Kentucky Wildcats football coach Mark Stoops has announced that Eddie Gran will return to the program as a special assistant to the head coach, which was reported on Thursday. Gran previously served as the Wildcats’ assistant head coach of the offense, offensive coordinator and running backs coach from 2016-20.
“I’m grateful to have somebody with the experience of Eddie Gran rejoining our program in a different capacity,” Stoops said in a press release. “Eddie has a wealth of experience in many different areas. He will be an asset to me and our program.”
Before coming to Kentucky in 2016, Gran had coaching stops at Cincinnati, Miami (FL), Ole Miss, Auburn, Tennessee and Florida State. He helped develop dynamic running backs at nearly every coaching stop during his decorated career, including former Auburn stars Carnell Williams, Ronnie Brown, Rudi Johnson, Ben Tate, Brandon Jacobs, Heath Evans and Kenny Irons, and Ole Miss greats Deuce McAllister and John Avery. While at Tennessee, he guided Montario Hardesty to a 1,000-yard season.
“Why would I come back? It’s simple. I love Kentucky. I love working with Coach Stoops and I want to be a positive role model in these young men’s lives,” Gran said in a press release. “I am excited to have the opportunity to return to this program and help any way I can. This place is special, and it’s where I want to work and finish out my career.”
Gran also boasts an impressive record on the recruiting trail, succeeding throughout his career in Florida. He helped Florida State obtain the nation’s top-ranked class in 2011 and was named by ESPN.com as one of the top 25 recruiters of the year in 2011, helping secure a bevy of talent that helped the Seminoles to the national championship in the 2013 season.
Gran’s coaching career began at his alma mater Cal Lutheran, where he played four seasons as a wide receiver. He spent 14 seasons as a running backs coach and special team coordinator in the Southeastern Conference, including 10 years at Auburn, followed by a stop at Tennessee.
Gran has four daughters, Bently, Dillan, Sydney and Lucy Grace. He is deeply involved in the community for a cause that has changed his life and continues to impact others. The Sydney Gran Foundation is a charity designed to support children’s hospitals and other families whose children are facing serious illness. Sydney, the third of the Gran’s four daughters, was born with the rare disease called Holoprosnecephaly. She passed away just shy of her sixth birthday in 2005. Additional information is available at www.sydneygranfoundation.org.
Welcome back, coach!