Beginning Jan. 9, Division I football programs are allowed to hire a 10th on-field assistant coach. At some programs, that might mean an internal promotion of a support staffer. At others, it might mean plucking a coach from another school.
At Kentucky, it might mean hiring Ed Reed.
In 2016, Wildcats coach Mark Stoops reportedly reached out to the Ravens legend, whom he coached at Miami, about joining the program’s staff as a defensive backs coach. But Reed had been hired the month before as the Buffalo Bills’ assistant defensive backs coach, and he declined the offer.
Now, with another job set to open up in Lexington and Reed no longer in Buffalo, Stoops is giving it the old college try again. Reed was on hand for Kentucky’s Dec. 16 men’s basketball game against Virginia Tech, and asked last week about his interest in hiring Reed, Stoops told Kentucky Sports Radio that he was “working on it.”
“He and I are close,” he said. “We hadn't seen each other for a while. He came in town to spend some time.”
He was asked whether such a hire was “plausible.”
“Well, let me just say this. He played for, what, 13 years? Nine-time Pro Bowler. I think, first-ballot Hall of Famer. And he's a remarkable guy. He did coach for one year. I don't think he had the greatest experience right when he got done. I'm not sure he's ready to jump back into it.”
After Rex Ryan was fired as Bills coach in December 2016, Reed was among the 14 assistants not retained by current Buffalo coach Sean McDermott. He has since kept busy in the Baltimore area, working with his foundation and “trying to get myself rejuvenated after a 12-year NFL career.”
But as for coaching again? “I wouldn't mind it,” Stoops said. “I'm working on it.”