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UK set to add Jovon Bouknight to staff and let Michael Smith go

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UK is getting another coaching change.

NCAA Football: Advocare Classic-Auburn vs Oregon Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

There is going to be yet another coaching change within the Kentucky Football program.

Football Scoop is reporting that Mark Stoops plans to add Oregon Ducks receivers coach Jovon Bouknight to his staff.

Source tells FootballScoop Mark Stoops is planning to hire Oregon receivers coach Jovon Bouknight.

Bouknight spent one season at Oregon; and had coached at Utah State from 2009-2018. Following the 2018 season he was set to go with Matt Wells from Utah State to Texas Tech before Mario Cristobal offered him the same role at Oregon.

How this move fits into Kentucky’s staff is expected to be announced in the coming days.

Later, Justin Rowland of Rivals reported that current UK receivers coach Michael Smith is not expected to be retained, so it seems Bouknight will be the replacement.

It is unclear exactly why Smith is being let go, but adding a name like Bouknight into the coaching mix is a huge win for the Cats.

Bouknight was present on Thursday for the Ducks’ first spring practice, for it wasn’t long after that when his departure was announced.

The former Wyoming wide receiver was one of the best players in University history from 2002-2005. After that, he spent time coaching at Utah State and also a brief stint at Texas Tech. There is no doubt that coming from a place like Oregon, a program with such rich football culture, that Bouknight will bring some immediate credibility with him to UK. With the abundance of offensive offensive weapons that UK has, this addition could provide more opportunity for player development that will translate to on field performance.

It will be interesting to see how much money is left in the bank to pay another assistant coach. Bouknight made $310,000 last year at Oregon, while also accumulating $55,000 in bonuses. He was due to make $335,000 between now and January 31st 2021, plus whatever potential bonuses are available.

As for Smith, he joined UK’s staff in 2018 as the new wide receivers coach. He helped Lynn Bowden develop into one of the SEC’s best receivers as a true sophomore, but Smith could never get much out of his other receivers. Perhaps Stoops wasn’t pleased with the direction of the receivers group, or maybe he though Smith wasn’t getting it done on the recruiting trail.

Whatever the case may be, Smith was here for one of the most successful two-year stretches in program history, and his work with Bowden helped make it possible.

An announcement with more details should come from the University of Kentucky in the coming days. It won’t be long before you can get a look at the football Cats when they play the 2020 Spring Game on April 11th.