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Mark Stoops taking his time in filling new assistant coach position

Hopefully this will make sure he gets the right guy for the job.

NCAA Football: Mississippi at Kentucky Mark Zerof-USA TODAY Sports

Ever since it was announced that the University of Kentucky would be filling a 10th assistant football coaching position, fans have been clamoring for Mark Stoops to make a splashy hire. Although many believed he was close to closing the deal with former NFL star Ed Reed, Stoops insists that he is not close to making a hire.

“I don’t feel the pressure right now,” Stoops told the Herald-Leader recently. “I feel like there’s some movement. Some guys I’ve talked, some are NFL guys and I don’t feel any pressure right now.”

It is also unclear whether or not this will be the only opening on the staff. Assistant coaches Lamar Thomas and Steve Clinkscale have contracts that expire at the end of June, although most believe they will return. There could also be more, unexpected attrition within the current staff.

Stoops seems intent on making a defensive hire, as there are currently only 4 assistants focused on that side of the ball (Matt House, Dean Hood, Derrick LeBlanc, and Clinkscale) while he has five guys dedicated to offense (Eddie Gran, Darin Hinshaw, Vince Marrow, John Schlarman, and Thomas).

There are still many dominoes left to fall in the college football coaching world, and Stoops is attempting to lay in wait for the “right” guy that may become available later in the hiring season.

“I’m going to wait, let it shake out and get the best available guy that I can,” said Stoops. “I want to make sure I get the right guy and the right fit.”

This is a sign that Stoops is growing more comfortable in his own skin, whereas early on at UK he would have likely filled the position as quickly as possible to avoid the constant questions about the vacancy.

This additional position is a great opportunity for Stoops to bolster a core staff that have taken the Wildcats to back to back bowl games for the first time in nearly a decade. Kudos to him for being picky about who he chooses for the role.