Marrow Talks Decision To Stay at Kentucky

Kentucky tight ends coach and recruiting coordinator Vince Marrow met with the media on Wednesday to talk about his decision to sign a new contract extension with the Wildcats.

Marrow had been considering an offer to join Jim Harbaugh’s new staff at Michigan, but opted to stick with longtime friend Mark Stoops with an extension that runs through June of 2018.

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The following is a full transcript from his press conference:

Opening Statement …
“Thanks for everyone coming, I just want to say the community (was special). Being a former professional athlete and coach you usually don’t like to see media, but I will say even you guys in my short time here have been great and it’s been a good relationship. There are a lot of things about relationship that played a big part in me staying. Saying that, I am open for questions.”

On what ultimately led to his decision to sign a contract extension at Kentucky … “Michigan, being a Midwest guy and being from Ohio, it was very tempting, but it was just my relationship here with the administration and our staff and even the kids that I have coming in this year and the kids that I have recruited the last two years played a big part of that. Really, like I tell parents, it was basically the community. The last three days I couldn’t really go anywhere without people saying things to me. We were in church and the guy doing the offering said something, that is how deep it got. Relationships played a big part to just be honest with you guys.”

On how much he will sell to recruits him staying and the commitment that shows … “My focus is on Kentucky, but being quite honest me staying here should be volumes to that. I know that a lot of our recruits were very fired up because for some reason they just assumed I was gone. I told people that it wasn’t a slam dunk and a lot of people were saying that it was a slam dunk I was going. Yes, it shows that our athletics director Mitch (Barnhart), the route he is going, our administration and it shows were the program is going and I believe in that wholeheartedly. You look at the stadium renovations and just at the type of support that we have been getting over the last two years here. That always plays a big part in it.”

On his feelings of the impact his possible departure could have had on Kentucky’s incoming class … “I have to admit that being here two years I have friends that I have established relationships with and it was a very stressful situation to a point if I did leave. Now, Coach Stoops is a great leader and the class wasn’t going to fall apart, but I sure didn’t want to be a part of that (if it did happen).People were saying it was going to be devastation and all that, I don’t know that. It did weigh on me. It is a situation that I wouldn’t wish on anyone. Probably Saturday and Sunday and I didn’t get sleep, but I knew in my heart where I made my decision to go. It was mainly appreciative of the people in the community here that reached out to me. I am on Twitter because I recruit on Twitter, but there were a lot of responses from people in the community that was hoping I would stay.”

On his feelings on the incoming class and how it will finish … “Like you said, I cannot comment on that, but I can comment on the direction that we are going. We are going to finish strong just like we did the last two years. We have a couple more slots that we have to fill and it is just a situation where I know with me staying here a lot of those guys were very fired up to see that. We will see where we are going to finish, but I feel pretty good about it though. It is going to be pretty good.”

On what kind of response he has had from recruits this year compared to his first few years … “You know, 2013 coming off the situation you are selling what hope is, Coach Stoops is selling hope. We did a pretty good job with that, I think we finished like 26 (nationally). We only had six weeks to go because a lot of us were in bowl games and those situations. We got here and had six weeks to go. I think people thought that I was joking around when I made the statement that we would do better in the 2014 class because when we caught people off guard in that 2013 class a lot of schools started to negative recruit us. Then we turned around and signed the 2014 class, which was a very strong class and we kept it together from the beginning to the end. Now coming down to 2015 we have a couple of guys that are coming in early that are some really good players. We are coming down to the end where the process now is look at our rebuilding, we went 2-10 to 5-7 and could have easily been in a bowl game this year. It is just like when you are building any other program you see the progress and I think the parents and kids see that progress and we are looking really good for 2015.”

On recruiting the state of Ohio … “Well, it had to be important because some other schools wanted that part of Ohio, too. Ohio signs about 147-150 division I guys a year. We have been signing anywhere from eight of the top 20 or we have been way up and ESPN has noticed it and other major networks noticed the damage that we are doing in Ohio. It is always going to be a major part. Just keeping that foothold there. I think I heard people say Michigan is going to hurt us in recruiting in Ohio, we live for the battles for that. I think we are going to do fine in Ohio still.”

On meeting new offensive coordinator Shannon Dawson … “Yes, because we still try to keep the same type of offense. Shannon, I actually met him working out over the holidays, and Marc Hill was bringing him in and I think they were going over his contract, so I met him. I talked to him when he got hired and texted him. But meeting him in person, he is a very personable guy and a go-getter. He recruited some of Ohio too, we actually went to battle on a lot of kids from Ohio and I think he is happy to be on this side now. He is going to be a great addition. Sharp guy and I think you will see more things in our offense. The same that Neal (Brown) had here but more to it.”

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