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Stoops' UK staff overhaul continues with new OL coach

Mark Stoops' revamping of his offensive staff at Kentucky continues to take shape.

Stoops on Thursday officially named Eric Wolford the Wildcats' new offensive line coach.

Wolford takes the place of the late John Schlarman, who passed away in November after he had battled cancer.

“I've known Eric and worked with Eric for a long time,” Stoops said in a release that announced the hire of Wolfork, most recently at South Carolina. “I knew it would take a special person to fill this role and we found the best candidate.

“I know what we are getting with Eric and he will continue to build on the legacy that John Schlarman started."

In addition to the offensive line vacancy, Stoops had not retained a pair of offensive assistants once the Wildcats' regular season concluded: quarterbacks coach Darin Hinshaw and offensive coordinator Eddie Gran.

Earlier this week, Stoops tabbed Liam Coen to be the Wildcats' next offensive coordinator. Coen also will coach Kentucky's quarterbacks. The Wildcats still have one position left to fill on Stoops' staff.

Wolford has a quarter-century of coaching experience and deep ties with Stoops, with whom he was on Arizona's staff together in the early 2000s.

“I'm blessed to have the opportunity to coach the 'Big Blue Wall,'” Wolford said in UK's release. “I want to continue the legacy of John Schlarman.

“He was a wonderful man and watching film and seeing how his line played, it's not hard to see what a great offensive line coach he was. We are always going to remember Coach Schlarman in our room. Always.”

Wolford had spent the previous four seasons on Will Muschamp's staff at South Carolina, and his moved to Kentucky had been discussed for multiple weeks. Once new Gamecocks coach Shane Beamer allowed Wolford the chance for a change of scenery, Wolford swiftly moved to join the Kentucky staff.