Chris Collins Promoted to Co-Defensive Coordinator; Derek Shay Named Quality Control Coach for Offense

Chris Collins Promoted to Co-Defensive Coordinator; Derek Shay Named Quality Control Coach for Offense

Kentucky head coach Mark Stoops has promoted Chris Collins to co-defensive coordinator/defensive backs coach, he announced Tuesday. He also has announced the hiring of former Marshall tight ends coach Derek Shay as a quality control coach for the offense.

“Brad (White) will still be the defensive coordinator and nothing in his role will change but it’s more to help Chris because he’s earned that,” Stoops said. “I’m proud of Chris and proud to promote him in this role of defensive passing game coordinator.”

Collins, 35, begins his fourth season at Kentucky and through his first three seasons, he has coached an accomplished group of defensive backs, including current NFL players in Carrington Valentine (Green Bay Packers) and Keidron Smith (Denver Broncos).

Last season under Collins’ tutelage, sophomore defensive back Maxwell Hairston led the Southeastern Conference and ranked fifth nationally in interceptions with five, earning Second Team All-SEC and honorable mention All-America honors. He added 68 tackles (third on the team), along with a team-high six pass breakups and a forced fumble. Junior Andru Phillips also shined under Collins as he charted 47 tackles, 1.5 tackles for loss and five pass breakups. Phillips declared for the NFL Draft following the 2023 season and went on to earn an invitation to the Reese’s Senior Bowl and the NFL Combine.

Collins’ full bio

Shay, 33, comes to Kentucky after one season as the tight ends coach at Marshall. In 2022, he served as a senior offensive analyst at Missouri, working closely with current UK offensive coordinator Bush Hamdan who was the quarterbacks coach that season. He also directly oversaw Missouri’s youth camps in the summer. In July of 2022, Shay was recognized by as one of the “65 Rising Star Support Staff Coaches.”

Prior to Missouri, he served as a graduate assistant tight ends coach at LSU from March 2020-22. With Shay’s help, two players were named Freshman All-SEC in Arik Gilbert (2020) and Jack Bech (2021). Bech also earned Freshman All-America honors by 247Sports and Pro Football Focus. During his time in Baton Rouge, Shay was recognized by as one of “50 Rising Coaches You Need to Know.”

Shay made the jump to the SEC after seeing success in coaching the tackles and tight ends at FCS member McNeese State in 2019. McNeese State averaged 382 yards per game of total offense – nearly 100 yards more than their 2018 numbers – and the program extended its FCS record of consecutive winning seasons to 15.

Before his time at McNeese State, Shay served on the staff of one of the nation’s top prep powerhouses – IMG Academy in Florida. Shay served as co-offensive coordinator and offensive line coach for IMG, which achieved a top-five national ranking for two straight years.

In all, Shay coached six All-American offensive linemen at IMG and 10 linemen who went on to sign Division I scholarships. Shay also assisted with NFL Combine training and NFL Pathway Program training.

Shay’s coaching career started in December 2011 when he signed on to be a student assistant for Eastern Illinois – a position he held until he because a tight ends graduate assistant at Bowling Green State University in January 2014.

At Bowling Green, Shay assisted in leading the team to a Mid-American Conference East Division Championship and also a win in the Camellia Bowl. Following that stop, Shay moved on to Warren Central High School in Indianapolis in March 2015.

Shay played collegiately for one season at Western Illinois University before transferring to Eastern Illinois. He graduated from EIU in 2013 with a degree in education. He went on to earn a master’s degree in liberal arts from LSU in 2021.

He and his wife, Katie, have one daughter, Murphy.

Shay joins current UK quality control coaches in Bryan Berezowitz, Josh Estes-Waugh, Mike Preifer Jr., Mark Perry and Joe Scola.

For more information on the Kentucky football team, follow @UKFootball on Twitter and Instagram, or like Kentucky Football on Facebook.

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