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Mark Stoops makes list as one of College Football’s Most Overpaid Coaches

Mark Stoops’ contract has entered somebody’s crosshairs.

Jennifer X. Williams of The Spun composed a list of the top five overpaid coaches in college football.  Atop the list was Michigan’s Jim Harbaugh.  At the bottom was Kentucky’s Mark Stoops.  Williams’ rationale:

2017 salary: $3.75 million

Where it ranked nationally: No. 22

Win/loss record to date: 26-36

Last year, Mark Stoops signed a contract extension through 2022. His new deal will pay him upwards of $4.75 million between 2021-22. And yet Stoops has only produced two winning seasons in which the Wildcats were barely over .500.

“Barely over .500” does not sound good to an outsider, but it sounds much better than the 2-10 seasons Kentucky fans suffered through for many years.  Expectations are relative, and Kentucky football’s don’t go much further than bowl eligibility.

It’s all not a good idea to compare Stoops’ salary to the rest of the nation.  The SEC pays its coaches more than any other conference.  Now the most tenured coach in the SEC East, Stoops’ salary ranked tenth in the conference in 2017.

However, there are quite a few Stoops naysayers that would agree with Williams.  Stoops has consecutive seven-win seasons, but has failed to get his team over the top in big games against the best opponents (see: Auburn, Georgia and Florida twice).

Taking the next step will not be easy against next year’s schedule.  But if Stoops can get to eight wins in 2018, nobody will describe him as “overpaid,” especially if the Cats can take down Florida, Georgia or Texas A&M.

[The Spun]


Article written by Nick Roush

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

33 Comments for Mark Stoops makes list as one of College Football’s Most Overpaid Coaches

    10:34 am May 11, 2018 Permalink

    She may be correct but . . .
    Who? and:
    WTF is The Spun?

  2. mothandras
    11:07 am May 11, 2018 Permalink

    Eight wins.. lol.

  3. mothandras
    11:19 am May 11, 2018 Permalink

    Just pulled out the history book and in the 126 Years of UK football we have only had 8 wins or more 11 times.. I guess that number gotten a little easier to hit as they add more games to the schedule. If Stoops gets 8 wins give him a raise, and build a statue.

  4. blueblue
    11:32 am May 11, 2018 Permalink

    Florida or Texas AM, MAYBE…Georgia. You’re dreaming!! Never gonna happen.

  5. jahanc2uky
    11:52 am May 11, 2018 Permalink

    I believe he is overpaid. I understand the administrations viewpoint that it takes money to make money mentality though. Stoops has inproved every game as a head coach and hopefully the money we are investing into this new HC is worth it over the next 4 football seasons.

    • IAmTheDanger
      12:13 pm May 11, 2018 Permalink

      He has “improved every game as a head coach”?? Did you actually watch any of the games last year??

  6. michaelb
    12:07 pm May 11, 2018 Permalink

    We only lost to fla by one …. so it’s def possible

  7. TBW3011
    12:24 pm May 11, 2018 Permalink

    Barnhardt has a history of doing this. I love Mingione, but they way Mitch passes out money and extensions at the first sign of success is comical. Stoops has had multiple ridiculous extensions and raises already. Mitch is the guy in poker Thant constantly goes all in on a flush draw.

  8. cats646
    12:29 pm May 11, 2018 Permalink

    Stoops has done better already at UK than anyone thought he could. . He hasn’t regressed one season yet. Why shouldn’t he be paid this much? He’s done better than any other coach in recent UK history. And who’s to say we can’t win eight games next year?! We were a couple of blown plays away from 9 wins last year. I wonder if some of you even watch football???

    • IAmTheDanger
      12:35 pm May 11, 2018 Permalink

      So you think being ranked 73rd in the country is worth another raise?

    • notFromhere
      2:39 pm May 11, 2018 Permalink

      Don’t wonder. They watch, but do not understand. They think SEC wins grow on trees, and SEC titles are from magic monkeys that fly out of Saban’s butt. Trying to understand their reasoning is trap

    • dynaformer
      3:03 pm May 11, 2018 Permalink

      Stoops is definitely overpaid and the program is overhyped. Win more, talk less.

  9. RackEmWillie
    12:57 pm May 11, 2018 Permalink

    Nationally, is he over paid? Probably. But, considering he’s 10th in the SEC, that feels about right. All of the guys who are paid more than him nationally deserve it. I would pay him in the bottom half of whatever conference he was coaching in.

    Although I feel the contract extension type stuff is based more on potential, than anything else. I think Mitch is hoping that the improvements and bigger moments (relative) are signs of things to come. So, better to extend him now and hope that he ends up being a huge value, than wait and then continue to over pay him.

    2016 gave me hope, 2017 kind of soured me on Stoops a little. I guess 2018 will be the make or break season for me.

    • IAmTheDanger
      1:09 pm May 11, 2018 Permalink

      I like Stoops and I’m pulling for him. However, some of the bonehead mistakes last year time after time were hard to stomach. I agree that 2018 will probably be a big deciding year for a lot of fans, including myself.

  10. Bobbum Man
    1:18 pm May 11, 2018 Permalink

    I still love the direction he’s taking the program, wouldn’t hate a new offensive coordinator but regardless I think he’s doing good all things considered

    • kjd
      3:13 pm May 11, 2018 Permalink

      IMO, the offensive coordinator, all we have had under Stoops, struggle because Stoops has his hand in the middle of the offense.

  11. Blueballz
    2:28 pm May 11, 2018 Permalink

    Wish I could be mediocre at my job and expect a raise

  12. notFromhere
    2:43 pm May 11, 2018 Permalink

    Everybody has a keyboard these days.

    Preseason rankings mean less than yesterday’s flushings. This person’s opinions of coaches’ salaries is worth less than 1/1 millionth of a kilowatt. Typical sports-illiterate, media type that looks at stats but has no clue about the game, much less the conference dynamics of the sport.

    Thank you to KSR for linking the bluster we try to avoid every day

  13. BluKudzu
    3:47 pm May 11, 2018 Permalink

    It is an opinion, which makes it just as valid as mine, yours or anyone’s.
    Your opinion and depth of knowledge of conference dynamics are just as valuable as the original writer.

    It may be a suprise to you the “non cover two” defense did not work twice in the same game, but, to those which do not have the grip on college football that you have, seems to think it is a lack of fundamentals. That was just one game of many last year, that had similar instances of “what were you thinking” type calls.

    Do not forget, the Stoops tenure has had more facility, equipment and financial support than any other coach in UK football history.

    So as unfair as you may seem to believe the article is to Stoops, is it also wrong for those who are fed a constant diet of “over hype”, to think we should be expecting better than what we have received thus far?

    6-7 years in a program, should give you a good indication on where we are heading. I am hoping the best for Stoops and our team.

    Just my opinion, which is obviously not as worthy as yours.

    • notFromhere
      10:21 am May 14, 2018 Permalink

      If you dont know the differwnce between the cry-baby BS of the notion of “over-hype” and the reality that is marketing, yes, your opinion isn’t worthy.

      Try going through life with a frown and a negative attitude and see where it gets you besides overly emotional and depressed.

      If you can’t handle your own expectations better, that’s a you problem. At least it’s a problem you share with many here. It’s time for the Uk fans to grow up, rather than going off the deep end after a loss.

      It’s tiring to see people say they understand football but not understand that this staff has been doing more with less in a great conference. Tiring to see a UK team being competitive with teams that have “out-recruited” them (star ratings) for decades, yet fans saying they suck and arent competitive. Yiring seeing fans throw fits, cry like infants, and be unable to move on like toddlers from a few plays here or there.

      Games are won or lost over 60 minutes of game clock. Has always been that way. UK SHOULD NOT HAVE BEEN IN THE GAME with UF based on their recruiting of the last 30 years (that continues) but you want to focus on 2 plays where the coaches’ calls for timeout were ignored by the refs?

      Wtf is wrong with UK fans? Why do they cling to losing so strongly? They can’t go ONE FULLSEASON in support of their staff and team from start to finish. They’d stab their mom in the back if she was coach of the team… Wanted to fire Brooks from day one through the day he left, then were upset that he left…

      pull your heads out of your assessments

  14. highway119
    3:57 pm May 11, 2018 Permalink

    Barnhardt and UK has done more in the last 12-13 years to bring ALL UK sports to unprecedented levels. Ranked in Baseball, Softball, Volleyball, Basketball, Track, Rifle, and possibly others; new facilities, updates, and amenities for both players and fans; getting coaches that want to be here rather than using UK as a stepping stone to other places (one big reason for this is because we have started trying to pay coaches enough to make UK a destination job), but still there is so many people that are quick to dismiss Barnhardt. Has he made mistakes? Of course (Billy, Joker, Checkerboard B’ball unis), but I can’t believe that so many people complain about him. When has UK athletics seen more success as an overall program? Go ahead, I’ll wait. People are calling for his head, when we should probably be figuring out where we need to put his statue.

    As for Stoops, a proven coordinator is given a dismal program with little history of any sustained success with outdated facilities and a severe lack of talent in the toughest conference in the nation as his first head coaching job. 2-9, 5-7, 5-7, 7-6, 7-6, two bowls later, and we are looking at the most talent we’ve ever had, where we can lose a starting 4-star DE and a possible starting 4-star LB in the offseason, and shrug it off. Again, loses to FL, Ole Miss, and some others have been frustrating, but don’t throw the baby out with the bathwater here. We appear to be on a trajectory to a level of success seldom seen on the gridiron. Who would you rather have (that would come here after you dismiss a coach who I believe is just the 5th coach ever to have back-to-back bowl seasons)?

    • timer2
      7:36 pm May 11, 2018 Permalink

      “most talent we’ve ever had”….LOL

    • notFromhere
      10:28 am May 14, 2018 Permalink

      119, I hear you.

      Some people are so FOS about UK football. They have a horse race mentality about a game like football and are too lazy to change it by studying the game. They have to have opinions to make themselves feel better, and don’t have the balls to keep backing their team 100% even when they lose a game.

      It’s all or nothing for the whiners. They just get worse when the team starts getting better. They drink more and crumple when the team loses because they are so fragile. It would be better for UK football if they just went away

  15. jaws2
    4:12 pm May 11, 2018 Permalink

    The ONLY way another coach does better, is if he could recruit better players than the Stoops staff. Give me a coach that you believe could recruit better at UK other than Saban, Meyer, or Smart. Oh, and get him for less than $5 mil a year. Stoops has made some boneheaded mistakes a few times, but living in the SEC at UK is a HUGE uphill battle. Are there some better coaches out there? Absolutely, but getting them here, paying them to stay, and recruiting better athletes is a real challenge.

    We’ve had one stretch of really good football teams the last 45 years and we were put on probation for it. Folks the job is just not that easy here. I’ve spent 48 years waiting for the turn around of the program to consistent 8+ wins a year and I’ll continue until I’m gone.

    • Rabbi Li
      5:05 pm May 11, 2018 Permalink

      jaws2 said, “The ONLY way another coach does better, is if he could recruit better players than the Stoops staff. ”

      A Head Coaches Role Involves:
      1. Selecting the best coaches to assist
      2. Strategy (offensively & Defensively) & willingness to change it to gain advantage against opponents.
      3. Recruiting
      4. Preparation of players
      5. Play Calling
      6. When to take risks, when not to

      So there’s 5 reasons that your statement is inaccurate.

    • Rembrandt
      10:59 am May 13, 2018 Permalink

      His statement isn’t inaccurate. It is accurate, although an oversimplification.

  16. Teamhhc1
    5:07 pm May 11, 2018 Permalink

    I think we have a better football team than is given credit. We now have facilities to compete for recruits, we just need some big wins. The big wins depends on quarterback play this year. I may be optimistic but I think we may surprise a few this year. We have the best overall coaching staff we have ever had now. A great leader is only great with the people around him. We also have the greatest fans and our actions can bring in recruiting as well. Let’s get behind the coaching staff and believe in or CATS!!!

    • notFromhere
      10:04 am May 14, 2018 Permalink

      Not the best UK ever had, but I like our coaches.

      Look back at the staff of 1959- Ed Rutledge, Howard Schnellenberger, Ermal Allen, Blanton Collier, Don Shula, John North, Bob Cummings, and Bill Arnsparger

      I hopeone day we can look back at this staff and place them above that one. Time will tell

    5:41 pm May 11, 2018 Permalink

    His 1st 3 years he had to put Band-Aids on the mess Joker left..He seems to be turning it around Lil bit now..Let’s see what these next 2 seasons bring..His recruiting has been the best UK football has seen in my lifetime..

  18. njCat
    12:23 am May 12, 2018 Permalink

    Top 25 salary…
    Top 35 recruiting class…
    Top 75 team.

  19. Rembrandt
    10:58 am May 13, 2018 Permalink

    I don’t know how much money Jennifer X. Williams makes. But, judging by the stupidity of her work, she must be one of the most overpaid columnists, whatever the number is. The media has collectively gone berserk. For this loser to think she understands the marketplace better than athletic directors understand it is beyond arrogant.