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Mark Stoops is Kentucky's 37th Head Football Coach

Florida St. Defensive Coordinator Mark Stoops is Kentucky's 37th head football coach, replacing Joker Phillips.

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10 Total Updates since December 5, 2012
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Stooptacular: Mark Stoops Gets His Man

Neal Brown of Texas Tech is reportedly ready to accept a lucrative offer to become Kentucky's offensive coordinator.



We aren't out of the woods by any means, but Kentucky football fans finally have a reason for excitement.


Kentucky Coach Mark Stoops Speaks

First of all, if you haven't seen his introduction, you can view it here. Media Q&A can be found at the same link. For those interested in reading the contract, you can find that here.

I was very happy to hear Stoops say that we were going to play "four down linemen" on defense, and that we would be "pretty multiple" out of that setup. I was never sold on the Rick Minter verson of the 3-4 (or 3-3-5, or whatever you want to call his riff on the alignment). The 4-3 is much easier for Kentucky to recruit to.

The 3-4 is a great defense when you can recruit athletic freaks at defensive end and monsters like former Alabama star Terrence Cody at nose tackle. But for teams like Kentucky who have to develop their players rather than just plug in NFL draft picks, it is easier to use the 4-3, the schemes are simpler, and it can be very effective even against exotic offenses (just ask Georgia Tech.)

It also pleases me that Stoops seems interested in an innovative offense. He really didn't expound to much on that, probably because he doesn't have a specific offensive style in mind, but when it comes to defense, he was quick to answer and unambiguous. I also think that his comments reinforce the rumor that D.J. Eliot, his compatriot at Florida St., will be joining us as defensive coordinator, even though he did not say that, or really imply it directly. Still, if you listen, I think you'll understand why I believe that.

He looked very nervous to me, but I think that's normal for a guy who is just taking his first head coaching job. I believed him when he said he believed he can win at Kentucky,and while I appreciated his objective of the SEC championship (you have to aim high), I will be surprised if he ever achieves that goal.

The truth is, though, he doesn't have to. What he has to do is produce winning seasons, and turn this football program into something it can reasonably aspire to -- consistent winning seasons with annual bowl appearances. I think that is doable, if difficult, and his commitment to the defensive side of the ball bespeaks a commitment to Kentucky football by the administration that I had thought not to exist. But Mitch Barnhart & Co. must follow through.

Nevertheless, this is exciting stuff. I suspect that his wish for a packed stadium next year will be realized. The Big Blue Nation looks very excited about this hire.


Mark Stoops Arrives In The Bluegrass

Here are some tweets showing pictures of Mark Stoops' arrival in the Bluegrass:


After ACC Championship, Stoops Heads to UK

The time has come, as they say. Mark Stoops, the newly-minted head coach of the Kentucky Wildcats football team, has coached his last game at Florida St. Seminoles, and what a game it was. From Fox Sports Florida:

And in what he admits is likely his final game on the Florida State sideline, Mark Stoops had his defense turn in a memorable performance to wrap up the program’s first conference title since 2005.

Safety Karlos Williams had a game-clinching interception of Tevin Washington with 1 minute left and the defense held Georgia Tech’s triple-option offense to 183 rushing yards — 140 below the Yellow Jackets’ season average — as Florida State escaped with a 21-15 win in the ACC championship game.

There's nothing better when your new head coach goes out with a bang at his prior school, and this was definitely a bang. The FSU offense struggled for the entire second half of the football game to produce points, and only Mark Stoops' defense stood between Florida State and an ignominious upset to Georgia Tech.

SBNation's excellent Seminoles community, Tomahawk Nation, has more:

The defense, in Mark Stoops' final game, saved the game by forcing field goals and only allowing one touchdown drive by a good Georgia Tech offense. The game wasn't over until Karlos Williams made an excellent play on a ball to seal the game with an interception. An improbable win for Tech and an equally horrible loss by FSU was averted.

John Clay has more:

“I do not want to distract anymore and there’s a lot of work to be done on both sides,” Stoops told reporters after the game. “[But] I don’t ever want to turn my back on this program and these kids. If I can help in any way and lock myself in an office with [FSU's] defensive coaches and devise a game plan, I’ll certainly do that.”

Now, the Tomahawk Nation bids goodbye to their former defensive coordinator, and the Big Blue Nation bids him welcome. He will be arriving in Lexington today for a press conference about his hiring:

Let's give our new coach a resounding welcome to the Big Blue Nation.


Mark Stoops Scuttlebutt 11.30.2012

Not that much news today, but a few interesting tidbits:

Tweets of interest:


Assistant Coach Rumor Mill

First, there is a very recent tweet from Pete Roussel of

Kentucky: I have just learned that former Northwestern State head coach Bradley Dale Peveto is likely to join Mark Stoops' coaching staff at Kentucky. No word yet on the position, but Peveto has a background of coordinating special teams.

Kentucky: WKYT is reporting that Mark Stoops may turn to Texas Tech offensive coordinator / quarterbacks coach Neal Brown to become the offensive coordinator at Kentucky. Brown is a former Kentucky player.

John Clay adds some stuff as well:

Various reports are repeating what Corey Clark, the FSU beat writer for the Tallahassee Democrat, said in a podcast I recorded with him on Tuesday, that defensive ends coach D.J. Eliot is likely to end up at Kentucky, possibly as defensive coordinator.

And more in a separate post:

The hot staff name the past couple of days is James Coley, the FSU offensive coordinator and tight ends coach. There is talk Stoops would like to bring Coley to Kentucky as either his offensive coordinator or as his associate head coach/recruiting coordinator with UK luring Texas Tech offensive coordinator Neal Brown, a former UK wide receiver, back to Lexington to run Stoops’ offense.

So we could get Brown and Coley? Interesting possibility there.

I have heard from several people about D.J. Eliot, so I think that seems to be the most likely unconfirmed rumor to be true. The Coley and Brown are a little bit of a longer shot, but it's fun to imagine the possibilities if it does come true.

I have to admit, this coaching search has been a lot more fun than the last one.


Stoops to Kentucky: Reax And Commentary

Reaction from around the Internet to Kentucky's hiring of Mark Stoops as the 37th Kentucky head football coach.


Mark Stoops to Kentucky

Reports: Kentucky has hired Florida State Defensive Coordinator Mark Stoops as its new Head Coach.

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