UK offensive coordinator Dawson will not return next season

Published: Dec. 17, 2015 at 11:21 AM EST
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A source tells WKYT Sports that University of Kentucky offensive coordinator Shannon Dawson will not return next season.

Dawson came to UK from West Virginia when Neal Brown left to become the head coach at Troy.

Dawson, like Brown, was a disciple of the Air Raid offense of former UK Head Coach Hal Mumme but he also had a reputation of making the run game a key part of the offense. However, Kentucky finished this season with just nine more rushing yards than they did a year ago and just about every offensive statistical category was down from 2014.

In addition, throughout the year, there were questions about play calling and Stoops himself admitted he was trying to find a balance between how much autonomy his coordinators should have and how much input he should exert as the head coach.

As for what Stoops will do next in terms of a replacement, outside of his coaching brothers, his best friend in the business might well be Arkansas Head Coach Brett Bielema who prides himself on a physical offensive attack, like the one Florida State ran when Stoops was running the Seminoles defense before coming to Kentucky.

Now is the logical time to make such a move as college football coaches are in their dead period where they can’t contact recruits. That period began Monday and runs into Jan. 13.

Before coming to Kentucky, Dawson had spent the previous four seasons at West Virginia, three of those as offensive coordinator.

Dawson led WVU's high-octane offense ranked 11th nationally at 502.1 yards per game, ninth in passing at nearly 315 yards and is averaging 33.2 points per contest.