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BTI’s Rants and Ramblings: Is Mark Stoops Already UK’s 2nd Greatest Football Coach?

(Photo: © Britney Howard | UK Athletics)

(Photo: © Britney Howard | UK Athletics)

Just perusing through some of the record books the other day and it struck me that if Mark Stoops can finish 6-4 this season, he will finally crack the .500 mark as the UK football coach.  Now that isn’t something you should celebrate with too much gusto but at Kentucky, it’s more of an accomplishment than you might think.  For the coaches who have been here since World War 2, here are the ones above and below .500 for their career with the Cats:

ABOVE .500: Bear Bryant, Blanton Collier

BELOW .500: Bernie Shivley, Charlie Bradshaw, John Ray, Fran Curci, Jerry Clairborne, Bill Curry, Hal Mumme, Guy Morris, Rich Brooks, Joker Phillips

That’s right, since Blanton Collier left in 1961, not a single UK coach has finished his career at Kentucky with a winning record.  And only 2 out of 12 have done it since World War 2.  And we hold several of those guys in high regard.  And they still walked off that field as losers more often than winners.  That is crazy.

Well, Mark Stoops currently sits at 44-44 in his UK career.  He’s done it all under a far more competitive overall league than in the 1970’s and before.  He’s done it all facing recruiting challenges.  And budget challenges.  And coaching turnover.  And he’s done it all while taking over a program in shambles.  He’s led UK to four straight bowls and one of the best seasons in UK history.  And he almost surely is the best recruiter in school history.

So if the world ended today, wouldn’t we call Mark Stoops the second best coach in school history?  Sure, we want more.  Sure, and SEC East title is the ultimate goal.  Sure, beating Tennessee and Florida and Georgia regularly would be great.  But even without those things, isn’t he the 2nd best coach, behind Bear Bryant, in school history?

Just some food for thought as we head into this season.  Are we witnessing a historic era of UK football?

Article written by Bryan the Intern

17 Comments for BTI’s Rants and Ramblings: Is Mark Stoops Already UK’s 2nd Greatest Football Coach?



  1. BigBluSoTru
    10:14 am September 16, 2020 Permalink

    Shouldn’t even written this article just reminds us how bad our program has been over time. Calling a coach that hasn’t even won the conference the 2nd greatest is kinda of embarrassing.



    • dcforuk
      6:40 pm September 18, 2020 Permalink

      If you are so embarrassed, go cheer for another program……..or, maybe you already do that!



  2. csnailnrun
    10:23 am September 16, 2020 Permalink

    As a D1 athlete, winning a conference title was not the “ultimate goal”. With respect to UKF, winning the SEC conference title legitimately puts one in the driver seat to win the national title… the real “ultimate goal”



  3. Irwin R. Fletcher
    10:37 am September 16, 2020 Permalink

    *an historic era… And, yes. With a tradition as dismal as ours, Stoops is certainly in the discussion for 2nd best. Here’s hoping he sticks around long enough to cement that legacy & push for the next rung.



    • marcyplayground
      1:34 pm September 16, 2020 Permalink

      BTI is correct. It’s “a historic” because we pronounce the h in America. If you pronounce that word “istoric” then an would be correct.

      100% agree that Stoops is only behind Bryant as the greatest UK football coach.



    • ClutchCargo
      2:07 pm September 16, 2020 Permalink

      Thank you, marcyplayground! “An historic” sounds just like nails on a chalkboard to me, and lots of people don’t understand how “a” and “an” work.



  4. ChrisHamby
    11:03 am September 16, 2020 Permalink

    For sure he is the second-best. I can’t imagine what me might accomplish over the next ten years



  5. chris gettelfinger is not walking through that door
    11:09 am September 16, 2020 Permalink

    That 78 team was better than any Stoops team, so far. Of course we did it by cheating, so there’s that. Who knows though. The rest of the league may have been doing the same thing. I dunno. Also, I don’t know that the SEC was as strong top to bottom then as it is now, but either way, that team was awesome and should have been 11-0.



    • chris gettelfinger is not walking through that door
      11:10 am September 16, 2020 Permalink

      Having said all that, I think yes, Stoops has to be considered second behind the Bear.



  6. UK_fac_boi
    12:03 pm September 16, 2020 Permalink

    He’s the best period. Bear Bryant would wet the bed trying to keep up in today’s games.



    • chris gettelfinger is not walking through that door
      12:26 pm September 16, 2020 Permalink

      Put the bong down. If he had come along later he would have adjusted.



    • Bluehender
      4:07 pm September 16, 2020 Permalink

      Lol cg. The smoke may be pretty thick in there..



  7. kyle heavy
    12:48 pm September 16, 2020 Permalink

    Yes



  8. GACAT
    5:36 pm September 16, 2020 Permalink

    I don’t think the word “great “ is appropriate . We have had some terrible coaches along with terrible seasons. Yes, Stoops has exceeded our expectations and I believe he will become Kentucky’s best HFC.



    • Section233
      10:15 pm September 16, 2020 Permalink

      Stoops is great – Go Cats!



  9. Thank You Coach Stoops
    7:21 pm September 16, 2020 Permalink

    Yes.



  10. Section233
    10:13 pm September 16, 2020 Permalink

    You getm clutch a an ur a ass hat