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UK makes it official over on UKAthletics.com

The University of Kentucky just made it official with a lengthy press release on UKAthletics.com, complete with quotes from Stoops, Barnhart, Eli Capilouto and Florida State head coach Jimbo Fisher.

Give it a read and then get back to celebrating.

*******

LEXINGTON, KY  

Mark Stoops, who oversaw dramatic improvements as defensive coordinator at Florida State and Arizona, and has turned FSU into one of the nation’s top defenses, has been named head football coach at the University of Kentucky, UK director of athletics Mitch Barnhart announced Tuesday.

“New beginnings always provide a sense of excitement,” Barnhart said. “That’s why today I’m excited for Mark Stoops and his family as they provide a new beginning for our football program, fans and players.

“Mark’s passion has been evident in the way he coaches and in his love for the game of football. That passion carried over into our process and his desire to wear the Blue and White. Our desire to get better defensively and continue to expand our recruiting base helped guide us to Mark. He comes from a coaching family and has been in big games and big atmospheres throughout his career. That has prepared him for this opportunity to become head coach at Kentucky. We welcome Mark, Chantel, Will and Zack to the Big Blue Nation.”

“I enjoyed my time this week with Coach Stoops,” said Dr. Eli Capilouto, President of the University of Kentucky. “I am impressed with his commitment to student-athletes, both in the classroom and on the field. I am also deeply impressed with the way Mitch Barnhart has conducted this important process. I am confident that Coach Stoops has the character and skill to build the winning program the Big Blue Nation wants and deserves.”

Stoops has been defensive coordinator at FSU for three seasons, inheriting a unit ranked 108th in the NCAA in total defense and turning it into one of the nation’s best. Heading into Saturday’s Atlantic Coast Conference championship game with a 10-2 record and No. 13/12 national ranking, the Seminoles are second in the nation in total defense, allowing 249.4 yards per game, and seventh nationally in scoring defense at 15.1 points per game. Playing well against the run and the pass, FSU is fourth in the country in both rushing defense and pass efficiency defense. FSU leads the ACC in seven defensive categories. Stoops also coaches the defensive backs under head coach Jimbo Fisher.

Eight Seminoles on defense earned 2012 All-ACC honors, including four first-team selections, highlighted by one of the nation’s top defensive end duos in Bjoern Werner and Cornellius Carradine, who combined for 24 sacks and 31 tackles for loss. Werner is a finalist for the 2012 Bronko Nagurski Award as the National Defensive Player of the Year and is the national co-leader in sacks with 13. Stoops also coached cornerback Ronald Darby to ACC Defensive Rookie of the Year.
The Seminoles’ prowess is a continuation of the 2011 season, when Stoops’ troops led the nation in fewest yards allowed per carry (2.3), ranked fourth in the nation in total defense (275 yards per game), second in rushing defense (82.7 ypg), fourth in scoring defense (15.1 points per game), eighth in tackles for loss (8.6 per game) and quarterback sacks (3.1 per game). FSU led the ACC in eight defensive categories.

Stoops overhauled the Florida State defense in 2010, his first season as defensive coordinator. The Seminoles gave up 19.6 points per game, third-best in the ACC and 20th nationally. FSU ranked 42nd nationally in total defense that season; in contrast, the team was 108th nationally in total defense and 94th in scoring defense in 2009, the year before Stoops’ arrival. FSU improved its overall defense by more than 80 yards per game, primarily by limiting opponents to 75 fewer rushing yards per game. The Seminoles ranked third in the nation in quarterback sacks and were 21st in tackles for loss. In the secondary, Stoops coached Xavier Rhodes to ACC Defensive Rookie of the Year honors and National Defensive Freshman of the Year accolades.

During Stoops’ three seasons, FSU has gone 10-4, 9-4 and 10-2, including wins over South Carolina in the 2010 Chick-fil-A Bowl and Notre Dame in the 2011 Champs Sports Bowl. The Seminoles’ 2012 bowl bid will be announced Sunday.

“I am thrilled to be named the head football coach at the University of Kentucky,” Stoops said. “My family and I are excited and looking forward to becoming a part of the Big Blue Nation.

“First of all, I want to thank Jimbo Fisher and Florida State University for allowing me to be the defensive coordinator at Florida State. It has been three of the greatest years of my life. I am grateful for the support of all Seminole fans as we focus on the ACC Championship.

“I want to thank President Capilouto and Mitch Barnhart for this opportunity. 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.”

“I am extremely happy for Mark and his family,” FSU head coach Jimbo Fisher said. “He has done a tremendous job for us here as a defensive coordinator and he is a vital part of our staff. I always say you want the people who work for you to advance and reach their goals and aspirations and I couldn’t be happier. He has done a super job for us and this opportunity is well deserved. He is very well prepared and I think he will do one heck of a job for the University of Kentucky. I was very fortunate to have him on our staff and consider him a good friend.”

Stoops was defensive coordinator and DBs coach at Arizona from 2004-09, working for his brother, Mike, who was head coach of the Wildcats. During Mark’s time there, Arizona’s records improved steadily, going 3-8, 3-8, 6-6, 5-7, 8-5 and 8-5. The Wildcats advanced to the Las Vegas Bowl and Holiday Bowl during the last two years. Mark and Mike are also brothers of Oklahoma head coach Bob Stoops, with Mark being the youngest of the three. Mike is currently the defensive coordinator on Bob’s staff at Oklahoma.

Stoops inherited an Arizona unit that was 109th in the nation in total defense and 107th in scoring defense in 2003, the year before he arrived. By the end of his term at Arizona, the Wildcats ranked in the nation’s top-25 in total defense his final two seasons and ranked as high as 33rd in scoring defense.

Prior to Arizona, Stoops coached the defensive backs three years at Miami (Fla.). The 2001 national champion Hurricanes led the nation in pass efficiency defense, scoring defense and turnover margin. That team also established a school record with 27 interceptions and 45 total takeaways.

Stoops’ 2002 secondary led the nation in pass defense and pass efficiency defense. Despite having to replace all four starters in the defensive backfield, the 2003 team led the nation in pass defense. In his three seasons, Miami went 35-3, including the 12-0 Rose Bowl title campaign, plus appearances in the Fiesta and Orange bowls. Ten Miami defensive backs who played at least one season under Stoops were eventually selected in the National Football League draft — seven in the first round.

Stoops got his first experience in leading a defense as co-defensive coordinator at Houston in the 2000 season. He coached the secondary at Wyoming from 1997-99 and the Cowboys notched three-straight winning seasons. A highlight of his time there was a school-record 24 interceptions in the ’97 season. His first full-time coaching job was in 1996 at South Florida, helping USF in the start-up of its program before the Bulls had their first kickoff in ’97.

Stoops has recruited and developed numerous outstanding defensive backs, many of whom went on to National Football League careers. Among the notables are Antoine Cason and Michael Johnson at Arizona, Miami’s Philip Buchanon, Kelly Jennings, Brandon Meriweather, Ed Reed, Antrel Rolle, Mike Rumph and Sean Taylor and Wyoming’s Brian Lee.

Stoops was raised in Youngstown, Ohio. Like his brothers, Mark played in the secondary at the University of Iowa for Hall of Fame coach Hayden Fry. He participated in four bowl games as a player. Fry hired Stoops as a graduate assistant coach at Iowa in the 1990 and ’91 seasons. The Hawkeyes won the 1990 Big Ten title and played in the Rose Bowl, duplicating feats Stoops also achieved as a player. Stoops went on to coach four years in high school before entering the collegiate ranks.

Stoops and his wife, Chantel, have two sons, Will and Zack.

Article written by Drew Franklin

I can recite every line from Forrest Gump, blindfolded. Follow me on Twitter: @DrewFranklinKSR

54 Comments for UK makes it official over on UKAthletics.com



  1. tom
    3:15 pm November 27, 2012 Permalink

    Good pick. Congrats Mitch!



  2. nybrasky
    3:17 pm November 27, 2012 Permalink

    Welcome aboard, Coach!



  3. billy
    3:18 pm November 27, 2012 Permalink

    Finally got a real football coach.



  4. Bob Loblaw
    3:18 pm November 27, 2012 Permalink

    Stoop Kid!!!



  5. thegoosewasgolden
    3:21 pm November 27, 2012 Permalink

    i’m excited!



  6. gvillecat
    3:22 pm November 27, 2012 Permalink

    National reaction to the hire:

    http://espn.go.com/video/clip?id=8683378



  7. UKCats Dominant
    3:23 pm November 27, 2012 Permalink

    Welcome to Big Blue Nation, Coach Stoops. Looking forward to a great football future!!



  8. Dee Snutz
    3:24 pm November 27, 2012 Permalink

    Wait… where are all the people that claim that KSR steals their content? Every nation news outlet I’ve seen has mentioned that the story was first reported by KentuckySportsRadio…



  9. Ryan Harrow's Flu Bug
    3:24 pm November 27, 2012 Permalink

    WOOT!!!!!!!!!



  10. About time
    3:25 pm November 27, 2012 Permalink

    Welcome to Big Blue Stoops!



  11. chad b
    3:26 pm November 27, 2012 Permalink

    Not exactly a homerun, but a good double in my opinion. His stats are good, but they play in a weak conference. I just have my doubts about anyone that isn’t familiar with the SEC, and for anyone thats bashing the pro petrino folks give it a rest because most of the people supporting Petrino probably feel like me. That is that they have very little faith in our AD and his hiring skills in football. With Petrino we know that we would’ve got baggage, but everyone knows he’s a good football coach.



  12. Jesus H. Chrysler
    3:26 pm November 27, 2012 Permalink

    The GINGER Head Man



  13. RICK
    3:26 pm November 27, 2012 Permalink

    Been having a little fun about the Petrino thing. This sounds like a good hire and i hope he has great success at uk GO Stoops and go UK.



  14. DC Cats
    3:27 pm November 27, 2012 Permalink

    8 – acrually, a guy a twitter named GregNJ reported it 2 hours before ksr. He has recruiting info too. I get all my info from him since matt is wrong most of the time.



  15. This ain't no Joke(r)
    3:28 pm November 27, 2012 Permalink

    YESSSSSSSSSSS!!!!!!

    Mitch came through!



  16. JenfromHeraldLeader
    3:28 pm November 27, 2012 Permalink

    I beat your asses to this headline.

    Peace out



  17. Crow
    3:30 pm November 27, 2012 Permalink

    So Petrino was a scumball for talking to Auburn but Stoops is a hero for calling UK and asking for the job? Got it.



  18. Mitch Barnhart
    3:32 pm November 27, 2012 Permalink

    I hope the UK fans can finally get off my azz and give me credit for running a GREAT athletic department at the University Kentucky. You people are never satisfied with anything. 🙂



  19. Jimbo Fisher
    3:32 pm November 27, 2012 Permalink

    Let me be clear…Coach Stoops has not been in contact with UK.



  20. Blue Forever
    3:33 pm November 27, 2012 Permalink

    Chad b When you resort to a coach like Petrino to win at all cost who is the loser? Welcome to UK Coach Stoops!!!



  21. Robster
    3:35 pm November 27, 2012 Permalink

    Mitch…Awesome job!!!



  22. Mitch Barnhart rocks
    3:35 pm November 27, 2012 Permalink

    For all you Mitch hating, Petrino humping pukes who call themseves fans….SUCK IT!



  23. classof68
    3:36 pm November 27, 2012 Permalink

    17: Some things to consider – FSU head coach reportedly isn’t happy; Stoops was not a head coach like Petrino; Stoops actually wanted the job so much he made 1st contact.



  24. classof68
    3:37 pm November 27, 2012 Permalink

    Tim Couch – awesome job!



  25. Rick
    3:38 pm November 27, 2012 Permalink

    “Chantel to the main stage please. Chantel to the main stage.”



  26. Big Whoop
    3:39 pm November 27, 2012 Permalink

    Stoops will get the defense going and I hope he hires an OC that has some imagination with good play calling skills. While Sanders was a good position coach, he wasn’t what I would call a good OC. Far too many plays that were head scratchers.

    Stoops has a lot of resources to call upon in his brothers. I think this is a good hire. While I’m no expecting championships, defense is what win them.



  27. Bulldawg
    3:42 pm November 27, 2012 Permalink

    UK beating Kent St. this year like they did proves that mentallity is everything. They thought they were “supposed” to beat Kent St. and they did. If they had known before hand that Kent St. a “good team” they would have gotten beat. A lot of it has to do with the mind set. Just ask James Franklin. The first thing Coach Stoops will have to change around here is the mentallity. It is all in your head…



  28. Home Depot hard hat
    3:46 pm November 27, 2012 Permalink

    @27 with alot of “caint wait til basketball season” BS, that is going to be hard. Irritates the shit out of me when it’s CLEARLY college football season and all people around here care about is their precious basketball.



  29. classof68
    3:50 pm November 27, 2012 Permalink

    27: Good point. But that all goes back to the head coach and one of the many reasons why we needed a new one.



  30. Dee Snutz
    3:51 pm November 27, 2012 Permalink

    Nice job Photoshopping the tie blue. If you go to the link at http://www.ukathletics.com/sports/m-footbl/spec-rel/112712aaa.html you see the same picture but he has a red tie.



  31. UK 24 7
    3:53 pm November 27, 2012 Permalink

    Chad Chad Chad. Are you serious? Really? There’s a reason why no one else is beatin down that whoremonger’s door. HE’S A LOSER! Maybe not on the field but in life! He will be extremely lucky if he gets a job anywhere. I think he’s applying for a volleyball coaching job if the football thing doesn’t work out.
    I have been as hard on Barnhart as anyone but I was wrong. Mitch, Tim Couch and whoever else was in on this hire deserve a big apology and thank you from the BBN. great job guys!
    Stoops is definitely a home run. He and his staff will change UK football as we know it. It all starts now! GO CATS!



  32. Dee Snutz
    3:53 pm November 27, 2012 Permalink

    “As first reported by Kentucky Sports Radio and confirmed by a source speaking to CBSSports.com’s Bruce Feldman, Florida State defensive coordinator Mark Stoops has accepted an offer to become the Wildcats’ new head coach. He replaces Joker Phillips, fired Nov. 4 after a 1-9 start.” http://www.cbssports.com/collegefootball/blog/eye-on-college-football/21161968/report-mark-stoops-hired-as-kentucky-head-coach



  33. Adolphrollingover
    3:56 pm November 27, 2012 Permalink

    Mitch Barnhart Says:
    November 27th, 2012 at 3:32 pm
    I hope the UK fans can finally get off my azz and give me credit for running a GREAT athletic department at the University Kentucky. You people are never satisfied with anything

    Whatever. You just fired heads, to hire tails. This sunshine pumper now has the stick. Good Luck Stoops. I will be keeping score.



  34. UKadkins
    3:56 pm November 27, 2012 Permalink

    Stoops to UK!! Gonna be a good day, Tater!!



  35. Cool Uncle Stu Balls
    3:57 pm November 27, 2012 Permalink

    Got to give Mitch credit on keeping it together and making a solid hire.



  36. Bobby P
    4:00 pm November 27, 2012 Permalink

    Congrats to Mitch.
    He got my coaching ability w/o my baggage.



  37. Tag Team
    4:01 pm November 27, 2012 Permalink

    Stoops thur it is, I say Stoops thur it is



  38. Source Close To Program
    4:05 pm November 27, 2012 Permalink

    Press conference for Stoops to be held at Keenland.

    Petrino and supporters planning a rebutal press conferenceat at local strip club.

    Yeah Haa !



  39. dave
    4:05 pm November 27, 2012 Permalink

    17-yeah. petrino was trying to interview & take his own boss’s (tuberville) job. before tuberville had been fired & during the season. these situations are completely different.
    keep up the hope for your boy, petrino, though.



  40. Source Close To Program
    4:06 pm November 27, 2012 Permalink

    re- “butt” al



  41. The Frosted One
    4:11 pm November 27, 2012 Permalink

    I have it confirmed there is a South American QB who will be committing real soon.



  42. Fake John Shorts
    4:17 pm November 27, 2012 Permalink

    Just a sittin here read’n Big Uns. Cats will beat Bama by fitty biguns.



  43. jaws2
    4:18 pm November 27, 2012 Permalink

    I’m not going to go crazy over this hire and predict anything irrational about the program just because he’s coming from FSU. But, one thing I’m certain he’ll bring is intensity on the field and that’s one thing I haven’t seen in the last 3 years. Joker was a ‘nice’ guy and wanted everyone to like him. I get the feeling this guy is all business and could care less about being the players ‘fiend’.



  44. Dee Snutz
    4:28 pm November 27, 2012 Permalink

    And he probably couldn’t care less about being the players’ friend.



  45. Paul Leonard
    4:30 pm November 27, 2012 Permalink

    Actually #8, KentuckyBasketballForum.com reported the Stoops hire at 1:27 which was three minutes before KSR… and they don’t even cover football, only basketball normally. I do give KSR credit for all the great posts about Stoops today though. Can’t wait for next season! Gee, never thought I’d ever say that about UK football!



  46. Mitch Barnhart
    4:36 pm November 27, 2012 Permalink

    Adolph, keep watching from the grave, hopefully, you won’t run this coach off like you did the Bear. UK can be more then a Basketball University, why can’t we be relevant in all sports? Please let me know if you need help keeping score.



  47. OhioJoe4UK
    4:42 pm November 27, 2012 Permalink

    I’m excited!



  48. DCS195
    4:43 pm November 27, 2012 Permalink

    17) If that was Petrino’s only transgression, it wouldn’t be so bad even though he was a head coach and had just made public statements that he was completely happy at UofL. Also Petrino was trying to get the job at Auburn of a coach he had worked under and who still had the job. Petrino then signed a major contract extension for megabucks and again pledged his undying love for the Cards and that he was going to remain there for a long, long time. Almost immediately he left for the Falcons. All things considered, there is no comparison even though you don’t seem capable of seeing it.



  49. Arch Stanton
    4:48 pm November 27, 2012 Permalink

    haha firemarkstoops.com has all ready been registered…lol



  50. paducahfan
    5:05 pm November 27, 2012 Permalink

    Are we sure we didn’t hire Rush Limbaugh?



  51. gridiron_cat
    5:11 pm November 27, 2012 Permalink

    @DC195 – Petrino was a very bad dude man. He has very few, if any, redeeming qualities as a human being and I don’t want any coach ever that leaves in the middle of the night with a note on the locker like he has done everywhere. That’s not a man in my eyes. Plus you can’t build on any success he has because the programs he has been at were left in shambles every single time. Stoops is a better hire than Petrino, “There is no comparison even though you don’t seem capable of seeing it”.



  52. Maxps8
    6:20 pm November 27, 2012 Permalink

    I have never in my life been so excited about UK football as I am right now.



  53. DCS195
    8:53 pm November 27, 2012 Permalink

    51) Did you read my entire post. I’m on your side, man.



  54. LexCathCat
    10:53 pm November 27, 2012 Permalink

    So, maybe Mitch isn’t so bad after all. I hope all you Petrino-addicts finally recognize what a great job MB does for this athletics department. What up, Burger? GO STOOPS AND GO CATS!!!