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Mark Stoops is Chasing Kentucky Football History

In 2018 the Big Blue Nation watched in awe as Josh Allen and Benny Snell rewrote Kentucky football record books in Mark Stoops’ breakthrough ten-win season. Two years later Stoops is on the verge of etching his own name into the UK record books.

Entering his eighth season as the Wildcats’ head coach, Mark Stoops has a 44-44 record. The last UK coach to end his tenure with a record of .500 or better was Blanton Collier, Bear Bryant’s successor, who was terminated following the 1961 season.

Last season Stoops surpassed Collier, Jerry Claiborne and Rich Brooks on the all-time wins’ list. He can move into second place with four wins in 2020. Stoops is only two successful seasons away from dethroning Bear Bryant as the winningest coach in Kentucky football history .

UK Football All-Time Coaching Records

CoachRecordWinning %
Paul Bear Bryant (1946-53)60-23-5.710
Fran Curci (1973-81)47-51-2.480
Mark Stoops (2013-present)44-44.500
Blanton Collier (1954-61)41-36-3.531
Jerry Claiborne (1982-89)41-46-3.472
Rich Brooks (2003-09)39-47.453
Harry Gamage (1927-33)32-25-5.556
Billy Curry (1990-96)26-52.333
Charlie Bradshaw (1962-68)25-41-4.386
Hal Mumme (1997-00)20-26.435

Bear Bryant helped make Kentucky a winner. The Wildcats boasted a record better than .500 for most of the program’s history until Joker Phillips’ final season. Just like Stoops, UK enters the 2020 record with a .500 overall record of 626-626-4. They need to finish three games above .500 in the upcoming season to restore an all-time winning record.

The stars are aligning for an historic campaign, if coronavirus does not drastically alter plans for the season. Kentucky loses only four starters from a unit that ranked second in pass defense, No. 14 in scoring defense and No. 20 in total defense in 2019. Aside from Lynn Bowden and Logan Stenberg, the entire offense returns this fall, including quarterback Terry Wilson.

The UK football program is in the middle of an historic run. Enjoy every second of the Mark Stoops era.

Article written by Nick Roush

"Look upon the doughnut, and not upon the hole." @RoushKSR

7 Comments for Mark Stoops is Chasing Kentucky Football History

  1. JASUN74
    9:35 pm May 16, 2020 Permalink

    Awesome post Nick. I couldn’t be happier with Stoops and Co., they’re bringing a winning mentality and a fire back into the BBN, that hasn’t been here in a long long time. I sure hope we get to play with the group we have this year. Great job Coach and thank you. Go Cats

  2. NKY Wildcat
    3:22 am May 17, 2020 Permalink

    Thank you Coach Stoops, assistant coaches, strength, nutrition and athletic staff for doing what’s in your hearts and building a monster!

  3. KyZoneBlitz
    8:10 am May 17, 2020 Permalink

    Back in the earlier days of the Stoops era, most fans were calling for him to be fired, not quite in the way we all voiced our displeasure with Joker but, I remember fans saying things like the brand of football isnt exciting enough, no way we will be able to win in the SEC trying to play the powerhouses style of football, etc.. etc.. yet, here we are, the past 4 seasons, 7-wins, 7-wins, 10-wins, 8-wins, and not to mention we lost our top 3 QBs, moved a WR in the pocket, replaced an entire 2ndary, a top-10 NFL draft pick, our all time leading rusher and still pulled off an 8 win season. In years past, we wouldve won at most 4 games, and that’s if we were lucky. And with all of that. The crazy thing is we probably just brought in our best recruiting class of the Stoops era, which gives the impression that we havent come close to peaking. With the incoming talent, the younger talent that are fresh/soph/Jrs, theres no signs of slowing down. This staff is probably the most underrated in the country, and even more so when it comes to development. Cant wait for the season!!! Unless you were alive in the Bear Bryant days (I wasnt), there probably hasn’t been a better time to be a UK Football fan, GO CATS – STOOPSTROOPS

    • satcheluk
      5:00 pm May 18, 2020 Permalink

      That’s because we have, as a whole and true football fans notwithstanding, one of the most ignorant football fans bases I have ever seen. I suspect these are basketball fans who’ve found their way over to football due to the recent success, but I am consistently astonished with the ignorance I read on these and other message boards.

  4. cathatter
    9:37 am May 17, 2020 Permalink

    to suggest he will be the winningest uk coach overlooks that he will likely be the loosingest uk coach at the same time – LOL! will be tough to impossible to catch the bear on winning percentage.

  5. classof68
    9:40 am May 17, 2020 Permalink

    Stoops is great but remember you are comparing apples to oranges. You’re talking about comparing 10 game seasons with 12 game seasons, and more importantly our non conference games used to be against the likes of Penn State, Maryland, Baylor, Va Tech, and quality teams of that ilk. And the poor coaches of yesteryear had no facilities to recruit with. Their salaries were a mere pittance compared to today. Not much motivation for them to excel.

    • satcheluk
      5:12 pm May 18, 2020 Permalink

      I suspect it be much harder for that era’s coaches to switch with this era’s. There were a lot less distractions back then and a lot less rules restricting the coaches on recruiting and practice time.