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Stoops is Excited for Spring, Won’t Hold Fans’ Expectations Back

As we continue in this Bizarro world where Kentucky under Cal is on the bubble, and football is relevant in February, it’s only fitting that after last night’s busy day in basketball, we get a little soundbyte from Mark Stoops.

Stoops spoke yesterday to Saturday Down South/Courier Journal (who apparently made time between fielding calls about that Nerlens comic) about life at UK post-Signing Day:

You had to really hit the ground running – hire a staff, scramble to finish your first UK recruiting class – so have you caught your breath yet?

Yeah, yeah, starting to. I feel good, feel more and more settled each and every day. It feels good to get through one phase and start getting into the other. Really, this starts the exciting time: getting with the players, meeting with our players here and developing them, having a great off-season program and then gearing up for spring.

What has your average day been like since you were hired, in terms of hours?

You know, to be honest with you, it really never stops – even if you leave and go home. During that time, you’re on the phone with recruiting. So it’s hard to say, but it was from very early in the morning to very late at night. And that definitely didn’t stop until after signing day.

Stoops also spoke about his family’s relationship with Ohio, which, along with Florida, is a major recruiting target for Mark and Co., and is typically a hotbed of talent.  What’s the key with recruiting the Buckeye state?  “Relationships.”  That’s a pretty good thing for a guy whose dad was a former high school coach up near the Akron/Canton area.  Needless to say, as an Ohio guy who lived down in Florida, Stoops is probably pretty excited with the geography of the Kentucky job.

The best bit, though?  Stoops isn’t afraid to let fans’ imaginations run wild.  We’re used to getting the reins pulled back a bit with Coach Cal, who will be the first (and sometimes only) voice of reason when it comes to expectations.  We heard it last year early on, talking about how his team had so many improvements to make, and that they were still only freshmen.  In his first year, he made sure we knew he didn’t have a magic wand, and that he wasn’t the Grand High Poobah.  Stoops though, likely with knowledge that expectations for Kentucky football were already so far below those for Kentucky basketball, won’t tell fans to chill.

That’s not up to me. I would never do that. I would never put a governor on our team. We’re going to, again, go about our business, prepare to do the best we can each and every day. If that brings excitement to the fans, I love it, bring it on, because I’ve been very encouraged with the support and I think that’s really helped us with our program – with recruiting and with our own team, with our staff. We’re all in this thing together. We’re motivated. It’s been very encouraging to feel the excitement.

Bring it on?  Oh Stoops.  We’ll put the “lewd” in “deluded.”

Article written by Corey Nichols

28 Comments for Stoops is Excited for Spring, Won’t Hold Fans’ Expectations Back

  1. BNClay
    9:06 am February 21, 2013 Permalink

    I’d still am not getting to hyped about the upcoming season. In other news word is Chuck Hayes is getting traded.

  2. Coach Jamin
    9:16 am February 21, 2013 Permalink

    @1. People with your attitude make me sick. I’m not going to sit here and say we’re going to contend for SEC Championship next or the SEC East for that matter, but for the love of God and all that is holy can you people ever be happy about anything? Friggin support the team that is present or jump on over to the school down 64. Either way, Go Big Blue. Things are changing, and that includes the fans. Get with the program or get the freak out.

  3. Coach Crymin
    9:18 am February 21, 2013 Permalink

    2. Quit your sobbing.

  4. MtnCat
    9:19 am February 21, 2013 Permalink

    #1, have ye eyes but cannot see? Ears but cannot hear? Brain but cannot think?

    Stoops isn’t a faith healer, he is a builder. Kentucky has seen quite a few false gridiron prophets, this one is righteously capable.

    Run, don’t walk to Commonwealth Stadium and witness the birth of clarity and competitiveness. Our time is coming.

  5. inside info
    9:26 am February 21, 2013 Permalink

    Ask Stoops who is going to start under center. I guarantee if Max Smith is healthy, he starts. Stoops doesn’t like the attitude of one of the other QBs and his family.

  6. Ryne
    9:31 am February 21, 2013 Permalink

    I am sick of these fare weather fans. If your not fans when times are bad, your not a true fan your a bandwagoner.

    9:31 am February 21, 2013 Permalink

    #2 – are you going to sit here and say UK is going to compete for the SEC Championship ever? Are you going to do that?

    9:31 am February 21, 2013 Permalink

    Perspective folks.

  9. catlanta31
    9:32 am February 21, 2013 Permalink

    Whats up with the dance team? They got alotta extra weight flying around out there! ugh!

  10. Coach Jamin
    9:36 am February 21, 2013 Permalink

    @3. Sobbing? no. Just a real fan. I support em in the good and the bad times.

    @7. Yes. If this coach stays and isn’t just using Kentucky as a stepping stone, I see UK competing for SEC Championships in the future, within 5 to 7 years. And please don’t take that statement as a lack of faith in Coach Stoops intentions. But realistically, one of two things will happen. 1.) He builds a stable program here and a big boy calls his name in 3 or 4 years and he leaves or, 2.) He builds a stable program here, decides he loves it, stays, and builds it into a big boy. I’m hoping for the second option because I really like Stoops and his attitude and vision.

  11. El Pollo Loco
    9:50 am February 21, 2013 Permalink

    James Young out a couple weeks with a calf injury. Get better quickly young fella.

  12. East Kentucky Infidel
    9:51 am February 21, 2013 Permalink

    Stoops is relevant, capable, motivated, and determined.

    How many of times have these words been used to describe Kentucky football?

    This coach can do this. Let’s go!

  13. Rockfield, KY
    9:51 am February 21, 2013 Permalink

    This will be my first Spring Game and I don’t think I could be any more excited. I really need to move to Lexington.

  14. Robert12
    9:51 am February 21, 2013 Permalink

    I’m a huge uk football fan and I’m a huge uk fan in every sport whether we lose every game or not I’m still going to support and I’m excited about stoops and what he’s doin right now BUT when we hired joker as head coach he came off a year where he was being considered one of the rope offensive coordinators in the country and being at Kentucky was very difficult to do that stoops on the other hand was considered one of the top defensive coordinators at fsu which is alot easier so these one minded coaches can be hit or miss but stoops has better assistants than joker had so that will be the difference but after the whole joker saga I’m just gunna have to see the change in a few years to believe it but I will support no matter what cause that’s what ik does

  15. cats1
    10:06 am February 21, 2013 Permalink

    14- I ran out of breath reading your paratence. GBB.

  16. BNClay
    10:07 am February 21, 2013 Permalink

    What I should have said is that I am not getting over hyped about this season, but am very excited about the future. 6 wins and bowl game would be great season for Stoops this year.

    Also I agree wtih 5, unless there is huge improvement from one of the other guys, or Smith is hurt, got to start him. I don’t think it has to do with attitude though. Smith is just the best at this point.

  17. MustangCat
    10:07 am February 21, 2013 Permalink

    Stoops isn’t going anywhere. Our only concern is failure with him. Don’t see that happening. We will be a big boy by the time he thinks about listening, cause he won’t be looking. Loyalty runs in his family. He was raised right. I say we’ll be knocking at the door in 2-3 years. If QB play works out sooner rather then later, I could see us winning 8-9 games THIS year. Then, it’ll be 8-10 wins a year. Or more. I think the turn around will be dramatic and quick. The team will take on the coaches image, and we need to think about THAT one!! He has a will to win, supreme confidence, humility, never quit, won’t lose kind of image. THAT is what changes the atmosphere. I expect big things this year. He hasn’t made a bad move yet. When he won the wars over Hatcher, Timmons, Kemp, McWilson and such, I knew he was different. He’d rather build his own ladder then just climb it! When all these coaches jumped on board, left better more prestigious jobs?! Didn’t have think about it in doing so… That shows he builds and grows relationships. How many players said that the relationship carved out with them – at FSU – decided things for them?! I know how to read people pretty well. He’s not the user type. We need to buckle up folks. Mark my words on this.

  18. Houstonwildcat
    10:18 am February 21, 2013 Permalink

    5. Care to elaborate re attitude issue?

  19. bluristhurr
    10:35 am February 21, 2013 Permalink

    Get over the Nerlens comic thing KSR. You will make fun of other players but can’t handle one comic strip that said the truth.

  20. Kool aid drunks
    11:23 am February 21, 2013 Permalink

    #16 really? If Stoops gets 6 wins in year one, it is not a great season, it’s a miracle. If he gets 4 wins, he should get a contract extension. 5 wins he should get COY honors
    #17 lol you are delusional. Name your 8 or 9 wins this year. Better not just look at QB play…we will have overhauled O line. Better hope 1st and 2nd string QB survive 6 games into schedule. We ain’t beating Bama, Florida, Georgia, so carolina, miss st or Vandy this year. We will be prohibitive underdog vs. UofL. 4-8 will be an accomplishment and that’s no knock on stoops or the future. It’s the reality of what stoops has to work with. Great recruiting class, but only 4 or 5 of these guys will make an impact this year.

  21. MtnCat
    11:33 am February 21, 2013 Permalink

    Well stated #17. Let’s go.

    #14, you’re trying to drive looking thru the rear view mirror. Look straight ahead, put it in gear, and let’s go!

  22. MtnCat
    11:38 am February 21, 2013 Permalink

    # 20, Louisville is beat.
    Kentucky will not be an easy out in the SEC. Make bowl plans for this season, it’s coming.

  23. Corey Nichols
    11:50 am February 21, 2013 Permalink

    19 – Read it again, and you’ll see that I wasn’t supporting or demeaning the comic, just saying that it got them a lot of attention and probably phone calls. Maybe you should “get over” calling people out when you misunderstand something. I imagine that keeps you pretty busy.

  24. MustangCat
    11:55 am February 21, 2013 Permalink

    @20- your good. You keep your opinion there, cause i definitely don’t want it. Since we BOTH are projecting here, i’ll let you borrow 1/3 of my glass full, cause that still leaves me 1/2 full! Course your glass will only be 1/3 full even then?! Anybody else got some positive outlook for our friend in need here? I’m sure he’d appreciate it. And he sure needs it. And i didn’t even have to personally insult you. Don’t you feel better now?

  25. MustangCat
    11:57 am February 21, 2013 Permalink

    Go ahead 20, cuss a little. that at least gets the cerebral juices flowing. For some.

  26. UK football fan
    12:44 pm February 21, 2013 Permalink

    Thanks Coach Stoops for coming to Kentucky and bringing excitement back to the football program.

  27. HicksPickSix
    12:55 pm February 21, 2013 Permalink

    23 – Is Corey Nichols calling someone out about misunderstanding an issue? The pot calls the kettle black. Jet black.

  28. Corey Nichols
    2:15 pm February 21, 2013 Permalink

    27 – @coreynicholsKSR