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10 Takeaways from the Mark Stoops press conference

Kentucky football could only come up with two wins in 2012, but it added another win on Sunday afternoon when Mitch Barnhart and Eli Capilouto introduced Mark Stoops as the new head coach.  Stoops handled the elaborate press conference (complete with music, cheerleaders, and a fog machine!) as well as anyone could have, responding to each question with a confident swagger as to how he plans to take this program to the next level.  It was a near-perfect introduction into Big Blue Nation and one that has the fan base ready for some football.

Here are 10 takeaways from the afternoon in Nutter Fieldhouse.


1.  Stoops is excited to be a part of Big Blue Nation.

When asked what stood out to him about the Kentucky job, Stoops quickly and passionately responded, “THE BIG BLUE NATION.”

“It felt like a gameday,” he said of the atmosphere when he arrived to Nutter Fieldhouse.  “I’m here. I’m working for you now. I’m part of the Big Blue Nation and that’s where I want to be.”

2.  UK already has its defensive coordinator.

Mark Stoops said he has his defensive coordinator “targeted” and “ready to come” to Kentucky.  However, he wouldn’t reveal the names of any candidates, specifically staff members at Florida State, out of respect for their current players.

“It’s not fair to those players right now,” he said when asked about the likelihood of other Seminole coaches joining him in Lexington.

All signs point to current Florida State defensive line coach D.J. Eliot.  Multiple websites reported Eliot to UK late last week.

3.  He’ll begin interviewing offensive coordinators soon.

Stoops said he plans to begin the interview process for his offensive coordinator position very soon.  “I’m going to head out on the road and talk to people and get the offense started fast,” he said.

He called the offense his first priority and he has a few candidates in mind.  He’ll interview them about the position this week.

4.  The offense will be exciting.

Stoops knows it takes defense to win in the SEC; he’ll build the new foundation of the program around a strong, physical defense.  But that doesn’t mean the offense will be a ground-and-pound snoozefest.

“We’re going to have an offense that you guys are going to enjoy,” he said. “I promise you that.”

He plans to be creative with the offensive playbook.  Kentucky will have a physical presence, but it will spread it out and use some bells and whistles to get the run game going.

“We’re going to throw it around.”

RIP bubble screen.

5.  Return of the Air Raid?

Tim Couch, who played a big role in bringing Stoops to Kentucky, is pushing for Neal Brown to take the offensive coordinator job.  Couch was available to reporters after the press conference and he was very supportive of a potential Neal Brown hire.  The former UK quarterback’s advice goes a long way with Stoops in the OC search; Stoops said he will lean on Couch for some ideas.

Couch also said Patrick Towles should be “very happy” about Stoops’ plans for the offense.

6.  Ohio will get hit hard in recruiting.

Stoops plans to make the most of his connections in his home state.  He said he’s going to hit Ohio hard on the recruiting trail.

Kentucky will also be a priority, obviously.  He said he wants to “take care of our home” and keep the SEC caliber players from leaving the state.

After Kentucky and Ohio, Stoops said the Carolinas, Georgia, and Florida will get the most attention.

7.  Kentucky will use a 4-3 defense.

Sorry, Rick Minter.

The Cats will be very defined defensively and use a 4-3 personnel.

8.  Mark Stoops is a player’s coach.

“We’re going to work hard, train hard and do things right. The players are going to be accountable and dependable. I’m going to enjoy coaching them , they’re going to enjoy playing for us, and they’re going to hold their heads high walking around this campus.”

Stoops said he’s never had a problem with discipline and he doesn’t expect to here in Kentucky.  He called it his style to find different ways to motivate players and get them on board.

9.  Stoops has a plan: Win the SEC.

Mark Stoops isn’t kidding around about his goals for Kentucky football.  He wants to make it to the SEC Championship game and he wants to win it.

“We have what it takes to be successful here,” he said. “We need to develop it and turn Kentucky into a consistent winner.”

Tim Couch said he and Mitch Barnhart were impressed by Stoops’ thought-out plan before he was even hired.  Stoops already had a response and a plan for everything they asked him during the interview process.

10.  It didn’t take long for him to take a shot at Louisville.

Stoops said he will continue to help Florida State in any way he can as the Seminoles prepare for their bowl game… especially if they play Louisville.

“We’re going to embrace the rivalry and I’m really looking forward to it.”


And we’re looking forward to the Mark Stoops era of Kentucky football.

Go Cats.

Article written by Drew Franklin

I can recite every line from Forrest Gump, blindfolded. Follow me on Twitter: @DrewFranklinKSR

27 Comments for 10 Takeaways from the Mark Stoops press conference

  1. I Am Spartacus
    6:15 pm December 2, 2012 Permalink

    Looks like we have a winning pair in Coach Stoops and Coach Cal.

  2. Urban Meyer
    6:20 pm December 2, 2012 Permalink

    Ohio is going to get hard in recruiting? LOL. After Ohio State takes the best players, Michigan takes the second best, good luck fighting with the in-state MAC schools for sloppy thirds.

  3. LOL ^
    6:25 pm December 2, 2012 Permalink

    “Ohio is going to get hard in recruting” LOL Yeah, they gonna get hard alright. Now, run along…it’s past your bedtime.

  4. stoops troops
    6:25 pm December 2, 2012 Permalink

    Welcome to the Bluegrass coach! We’re behind you all the way!

  5. Floyd
    6:26 pm December 2, 2012 Permalink

    Need to own the Cincinati area.

  6. joejoe
    6:26 pm December 2, 2012 Permalink

    What about Coley?

  7. fireant
    6:28 pm December 2, 2012 Permalink

    Don’t forget, his brothers Bob and Mike are very familiar with Neal Brown and can give him all the info he wants about how good or not good Neal Brown is. If you remember the first thing Bob Stoops did when he went to OU was get Mike Leach as his OC. Stoops said Leach had the toughest offense to defend. If Neal Brown comes to UK it will likely be with the stamp of approval from the older Stoops brothers who know him well.

  8. Blue Jesus
    6:39 pm December 2, 2012 Permalink

    Of course we’re ready for some football, we haven’t seen any for a few years!

  9. kramer
    6:50 pm December 2, 2012 Permalink

    I will say I was Petrino or bust all along, but I was wrong, I think Stoops is going to do great!! I am excited about football, can’t wait for him to be introduced at a basketball game.

  10. UK for the Win
    7:02 pm December 2, 2012 Permalink

    What do we think the odds are that Neal Brown is the new OC? I really want that to happen…

  11. Han
    7:04 pm December 2, 2012 Permalink

    2) There’s plenty of guys everywhere who want to play in the SEC, and unless Alabama or LSU or Florida offers them immediate playing time, other SEC schools have a shot at them if they want to be a star in the SEC. Yeah, most homegrown players will want to play for OSU, or go to a Michigan if OSU snubs them, but there will be a lot of talent available to the right coaches and systems. To say nothing of finding the diamonds who get overlooked, one of the few things Joker did well (guys like Cobb and Trevathan).

  12. East Kentucky Infidel
    7:04 pm December 2, 2012 Permalink

    The best part was when Coach called Eli Doc. I knew then he was one of us. Let’s go hit Ohio!

  13. Han
    7:05 pm December 2, 2012 Permalink

    10) RR a couple of days ago had someone talking about Brown as OC and possibly getting Chad Scott as RB coach, which seems like it could happen if Brown comes. Scott played here for a couple years before transferring.

  14. Catlanta
    7:11 pm December 2, 2012 Permalink

    I’m still holding out for Brown as the OC, and Coley as Asst. Head Coach/Recruiting Coordinator. The rest will be gravy as far as I’m concerned!!!

  15. Bob the builder
    7:14 pm December 2, 2012 Permalink

    hey drew, saw you at the press conference today. you look fatter than you did the last time i saw you. your heart hates you.

  16. Mongo
    7:19 pm December 2, 2012 Permalink

    Hey 15 go roll in a hole and die you POS

  17. Duffus
    7:35 pm December 2, 2012 Permalink

    Duffus says: “It’s Football Time in the Bluegrass” Welcome Coach Stoops you are going to love it!!!!

  18. Bob the builder
    7:41 pm December 2, 2012 Permalink

    I also saw myself in a mirror today and realized my face looks like a dog’s a$$…I hate myself.

  19. Fecesforbrains
    7:49 pm December 2, 2012 Permalink

    Watched every second of the presser watched the you tube vids as they were released. I am sky high with this hire and actually if u search my posts back to either late sept or early October I was suggesting coach stoops . He is fiery determined well thought and planned folks what we have here is a winner and hr knows how to wring every ounce out if everyone . A motivator and a mind, I am hopeful he’s here 14 seasons from now going strong as his brother bob (this is Bobs 14th at OU) I so look forward to spring and hopefully uncle Matt will be getting us updates throughout the winter from the strength program. I personally feel this us an area needing massive overhaul!! Coach mentioned today we have to get stronger , folks we have a bunch of guys that can play decent ball imagine if they add 3 or 400 pounds to their big 3 totals between now and August .. Coachie has a big job ahead of him and he’s ready to turn this program 180* and bring pride to the BBN !! What a great hire and let’s all get behind him and our current players and new recruits . The new TRADITION starts now .. Lets put about 60K butts in seats for the spring game and let our appreciation be known ! GIVEM BLUE BIG HELL!!!

  20. sonny lesbos
    7:50 pm December 2, 2012 Permalink

    2013 uncommitted recruits to watch: (with scout rank)
    james quick lou, ky — #2 WR
    tarean folston cocoa, fl — #21 RB
    daylyn dawkins lou, ky — #33 RB
    ronnie dawson summit station, oh — #13 FB
    shelton gibson cleve, oh — #18 WR
    trenton brown milledgeville, ga — #30 OT (juco)
    kyle meadows w. chester, oh — #38 OT
    joshua outlaw lithonia, ga — #16 OG
    austin droogsma gulf breeze, fl — #43 OG
    aj jackson lovejoy, ga — #18 TE
    donovan munger cleve, oh — #24 DT
    naim mustafaa alpharetta, ga — #20 DE
    trey johnson lawrenceville, ga — #20 OLB
    george williams hialeah, fl — #45 MLB
    gareon conley massilon, oh — #17 CB

    all are long shot recruits. we’ll see if recruiting improves.

  21. Aaron McCollum
    8:14 pm December 2, 2012 Permalink

    YES THE AIR RAID!!! I would love to have it back in Commonwealth Stadium.

  22. matt
    8:25 pm December 2, 2012 Permalink

    Welcome to the bluegrass coach. Glad your here!

  23. Tired Of Being 1 of 12 Games
    8:47 pm December 2, 2012 Permalink

    I am looking forward to the #Stoops Effect on UK football.

  24. John From London
    9:46 pm December 2, 2012 Permalink

    The press conference was great! I like Stoops’ mindset, and his confidence in turning UK into an SEC contender.

    But, I think “bells and whistles” will entail bubble screens! HAHA!

  25. old_school
    10:20 pm December 2, 2012 Permalink

    Great news that Stoops has made recruiting Ohio a priority. I’ve been saying for years that UK needs to go north. It’s next to impossible to compete with all the other SEC schools, plus Clemson, Ga. Tech, Fla. St. Miami and others – we only get lefovoers in Fla.

    Hit Ohio – sell these kids on the chance to play in the SEC. Hit western Pa now that Penn State is on long-term probation.

    There’s a real door of opportunity for UK to get top players – and Stoops seems smart enough to try that door.

    I’m very excited!

  26. Grady Stumbo
    8:04 am December 3, 2012 Permalink

    “Let’s wait and see if he can win a game before proclaiming Stopps the next Bear Bryant..”

  27. Boomer
    12:30 pm December 3, 2012 Permalink

    Can you get me OU tickets?