UK Running Backs Coach Settle Learned Work Ethic at Early Age From His Father


New Kentucky running backs coach John Settle has a work ethic that he says started early in life.

“Growing up you work on a farm, you’re given chores to do and things have to get done,” Settle said. “I don’t know if you are familiar with working in tobacco fields, but you learn the value of hard work at an early age.

“It was back breaking work but you do what you have to do to get it done. That was my mindset early and it made everything else fall in place.”

It prepared him for practice in 90 degree weather with 100 percent humidity.

“My dad was a tough guy. I would not say he demanded excellence but I had a job to get done. That’s always been my mindset,” Settle said. “He always taught me and my five siblings that how high you go and how far you go depend on work. Those are things you never forget.”

Settle, 55, comes to Kentucky from Wisconsin where he coached Jonathan Taylor, a 6,000-yard career rusher who rushed for almost 1,200 yards as a rookie with the Indianapolis Colts in 2020. He’s also coached 1,000-yard rushers James White, Derrick Ward, DeAngelo Williams and James Conner.

“I might look young, but I’m kind of old school myself. I like the physical part of football, controlling the clock, scoring points,” Settle, a former all-pro running back with the Atlanta Falcons, said explaining how his philosophy is similar to UK coach Mark Stoops’ outlook.

Settle will also be co-special teams coordinator.

“Special teams play is a critical part of the game. I think if you ask anyone that watches enough football, probably the fastest way to lose a football game is to mess up on special teams. My philosophy is to be sound in all phases,” Settle said