Bush Hamdan Ready to Ignite Kentucky Offense

Bush Hamdan Ready to Ignite Kentucky Offense

by Tim Letcher

Last week, Bush Hamdan found himself in one of the toughest positions in his career. Hamdan was the offensive coordinator at Boise State, his alma mater, and was having great success with the Broncos’ offense. Boise State appeared to be ready to perhaps make a run at the expanded College Football Playoff in 2024.

However, when Kentucky and Mark Stoops came calling, it was something that Hamdan knew he had to consider. The decision would be gut-wrenching.

“Probably the most difficult of my career. You look at exactly what was done the last three or four months (at Boise State),” Hamdan said. “That place will always hold a special place in my heart.”

However, the allure of coaching at Kentucky and in the Southeastern Conference was enough to pull Hamdan away.

“I think for me, between Mark Stoops and Mitch Barnhart, their tenure here speaks to that commitment of Kentucky and what they’ve done here,” Hamdan said. “It’s the SEC, it’s the third time I’ve been here. I know what this conference is all about. Anybody in coaching wants to be the best and I think this conference certainly forces you to do that. I remember those days, being at Florida, being at Missouri, coming to Kroger Field, knowing what this place is all about. Knowing what the fan base is about. The mixture of those three things just made this a job I couldn’t pass on.”

Kentucky introduced its new offensive coordinator on Thursday. Last season at Boise State, the Broncos were sixth in the nation in rushing offense (214.9 yards per game) and 26th in total offense (436.1 yards per game). Kentucky, last season, was 95th in the nation in rushing offense (127.8) and  98th in total offense (339.5).

When he was asked what his UK offense will look like, Hamdan admitted that he still has some learning to do about his players.

“I think it always starts with personnel,” Hamdan said. “What is week one? Week one is analyzing the roster. We know players win games. Get a good feel of what these guys can do and put them in the best position.”

There are some things that Hamdan knows he wants his offense to do, and one of those is to play quickly.

“I think the second thing is, vary in some tempo,” Hamdan said. “That’s been something over the course of the years. We know there’s certain games where we have to play fast, we know there’s certain games where we have to play slower, control the clock. But it’s a pro-style foundation. But there’s such an emphasis on creating explosive plays and we’ve got to do that with creativity, we’ve got to do that with variance in formation and personnel and that is the focus.”

Some offensive coordinators want to be on the field, while others prefer to be in the booth. For Hamdan, his choice is to be upstairs.

“I really enjoy coffee, so I like being upstairs,” Hamdan said with a laugh. “My whole career, I’ve been upstairs and that’s definitely the preference. I know there’s times, certainly with the quarterbacks, that they would want you down on the field and that communication. But being up top, you can see the game in a comfortable environment and that’s definitely what I prefer.”

Hamdan also knows that recruiting is essential to today’s college football environment.

“It’s critical,” Hamdan said. “If you’re going to be in college, there’s the job of recruiting and there’s the job of development. It’s something I look forward to.”

Hamdan brings a wealth of experience in the NFL and within college football’s Power Five conferences. Now that he’s gotten through making the choice to come to Kentucky, he can get to work on learning his new players and installing his scheme.

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