The buzz has been circling since about 10a.m., and now Matt Jones and Kentucky Sports Radio is reporting that Mark Stoops will be named Kentucky's new Head Coach later today. The report has been confirmed by CBS's Bruce Feldman, the boss of all college football reporters, but congrats to Matt, who had it first.
Stoops is the current Defensive Coordinator for the Florida St. Seminoles. If his name sounds familiar, of course it should. He is the brother of Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops and former Arizona head man Mike Stoops. Before joining the FSU staff, he was his brother's DC at Arizona from 2004-2009. Yes, Mike was fired by the Wildcats after the 2011 season, but by that time Mark was long gone. Arizona went to bowls in Mark Stoops' last 3 years as coordinators.
This is a spectacular hire for Mitch Barnhart. Stoops brings a great defensive resume, unparalleled connections and a winning attitude to UK. He is only 45 years old but has been around big time college football since his days as a defensive back coach for Miami in the early 2000s. Yes, his last name is a big boost, but Mark has been successful everywhere he's been.
Buzz is already coming in about potential staff members. Today's good news might not even be over.
His family is football royalty in Youngstown, Ohio, a general area where Kentucky needs to recruit better to be more successful. His connections to the state of Florida, another fertile recruiting ground, are obviously solid.
As a final aside, I think it is finally time to get off Mitch Barnhart's back. As much as I love Kentucky football, I'm a little surprised Stoops was interested. Under the circumstances, this is as close to a home run as we could have hit.
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