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Kentucky fires OC Rich Scangarello after 1 season

Kentucky football coach Mark Stoops has fired offensive coordinator Rich Scangarello after only one season, a school spokesperson confirmed to ESPN on Tuesday.

A former NFL assistant with the San Francisco 49ers, the Denver Broncos and others, Scangarello went to Kentucky in February with high expectations, stepping in for former O.C. Liam Coen, who left for the same position with the Los Angeles Rams. Those expectations were heightened by the fact Scangarello would be coaching a potential first-round draft pick at quarterback in senior Will Levis.

But Scangarello's offense struggled, producing the fewest points per game in the SEC (22.08).

Limited by a foot injury, Levis threw 19 touchdown passes and 10 interceptions.

What's more, the rebuilt offensive line didn't jell and an inexperienced receiving corps failed to make plays in pivotal moments. Chris Rodriguez Jr., the team's leading rusher last season, didn't play the first four games of the season.

Kentucky, which started the season 4-0 and reached No. 7 in the AP poll, went on to lose five of its next eight games.

In loses to Tennessee and Georgia, the Wildcats scored six points apiece.

Beating Louisville 26-13 on Saturday ensured that Stoops will finish above .500 for the sixth time in the past seven seasons.

In November, Stoops was given a contract extension through June 2031 and a raise to $8.6 million per year plus incentives.