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Anwar Stewart - Football - University of Kentucky Athletics



Former Wildcat Anwar Stewart enters his fifth season as the defensive line coach for the University of Kentucky football program in 2024. He returned to the Bluegrass after one season as the defensive line coach at Appalachian State in 2019.

Stewart is quite familiar with the UK football program after playing linebacker / defensive end from 1996-99 under head coaches Bill Curry and Hal Mumme and having served as a student assistant and defensive assistant under head coach Mark Stoops in 2017 and 2018. He helped UK advance to two bowl games and was an integral part of its 10-3 season in 2018, as he assisted with the development and success of Josh Allen – winner of three National Defensive Player of the Year Awards (Nagurski, Lott, Bednarik), unanimous All-America First Team selection and Southeastern Conference Defensive Player of the Year.

Over Stewart’s combined six seasons in Lexington, Kentucky has benefited greatly from his defensive direction, while he has been instrumental in helping the program earn four top-five finishes in the SEC, three top-25 finishes in the nation and one top-15 finish in the nation in total defense during that time.

The Wildcats are coming off a season where they produced the best rush defense in the Mark Stoops era, holding opponents to 113.1 yards per game, which ranked second in the conference and 17th in the nation. In fact, the Cats held each of their first five opponents of the season to under 100 yards rushing for the first time in program history, based on game-by-game stats available since the 1940s. Stewart’s defensive line also contributed to finishing top five in the conference and top 25 in the nation in team sacks (2.69) and tackles for loss (6.5) in 2023.

Stewart’s knack for recruiting and developing was especially evident in 2022, when he helped lead a defensive unit that checked in at 11th in the nation and second in the SEC in total defense to end the season, holding opponents to just 311.4 yards per game through 15 games. In 2022, Stewart’s defensive line finished the season 22nd in the nation and third in the SEC in 3rd-down conversion percent defense and 19th in the nation and third in the SEC in 4th-down conversion percent defense. That defensive line included Octavious Oxendine, who named to the Comeback Player of the Year Watch List, and Deone Walker, a decorated Freshman All-American.

Stewart’s progressive success in the Bluegrass started back during his first season in 2020, coaching nose guard Quinton Bohanna to an All-SEC Second Team selection by PFF and was an All-SEC Fourth Team choice by Phil Steele. Moreover, defensive end Josh Paschal was also a All-SEC Fourth Team choice by Phil Steele and an All-SEC Honorable Mention selection by PFF.

Prior to coaching, Stewart honed his defensive skills in the Canadian Football League, spending 13 years in the professional ranks, 11 with the Montreal Alouettes and two with the Calgary Stampeders. He won a Grey Cup with Calgary in 2001 and helped Montreal capture Grey Cups in 2002, 2009 and 2010. Playing defensive end, he was selected the CFL’s Most Outstanding Defensive Player in 2004 and was a CFL All-Star in both 2004 and 2009. He retired in 2013 after racking up 70 career sacks, including 66 with Montreal (second-most in team history). He also snagged 10 career interceptions from his defensive end position. He still holds the Alouettes’ all-time record for career quarterback sacks.

After retirement, Stewart was hired by the Alouettes in 2014 as a defensive quality control coach before being elevated to defensive ends coach in 2015 and defensive line coach in 2016. The Alouettes were among the CFL’s best teams in total defense and sacks each of those seasons.

During his playing days at Kentucky, the Panama City, Florida native totaled 64 tackles, including nine tackles for loss and eight sacks, playing both linebacker and defensive end. Many of the Big Blue Nation will remember perhaps his greatest play when he returned a blocked field goal 68 yards for a touchdown against Alabama in 1997, helping send the game into overtime in UK’s dramatic victory over the Crimson Tide.

Stewart graduated from UK in 2017 with a degree in social work. He and his wife, Lamya, have a daughter, Kayla.

Stewart’s Coaching Career:

2014 Montreal Alouettes Defensive Quality Control CFL playoffs
2015 Montreal Alouettes Defensive Ends
2016 Montreal Alouettes Defensive Line
2017-18 Kentucky Defensive Assistant Music City, Citrus Bowl
2019 Appalachian State Defensive Line New Orleans Bowl
2020-Pres. Kentucky Defensive Line Gator Bowl (2020), Vrbo Citrus Bowl (2021), TransPerfect Music City Bowl (2022), Gator Bowl (2023)


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