The Kentucky Wildcats have announced the addition of Dean Hood to the football staff. Hood joins Mark Stoops’ staff as the special teams coordinator and outside linebackers coach.
“I could not be more excited to have Coach Hood join our staff,” Stoops said in a press release. “He brings extensive experience and knowledge as a head coach, defensive coordinator and special teams coordinator. Having watched him at Eastern Kentucky, I developed great respect for him and I know he is held in high regard by the high school coaches in the state. He is a welcome addition to our program.”
Hood previously spent 13 years at EKU, including eight seasons as the Colonels’ head coach from 2008-15. He lead the Colonels to two OVC titles, three FCS Playoff appearances and an overall record of 55 38 (59.1). Hood also was a finalist for the Eddie Robinson Award, which goes to the best coach in FCS football, in both the 2008 and 2014 seasons.
After being let go by EKU in November of 2015, Hood spent the 2016 season as the assistant head coach, special teams coordinator and tight ends coach at Charlotte.
Hood, a native of Ashtabula, Ohio, also has coaching ties to Ohio and hopes to continue the strong pipeline Kentucky has built with the Buckeye state.
“I am from northeast Ohio and I take a lot of pride from being from there,” Hood said. “Being from Ohio I have followed the Stoops family for a long time and they are known for being tough, hard-working and family oriented. All of those things are important to me as well.
“When I was coaching at Wake Forest and we had to play against Florida State, I noticed how well the defense played once Coach Stoops got there. They were very tough to play against. Also, being 17 miles away at EKU, I was always impressed with him and the discipline of his program. I was impressed with how he presented himself in the media and public with an honest and let’s-go-to-work attitude and how they have put together a really good strategic recruiting plan. I’m excited and honored to be a part of his staff.”
Before EKU, Hood spent seven years (2001-07) as the defensive coordinator and secondary coach at Wake Forest and his defensive units forced 186 turnovers during his tenure, more than two per game.
In 2006, Hood helped the Demon Deacons win the ACC Championship for the first time since 1970 with an impressive 11-3 record (the most wins in school history). His defense ranked second in the conference, allowing just 15.4 points per game, while leading the league in interceptions with 22, second most in the nation. Against the run, Wake yielded just 105.8 yards per game, 21st nationally and the third lowest total in Wake Forest history. Wake Forest earned its first and only BCS Bowl bid, facing Louisville in the FedEx Orange Bowl.
The following season, Wake Forest led the ACC with 35 forced turnovers on its way to finishing 9-4 and winning the Meineke Car Care Bowl with a 24-10 win over Connecticut.
Hood also spent time with the Ohio Bobcats from 1999-2000 as the defensive backs coach. His 1999 defensive unit charted 17 interceptions, the most in more than a decade. In 2000, Ohio ranked 20th nationally in defense, allowing 18.9 points per game. His defense was one of only five programs in Division I-A that did not allow more than 30 points in a game through the entire season.
He also had a previous five-year stint at EKU as the Colonels’ secondary coach (1994-96) and defensive coordinator/secondary coach (1997-98) under College Football Hall of Fame head coach Roy Kidd.