No, it wasn’t an actual game, but instead, UK kept the SEC East Champs from poaching their third-year offensive coordinator in Eddie Gran. Gran turned down the offer to coach the Bulldogs’ offense.
On Tuesday following a spring practice, Gran spoke with the media about the offer from Georgia and what led to him sticking with the Cats.
“They (Georgia) offered the job. It came down down to I love this community. I love this administration: Dr. Capilouto and Mitch Barnhart,” said Gran. “The guy that I work for is fantastic, and I’ve become a part of this community. I love it. I think we’re doing some things that are special. Those all had a part in the decision to stay.”
Not long after Gran spurned Georgia, he signed a new three-year contract worth an average $900,000 per year on Jan 21. The deal, which runs through the 2021 season, pays Gran $875,000 in 2019 and increased his annual salary by $25,000 each year of the contract. His previous salary was $850,000.
Gran helped lead the Wildcats to their first ever bowl win under head coach Mark Stoops. The Cats knocked off Penn State and won 10 games in a season for the first time since 1977.
Gran’s offense ranked 40th in the nation in rushing this past season and saw quarterback Terry Wilson become the first ever Kentucky QB to throw for over 1,500 yards and rush for over 500 yards in a single season.
Though Gran will lose Snell and Conrad to the NFL, he returns Wilson, as well as Lynn Bowden, whose 67 receptions this season were the most by a UK wideout since Randall Cobb in 2010. The Cats also have a highly-ranked recruiting class coming in that Gran helped assemble.
In addition to the recruits coming in and the bowl victory, Barrett Sallee of CBS Sports called Gran one of the top five offensive coordinators in the country.
It’s safe to say this has been a good offseason for Gran, and hopefully, it will translate to another special season in Lexington.