Mark Stoops was introduced in front of a packed crowd at Nutter Fieldhouse that wasn’t in short supply of bells and whistles. His 5-year roughly 11 million dollar contract (plus incentives) will put him to work immediately.
– Mitch gave opening remarks, thanking Dr. Capilouto, board members, and Tim Couch who was surprisingly missing in action during the event that had plenty of tricks. “A Chance for new beginnings, Hope, and Belief we can move forward. Hopes and dreams to play in the game that was last night in Atlanta. Today we are bringing a man that participated in one of those Championships last night and they did OK, Congrats to them.”
– Dr. Capilouto gave a few words of thanks and briefly discussed monetary plans for the football program, but did so in a hoarse voice. “My voice is gone, not because of sickness but because I’ve been practicing my audition all week for Stoops’ Troops.”
Stoops began with enthusiasm, “This is What BBN is all about! Been hearing all about it appreciate being here; it’s a great honor.” He thanked his wife, ‘the coach at home’, and all of the players, coaches, and staff at FSU. “I liked the way we won out. I wanted to leave on the right note and give fans confidence from your new head football coach.” Here are some more remarks from your new coach:
On his family:
Many nights were spent watching film in our kitchen with my father, using the fridge as canvas. Iit made a big part of who I am. My Father would say follow to my heart and believe what is right. For me it was a no-brainer.
His goals for the program:
Kentucky has had success, the key will be builing on that and consistently take it to another level. A strong staff that will build on recruiting along with and administration that is committed to the program. We can play in the SEC Championship game. Not just play, but play and win it.
His plans for hiring a staff:
Interviewing a few OC’s real soon. Had a few conversations and I feel good about our prospects. Going to hit the road and put together my offensive staff first. I feel good about defense and I have my DC targeted, on board ready to go. I realize OC will be a critical posistion because of my defensive experience.
What kind of O?
Were going to have one that you’re going to enjoy, I promise you that. Where’s Tim Couch at? Where going to have one you’re going to be proud of; you have to be creative. I’m a defensive guy, this is SEC, and I know it’s physical. Have to build it with great defense, if we don’t build it you’re not going to win. The offense needs a guy that has a plan, been successful, and is creative (gets the bells and whistles going).
What specifically drew him to UK over other jobs?
THE BBN!!!!!!! I feel very good about UK. I felt comfortable with Mitch and confident with Dr. Capilouto’s and the board’s commitment to taking this to a new level. We have what it takes, now its our job to develop it into a consistent winner.
Role of Tim Couch in the interview process?
I talked to him on the phone and he was involved with one of the interviews. I understand Tim’s impact and I want to lean on him and visit with him on some ideas about where to go with our program.
What was the process of getting this job?
Mitch and I met 3 weeks ago after I had a Thursday game, shortly after position came open. I had chance to meet with him about specifics of my plans for UK and have had ongoing conversations since then.
“We’re going to recruit Kentucky hard and take care of our home first and foremost. We’re going after Ohio hard where we have strong ties. We will make our way through the Carolinas, Georgia, and Florida a little bit.”
Any guys on staff that he would consider?
Absolutely consider. I havent had a chance to visit with the coaches yet but absolutely.
We will be very defined defensively with 4-3 personnel. There will be multiple packages and our players will be very clear by spring their job. Well will honor the guys that have committed to play here, however we have to make sure they fit our system and evaluate them through that process.
On working with Coach Cal:
I’ve talked multiple times with Cal, and I’ve enjoyed it. I will be taking recruits to games and do what i can to utilize the team. Cal’s from Pittsburgh, I’m from Youngstown; it isn’t too different.
On local high school talent:
“There aren’t as many SEC caliber players as other places, but there are some and it’s our job to keep the great ones home. I understand there aren’t as many but there are some good ones and we need to do whatever we can to keep them home.”
On choosing to not coach in FSU’s bowl game:
“There’s just too much work to be done for me to still coach at FSU. This week was stressful trying to be at both places. It isn’t right for either side. I’m here now working for you and that’s where I want to be. There’s a balance because I have been though a great journey with these players at FSU. If I can go back and help if I have dead time in, I’ll do anything to help them win, especially if they play Louisville.