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Report: UK hires former Vols D-Coordinator John Jancek as defensive consultant

Stoops adds former Tennessee defensive coordinator John Jancek to the Wildcat coaching staff.

NCAA Football: Tennessee at Florida
Tennessee Volunteers defensive coordinator John Jancek during the second half against the Florida Gators at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium. Florida Gators defeated the Tennessee Volunteers 28-27.
Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Coach Mark Stoops has added yet another member to Kentucky’s staff with coordinator experience in John Jancek, who was Butch Jones’ former defensive coordinator at Tennessee from 2013-15.

Knoxville-based radio host Jimmy Hyams broke the news via Twitter on Monday morning, and the Herald-Leader’s Jen Smith confirmed the report with UK officials soon after.

Jancek, who was Coach Jones’ initial defensive coordinator hired at Tennessee when Jones accepted the job in 2013, was let go after the 2015 season. The Vols went 9-4 in 2015, but Jancek’s defense was questioned especially for blowing a 13-point lead in the fourth quarter at Florida that likely cost Tennessee a trip to Atlanta for the SEC Championship. The Vols finished the 2015 season with a 9-4 record that ended within an Outback Bowl victory over Northwestern. Under Jancek, the Vols’ defense ranked 16th in the country in scoring defense and 36th in total defense.

Jancek served as the safeties coach at South Florida in 2016, when the Bulls finished the season with an 11-2 record. Jancek’s resume also includes stints at Cincinnati as defensive coordinator under Jones and as the linebackers coach and co-defensive coordinator at Georgia from 2005-09.

While Jancek’s role at Kentucky appears to be as an off-field consultant, he joins Stoops and three other coaches on the Wildcat staff with significant experience at defensive coordinator. Kentucky’s current defensive coordinator, Matt House, was the defensive coordinator at Pitt and Florida International. UK defensive backs coach Steve Clinkscale also served as the co-defensive coordinator at Cincinnati in 2015. UK outside linebackers coach Dean Hood was formerly the defensive coordinator at Wake Forest and head coach at Eastern Kentucky.

Of Jancek’s departure at Tennessee in 2015, Coach Butch Jones was quoted as saying the move was the “hardest thing I’ve ever had to do as a football coach.”

While it’s difficult to call the Kentucky/Tennessee football series a true rivalry, since the Cats claim just one victory against the Vols since 1985, Jancek’s hire to UK certainly adds an interesting element to the series.

Jancek’s son Zac walked on at Tennessee in 2015 as a quarterback, and is still listed on the Vols roster in 2017, despite never taking a snap.

But don’t go thinking there is any love lost between the elder Jancek and his son’s current team. After Tennessee was upset last season by South Carolina on the road, Jancek sent out a timely tweet that could have been interpreted in a number of ways.

Welcome to the Big Blue Nation, Coach Jancek, where your Tennessee trash talk is always welcome.