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
|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.