Pardue, Minter fill vacancies on Phillips’ coaching staff



On Thursday, UK head football coach Joker Phillips officially announced new additions to his staff: Steve Pardue will be the new running backs coach and Rick Minter will be the new co-defensive coordinator, sharing the duties with incumbent Steve Brown.

Pardue, the former head coach at LaGrange (Ga.) High School, takes over from Larry Brinson while Minter, most recently the linebackers coach at Indiana State but also the winningest head coach in Cincinnati history, fills the spot left by Chris Thurmond, who was the secondary coach.

“I’ve watched Steve for a lot of years and how he handles himself as a coach,” Phillips said in a news release. “He’s earned the respect of his players and of his fellow coaches through his work on the state boards in Georgia. Being a Kentucky native, he brings a lot to the table in Kentucky and Georgia.”

Pardue formed a bond with Phillips during his tenure as LaGrange head coach and several former Grangers signed with UK, including current Cats Qua Huzzie, Randall Burden, Joe Mansour, Mychal Bailey and Tristian Johnson.

Phillips first became an admirer of Minter when he worked under him as an assistant from 1997-1998 at Cincinnati.

“Rick is a tough, hard-nosed defensive coordinator who has put together outstanding defenses at numerous schools,” Phillips said in a news release. “When I worked with him at Cincinnati, Rick had great knowledge of both sides of the ball. He does a great job of communicating with players and putting them in position to make plays.”

The new assistants were at practice over the weekend but Phillips couldn’t confirm their hiring at the time because UK policy dictates a mandatory 7-day waiting period for a job vacancy to be posted.