His accoutrements and boxes were arranged continued afore his final d in a Kentucky uniform.
That’s how acquisitive Freddie Maggard was to get off campus, to escape the acrimony he acquainted in his final division as a Wildcat.
“I was mad at UK aback I left,” said the above Cats quarterback, who had absent the starting job afterwards disturbing with injuries that eventually led to surgeries. “It was not a acceptable way for me to leave. …
“I was lost,” he recalled. “I went aback to the mountains, accomplished some football, which I enjoyed. Sold some insurance, which I did not enjoy, aloof approved to acquisition my way in life.”
That accidental man — the one who anticipation he was destined to go on and comedy able football or baseball — had no bright plan.
“I absolutely would’ve benefited from amateur development, accepting addition advice me alteration to the aing breadth of my life,” Maggard said afore the alpha of this division from his new appointment as UK’s administrator of amateur development.
Life has its allotment of twists and turns.
It absolutely has for Maggard. Added twists and turns than the abundance anchorage he grew up active in Eastern Kentucky.
Ultimately every aberration and about-face of that activity has led the 49-year-old above aerial academy brilliant aback to this point, an appointment in the football training centermost on Mark Stoops’ abutment agents with an eye against authoritative abiding added players don’t leave the architectonics activity the way he did so abounding years ago.
Former Kentucky quarterback Freddie Maggard, now the Cats’ administrator of amateur development, is aggravating to advice the accepted players plan for their approaching careers while additionally aing above players with the program.
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“I appetite the players to accept as absolute acquaintance departure UK as they do entering UK,” Maggard said.
That’s area his assignment starts. There’s advice with résumés, account techniques, accepting “dressed for success,” career counseling and authoritative association connections.
They’re all roles with which Maggard is familiar. He performed agnate ones during his time in the U.S. Army.
After abounding years as a adhesive specialist, Maggard transitioned into recruiting and association beat and relations. Almost all of his jobs helped adapt adolescent men and women for activity afterwards the military.
All of that able him for this, a job that seems to fit him like a No. 18 Kentucky uniform.
When Stoops took over as Kentucky’s arch drillmaster in December of 2012, there was abundant assignment to be done in facilities, recruiting, development and personnel.
One by one, Stoops and his agents agape things off the meandering agitation list.
But as the arch drillmaster sat in his agleam new appointment in the Joe Craft Football Training Centermost affair with accepted and above players, Stoops still acquainted like there was article missing.
“It break my affection aback you’ve got a guy who bleeds for you and works their appendage off for four or bristles years and again they’re aloof larboard hanging,” Stoops said.
The drillmaster would ask players about their approaching affairs aback football is over. He’d action advice in any way he could.
But it’s an impossibly boxy alteration for many.
“I don’t like that activity that they’re aloof abandoned aback they’re done,” Stoops said. “It’s already a apricot time in their activity and again to feel like that affiliation is over. We never appetite them to feel that way.”
Football concluded abruptly for above UK advanced receiver Alexander Montgomery, whose career was apoplectic aboriginal afterwards assorted knee surgeries. He becoming his degree, but had no abstraction what was next, what was alike possible.
“I had no acquaintance in the assignment field, so me attractive for a job, I didn’t alike apperceive area to start,” Montgomery said. “Nobody in my ancestors had absolute career jobs, so I didn’t accept any accomplishments in anything. I had no clue.”
Stoops approved to advice Montgomery, but the drillmaster additionally is amenable for the managing of 100-plus players on the accepted agenda forth with abounding added duties.
Enter Maggard, who helped Montgomery get an central sales position at Galls in Lexington this summer.
“He helped me with the accomplished process,” Montgomery said. “We had convenance interviews, helped me body my résumé, which was abundant because my résumé absolutely sucked. … Practiced speaking, how we access the allowance in interviews, how we avenue the room, everything.”
The speaking allotment is abnormally important to Maggard, who was abashed of accomplishing interviews aback he got to UK as a amateur because of his “mountain accent.”
“In some ways, I’m still that shy, 18-year-old kid,” said Maggard, who keeps his father’s baby lamp from years of atramentous mining in his appointment to admonish him to accumulate his arch bottomward and go to work.
A lamp acceptance to Freddie Maggard’s father, who was a atramentous miner in Eastern Kentucky, has a home in the adolescent Maggard’s appointment at the UK football facility. Maggard said it reminds him to accumulate his arch bottomward and assignment harder.
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“I was very, actual shy to allocution aback I aboriginal got actuality as a amateur because everybody fabricated fun of me. Barriers appear in abounding shapes and forms like accent, geography.”
Now some 30 years later, that barrier helps actualize a affiliation to Kentucky’s accepted players. Activity out of abode or awkward isn’t aloof aloof for kids from the mountains.
“It’s one of the best hires Drillmaster Stoops has fabricated because it’s allowance us with the future, whether you apprehend you charge that advice yet or not,” said centermost Drake Jackson, one of abounding players whom Maggard helped get an internship this summer.
“A lot of us didn’t apprehend you charge a job to accomplish some connections, get some experience,” said Jackson, who has aspirations of actuality in the media aback his arena canicule are done.
Jackson did his internship on The Big Blue Insider sports allocution radio appearance this summer with Dick Gabriel. “It assault my apperception how abounding bodies Freddie knew.”
Those access accept fabricated Maggard a near-perfect fit for the position, which is still evolving beneath than six months into his administration at UK. Sure, Stoops could accept assassin any cardinal of career attorneys and résumé builders to advice the Kentucky players plan for the future.
But Maggard additionally is a different arch to the past.
“This is their building,” Stoops said in his appointment a few months ago. “I appetite (former players) about and I appetite them allotment of it. Freddie has a affiliation to a lot of them and no one knows the history added than him.”
Maggard is consistently assuming above football players and their families about the facility, introducing accomplished to present in hopes of developing futures.
Freddie Maggard’s old Kentucky jersey hangs on the bank in his appointment at the UK convenance facility. “I’m not some brief coach,” Maggard said of his different abilities as administrator of amateur development. “This is my home. I’m a Kentuckian. I’m a UK guy. I apperceive so abounding bodies and I accept a affection for it.”
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“I’m not some brief coach,” Maggard explained of his different qualities that advice him in this job. “This is my home. I’m a Kentuckian. I’m a UK guy. I apperceive so abounding bodies and I accept a affection for it. … I accept a affiliation because I’ve been a constant fan.”
The amateur development authority picks the accuracy of acknowledged above players about how they got to area they are, what accomplish they took, acquisitive to advance accepted players bottomward those paths eventually.
If a accepted amateur wants to go into medicine, Maggard can acquisition him a above amateur in that field. If a accepted amateur wants to become an engineer, Maggard knows a guy or will acquisition one.
There are bags of above players in jobs like architecture, law enforcement, teaching, coaching, business management. Maggard is extensive out to as abounding as he can to body the bridges.
UK’s administrator of amateur development Freddie Maggard arrested his buzz as he waited for a above assistant to accompany him at the convenance ability this summer. “I appetite (former players) about and I appetite them allotment of it,” UK Drillmaster Mark Stoops said of Maggard’s position. “Freddie has a affiliation to a lot of them and no one knows the history added than him.”
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“I try to apprentice from them about how they got to area they are,” he said. “You can apprehend books about it, which I do. … But I adopt audition it face to face.”
Hundreds of alumni accept reconnected with the affairs via Maggard in the few abbreviate months on the job. Abounding like above NFL bound end Jacob Tamme accept announced with the team.
There accept been association relations projects, branding and amusing media seminars. Maggard developed a “Behind the Facemask” alternation to advice admirers put a face to a number.
“It allows their personalities to show,” he said. “So abounding times football players are aloof numbers, so my ambition is to booty the facemask off. They’re not numbers. They’re names. They’re humans. They’re individuals.”
Anything Maggard thinks can advice body a amateur is considered.
His job description gets broader by the week.
“He hit the arena sprinting, but I adulation that,” Stoops said of Maggard. “He brings the passion, activity and talent. He’s done it. He has acquaintance in it.
“He’s amorous about Kentucky football. He’s amorous about the players. He knows a lot about them and their belief and he works acutely hard. He’s actuality for the players.”
Vanderbilt at No. 14 Kentucky
7:30 p.m. (SEC Network)
Freddie Maggard, Kentucky’s administrator of amateur development, left, aggregate a beam with above UK fullback Andy Murray, right, while touring the locker allowance in UK’s convenance facility. Reconnecting alumni, including acknowledged businessmen like Murray, is allotment of Maggard’s job description.
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