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The Morning After: What’s the Buzz around Mark Stoops?

For this post, the part of Mark Stoops will be played by Phillip Seymour Hoffman.

Hiring a new coach is something like getting a new girlfriend in high school (stick with me on this one): a lot of the fun comes from seeing what other people have to say about it.  Good match?  Do they think it’ll last?  What color will they wear to homecoming?  All these and more can apply to either situation, so it’s with that in mind that we take a quick look at what people around the college football world have to say about yesterday’s hire.

Edward Aschoff, ESPN:

“Our desire to get better defensively and continue to expand our recruiting base helped guide us to Mark,” athletic director Mitch Barnhart said Tuesday.

And it’s a good direction for the Wildcats to be guided in. 

If Kentucky is going to make any sort of positive strides with a football program that has really taken a nosedive, it has to get defensive. Flashy offensive numbers don’t always win games in this league. Just look at Tennessee, which ranked second in the league in total offense (475.9 yards per game) this season.

Going the defensive route is a good way to build a solid foundation in the SEC. [Will] Muschamp and his Gators have proved that.

Stoops brings a big name and some much-needed excitement to Kentucky. He’ll attract athletes — and we’ve seen plenty of very talented ones call Lexington home — and he’ll put defense first. With the current roster issues, he’ll need time and patience, but Kentucky is getting off on the right foot by giving precedence to defense.

Jon Cooper, Saturday Down South:

Overall, it would be a solid hire, but I thought Mitch Barnhart would go in a different direction and hire more of an offensive-minded coach.

Stoops will need to get to work rather quickly, signing multiple players on the defensive line, linebacker and in the secondary, with National Signing Day looming in the near-distant future.

Kyle Tucker, Courier Journal and USA Today:

The day after Phillips was fired, ESPN college football analyst Kirk Herbstreit identified Stoops as a rising star in whom the Wildcats should be interested. Stoops is a nominee for the Broyles Award, given annually to the nation’s top assistant coach, and one of five finalists for Football’s 2012 Defensive Coordinator of the Year.

Jason McIntyre, The Big Lead:

I gotta say — I’m a bit surprised Stoops took this job.

If Charlie Strong stays in Louisville — he’ll probably get a few calls in the coming weeks — Stoops has a major uphill climb.

I’m just not sure why Stoops wouldn’t go the mid-major route — grab a job MAC or WAC, kick ass, then 2-3 years later get an attractive gig in a major conference.

Stoops first call should be to … John Calipari. He’s going to need his support.

Graham Watson, Yahoo! Sports:

In an SEC where defense has been the crux of many of the conference’s national championships, Kentucky couldn’t have made a better match.

Even though this will be Stoops’ first head coaching job, the risk seems minimal, especially since Stoops has two brothers who have been in the head-coaching ranks – Bob is at Oklahoma, and Mike was the head coach at Arizona and is now in Oklahoma with Bob.

Overall, most folks seem to think that Stoops is a pretty good hire.  That smacks of understatement, but it’s good to temper expectations, especially immediate ones.  Regardless of what other folks think, though, the resounding feeling is that BBN is happy to have him, and that’s a great thing for this program.  This was a great, decisive hire by Mitch Barnhart.  Now we need some coordinators to follow suit…

Meanwhile, follow our new coach @UKCoachStoops.

Article written by Corey Nichols

25 Comments for The Morning After: What’s the Buzz around Mark Stoops?

  1. Dali cat
    9:04 am November 28, 2012 Permalink

    Best post yet, corey. Just keep copying and pasting other people’s work. That’s what we need. At least you didn’t steal from catsillustrated this time.

  2. Ryan Fox
    9:09 am November 28, 2012 Permalink

    Corey, haters gonna hate ^

  3. Jim
    9:09 am November 28, 2012 Permalink

    STOOPS!!!! Oh….and UofL to the ACC, how cute.

  4. charlie strong
    9:13 am November 28, 2012 Permalink

    WTH?? You mean I gotta play at Florida State, Virginia Tech, Georgia Tech, and Miami now. That wasnt the deal!! Jurich promised me the toughest game we would play against all season would be against a horrible rutgers team. To hell with this, Im headed to Arkansas

  5. Jezz
    9:15 am November 28, 2012 Permalink

    No one knows if it is a great hire yet…

    this needs to stop. Judging people based on nothing. We will see 3/4 years down the road. Hopefully it is.

  6. getajobhoosier
    9:16 am November 28, 2012 Permalink

    The toothbrush was invented in Bloomington Ind. I know this because if it was invented anywhere else it would be called the teethbrush.

  7. Cokely
    9:17 am November 28, 2012 Permalink

    I guess Wikipedia was a credible source this time breaking the news first. Gotta feel bad for shoney Bear Bryant

  8. Dr. Tom
    9:18 am November 28, 2012 Permalink

    Just hope this job doesn’t kill him like his Father at the young age of 54!!

  9. rick
    9:31 am November 28, 2012 Permalink

    Good job Mitch,you hired the best you could get and thats all we can ask. The oc is the big question now.

  10. Troy
    9:38 am November 28, 2012 Permalink

    I still have no clue why he came here. Face it. We are the bottom of the SEC with a poor recruiting base and poor facilities in comparison. Why didn’t he hold out for TN or Auburn? I’m glad to have him, but this seems like a step DOWN for his career.

  11. BluesClues
    9:41 am November 28, 2012 Permalink

    Great to see morbid enthusiasm from the Dr, I’m excited he has a moral base and he has friends around the league that he can lean on. GO CAYTS!

  12. barn
    9:55 am November 28, 2012 Permalink

    is it just me, or do jason macintyre’s comments make no sense?

  13. MikeIke
    10:19 am November 28, 2012 Permalink


  14. JLivermore
    10:22 am November 28, 2012 Permalink

    The only thing about the hire that we can say for sure is that there is still a belief among some that the UK job is not entirely futile. Let’s hope that Barnhart comes through with the financial promises, and that Stoops can give us our first SEC winning season since 1977.

  15. well
    10:37 am November 28, 2012 Permalink

    12.) They make perfect sense. He says that he should’ve went to the MAC then got a ATTRACTIVE GIG in a major conference. Not Kentucky, the bottom feeder of the SEC.

  16. HicksPickSix
    10:42 am November 28, 2012 Permalink

    This’ll do, Corey. I expected a few YouTube videos, but the fact that 90% of this post consists of someone else’s writing fixes that problem.

  17. Petrino
    10:43 am November 28, 2012 Permalink

  18. UKGrad83
    10:45 am November 28, 2012 Permalink

    This may not be the “home run” hire that most were hoping for, but given where the program is now, and generally has been for 40 years, this hire is outstanding. I expect to see a much improved team next year, fundamentally. I don’t expect a winning season, but I think we’ll see improvements each week. The press conferences will yield more than just cliches. This guy knows football. For the naysayers, just give the man a chance.

  19. barn
    10:48 am November 28, 2012 Permalink

    15–i guess so, but i think for the first time since bear left there may be serious change taking place. mitch tells stoops to put together the best staff possible, that money’s not an object? i’ve never heard that kind of talk at UK about fball in my lifetime, and i’m old.

  20. barn
    10:50 am November 28, 2012 Permalink

    18–it will ultimately come down to recruiting. i think the deadline is sometime in feb? stoops will have to hit the ground running

  21. I. Melvin
    10:51 am November 28, 2012 Permalink

    “a great, decisive hire by Barnhart” ? Really? I must have read the wrong report ’cause it looks to me like he has hired yet another unproven assistant. This one with a defensive focus. Yeah, that’s gonna work at UK.

  22. Jeff Springston
    11:00 am November 28, 2012 Permalink

    Who hires the coordinaters, the AD, or the head coach?

  23. UKGrad83
    11:32 am November 28, 2012 Permalink

    @20 – Agree he has to get some talent but I also believe he will do a better job of coaching/teaching the current players. With a simplified scheme and an emphasis on fundamental skills, there’s no reason this team can’t be competitive. Brooks did it before Joker, right? These kids aren’t less talented than what he had. Stoops generally goes with a 4-3 which is MUCH better for teams that aren’t as talented. It’s easier to implement too. Maybe I’m Pollyanna but I honestly feel we’ve finally gotten a good X’s and O’s coach.

  24. jaws2
    11:56 am November 28, 2012 Permalink

    Hey #23,I’m happy with the hire, but will temper my enthusiasm until I see results on the field. I’ll also point out this; It ain’t X’s & O’s, it’s Jimmy’s and Joe’s.
    Until we see SEC caliber defensive players, we’ll struggle regardless of coaching. I agree that our past staff had an issue in coaching talent ‘up’ and really hope Stoops changes that quickly. He strikes me as an all business kind of guy and isn’t concerned about being the players ‘friend’ like it appeared Joker was. I look forward to a higher level of intensity on the field.

  25. UKGrad83
    12:09 pm November 28, 2012 Permalink

    Hey jaws2, I hear you about tempering the enthusiasm and certainly competing in the SEC will require better players, but I honestly believe this time it’s different. Call me a fool in 3 years if it’s not.