The celebration is over but it can live on forever inside your home or office with this Final Four print from Stadium Frame. The 34×24 framed photo is matted with coins and features a shot of the Superdome court just after the final buzzer sounded to end Kentucky’s magical 2011-12 season. Go to www.Final4Prints.com to purchase the print you see here, or pick out another print or variation of this one from Stadium Frame.
— It’s over, folks. It’s all over. Mitch Barnhart made his hire and it’s receiving a warm reception thus far from Big Blue Nation. Florida State defensive coordinator Mark Stoops will replace Joker Phillips on the UK sideline next season in his first gig as a head coach. We’re told Stoops reached out to Kentucky about the job and wowed Barnhart in the interview with his enthusiasm and a plan to win the SEC, which he believes is a realistic goal. CBS’ national college football insider Jeremy Fisher called the interview “terrific.”
— The official press release from UK can be found below. A press conference will not be held until Sunday, likely at Keeneland, as Stoops is still in Tallahassee getting the Seminoles ready for the ACC Championship game against Georgia Tech. Mitch Barnhart and Tim Couch will also participate in the press conference to introduce Kentucky’s new coach.
— “I am thrilled to be named the head football coach at the University of Kentucky. My family and I are excited and looking forward to becoming a part of the Big Blue Nation,” Stoops said in the release. “I promise the faithful of the Big Blue Nation I will be focused and driven to create a positive, winning atmosphere for the program and an environment that all of Kentucky can be proud of.”
— With Stoops’ hire comes a whole new round of reports and rumors as he begins to build his staff. The first question fans want answered is who he’ll bring with him to run the offense. Could we see Florida State offensive coordinator James Coley? He would really get recruiting rolling with his ties in Florida. Or what about Texas Tech’s Neal Brown? Instant offense. Either of those would be solid hires.
— KSR’s one request: Keep Jarmon and Woodson around.
Stoops will be a tireless recruiter for Kentucky. He’ll re-energize the program. This was a good hire
— FootballScoop Staff (@footballscoop) November 27, 2012
— Be sure to tune in to 630 WLAP in Lexington this afternoon as Matt and Ryan host a special Mark Stoops edition of Kentucky Sports Radio radio. The guys will be on the air and taking your calls from 3:00 – 6:00.
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