. 

"I've been wanting to work with Coach Stoops since he's been at Kentucky," Clinkscale said. "This is a great opportunity for me and my family and I'm getting to work with someone who is like-minded. We speak the same language when it comes to defense. I was walking through the training facility with my wife and I told her ‘this feels like a dream come true.' I'm very happy and I can't wait to get on the practice field."

Clinkscale also served as an assistant with Western Carolina in 2008, after opening his coaching career at his alma mater Ashland University (2001-07) in Ohio.

In his three seasons at Cincinnati, Clinkscale helped the Bearcats advance to three straight bowl games. As the main defensive play-caller in 2015, his defense ranked third in the American Athletic Conference, allowing only 217 passing yards per game.

Before joining UC, Clinkscale spent a season on the staff at Illinois as the cornerbacks coach, helping the Illini rank in the Top-20 nationally in pass defense while giving up under 200 yards passing per game.

Welcome to Kentucky Coach Clinck!