Kentucky head coach Mark Stoops has named John Settle the new running backs coach/co-special teams coordinator, the school announced Monday. Settle will coach the special teams along with safeties coach Frank Buffano.
“When you look at John’s resume and the places he’s been, coming from a great program and his NFL experience, it was a no-brainer for me,” Stoops said in a press release. “John’s personality, background and work ethic made him attractive. He’s done a remarkable job at Wisconsin and everywhere else he’s been. With his experience, he also will help with the big picture and special teams.”
“Coach Stoops’ track record speaks for itself,” Settle said via press release. “What he’s done the last five years is impressive. He’s trending, he’s heading in the right direction. I like his energy and his approach.
“I also liked the opportunity to work with Liam (Coen) and a pro system, expanding my knowledge also was an attraction. Now was the right time to make a move, and this is a good move to make.”
Settle comes to the Bluegrass with 26 years of coaching experience, including six in the NFL, 19 bowl games, and a long list of successful running backs that includes Montee Ball, James White, James Conner, Corey Clement, Dare Ogunbowale and Jonathan Taylor, all of whom have played multiple seasons in the NFL.
Eleven years of Settle’s coaching career have been with Wisconsin, the most recent as the running backs coach from 2015-2021. He also coached the Badger running backs from 2006-10. His NFL coaching experience includes stints with the Cleveland Browns, Baltimore Ravens and Carolina Panthers.
Settle also had a successful career as a football player, as he was a four-year letterwinner (1983-86) at Appalachian State, where he finished as the school’s career rushing leader with 4,409 yards (then third-most in FCS history) and 43 touchdowns.
A two-time All-American, Settle was the Southern Conference Player of the Year as a senior after rushing for 1,661 yards and 20 touchdowns. His No. 23 was retired by his alma mater and he was inducted into the school’s hall of fame in 1994.
Settle signed with the Atlanta Falcons as a free agent and played six seasons in the NFL, including four with Atlanta (1987-90) and two with Washington. A Pro Bowl selection in 1988, he accumulated 1,594 yards of total offense (1,024 rushing and 570 receiving) and became the first undrafted free agent in NFL history to rush for 1,000 yards in a season. He also played for Washington’s Super Bowl-winning team in 1991.
The Reidsville, North Carolina native graduated from Appalachian State in 1989 with a degree in criminal justice. He and his wife, Karen, have three children: Jonathan, Leighton and Devynn.
Welcome to Lexington, coach!