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Mike Stoops officially hired as Kentucky’s new ILBs coach

Mike Stoops brings 35 years of coaching experience to Kentucky’s staff.

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: DEC 02 Big 12 Championship Game - Oklahoma v TCU Photo by David Stacy/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Mike Stoops has officially been named the Kentucky Wildcats’ new inside linebackers coach, the school announced Tuesday. Mike replaces Jon Sumrall, who’s now head coach of the Troy Trojans.

Kentucky head coach Mark Stoops now reunites with his brother after the two worked together at Arizona from 2004-09 when Mike was the head coach and Mark the defensive coordinator/defensive backs coach. The two Stoops also spent the 1991 season together at Iowa when Mike was the linebackers/defensive backs coach and Mark was a graduate assistant.

“I’m excited about the opportunity to coach with Mike again,” Mark Stoops said in a press release. “Mike was instrumental in my early development as a coach, as I learned a lot from him at Arizona. He has a wealth of experience as a head coach, coordinator and position coach. I look forward to having him contribute to the staff at Kentucky.”

Mike most recently was at Florida Atlantic, where he spent the 2021 season as the defensive coordinator and safeties coach. Prior to that he spent two seasons (2019-20) with the Alabama Crimson Tide as an analyst under legendary coach Nick Saban.

The older Stoops was also the Oklahoma Sooners assistant head coach and defensive coordinator from 2012-18, which came after his stint as the Arizona Wildcats head coach from 2004-11.

“I want to thank everyone at the University of Kentucky for this exciting opportunity to coach inside linebackers,” Mike said in a press release. “Mark, his staff, and these players have accomplished a great deal, while competing in the Southeastern Conference, to put the Kentucky football program on the map. I’m looking forward to working with Coach (Brad) White on defense and contributing to the development and success of our players and team. Go Cats!”

Mike, like Mark, played college football as a safety for the Iowa Hawkeyes. Mike earned United Press International First Team All-America honors in 1984. He also was a two-time First Team All-Big Ten selection in 1983-84, and he led the Big Ten in interceptions in 1983, totaling six in just nine games.

After graduation, Mike went on to play in the NFL as a defensive back with the Chicago Bears and Atlanta Falcons. He began his coaching career as a graduate assistant at Iowa in 1986 before later moving to Kansas State from 1992-98.

Mike’s deal is reportedly for three years with a starting annual salary of $650,000.