The University of Kentucky made it official on Wednesday by announcing Dean Hood as the its new outside linebacker coach and special teams coordinator. Mark Stoops had previously sought after Hood for a different position to no avail, this time Stoops got his man.
Dean Hood is an old school football coach with stops at various levels of college football throughout his 31 career. From coordinating the defense alongside Rich Rodriquez at Glenville State in the early 90’s to leading the Wake Forest defense during its successful ACC run; Hood is highly respected in coaching circles. As a head coach, his EKU teams piled up a 55-38 record as the Ohio native was named the OVC Coach of the Year in 2008. He was also a two-time finalist for the Eddie Robinson Award.
What does this mean for Kentucky?
Mark Stoops adds yet another defensive coach with coordinator experience. Hood directed defenses at Glenville State, EKU, and Wake Forest. Matter of fact, all UK defensive coaches have DC time listed on their resumes (DL hire pending). Understanding the demands placed on position coaches, having prior phase leaders can only be considered as a plus.
With a resume that leans heavily on coaching defensive backs, I wouldn’t be concerned with an inexperience at outside linebackers. Again, reference prior coordinator and head coach duties. He’s inheriting two good ones in Denzel Ware and Josh Allen as well as a cupboard full of talented youngsters that includes prized recruits Josh Paschal, Jordan Wright, and Alex King. Technical and tactical proficiency should actually increase as Hood is universally known as a demanding, on-field coach.
Special Teams Coordinator
Hood coordinated special teams at EKU from 1994 through 1998. Hate to be repetitive here, but his time as a head coach will provide the insight on the importance of the 3rd phase.
Hood brought his outmanned EKU team to Commonwealth Stadium and should have travelled south to Richmond with a win. During that contest, Hood’s players showed high-level effort and toughness as his game plan was spot on to pull the near upset.
Mark Stoops now has a long-tenured head coach to lean on for big picture situations. In addition, this new assistant coach hire will not have to prove credibility as many Kentucky players are still on the team that nearly lost to his Colonels.
Stoops also adds yet another northeast Ohio native to his staff which will boost an already powerful recruiting pipeline.
Instant credibility, regional recruiting familiarity, X and O proficiency, proven player development, and experience. Quite a bit to like about the addition of Dean Hood.