The guys over at the SEC Network took a stab at creating the “ultimate” SEC head football coach.
Former Auburn coach Gene Chizik and former Alabama safety Roman Harper participated in the exercise that used various criteria to build out the ideal coach.
The characteristics included were leadership, recruiting, culture/team development, play-calling, and pregame speech.
Now you are probably wondering if Kentucky’s Mark Stoops found himself getting any love from SEC Network?
In short, he did.
Stoops was given the nod for best at creating a culture and driving team development.
For those that are familiar with the history of UK football, you know this was a complete no-brainer. For decades, coach after coach came to Lexington with the goal of revamping the culture of Kentucky football.
Few of those men succeeded.
Mark Stoops did.
The Big Blue Nation is well aware of the monumental impact that Stoops and his staff have made at Kentucky, but it’s always encouraging when the national media piggy backs the sentiment.
Of course, there are loud voices screaming that Nick Saban could have swept every category when you look top to bottom at the empire that he has created in Tuscaloosa.
For the folks that know football, there is only one correct answer when discussing which SEC coach has shown the most ability to build the culture within their program.
Kentucky went from essentially having no culture before Mark Stoops’ arrival to a team that now expects to be top 25 in the nationally each year. Not only that, but the evidence of the player loyalty is more vibrant than ever. Guys like Josh Allen and Benny Snell Jr. remain great ambassadors for UK even after their departure. This speaks volumes about the relationships Stoops and others have built with their players.
Winning the SEC East is no longer a laughable pipe dream but a legitimate goal for the Kentucky Wildcats. That can be largely attributed to the efforts of Mark Stoops.
By the way, who wouldn’t love to hear an unedited pre-game speech from LSU coach Ed Orgeron?
Sign me up for that.