Everyone knows by now that the Stoops family has their hands all over the college football landscape. Kentucky coach Mark Stoops’ brother, Mike, sat down with Joe Mussatto of SEC Country to talk about the job that Mark has done in his years leading the Wildcats. Below are some interesting quotes from Mike, who who has been the head coach at Arizona, and more recently was the defensive coordinator under their oldest brother, Bob Stoops, at Oklahoma. You can read the entire story here.
On what his brother has done in his four seasons at UK:
It seems like it’s gotten better every year. Just maneuvering the pieces and getting the right people in the right spots takes some time. I think he’s got a good staff on both sides of the ball. I’ve been impressed probably the most by their recruiting. It’s been really strong. Think he’s done a good job there. Getting his staff in line is critical and I think they’ve gone through some offensive guys. I know that. I think I’ve been most impressed of late with Eddie Gran. Eddie’s done a really good job. You can see the physicality of the team improved, especially offensively. Just from afar. It’s hard for me to get too deep with it because I don’t watch every game. I watch good parts of it.
Mike gives long and thought out answers to all of the questions that Mussatto posed to him. Most interesting of the answers in my opinion was on when Mike equates his time at Arizona to what Mark has done so far at Kentucky. They both inherited programs that were in a horrible place, and built them to bowl eligible teams. Mike took over a 2-10 Arizona team, before leading them to three straight bowl games in his fifth, sixth, and seventh seasons there.
I think it has more to do with the talent. You have to get players no matter what. No matter what the coaching is, you have to have talented players. There’s too much of a disparity in players initially, and attitude and how they work. Once you take those programs over, I don’t remember how Kentucky was left, but we were 2-10 or something the year before. It’s not very good. It takes you two or three years to get to even, to where we can start to peek our heads above water, if that makes sense. It takes that amount of time. The first year or two you’re closing the gaps on everybody. That’s what you really look at. We were getting beat by 35 and are we getting beat by 17 now or 10? Are we closing the gaps on everybody? That’s what you’re starting to recognize. And maybe the next thing you know your third year you start beating a team or two that you’re not supposed to because you’ve gotten better internally. That’s what it takes.
I strongly suggest you check out the entire piece on SEC Country. I think it gives a nice insight from someone that Kentucky fans haven’t heard much from since Mark Stoops became head coach.