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Some Tidbits on the Mark Stoops Decision

From my perspective, the hire of Mark Stoops today by UK represents a tremendous step forward for the Kentucky football program. After three weeks of searching and narrowing a list, Mitch Barnhart ended up zeroing in on Mark Stoops and finalizing a deal. The basics of the agreement were finalized on Monday evening and Stoops was announced today as the newest football leader of the Big Blue Nation. Others on KSR have written about Stoops and what he means to the program, but after talking with a number of sources close to the process, a few tidbits about the search are worth reviewing:

1. Major Facility Renovation Was Part of the Hire

Multiple sources have told me that the biggest worry that Mark Stoops had about the Kentucky job was the state of the Kentucky football facilities in comparison to the rest of the SEC and the commitment by the program to their upgrade. Barnhart assured Stoops that a major investment in UK football facilities was planned and that they were working towards a bonding request for this next Kentucky legislative session. This assurance followed meetings in the last two weeks between Barnhart and former players/football donors, detailing the types of renovations that are to be done and the requests that will be made to Frankfort. This will be a big focus over the next couple of months and was part of the sell to Mark Stoops.

2. Stoops Reached Out to Kentucky and Had a Plan for UK

A source tells me that Mark Stoops was on Mitch Barnhart’s list of those he wanted to consider, but that Stoops impressed the UK AD the most by affirmatively reaching out for the job. Stoops, through representatives, made it known he was interested in the UK job and believed he could win here. Multiple sources confirm to KSR that he produced a plan as to how to make UK a winner in the SEC. I was told that those involved in the search were “blown away” by how much Stoops had put into his plan and his explanation as to why UK can compete. He said he believed there was nothing stopping UK from being competitive in the SEC and his confidence was a true selling point for the group. In addition, Stoops gave a list of 2013 football recruits that he believed he could get to come to Kentucky if hired, and noted the areas of the country that he would focus on in the future. The detail of his plan and his exuberance in getting started was potentially the greatest selling point in Stoops’ favor.

3. The Timeline of the Hire

Kentucky narrowed its initial search list down to 6 candidates by early last week. The list at the time included Butch Jones, Sonny Dykes, Mike MacIntyre, Gary Andersen, Mark Stoops and a NFL guy. UK never felt like the interest from Dykes was complete and he fell by the wayside, as did the mysterious NFL name that I was never able to confirm. The UK folks focused in on their top three candidates, Jones, Stoops and MacIntyre. As they talked to each of the three candidates, Jones expressed an interest to look at other jobs, specifically the opening at Tennessee. He was left as part of the process but Kentucky’s goal of finalizing early before other schools selected their coaches made the union incompatible. That left Kentucky with its two top candidates, MacIntyre and Stoops. Barnhart had a close connection with MacIntyre, thanks to the recommendations of mutual friends Bill Parcells and David Cutcliffe and he was impressed with the way he built up the San Jose State program. However, like the others involved in the search, Barnhart was impressed with Stoops’ plan and the energy that he brought to the process. As one source told me, “no one wanted this job more than Mark Stoops. UK didn’t need to sell it to him, he wanted to grab it and take it. And I think Barnhart really liked that a lot.” The desire to win and the eagerness for the position was ultimately what the biggest selling point. The two sides negotiated on Sunday and a finalized offer was made on Monday afternoon, which was then accepted on Tuesday morning.

4. Coaching Staff

A Florida State source told me today that Stoops was told he would have a “substantial budget” to go after his Assistant coaching staff, including a large salary for a top-of-the-line Offensive Coordinator. No decision has been made at this time on who that will be, but Stoops received assurances from Barnhart that he would have “whatever support financially he needs to succeed.” I am told Barnhart gave that promise with no equivocations and that Stoops believes he can produce a top-notch staff quickly in Lexington.

5. The Timeline in Lexington

Mark Stoops is going to coach in the ACC Championship game on Saturday and then come to Lexington on Sunday for a press conference. A final decision has yet to be made on whether he will coach in the Florida State’s bowl game. I am told that will in part depend on which game it is and the opponent that the Seminoles will be scheduled to play. If he ends up not coaching in the Bowl game, he will immediately begin work in Lexington on building a staff and recruiting for the 2013 class. If he coaches, he will split time until after the game. Kentucky has given him the ability to do either and it will ultimately be his choice.

In my view, Kentucky got a potential great one today and more importantly, showcased a desire to finally put an investment into UK football that it deserves. A lot will depend on the facility upgrade plan that goes to Frankfort in January, but if it passes as all hope, today could be the start of a new era in Kentucky football.

Article written by Matt Jones

107 Comments for Some Tidbits on the Mark Stoops Decision

  1. Chris
    8:57 pm November 27, 2012 Permalink

    When was the last time we were excited for football season a month into basketball season?

  2. Jake_GOCATS
    8:59 pm November 27, 2012 Permalink

    Probably the early 1950s

  3. joechamberlain
    9:01 pm November 27, 2012 Permalink

    My prediction for Kentucky in 2013 – 9-5 or 10-4 – Outback or Chick-fil-A Bowl winners!

  4. mores
    9:02 pm November 27, 2012 Permalink

    I was a 9.5 out of 10 in excitement when the hire was announced. This read made it a 10.

  5. joechamberlain
    9:02 pm November 27, 2012 Permalink

    9-4 or 10-3*.. might not make SEC title game.

  6. Heath
    9:02 pm November 27, 2012 Permalink

    Boo Yah!
    I’m ready to run thru a brick wall right now!

  7. Robman181
    9:03 pm November 27, 2012 Permalink

    You were right Matt, props. Mitch got it done.

  8. My-big-thang
    9:04 pm November 27, 2012 Permalink

    Any idea when the renovations would begin??

  9. RealTalkk
    9:06 pm November 27, 2012 Permalink

    I am ecstatic with this hire! Stoops seems to be exactly who, and what we need in beginning to become competitive in the SEC on a regular basis. In his 3rd year, I will expect atleast 4 conference wins. If that happens, I couldn’t ask for anything more. GO CATS!!!!!!!!!!!

  10. cconhhi
    9:07 pm November 27, 2012 Permalink

    UK should start taking deposits on season ticket packages on tomorrow. Gotta imagine there will be good interest.

  11. J. Fritz
    9:07 pm November 27, 2012 Permalink

    Thanks for all the great coverage during the coaching search. I haven’t been this excited for Kentucky football in a long time. For the first time I can remember I honestly believe we could be a legit SEC contender. My friend Andrew McCarthy (one of the KSR college writers) and I have been huge UK football fans and have been talking a lot about the coaching search. We both agree that UK ended up with the best coach possible. Stoops brings instant credibility to UK on the recruiting trail which is the only way we can climb up SEC ladder. Today has been a Great Day for UK football!

  12. idk
    9:10 pm November 27, 2012 Permalink

    Anybody think he kind of favors Petrino from the side?

  13. Fecesforbrains
    9:10 pm November 27, 2012 Permalink

    So so excited ill be 50 when we tee it up again and never been so giddy … 5 months till blue white.. And a long time till end of August .. I mentioned mark stoops early but couldn’t get any traction with y’all fellow forum creepers .. UK has made a monumental hire and BBN is rabid and ready to support mark stoops lets be realistic let the man do his work and good things will come.. Welcome stoops family you will love central Kentucky and we already love you!!

  14. DB11
    9:11 pm November 27, 2012 Permalink

    Absolutely awesome. I am incredibly excited for the coming years. This also sparks my curiosity about Rupp and the progress that is being made (or not being made).

  15. Taco
    9:12 pm November 27, 2012 Permalink

    Neal Brown is the new OC at UK. A tremendous hire for the Cats. In Stoops and Brown we trust.

  16. Bulldawg
    9:15 pm November 27, 2012 Permalink

    It seems like stoops is ready to grab the bull by the horns. That is exactly what UK needs. A coach with a plan and confidence in his plan. It also doesn’t hurt that he will be bringing recruits with him. It would be nice to see him recruiting that Quick kid from Trinity and take back the city of louisville in recruiting. Man, I really hope this works out for the Cats because I love football so much and this year was tough love. Let’s all support “The Cats under Stoops.”

  17. EyeStoopedMyPants
    9:15 pm November 27, 2012 Permalink

    I am stoked! This guy is EXACTLY what we need. In Stoops we trust!

  18. GeePee
    9:15 pm November 27, 2012 Permalink

    I love an open checkbook!

  19. StormyCat
    9:15 pm November 27, 2012 Permalink

    The key to all of this is the ability for them to be able to get the Legislature in Frankfort to help them. That being the case, they would be wise to hook up with former Cat player Grayson Smith in some capacity to lobby on their behalf. He is very popular in both the Senate and House in Frankfort.

  20. Blue Bayou
    9:17 pm November 27, 2012 Permalink

    Everyone, from ESPN to the Courier Journal to Sporting News, etc. EVERYONE gave Matt credit for having it first. Fantastic hire, and great coverage of the search by this site.

    Congrats to KSR for a job well done and congrats to UK on a top-caliber coach. GO BIG BLUE!

  21. Jerry T
    9:17 pm November 27, 2012 Permalink

    16. U mad bro?

  22. J.J.
    9:17 pm November 27, 2012 Permalink

    This picture reminds me of Drew the guy that did the O-face from Office Space.

  23. wildcatfan1881
    9:18 pm November 27, 2012 Permalink

    Mitch came thru on this hire. i believe the football program is on its way up. I just want to thank Mitch for a great hire and getting behind the football program. I also want to thank Matt and KSR for the great info that they have given us during this process. I enjoy reading the articles on this site and will continue do do so.

  24. Ballz
    9:18 pm November 27, 2012 Permalink

    Any word about Jokers’s plans yet Matt

  25. rupp
    9:18 pm November 27, 2012 Permalink

    14 – The Rupp District is actually moving along quite nicely and a lot of stuff behind the scenes is happening. They hired a Manager for the project and also recently hired international firm (Conventions, Sports & Leisure International) to begin putting together a financial study that should be done by March. I don’t expect construction to start until at the earliest early 2014 though. You can to for more info on what is happening.

  26. UKBlue
    9:19 pm November 27, 2012 Permalink

    Maybe this will be the thing that gets big money donors to start giving donations to UK football along with basketball.

    Having that new SEC Network money that is going to be coming helps with the open check book.

  27. NJT Wannabe
    9:19 pm November 27, 2012 Permalink

    How did he have time to come up with such an elaborate plan? This does not bode well for Kentucky. Stoops did prove one thing to UK: he sure can lose a rivalry game because of the distraction of building a plan FOR ANOTHER SCHOOL. The same school that sent FSU packing nearly 5 years ago.

  28. Matt in Franklin
    9:21 pm November 27, 2012 Permalink

    …so what happens if the state doesn’t approve the money?

  29. Wildcatsteeler
    9:21 pm November 27, 2012 Permalink

    I’m really excited. We are set at QB next season and the offense can score. I’m confident he can get the most out of our D. I can see us getting 6 wins and a bowl game 1st season. If he manages to bring their OC also this will be a homerun of epic proportions.

  30. Harlanhick
    9:21 pm November 27, 2012 Permalink

    I must say that this hire is impressive. I was very doubtful, but so far, it looks to the best hire.

  31. Bollox
    9:23 pm November 27, 2012 Permalink

    #29) Stoops leaves and we bring Joker back.

  32. Next Step
    9:23 pm November 27, 2012 Permalink

    Matt, congrats on breaking the news. I know that’s a “big ****ing deal” (to quote our Vice President). Now, will y’all please
    please PLEASE consider making the comments section truly SIGN IN ONLY so we can weed out some of the truly hateful
    vitriol both toward you, Matt, toward KSR in general, and toward the University of Kentucky and her fans, collectively?
    It really is sad how much hate gets poured into this place, when the people behind it are such kind people who do so
    much for us as fans, and for UK. There’s got to be a better way to do this, that can maybe up the decency scale a bit.

  33. Linda Taylor
    9:25 pm November 27, 2012 Permalink

    28 – Did you read the post earlier from I believe it was Helen saying she was at the KSR remote this morning and was 99.999% sure Stoops was going to be our coach by the way Matt was acting. He was having a very difficult time keeping the secret.

  34. Bomb
    9:26 pm November 27, 2012 Permalink

    Great post Matt

  35. Old Pogue Bourbon
    9:26 pm November 27, 2012 Permalink

    During the special radio show today, you touched on the outstanding manner in which Mitch Barnhart conducted himself while enduring a tremendous amount of unwarranted criticism. On behalf of fans such as myself, please convey to Mr. Barnhart our admiration and gratefulness for a job well done. I am thankful a man of such tremendous integrity represents UK.

    Additionally, you as well deserve a similar acknowledgment. You made every attempt to steer the dialog toward a more civil tone in the face of comparable vilification by the lunatic fringe. I dare say that the initial excitement you displayed regarding the coaching search will be somewhat tempered should we do this again anytime soon.

  36. DT from georgetown
    9:27 pm November 27, 2012 Permalink

    I wish we played this weekend. Good job Mitch,you got one of the best available and thats all you can do.As Matt would say I’m ,,,”very excited”

  37. Davis
    9:29 pm November 27, 2012 Permalink

    Stoops has offered OC job to James Coley. Should know verdict soon via twitter.

  38. UKBlue1!
    9:31 pm November 27, 2012 Permalink

    I can’t believe #3. Have you watched the players during the last 2 years? This is a complete rebuild job. UK plays in the SEC. Vandy is no longer a creampuff and the Eastern division might be better than the West. UofL/WKU will be tough non-conference games for this team. We will be lucky to win 3 non-conference games. Do you really think this coach should be responsible for taking a bunch of slow and under sized players to a 9-3 record? 4-8 will be a good coaching job. 6-6 great and any more wins coach of the year canidate. The talent is not there. He is going to have to recruit 3 classes before we have a chance of winning 8-9 games. The hire beats Fulmer or Cutliffe but I believe Petrino would have been the best hire.

  39. Bob Knight
    9:34 pm November 27, 2012 Permalink

    Looks like IU has all the morons out tonight and of course the shot is being brought up.

  40. bigbluejon
    9:34 pm November 27, 2012 Permalink

    Arkansas has offered Les Miles 5 yrs. $27 million

  41. Booger
    9:35 pm November 27, 2012 Permalink

    Its a shame that Mitch and the University didn’t give prior coaches a chance to win by throwing all the money around that it looks they are about to. I’m all for the hire——but it kind of slaps the “hard workers” in the face that had to work so hard just to keep their head above water. This goes back in the 60’s. I’ll always be a big blue fan and hope they win and contend in the SEC…………but at the same time I was a fan of all the coaches in the past. I just wish they gave Joker all this when he took over because he gave his all to this program………..when evidently the program didn’t give to him!!!!!!!!!! And he was one of there own!!!! Think about that. Go Big Blue!!

  42. Les Miles
    9:35 pm November 27, 2012 Permalink

    Damn! The Hogs really like me

  43. DeepBlue
    9:39 pm November 27, 2012 Permalink

    Agree with #19. Grayson would be a HUGE asset for the program and university in getting what they need through the political process.

  44. CATfish
    9:39 pm November 27, 2012 Permalink

    Louisville fans hate this hire. One the other hand, WHO GIVES A CRAP ABOUT THOSE TWETTY BIRDS!?!?

  45. sonny lesbos
    9:40 pm November 27, 2012 Permalink

    im gonna be interviewing at nc state. nc st prob cant do any better than me

  46. Steve Fitts
    9:41 pm November 27, 2012 Permalink

    Mitch went the Tom Jurich route–hire a well-respected and experienced coordinator from the state of Florida with recruiting connections all over the strongest HS football state in the nation. Anybody else out there notice the irony of this hire–how similar it was to U of L’s hiring of Charlie Strong?

  47. Booger
    9:41 pm November 27, 2012 Permalink

    Tennessee just offered Shreck 5 years @ 900,000 per

  48. Booger
    9:44 pm November 27, 2012 Permalink

    46-This isn’t the Big East——–this is the SEC. Heck, if we was in the Big East this year we might have won 5-6 games.

  49. Skitters
    9:46 pm November 27, 2012 Permalink

    Hahahhahha. Quit acting like you have sources other than barnie. He tells you what to say, so I don’t know how much of a source that is. Also, know that you steal info from other sites, which called the hire earlier today. So have your fun acting like you broke a story.

  50. burgur
    9:47 pm November 27, 2012 Permalink

    Dear Mike Stoops –

    Hire an offensive mastermind. Get ingrained with all the High School Coaches in the state of Kentucky. Take a full tour of the state and don’t leave any of them out of a chance to get your handshake. They want to know they matter to you… and even though many of them can’t deliver you much, every once in a while young bucks rise. Be their first choice. Reach out to all the past Wildcats, they can help you get connected throughout our previous recruiting trails.

    Please get rid of the checkerboard on the jersey sleves. It’s hideous.

    Also, remove the stripe from the center of the helmet. The rest of the helmet is perfect.

    Throw the damn ball down the field. Pick an Offensive Coordinator who understands what putting a DB on an island is all about. If you get this hire right, you will have the fanbase in your hands.

    You come from coaching pedigree so you know special teams is critical.

    Kentucky Wildcat Faithful doesn’t want to be sold anything. Do your thing, tell us what you want to tell us, and let’s start putting SEC opponents in their seats. It’s been 60 years since we’ve had that resolve.

    Joker filled the locker room with a lot of young talent to work with. Remember, he’s one of us. Do us proud.

    Good luck!

  51. burgur
    9:47 pm November 27, 2012 Permalink


  52. Realist
    9:47 pm November 27, 2012 Permalink

    Well said 41!! If Stoops has half the class joker has then we may be on to something. Joker may have a tough road but the university never gave him the tools to achieve. I am gad that Barnhart finally saw the light. Even though it was probably forced upon him. I hope the kids stay and win. Good luck stoops and go blue!!

  53. Dee Sanders
    9:48 pm November 27, 2012 Permalink

    I think Stoops is inheriting a better team than most think. Bud Dupree is a stud, Demarcus Sweat has all SEC talent, we have 3 more than capable QB’s, JOSH CLEMONS will hopefully be good to go in the Spring, ETC ETC ETC. Our young guys got A LOT of experience this year and will be more confident next year. IM FREAKING PUMPED about this hire and the next few years. I predict an 8-6 season with a win in the Music City Bowl. Gotta be at least .500 next season, its clear that we do have talent on this team, it’s just young. Stoops has his work cut out for him, but its doable.

  54. TheBigToe
    9:50 pm November 27, 2012 Permalink

    Coach Stoops,

    Welcome to BBN. Now let’s beat the shit out of Louisville, Tennessee, and Vandy next year.


    PS Stay off the message boards. There are some real jewels on them.

  55. R.C.
    9:51 pm November 27, 2012 Permalink

    I dig the Stoops hire for all of the reasons pointed out by KSR. My only concern is whether Frankfort will cooperate. While I recognize the limitations in making UK football relevant in the SEC, I can’t help but feel that with the right financial investment in facilities, Stoops can be very successful here.

  56. Joe
    9:51 pm November 27, 2012 Permalink

    Because Mitch Barnhart made this hire and because he did not hire Bobby P. I am leaving the state and moving to whatever state hires Bobby P. May I crash on one of your couches until my final destination is confirmed?

  57. redheaded stepchild
    9:53 pm November 27, 2012 Permalink

    Just wanted to say, Matt applied pressure on Mitch this past summer, THANKS. I think that the power of the fan base is finally being heard through KSR.
    THANKS MITCH for proving a lot of people wrong by showing the SEC we are here to play. Mitch GETS IT!

  58. TheBigToe
    9:53 pm November 27, 2012 Permalink

    Hey Joe, GTFO.

  59. Badams
    9:56 pm November 27, 2012 Permalink

    Why are some of you still caught up on Petrino? He wasnt all that interested in coming here. Which would you rather have, a coach that has to be begged or one who wants to be the coach and lead this program…I’ll take the second, especially since he’s qualified. Great hire. Cant wait to see what he does with this young team.

  60. Funky Monkey
    9:58 pm November 27, 2012 Permalink

    It’s super huge that HE WANTED to be here, no begging those other guys. A whole different vibe in having the job.

  61. JBR
    9:58 pm November 27, 2012 Permalink

    41 & 52…you can quit crying now and making excuses. Joker is gone, so you can give it a rest. It is obvious that you know nothing about football…nothing. There was not ever one reason to think that Joker could coach anything. He was atrocious…his enthusiasm and communications skills were that of a mortician. Just give it a rest, quit making excuses, and be happy that we have a real coach now.

  62. Badams
    9:58 pm November 27, 2012 Permalink

    41, we you play a boring offense and take no risks like this coaching staff did, it doesn’t matter how much money they had.

  63. Joe
    9:59 pm November 27, 2012 Permalink

    #58. Is that a couch offer? I can’t gtfo until Bobby P. has been hired, so how about your couch….
    Also, get your sarcasm meter checked it’s broken and stuck on “Crabby.”

  64. KT
    10:00 pm November 27, 2012 Permalink

    @49, pretty sure you are joking but which sites are you talking about? Best I can tell KSR beat everybody to the punch by hours on this one. They broke it extremely early and every site I’ve read since then (IDK – 10 or so) was time-stamped well after that.

    Way to go Mitch and UK. I’ve been waiting decades for UK to pump support into the football program like they do basketball. I seriously can’t sit still, I’m pumped about this guy each time I read something new.

    I agree Dee, there is some young talent on this team that was brought in over the last two years, he is definitely not starting with an empty cupboard. I think what they lacked was experience and the right mentality last year. Experience took care of itself due to all of the injuries. The mentality I believe Stoops may be able to instill in them.

  65. Han
    10:00 pm November 27, 2012 Permalink

    Wanted the job specifically (and so he knows what he’s getting and what he wants to do with it – maybe dreaming of being a big damn hero and making his own legacy the hard way), had a plan to win, a list of recruits he intends to get, demanded facility upgrades – all sounds good. Can’t wait to see him start to build this program and show improvement.

    Any rumors of substance on other coaching positions, specifically Defensive Coordinator? A couple big names on the net, or will he try to bring someone from FSU and promote them?

    41) Joker knew what he was getting and what Brooks had, and he did less with it. He didn’t have the fire off the field to do what needed to be done, and he didn’t get it done on the field. He needed to start somewhere lower as a headcoach, as he ultimately just doesn’t have the leadership chops yet for a head football coach. You can’t blame Mitch and Co. for all of Joker’s mistakes.

    52) Joker may not have had all the tools, but he and his staff didn’t prepare players, didn’t develop offensive players, and they didn’t make the calls on the field they needed to. He took a program that Brooks had playing consistently and made it worse almost immediately. That’s why he’s gone, not a lack of support from administration.

  66. Bulldawg
    10:00 pm November 27, 2012 Permalink

    No, I am not mad jerry t. and you aint my bro…[email protected] My post was actually a positive post. moron.

  67. Joe
    10:00 pm November 27, 2012 Permalink

    41 & 52…when your colour commentator is pulling his hair out at your play calls; I think we’ve got a problem money couldn’t fix…

  68. dave
    10:00 pm November 27, 2012 Permalink

    46-first off, you dont know what ironic means.
    second, mr bozich, you do realize there have been other schools to hire big time coordinators from state of florida before UofL, right?
    bob stoops: UF DC to OU HC
    mark richt: FSU OC to UGA HC
    if anything we are copying oklahoma.

  69. Han
    10:01 pm November 27, 2012 Permalink

    49) If MJ is Barney’s mouthpiece, why do so many people doubt his sources?

    People with agendas like you don’t even see how illogical their conspiracy theories are.

  70. Disco
    10:01 pm November 27, 2012 Permalink

    57 — you kiddin me? All they did all summer was praise mitch. No pressure at all. When you are a mouthpiece, you can’t apply pressure. Mitch pre-screened the questions to make sure they fit an agenda

  71. Delusions of Grandeur
    10:02 pm November 27, 2012 Permalink

    Dear Coach Stoops:

    My screen name is burger and I never wanted you in the first place (I even messed up you name the first time) yet I think so highly of myself that I am giving you plenty of advice, especially important is the advice about our uniforms. I promise I will be back to blast you because you aren’t my precious BP.


  72. Disco
    10:03 pm November 27, 2012 Permalink

    69- that’s an ignorant statement. Barnie doesn’t tell him everything. He knows matt will blab so matt only gets whatever barnie wants to get leaked. It’s not difficult. Hey, you hear uk has cooled on young, harrisons are going to maryland, towns is headed to florida, teague goin to louisville, mamadou gonna commit soon? That’s why people doubt.

  73. Will Totten
    10:06 pm November 27, 2012 Permalink

    38 — Maybe I’m crazy but I for one think that there is a lot more talent on this team, especially on offense that people take for granted. The offense looked pretty good until Max Smith went down, then having 2 true freshman to throw into the fire didn’t help a whole lot. Josh Clemons and Jonathan George will be back next season at RB. You have probably the deepest and arguably most talented receiving corps. since the Burton/Johnson/Tamme days with Demarco Robinson, A.J. Legree, Demarcus Sweat, and Daryl Collins all with 2+ years of eligibility left.

    On defense Bud Dupree, Avery Williamson, Khalid Henderson will all be back. Not to mention the 3 Freshman DB’s Harmon, Tiller, and Quinn that all got substantial playing time this year, and each had individual flashes of brilliance. Marcus Caffey should also be back from academic suspension, which will help ease the loss of Neloms. Hopefully, we will also get to see what a healthy Glenn Faulkner can do at safety 3 years removed from being an Army All-American. I know Stoops runs a 4-3 with Cover 2 which should be a benefit given the speed we have at the LB position.

    I guess what I want to say is, I don’t expect to see UK go to a bowl next year, but it also would not surprise me one bit. I don’t think this team was a legitimate 2-10, it had a lot to do with injuries at key positions and youth. But those things that ruined this past year could actually do a lot for our team’s depth this year. Hell, maybe even 1-2 of FSU’s recruits from their 12th ranked recruiting class may jump ship and contribute, who knows. But I’m excited about football in Lexington again, and I won’t sleep on the Stoops yet.

  74. Joe
    10:06 pm November 27, 2012 Permalink

    I am pleased to see the Mitch and Matt H8te is unabated…of course hating Barnhart is fruitless, but go ahead…but the Matt hate is interesting. My advice Skitters & Disco is to leave the site, because even in hating on him, you had page views, unique hits, and increase either his actual profits or potential profits, by making the site more attractive to advertisers.

    But continue on to insult the host of the website, because he is laughing all the way to the bank.

  75. Disco
    10:09 pm November 27, 2012 Permalink

    74 – I didn’t know matt was the only writer on this site. Does he just go by different names? I enjoy drew franklin’s posts. You jonesies are just like the maggard fans you make fun of. Your leader is perfect and should not be criticized. Go to bed, hall monitor

  76. Joe
    10:10 pm November 27, 2012 Permalink

    This year’s team could have gone 6-6 or 7-5…WKU, Kent State, Samford, Vandy, Tennessee, and Arkansas were all teams near us in ability….and if we had just won ONE of the other 6, we’d have been 7-5.

    That was the appalling thing about this crew. The team has talent, I don’t see why they couldn’t be 6-6, 5-7 next year, with NO change in staff…with a change in staff we can hope for 6-6, 7-5, or at least 7-6 (counting a potential bowl)

  77. Joe
    10:13 pm November 27, 2012 Permalink

    Disco, if you hate Matt I’d move on…I don’t hang out at the Daily Kos or Huffungton Post complaining about and excoriating Markos Moulitsas or Arianna Huffington…what’s the point, my presence actually aids them, not hurts them…

    You don’t hurt Matt…and you guyz sound more butt-hurt and jealous…I mean do as you will, but just realize that most of us just point and laugh at your constant carping.

  78. Realist
    10:15 pm November 27, 2012 Permalink

    62 is brilliant and I’m sure is part of the program so we should all appreciate his views. Just point g out that we will finally get new renovations at the expense of a fired coach. I’m defined not worried about Joker’s future. He will have a pick of jobs. Stoops will also have a great bunch of experienced kids to build on. Barnhart has his back against the wall so he now has an open checkbook. 62 will now give us his position with university so he can educate us all on how the new changes will insure a winning program. I’ve been thru so many coaches that I can’t even remember all the names but I can guarantee none had any more respect for the university and kids more than Joker. Hate it didn’t work out but he didn’t win so he is gone. I hope stoops is very successful but if he is then I will bet he is gone quickly. Double edged sword.

  79. Clam
    10:15 pm November 27, 2012 Permalink

    I bet the “Barnfart” folks will be disappointed if Stoops wins, even though they claim to love UK so much. At least Barnhart is trying to do something positive and TAKE RESPONSIBILITY for his actions, rather than spread negativity constantly, anonymously online, with no repercussions.

  80. Disco
    10:16 pm November 27, 2012 Permalink

    77 — or trolling is more fun because you waste time responding. In my land, we laugh at you.

  81. burgur
    10:20 pm November 27, 2012 Permalink

    #71 – Delusions of Grandeur – I never said anything about Stoops.

    I hold people accountable for their records. Posting statistics, wins/losses, comparisons of records… you know, what you do when you want to value something based on substance and not just opinion?

    Hold me accountable for my record. But don’t fabricate things, bend or skew, cherry pick, or inject FUD into the discussion and think it will fly as reality.

    Barnhart has taken a bigger risk IMO than he needed to take. We’ll leave it at that.

    In 3 years, let’s revisit. Until then, I will support my football team (just like my dad, grandfather, & his father did).

  82. Coal Money
    10:27 pm November 27, 2012 Permalink

    Everyone can thank me for this hire!

  83. BleedRed
    10:27 pm November 27, 2012 Permalink

    48. Don’t kid yourself, UK nor any SEC team beat a big east team this year, no there were no powerhouses played by BE teams, but you also lost to all bottom of the barrel SEC as well as WKU.

    9-5, 10-4, i’m not sure he truly knows what he is getting in to. Only you guys wiuld expect a guy to turn a 2-10 team into that in his FIRST season. Feel sorry for him already.

    Sounds like a good hire, hopefully will mean some good competitive rivalry games in the future. Stoops, bring it back to the first game of the season!

  84. Booger
    10:31 pm November 27, 2012 Permalink

    AHHHHHHHHHHHH……….Do I buy these high priced season tickets or do I put food on the table for my family? WE THE FANS WILL PAY BY BUYING TICKETS AND TAXES!!!!!!!!!

  85. CatnDallas
    10:36 pm November 27, 2012 Permalink

    I’m a die hard Kentucky fan and graduate; I’m so happy that we are finally commit to winning in football! Extremely excited; WTG Mitch! Great hire!

  86. Delusions of Grandeur
    10:40 pm November 27, 2012 Permalink

    burger you also feel so self-important that you are trying to give the new coach advice via a fan board as if it would even be welcome. The only two relevant words were Good Luck.

  87. Claude Bassett
    10:44 pm November 27, 2012 Permalink

    I intend to litigate on the grounds of discrimination againt fat people and people that wear straw hats.
    Everyone knows I should have gotten the job.

  88. Chip
    10:45 pm November 27, 2012 Permalink

    Stoops is a good hire, but please don’t build it up like he is the next big thing. Fans at Florida State couldn’t stand him and his defensive play-calling. Overwhelming amount of defensive talent but reports from Tally are that his players didn’t like him much. But he can recruit the south better than most anyone else being looked at. In the SEC you don’t win without recruiting the deep south. And recruiting at a high level. But let’s slow our roll on early expectations. It’s still the SEC and the players aren’t different. He’s not getting any real top talent this go around.

  89. UK4REAL
    10:48 pm November 27, 2012 Permalink

    Personally Matt, if you are correct in “Some Tidbits on the Mark Stoops Decision”, then I don’t like this hire, and I don’t like the way Mitch conducted this search, or his reasoning for his decision. Here are some of your points Matt… and some questions to ask yourself:

    I. “Stoops Reached Out to Kentucky…”
    Q: Did Bear Bryant “reach out to Kentucky” when we secured him as our head coach?
    Q: Did Rick Pitino “reach out to Kentucky” when we secured him as our head coach?

    A: NO! We (Kentucky) made up our mind about the type of coach we needed and we went out and SOLD “our program”, “School”, and “need” to them: WE reached out to THEM. It is apparent that Mitch did not spend the time or effort to GO OUT and SELL these attributes to GET A TOUGH HIRE… A BIG NAME WITH HIGH CALIBER EXPERIENCE. Instead, he let candidates reach out to him. Wow… can you imagine being a successful NFL or College coach being told “you need to sell yourself to us” by Mitch?

    II. “Major Facility Renovation Was Part of the Hire”…
    Q: We are spending money to renovate facilities, yet could not hire a coach with NFL / COLLEGE head coaching experience?
    Q: Who would you rather play for, Nick Saban at Alabama, Les Miles at LSU, FLORIDA, GEORGIA, or KENTUCKY and Stoops?

    A: You can build all the facilities you want, if you don’t have THE COACH to do the job… you will finish out of the race in the SEC. We did not hire THAT COACH today at UK.

    III. “In my view, Kentucky got a potential great one today”…
    Q: Who got who?
    Q: Since when does an ACC and PAC assistant coach make a great Pedigree for an SEC HEAD COACH???

    A). Kentucky, an SEC School, just hired a man with no head coaching experience, and a man who has NEVER coached in the SEC or NFL… but has padded stats from the PAC 10 and ACC?? Wow, is beating up on the Georgia Techs, the Dukes, and the UNC’s that impressive? Lets not forget, Florida finished 2nd in the SEC EAST, will not play for the SEC Championship this year, yet made Stoops and FSU did not stop their offense last weekend. The jury on Stoops’ “potential” for greatness is long out in the future.

    I am only one fan, but I think my points are at least something to think about.


  90. JLivermore
    10:59 pm November 27, 2012 Permalink

    Like the enthusiasm. Like the fact he has a “plan” for recruiting. That tells me that he, contrary to the wishes of most UK fans, is not going to try and out-recruit other SEC schools in their backyards. And I’m glad that UK is showing a commitment to football. No sport can be leveraged financially like football. If we could become legitimately competitive in football, combined with our basketball support, we’d be a top 15 or top 10 athletic program.

    Of course, we won’t know for a couple of years if this excitement is worth it or, as in the case of Billy G., premature.

  91. Carson Palmer
    11:00 pm November 27, 2012 Permalink

    Thought Raiders were serious about getting Stoops.

    That is it! Trade me or I am going to retire, again.

  92. goUKats
    11:05 pm November 27, 2012 Permalink

    The thing that is impressive about Stoops is that he wanted to be here,and that really means a lot.You have to be excited about the prospects with UK footbsll and the excitement generated with this hire. Whats really going to be exciting is to see how the staff is put together and the experience they can bring.

  93. CM Newton Field
    11:14 pm November 27, 2012 Permalink

    Any chance I can get a facelift as part of these facilities upgrades? Maybe some fresh turf with Blue end zones? Nice new UK logo at mid field? Some changes to the sidelines? I’m tired of looking like a basketball school field.

    Oh yeah, now that we have a coaching search out of the way.
    Can we paint that old light blue weather water tower?

    Peace out! Let’s ball!
    Go Wildcats!

  94. Vince
    11:15 pm November 27, 2012 Permalink

    Great hire, now let’s scrap the plan for the RUPP renovation and build the small dome on campus and play both basketball and football in a new and unique facility! How awesome would it be to have the only dome in the SEC and to be able to sell out the bigger basketball games with 50 thousand plus fans! Build a small dome that accommodates basketball better than any of the larger domes and we’ll be hosting Final Fours! Matt talk to Mitch and see if we can get this to happen!

  95. mashburnfan1
    11:16 pm November 27, 2012 Permalink

    Time will tell how well Stoops does and I hope he brings us to a level where we can compete to win the SEC. I know his defensive numbers look good but it was against very bad teams. Clemson and UF both scored 37 vs FSU this season. Even bad USF and NC State teams got 17 then Miami got 20 but that is a rival so I can see that. Vir Tech got 22 and they were not good. FSU shut out 2 horrible teams in Savannah St then Wake and Murray St got just 3 points. Look at their schedule here
    and you will see the only 2 good teams they played scored 37 on FSU. Not bashing the guy, I hope for our sake he does well but the numbers all of you are getting excited about are misleading. The real positive is the new energy and I think he has recruiting ties that will help us alot. A very good OC will probably be coming so things are looking good overall.

  96. KYMOJO
    11:22 pm November 27, 2012 Permalink

    I love the energy that this hire has brought to the team and BBN! He can thank big bro for alot of this support. Heck, I’m not gonna knock the pedigree. But, I’m most impressed with Coach Stoops’ research and efforts to become the next head coach. Frankly, I don’t imagine that type of presentation is made by many coaching candidates anywhere period! Who needs a search committee with prospects like Coach Stoops? If he surrounds himself with a great staff then I do believe this hire will work. Looks like we wont have to wait 5 years for a winning record.

  97. Islandgirl13
    11:24 pm November 27, 2012 Permalink

    Hell yeah we have a coach!! Not only do we have a coach but we have a good coach. Not only do we have a good coach but we have a good coach who WANTED the job! It’s time BBN to get behind our coach. Who cares what Louisville fans say or think about our great new hire? They should be worried about their own coach. Drop all the negativity and the should’ve could’ve would’ve talk. Doesn’t matter who else was in the race at this point because it’s over and we have our coach! So I’m going to lay my head down and say my prayers and sleep easy tonight knowing that MB did not drop the ball on this. Welcome Coach Stoops!!! WE ARE UK

  98. tyson
    11:25 pm November 27, 2012 Permalink

    89, are you kidding? you can’t be “4Real”

    1. I have sold myself several times to get a job. That is what happens in an interview
    2. I’m not sure really what you mean here, but the facilities haven’t been renovated yet. Remember, Coach Brooks was promised the same thing and that is part of the reason he left as soon as he did. He felt he wasn’t getting the support and upgrades he was promised.
    3. As several other people have already posted in the comments section, many successful coaches in the SEC came from lower tier conferences as coordinators. It happens all the time.

  99. BLUE MAN
    11:33 pm November 27, 2012 Permalink

    Super pumped.

  100. Thankful Fan
    12:23 am November 28, 2012 Permalink

    May God Bless Mitch B, Coach Cal, Coach Stoops….you are all great Americans!
    Also, thanks for the tireless work and reporting by Matt and the KSR Team….God Bless Gang!

  101. Uneeda Life
    12:48 am November 28, 2012 Permalink

    #89-Why don’t you tell us the name of the coach you would have hired and why? And just how you would have gone about it. You might get the attention of some University President who is looking to hire a genius as his next AD.

  102. Rich Brooks
    6:36 am November 28, 2012 Permalink

    Wow what a great great hire. Most of the bloggers on this site are young and do not remember that in late 1968 UK went out and hired one of the best defensive coordinators in the country. He came to Lexington stating and believing that UK would win not just SEC championships but also National Championships. There was a buzz with the UK fans like never before. Does that sound familiar? How many people remember John Ray? I hope this time it works out for us.

  103. bigbluelou
    8:21 am November 28, 2012 Permalink

    Agree 100% #61! !! We could have thrown all the money we wanted to at Joker but that wouldn’t change the fact that at best he was an average coach who hired average assistants. I honestly hope Stoops cleans house of the entire former staff (Woodson would be my only exception) and brings in better quality assistants. Need a fresh start with a new winning attitude. Go Cats!

  104. Reality check
    8:36 am November 28, 2012 Permalink

    I’m thrilled with the hire, but you all do realize that the state of Kentucky is about broke right? I’m wondering how much “renovation” the state can really afford.

  105. NotSatire
    8:48 am November 28, 2012 Permalink

    Seems like a great hire. Can’t wait to see the product on the field.

  106. GummyBear
    10:00 am November 28, 2012 Permalink

    104…the state of KY wouldn’t be paying for anything. The money would come from a bond issue to which the interest and pricipal payback would come from UK.

  107. kywildcat_96
    10:35 am November 28, 2012 Permalink

    89 – Our basketball coach reached out to us first and wanted the job….