Kentucky announced the hire of former Cincinnati co-defensive coordinator Steve Clinkscale as the team’s new defensive backs coach on Tuesday.
Clinkscale spent the last three seasons with Cincinnati, but was promoted to co-defensive coordinator in 2015 after two years as the team’s defensive backs coach. He previously coached cornerbacks at Illinois and Toledo.
“I am very impressed with Coach Clinkscale’s knowledge and the way he handles himself with players,” Kentucky coach Mark Stoops said in a press release on Tuesday. “He is well-seasoned in terms of experience. Coaches I greatly respect — Coach (Eddie) Gran and Coach (Darin) Hinshaw — who worked with him in Cincinnati speak very highly of him.”
Clinkscale will take over a secondary that finished sixth in the SEC in passing yards allowed with 198.1 yards per game. While the team returns Chris Westry, who started all 12 games as a freshman for Kentucky, Clinkscale faces the task of replacing A.J. Stamps, who was second on the team in solo tackles as a senior.
“I’ve been wanting to work with Coach Stoops since he’s been at Kentucky,” Clinkscale said. “This is a great opportunity for me and my family and I’m getting to work with someone who is like-minded. We speak the same language when it comes to defense. I was walking through the training facility with my wife and I told her ‘this feels like a dream come true.’ I’m very happy and I can’t wait to get on the practice field.”
Clinkscale takes over for Derrick Ansley, who spent three seasons at Kentucky and was promoted to co-defensive coordinator in January before leaving to accept a defensive backs coaching job at Alabama in February.