Kentucky has promoted defensive backs coach Derrick Ansley to become the new co-defensive coordinator, the school’s athletic department announced on Monday.
Ansley, who has been at Kentucky since head coach Mark Stoops’ arrival in 2013, was in charge of the Wildcats’ talented secondary for the entirety of the 2015 season.
“Derrick has done a great job,” Stoops said in an official statement. “Just like you see someone on offense being named passing game coordinator, Derrick handles a lot on that side of the ball. This is to reward him for the work that he has done and to continue to give him more responsibility. He has earned that.”
With Ansley as cornerbacks coach in 2014, Kentucky’s defense created 23 turnovers. The Wildcats finished second in the SEC in turnover margin, while Ansley’s unit scored a school-record six defensive touchdowns. By the end of Kentucky’s 2015 season, Ansley had three freshmen in the starting secondary, including first-team All-Freshman SEC cornerback Chris Westry.
Stoops also added that the promotion is a good incentive for Ansley to remain in Lexington, given that the young coach has been on several other teams’ radars given his recent success.
“It was important because Derrick is a guy that was heavily pursued every year I’ve been here,” Stoops said. “I don’t want to get into specifics (but) we won a battle keeping him here, let’s put it that way. I had SEC coaches calling me. I had SEC coaches flying in and going to his house. And we got him to stay. I appreciate that.”
Ansley has been in the SEC for the last six seasons, including a start at Alabama from 2010-11 and Tennessee in 2012.
Stoops also added that current defensive coordinator D.J. Eliot’s role will not change, and he will continue to oversee the defense and call plays.