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Michael Smith’s Ties to the Stoops Family Run Deep


Arkansas Athletics

Kentucky’s new wide receivers coach will be working with familiar faces this fall.  Since he started playing college football, Michael Smith has had a close relationship with the Stoops family.

“I’ve known the Stoops family since I was 18 years old,” Smith said at today’s introductory press conference. “In 1989 Bob Stoops coached me at K-State…Mike and I worked together when I was at Kansas State.  And you asked about Mark Stoops, I played against Mark my freshman year when he was at Iowa and I was a freshman receiver at Kansas State.”

Unfortunately, Smith never got to go one-on-one vs. Mark.  “He was a deep safety. I was in the slot. He was way back. He didnt want to come up,” Smith laughed.  “I will say this — they beat the crap out of us that day.”

When Smith started playing for the Wildcats, he was a walk-on for one of the worst programs in all of college football.  He left Kansas State as one of the best to ever play wide receiver in the Big Eight for a program on the rise.  The resurrection of Kentucky’s program mirrors what Smith witnessed at Kansas State.

“I just think the job that Mark and the staff have done in getting these guys improved every year, I think that’s something you can build on.  As a player, I came from a program that was at the bottom of college football, so I’ve been trained that way, to get better everyday.  What Coach Stoops and the staff has done here is that.”  He added, “If you can get your team to do that and keep making progress each year, I think you’re heading in the right direction and that’s something I obviously wanted to be a part of.”

Smith has spent many years coaching with the Stoops family, but his biggest influence was Bill Snyder.  The Hall of Famer gave him his first job in 1995.  Smith spent the next 12 years working at his alma mater.

“Besides my dad, he’s the most influential man I’ve had in my life.  I owe everything I am as a football coach to Bill Snyder.”

Before Smith got into coaching, he spent a few years in the NFL.  One of his favorite teammates was the first to call him about the coaching vacancy at Kentucky, Vince Marrow.

“We were in Kansas City together.  Vince was a big man like he is now,” he said with a smile.  “We had a lot of fun when we were in Kansas City to gather.  He was actually one of my real good friends on the team.  When they traded him and let him go, I was a little upset, but it’s a business.  We’ve remained friends over the years and he was actually one of the guys that called and said, ‘Smitty, we want you over here.'”

Smith couldn’t be happier to be back with Vince Marrow and Mark Stoops.

“I got such great respect for their family and their story.  I’m excited to be here.  Mark and I got to work together in Arizona for two years. When this opportunity came open, I reached out to him and said I’d be very interested in becoming a Kentucky Wildcat.  We worked the thing out and I’m just ecstatic to be here.”

Article written by Nick Roush

"Look upon the doughnut, and not upon the hole." @RoushKSR

19 responses to “Michael Smith’s Ties to the Stoops Family Run Deep”

  1. 4everUKblue

    I seriously doubt anyone gives a [email protected] how many views The Hammer has had. What’s the obssession?

    1. J-Dub421

      He paid a bunch of money for advertising, I’m assuming.

    2. 4everUKblue

      I would guess you’re right JDub

  2. Eazy

    I love this hire. Snyder is about as good a mentor as you can have.

  3. kydrummer

    Just based on this interview, I like this guy!

  4. bigbluenation90

    Stop being negative guys we have a bright future ahead of. A lot of 6 win seasons and competing!

    1. UK Big Board Update

      Get a life, Chris.

    2. 4everUKblue

      I thought he was Slater.

  5. ilovekaturday

    If he’s a good mentor maybe he can get ahold of Jordan jones.

    1. Patrick_David

      “……Oregon reject….”. Stop being a Richard-Head….please. Life is too short to go through as a pilgarlic.

    2. UK Big Board Update

      You ever been to Crittenden, KY? Its a shithole, full of shithead people. katurday just proves it.

    3. ilovekaturday

      Yeah never been there. So way to sound dumb. Thumbs up.

    4. 4everUKblue

      Sounds like you live there katurday….Are you really Slater?

  6. runningunnin.454

    I see trolls, and I think they’re conjoined twins. They must share a brain…a small one.

  7. bigbluenation90

    Hopefully he can develop some good wide receivers for our Oregon reject QB

    1. runningunnin.454

      Don’t say “our”, pervert.

    2. 4everUKblue

      Just stop it Slater.

  8. Alleykat16

    Lets see what he can do I’m ready for football can’t wait til spring

    1. DelrayCat

      Yes, I am much more optimistic about the future of UK football than roundball….relatively speaking.