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Kentucky Hires Bush Hamdan

Kentucky Hires Bush Hamdan

New Offensive Coordinator For The Wildcats

The latest opening on the Kentucky football coaching staff lasted about a week or so. Following a nationwide search for a replacement for Liam Coen, Mark Stoops has his man. If you haven’t been keeping track of things Coen left Kentucky for a second time in three years, on Groundhog Day no less. Let’s introduce you to the new man heading the offense as Kentucky hires Bush Hamdan. It is reportedly a three-year deal with full details still to be announced.

A Great Deal Of Experience

ESPN’s Pete Thamel first reported Hamdan would be the new OC at Kentucky over the weekend.

Hamdan spent last season in the same position at Boise State and has coached mainly on the West Coast. In fact he was on Chris Petersen’s staff at Washington twice. First from 2015-16 and then again in 2018-19. In between was a one-year stint with the NFL’s Atlanta Falcons. During the 2016 campaign, the Huskies won the Pac-12 and made the College Football Playoff. In 2019 Washington again won the Pac-12 as quarterback Jacob Eason threw for over 3,100 yards.  For the first two years, he was the quarterbacks and wide receivers coach, and in 2022 the signal callers.

Originally from Kuwait, Hamdan was a backup quarterback at Boise from 2004-2008. In fact he was on the sidelines during one of the greatest college football games ever when the Broncos knocked off Oklahoma in the 2007 Fiesta Bowl.

He began his coaching career in 2009 at Colorado. While he’s spent most of his time on the West Coast, as we mentioned earlier he spent three years at Missouri. While on Eli Drinkwitz’s staff, the Tigers made a bowl every season. Hamdan took over play-calling duties in 2022 and is known as a very strong recruiter. An interesting point is that Hamdan was a finalist for Kentucky’s offensive coordinator job in 2021 when Coen was first hired.

While the Big Blue Nation should be excited as Kentucky Hires Hamdan let’s look at why some pundits think it’s an interesting move to say the least.

Leaving A Lot Behind

Boise State finished 2023 strong after a slow start. After ten games they sat at 5-5 and were in danger of the school’s first losing season since 1997. However, head coach Andy Avalos was fired with defensive coordinator Spencer Danielson taking over and Hamdan running the offense. The Broncos rolled off three straight including a 44-20 win over UNLV in the Mountain West title game averaging 38 points a game. While they lost to UCLA by 13 in the LA Bowl Danielson was promoted to full-time coach with Hamdan running the offense.

The Broncos have eight starters returning on offense including Mountain West player of the year Ashton Jeanty. Furthermore, they have the former number one player in the nation Malachi Nelson coming in at quarterback. As a result, Boise is a leading candidate for the Group Of Five representative for the playoff. Why leave that situation and come to Kentucky is certainly a question many want answered.

Now that we’ve given you some of his coaching history let’s look at what the BBN can expect as Kentucky hires Hamdan.

Giving Them What They Want

With Stoops at the helm Kentucky’s best teams have run the football well. That’s something Hamdan’s squads have done. While at Missouri Tyler Badie led the SEC in both rushing and touchdowns in 2021. The Wildcats were one of the worst teams in college football a season ago in offensive efficiency. However, Boise State sported the 33rd most efficient offense in football.

Hamdan likes the no-huddle offense which should improve the pace of play. UK was last in the country in the number of plays per game so they have nowhere to go but up. Lastly, he likes using the tight end, something UK wants to do as well. They have three good options, Jordan DingleJosh Kattus, and Khamari Anderson. Look for them to have a bigger role in 2024.

Final Thoughts

On paper Bush Hamdan checks off many of the boxes Kentucky wants in their offensive coordinator. However one nagging issue remains, will he have full control of the attack? Stoops is on his seventh OC in 12 years of coaching at Kentucky.

As a refresher, Neal Brown led the offense in 2013-14, and Shannon Dawson for one year in 2015. Eddie Gran took over in 2016 and held the job for five years. Since then you have “one and done’s.” Coen in 2021, Rich Scangarello in 2022, and Coen part two last year. Stoops reportedly wants input in the play calling which led to issues. Before Coen left he said the two had come to an understanding. We’ll see what happens when spring football begins.

Kentucky hires Bush Hamdan as offensive coordinator. Thanks for checking out his history and how he’ll fit into the program.

 

Kentucky Hires Bush Hamdan
Photo courtesy: Bronco Nation news

 

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