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Mark Stoops sees “a totally different mindset” in his team this summer




Mark Stoops came on KSR this morning to talk about the new training facility and give us an update on how his squad’s doing less than two weeks before fall camp. There seems be a new swagger around the program in recent weeks, thanks in large part to the new training facility, which a national analyst told Matt is in the top five to ten training facilities in the country. When Matt shared that comment with Stoops, he agreed.

“I would definitely have to think so. What’s so nice about our facility is, so many people are pinched for space like we have been for all these years. We were far away from the stadium, far away from the indoor [practice field],” Stoops said, mentioning how in the past, he’s had to have busses ready to take the team from the Nutter Training Center to the Nutter Field House if lightning was in the area. “With our new facility directly tied into our indoor, basically 50 feet from our stadium, we have beautiful practice fields I’m looking out at from my office. The building itself, it’s everything I thought it would be. There’s no doubt it’s one of the top facilities in the country.”

Even before the facility opened, Stoops said he noticed a “totally different mindset” in his team during summer workouts.

“There’s no doubt. We do see them training, we see them running, but we are allowed to work with them on some football skills,” Stoops said. “I’ve been amazed at how committed our players have been just because there’s a totally different mindset. You can see it and feel it. When you walk out on that field tomorrow morning at 6:30 a.m., every player will be here, they will all be in their position groups and they’ll be grinding on their technique and certain aspects of the offense and defense that we’ll work with them on.”

Part of that mindset? Attention to detail, a luxury UK hasn’t been allowed in previous years.

“Just their commitment level and the way they’ve been just focused on their work, it’s different because it’s so long, it’s so monotonous, it’s so hot throughout the summer, but they’re focused, their attention to detail is there, they’re trying to put the fine strokes on things, and that’s what it takes. We’ve been too broad stroked. We’ve had to change so much and get them in shape, get them bigger, get them stronger, get them mentally and physically to a point where they can handle and endure a tough schedule. Now, they’re putting the fine strokes on things and you can see them doing it at a very early time and that’s what I’m excited about.”

Listen to Stoops’ interview below:

Article written by Mrs. Tyler Thompson

No, I will not make you a sandwich, but you can follow me on Twitter @MrsTylerKSR or email me.

13 Comments for Mark Stoops sees “a totally different mindset” in his team this summer

  1. 3 fan
    1:05 am July 26, 2016 Permalink

    Blah blah blah. Win games. Win games that mean something. You lose that first game and you have lost the fans. We are tired of the speeches. Win the damn games.

    • Angelo
      1:21 am July 26, 2016 Permalink


  2. tywooti
    4:32 am July 26, 2016 Permalink


    I’m sorry, but this is just typical head coach bullshit.

    Boo-hoo that you guys had to take a bus between practice fields. I don’t know if it’s poor reporting or if Coach Stoops just doesn’t interview well, but this post makes it seem like facilities were the biggest hurdle this team faced. So what if your team had to take a bus between facilities. Admittedly I’ve never coached a second of football at any competitive level, but my brain tells me that a good coach would find a way to overcome such an obstacle. My gut tells me Nick Saban wouldn’t let such a thing hinder his coaching ability.

    Stoops’s comments on how “focused” his players are now, how “committed” they are to the grind, as it were, are very concerning. Why does it take a six-figure facility to motivate these guys? Why SHOULD it take a six-figure facility to motivate these guys? What will happen if this time next year we find our team in the same position they’re in now? What straws will we grasp for then? And if we do turn it around this season, do we chalk it up to this state-of-the-art facility, or credit Coach Stoops for finally having the tools he needed to succeed?

    We all bought in to Coach Stoops when he got here, myself included. College football is a pressure cooker of the highest degree; you win now, or you get replaced. There is little room for error, especially at a program as desperate for gridiron glory as Kentucky. But his comments about his team being “too broad-stroked” and having to fine-tune his players is worrisome. That, at least to me, signals a fault in the coaches and not the facilities. What, they lift a higher quality of weight in Georgia than they do here? Our summers are hotter than Mississippi’s? Our practice regimen is just too monotonous? You weren’t already trying to get them bigger and stronger and mentally tougher?

    Why has “attention to detail” been a luxury we couldn’t afford these past few years? Again, at this point I don’t know if it’s this post or the coach, but I had to create an account just to voice my opinion. I’m not a pessimist or trying to rile anyone up. I don’t even want anybody to hold my hand and tell me it will be alright. I don’t want anybody to tell me Coach Stoops is our savior, or Coach Stoops is the worst coach ever.

    Talk is cheap, and it’s time for us to pay up or shut up, multi-million dollar facilities be damned.

    • Wise Dan
      7:50 am July 26, 2016 Permalink

      People like you are a big part of the problem at UK. You are not a fan. Sure glad you said you never coached a second of football, because it’s clear you know nothing about the sport. The facility was long over due and making it a reality was a great way to show support for the Number 1 revenue generator at the University. Football at UK supports 22 other athletic programs at UK. Keep spewing your nonsense and hatred. I wish you and all of the other nay sayers would just go away for good. It’s a proud day for the UK Football program and this facility is another way of saying that the school has both feet in on this program. Go Big Blue!!!!!!

    • ClutchCargo
      8:43 am July 26, 2016 Permalink

      tywooti, I get the frustration as much as any UK fan does, but it’s misdirected. Why not just wait and see how the season plays out and what direction the program is going before we go on an internet rant about how facilities are just an excuse. UK football has sucked since the 1950’s, so there’s no reason to believe it’s going to turn around in 2 or 3 years. NIck Saban is a great coach, btw, but he would struggle at UK until he had time to recruit the depth of talent he has had everywhere else he has been successful.

    • Billy Hill
      10:22 am July 26, 2016 Permalink

      ClutchCargo – How many recruiting classes does it take? 3? 4? 5? Tom Herman left Ohio State to take over Houston. In his 1st year, he took them to the Peach Bowl where they beat Florida State. Along the way they also beat Louisville (at Louisville) and Vandy. Something UK couldn’t do. Tom Herman had 1 recruiting class…not even 1…he took over less than a month before signing day. Do you think Houston had more talent than UK?

    • tywooti
      11:15 am July 26, 2016 Permalink

      Wise Dan – I didn’t say the football team wasn’t supported or that the facility upgrades were not long overdue. I’m just wary of all this pre-season talk about swagger and different mindsets. Sure, getting new practice facilities is a high for these coaches and athletes, much like getting a new high-end sports car would be. But just cause you have the best car on the road doesn’t mean you’re the best driver, or turn you into one simply for owning it.

      Granted, these facilities should attract a higher caliber of player to us, and higher caliber coaches. But the fruits of those labors will not be enjoyed for a few years yet. What worries me is that it sounds like these players still haven’t bought in with Coach Stoops. He said he was amazed at how committed the players seem now. That sounds like a coaching issue, not a facility issue. Think of all the one-season turn-arounds by new coaches throughout history. They didn’t come in and install new facilities, they came in and installed new ideologies, new mindsets, new personalities.

      Maybe this swagger will carry them throughout the season, and come January you can scroll all the way back through the KSR archives and rub it in my face. I’ll eat crow without a complaint. And it’s not like I’m hoping for failure either. I’m just not wearing blue-tinted glasses anymore.

    • tywooti
      11:27 am July 26, 2016 Permalink

      ClutchCargo – I don’t see why there’s any reason NOT to believe UK could turn their program around in a few seasons. It’s not as if the cupboard is bare here. Admittedly we are well below some of our SEC counterparts in depth and overall talent level, but we don’t appear to have an identity that sustains us season to season, even game to game.

    • Florida580
      2:15 pm July 28, 2016 Permalink

      @Billy Hill, careful, you sound like a Cards Fan. People might start cursing and saying hateful things at you like you love to do at others.

  3. kycats13
    8:59 am July 26, 2016 Permalink


  4. Howdy Doody
    9:06 am July 26, 2016 Permalink

    I am sick and tired of hearing this loser whine, whine, whine. Stoops is paid VERY WELL to win games.
    He has the same record as Joker at this point. Wuda, Cuda, Shuda after every miserable loss and chest thumping when he defeats Our Sisters of the Poor U.
    I am not allowing anymore of KSR’s sunshine pumpers to sway my opinion.
    Do not insult my intelligence.

  5. ukkatzfan
    2:07 pm July 26, 2016 Permalink

    Stoops is paid to build the best football team he can. Wins are just a result and possible(not always reliable) progress report of the football team he has built. This is the first season of having a serious OC in place and Stoops having his players. I personally am expecting a bowl game this year. More than that, I expect UK to field the best playing team since Brooks was coach. With that, I believe all of the fair weather fans will be happy. If you think Stoops has failed due to his win/loss record or lack of bowl games thus far, go take a SEC football 101 class and then talk. This program is miles ahead of anything I have seen from UK in last 25 years. #ALLIN

  6. Florida580
    2:14 pm July 28, 2016 Permalink

    “This program is miles ahead of anything I have seen from UK in last 25 years”. At what? Coming up with slogans? Building nice locker rooms? Creating fake championship trophies. Wins. That is how teams / coaches are measured.