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Mark Stoops interested in former EKU head coach Dean Hood

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Kentucky is looking for someone to fill Andy Buh's shoes, the now-former outside linebackers coach and special teams coordinator, and it looks as though Mark Stoops has found a candidate he likes.

Rob Kinnan-USA TODAY Sports

Kentucky Wildcats head coach Mark Stoops is reportedly looking at former Eastern Kentucky Colonels head coach Dean Hood as a candidate for the Kentucky football staff.

UK is currently looking for a replacement for Andy Buh, who left UK to be the defensive coordinator of the Maryland Terrapins after serving as Kentucky's outside linebacker coach and special teams coordinator.

Hood was fired from EKU after the 2015 season, and has since accepted a job at Charlotte to be the assistant head coach and also the tight ends coach.

While Hood was fired at EKU, there is a lot to appreciate as for what he has done as a coach in his career. Hood started gaining attention as a coach when he worked for Wake Forest as a defensive coordinator from 2001 to 2007.

During his time at Wake Forest, the Demon Deacons won the ACC Championship in 2006, a season in which Hood's defense allowed just 14.7 PPG, and had 22 interceptions as a team which led the conference. That same season, Wake Forest played in its only BCS Bowl to date, as they faced Louisville in the Orange Bowl.

After his time at Wake Forest, Hood took the head coaching job at EKU. Hood's first season in 2008 was a great success, as the team won the Ohio Valley Conference and made it to the FCS Playoffs, and Hood also won the Ohio Valley Conference Coach of the Year award.

The Colonels won the conference and made the FCS Playoffs for a second time under Hood in 2011, and Hood has led EKU to more wins than any other school in the Ohio Valley Conference since the start of his head coaching career there. Hood was 55-38 at EKU, but finished his final season at 6-5, with multiple issues arising throughout the season, including EKU players getting into a fight with Kentucky players.

While his time at EKU may have run out, he could find a home at UK. His success in division one football as a defensive coordinator suggests that if he were filling Andy Buh's position, he may do pretty well. He wouldn't have the stress and responsibility of head coaching like he did at the end of his tenure with EKU, and he would have much less to worry about if he focused just on special teams and the outside linebackers.

The stout defense that he led at Wake Forest suggests that he could greatly help a UK defense that ranked 8th in the SEC and 59th in the nation in yards allowed (also 67th in the nation in points allowed).

If Stoops is indeed looking to give Hood the job as outside linebacker coach, it would make more sense for Hood than his job at Charlotte would. Hood has not historically been an offensive position coach, as he has been a defensive coordinator at Glenville State and EKU (before his run as head coach), as well as the aforementioned Wake Forest.

Given the defensive success that Dean Hood's teams have had in the past, it's easy to see why Stoops would have at least some level of interest in him. If Stoops and Hood are on the same page, we'll have to see if Hood takes a job at UK after previously accepting a job at Charlotte.