Kentucky releases OC Dawson, WRs coach Mainord from staff

LEXINGTON, Ky. (AP) Kentucky coach Mark Stoops has dismissed offensive coordinator Shannon Dawson and wide receivers coach Tommy Mainord after the Wildcats' second consecutive 5-7 finish.

Football spokesman Tony Neely confirmed the firings on Friday.

Dawson came to Kentucky from West Virginia last offseason to replace Neal Brown after Brown left to become Troy's head coach. Dawson's goal to add balance and efficiency to the pass-oriented ''Air Raid'' scheme resulted in an improved ground game, but his play-calling came under fire after several close losses that eventually kept them out of the postseason. Kentucky also allowed 30 sacks.

Mainoird had been with Kentucky for three seasons and the Wildcats' passing game ranked seventh in the Southeastern Conference. But Wildcat receivers struggled with drops and managed just 10 touchdowns last season.

SI Apps
We've Got Apps Too
Get expert analysis, unrivaled access, and the award-winning storytelling only SI can provide—from Peter King, Tom Verducci, Lee Jenkins, Andy Staples, Grant Wahl, and more—delivered straight to you, along with up-to-the-minute news and live scores.