After just one season in Lexington, offensive coordinator Rich Scangarello has been let go, first reported by LEX18.
Hired as the replacement for Liam Coen back in February — who led the Kentucky Wildcats to a 10-3 record in 2021 — Scangarello was known as a “quarterback whisperer” and was even referred to as a “football genius” by head coach Mark Stoops when he was hired.
Given his background and plenty of talent on the offensive side of the call, Scangarello was expected to deliver on the high preseason goals, but that was not the case as the Wildcats’ offensive production was ranked last in the SEC in terms of yards per game (336.3) and points per game (22.1).
Through the first four games, the Wildcats threw for over 300 yards in three of them. However, through the final eight, Kentucky ever threw for more than 239 (Mississippi State), leaning heaving on the run game. A six-point showing against Tennessee and a loss to Vanderbilt is included in that eight-game stretch.
It is likely true that Will Levis’s health did limit the offensive playbook, and in turn, limited Scangarello’s ability. However, given the negativity of the fanbase and the players towards Scangarello, this comes as no surprise.
In the end, this was probably the best moment of the Rich Scangarello era:
Rich Scangarello: Efficiency Expert.— Kentucky Football (@UKFootball) August 29, 2022
Enter Emmy-nominated actor and Cats fan Steve Zahn. pic.twitter.com/XcAakGa87g
With the transfer portal officially opening up next Wednesday, it feels like a good move to start the coaching change prior as Kentucky will need to have their house in order and be extremely active given their lackluster recruiting in 2023 (ranked 50th, 12th in SEC).
It will be interesting to see who Mark Stoops goes after for the Wildcat’s fourth OC in as many seasons. Early money would be on Rob Calabrese, the quarterback’s coach for the New York Jets, who was nearly hired before Scangarello.
Oh, and we can’t forget about Liam Coen, who is now the offensive coordinator of the Los Angeles Rams. Would he actually consider leaving the NFL for a return to Lexington?
Here is how Twitter is reacting to it all.
Kentucky's offense had the best pieces of my lifetime and couldn't get the job done. https://t.co/mH9wDXiv02— Jesse Riffe (@JesseRiffe) November 29, 2022
I don't envy Mark Stoops having to navigate this timetable. Thinking about hires, coaching philosophy, guys going in the portal, evaluating guys in it, and Signing Day in 3 weeks with 2 unsettled staff positions.— Justin Rowland (@RowlandRIVALS) November 29, 2022
Levis calls the plays for the bowl game but only if he plays.— T.J. Walker (@TJWalkerRadio) November 29, 2022
Who says no? pic.twitter.com/ukuONwvipS
Think Stoops had no choice there. Now, personally, I would do whatever it took to get Liam Coen back. https://t.co/lEvcW72yba— Kyle Tucker (@KyleTucker_ATH) November 29, 2022
Liam Coen and Cade Mcnamara would be the perfect off-season— Kentucky Bias (@kentuckybias) November 29, 2022
Coen seems like an easy first option to target. Was at UK last year, knows the personnel strengths/limitations, knows what recruiting at UK looks like, knows staff members. Would energize/unify fan base and is a grand slam...if they could make it happen.— Justin Rowland (@RowlandRIVALS) November 29, 2022
I am calling on the FBI to criminally investigate how Rich Scangarello failed to get a single 40 point or 500 yard game out of the most talented offense in Kentucky football history— Doug Edert Stan Account (@austin_mcbrown) November 29, 2022
Me enjoying all the Rich Scangarello slander on the TL today pic.twitter.com/HasxYxXTpx— Sourdeath Sam (@SourdeathSam) November 29, 2022
Hey @LiamCoen you remembered that one time my moving company moved you…— Dylan Ballard (@DylanBallard_UK) November 29, 2022
We will gladly do it again!
Scangarello seemed like a great guy and I wish it had worked out at UK, but the offense took a major step backwards this season and Stoops did what needed to be done.— T.J. Walker (@TJWalkerRadio) November 29, 2022
Really enticing offense to attract an impressive name. Make it happen, Stoops.
40 point games by offensive coordinator:— Doug Edert Stan Account (@austin_mcbrown) November 29, 2022
Eddie Gran 11
Neal Brown 6
Liam Coen 5
Shannon Dawson 2
Rich Scangarello 0
The right choice.
UK's offense under Rich Scangarello— Aaron Gershon (@agershon99) November 29, 2022
Total Offense: T106th
Scoring Offense: 105th
Red Zone Efficiency: 106th
It wasn't all Scangarello's fault but these numbers make it hard to justify another chance.
Liam Coen is being mentioned for two SEC East OC openings today. A return to CFB feels more real than I would've thought.https://t.co/6uGgHBKn0g— Adam Luckett (@AdamLuckettKSR) November 29, 2022