Former UK defensive coordinator Steve Brown will not return to Kentucky next season, UK athletics confirmed Friday.
A UK athletics spokesman declined to say whether the parting was mutual or if Brown was terminated. Brown's contract, signed in February of 2010, was set to expire on June 30 of next year.
Brown, who served as co-defensive coordinator and defensive backs coach in 2011, had been the defensive coordinator from 2007-10, when Kentucky head coach Joker Phillips hired Rick Minter to run the defense. Brown retained the title of co-defensive coordinator and operated under his contract signed as a defensive coordinator that paid him $320,000 annually, but Minter installed his own defensive scheme and took over playcalling duties.
When Brown arrived in Lexington in 2003, he had six years of NFL experience but had never coached in college.
"My family, we've been here nine years," Brown told Cats Illustrated on Nov. 30, before Kentucky's regular season finale. "I've had two boys go all the way from elementary school through middle school and are now in high school. We love it here. But it depends on the opportunities, here or elsewhere. I just know that wherever I end up, it will best for my family and I and I just have to go with it."
Brown's departure means that only linebackers coach Chuck Smith and offensive coordinator Randy Sanders remain from the staff former UK head coach Rich Brooks left behind when he departed at the end of the 2009 season.
Brown was demoted after the defense gave up 354 yards per game and 28.4 points per game in 2010, ranking them 44th and 72nd in the country in those categories, respectively.
"The people here in Lexington are fantastic," Brown told Cats Illustrated last week. "We've developed some great friendships. We've been able to do some special things here. Beaten some great teams. Had some really, really good seasons. We've accomplished a lot here. This is a place that is obviously in a special conference and it's been a wonderful experience."
Kentucky ranked 67th in total defense in 2007, 40th in 2008, 54th in 2009, and 44th in 2010.
Wilson out 4-6 months
Junior linebacker Ridge Wilson will miss 4-6 months after undergoing surgery for a torn labrum, UK athletics confirmed Wednesday.
Wilson will be held out of contact during spring practice as he recovers. He underwent the same surgery junior quarterback Morgan Newton did on the same day.
Wilson, a 6-foot-3 243-pound junior, was sixth on the team with 47 tackles despite missing the last three games. He also had two sacks. He played at strongside linebacker in his first two years but moved to a hybrid defensive end/linebacker spot with the new defensive scheme implemented by Minter.
True freshman Alvin Dupree started the final three games in his place and played well. Dupree finished the season with 21 tackles, 2.5 tackles for loss and 2.5 sacks.