If the Mark Stoops era as the head coach of the Kentucky Wildcats came to an end on Saturday afternoon, then it was quite the way to put a cap on a successful run with the Cats.
It didn’t take long after the game for rumors to start flying around that Stoops could be a serious candidate for the Texas A&M head coaching job after reports of the interest surfaced prior to kickoff.
Well, those rumors were not just rumors.
According to Rivals reporter Mark Passwaters, Stoops is expected to become the next head coach of the Texas A&M Aggies Football program.
Barring a last minute collapse, sources tell https://t.co/zQ9IHLlF7I Kentucky coach Mark Stoops is likely to be the next head coach at Texas A&M.— Mark Passwaters (@mbpRivals) November 26, 2023
There’s also this.
And at 10:39 pm ET, we got about as good of confirmation as we’re going to get.
BREAKING: Texas A&M is set to hire Kentucky Head Coach Mark Stoops as its next head coach.— 247Sports (@247Sports) November 26, 2023
Stoops has compiled a 73-64 record as Kentucky's head coach and is the winningest coach in program history.
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If this is the end of the Stoops era, it was without a doubt a successful one as he reached heights with this program that I don’t think many believed was possible.
When Stoops was hired back in 2012, the Cats were coming off a 2-10 season in Joker Phillips’ final season.
Stoops’ first season also resulted in a 2-10 record, but once he laid the foundation for the program he wanted to build, the results changed quickly.
After back-to-back 5-7 seasons, Stoops took an 0-2 start in 2016 and turned it into a 7-6 finish to get the team back into a bowl game (33-18 loss to Georgia Tech).
Then the historic 2018 season rolled around as Stoops snapped the 31-year losing streak to Florida and finished the season with 10 wins for the first time since 1977 after their Citrus Bowl win over Penn State.
After two seasons full of injuries and a worldwide pandemic, Stoops regrouped in 2021 and led the Cats to a second 10-win season, notching another Citrus Bowl win, this time over Iowa.
The last two seasons did not go as planned but were still successful in the fact that they finished over .500 and kept their streak of getting to bowl games alive.
If this is the end of the Stoops era, he will exit Lexington as the winningest coach in Kentucky football history with an overall record of 73-64 (Best finish of 2nd in the East three times) in his 11 years as the head coach.
Now, let’s discuss the potential loss of Stoops and what comes next for Mitch Barnhart and Kentucky Football.