Kentucky Hires Mike Stoops

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Will Coach The Wildcat Linebackers

The number of Stoops on the Kentucky Football coaching staff grew by one this week. After trying a couple of years ago to hire his brother Mark Stoops finally got the logistics worked out. Let’s break it all down as Kentucky hires Mike Stoops.

Long Coaching History

The website Football Scoop first announced Stoops planned on hiring his older brother for the UK staff. However, it wasn’t made official until this week. He replaces Jon Sumrall, who took the head coaching job at Troy.

Much like Bob and Mark, Mike Stoops played at Iowa and was a defensive back. He earned United Press International First Team All-America honors in 1984. He also was a two-time First Team All-Big Ten selection in 1983-84 and led the Big Ten in interceptions in 1983. After a short stint in the NFL with the Chicago Bears and then the arena league Stoops got into coaching.

He coached one season at Iowa then moved onto Kansas State where he stayed from 1992 to 1998. For the last few years, he was defensive coordinator. From there he joined Bob at Oklahoma where he was once again defensive coordinator. Following a five-year stint in Norman, he finally got a head coaching job.

Finally The Main Man

In 2004 Stoops was named the head coach at Arizona, a job he kept for eight years. Though he only went 41-50 over his time there he did go to three straight bowl games from 2008-2010 winning the 2008 Las Vegas Bowl over BYU. During those three years, Stoops won 25 games. Of course, Mark Stoops was his defensive coordinator from 2004 to 2009. He was let go six games into the 2011 season after starting 1-5.

In 2012 he rejoined his brother Bob at Oklahoma as a co-defensive coordinator with Brent Venables. Of course, Venables left shortly thereafter and took the same position at Clemson. Now he’s back as the new head coach at Oklahoma.

Stoops was fired in 2018 then took a consulting job under Nick Saban at Alabama. After two years there he took the defensive coordinator position at Florida Atlantic. In his one season there the Owls gave up 25 points a game, ranking them 60th in college football.

As Kentucky hires Mike Stoops not only are they getting a coach with 35 years of experience but a championship pedigree.

Winning The Big One

During his tenure as an assistant Stoops has been a part of two National Championships. In his first stop in Norman, the Sooners won the 2000 title. Fast forward 20 years later and he is on the staff for the Alabama squad that also won it all.  In addition, Stoops has coached in 28 bowl games and put 40 players in the NFL.

In 2001, linebacker Rocky Calmus was the winner of the Butkus Award for the best linebacker. Oklahoma defensive backs Roy Williams and Derrick Strait became the only players to win both the Nagurski Trophy (best defensive player) and Thorpe Award (best defensive back) in the same season (2003).

That same year, Sooner defensive tackle Tommie Harris won the Lombardi Award, while linebacker Teddy Lehman won both the Butkus Award and the Chuck Bednarik Award (best defensive player). In 2007, Arizona cornerback Antoine Cason was the Thorpe Award winner.

Big Time Prospects

Stoops salary is a reported 650,000 per year with various incentives and bonuses are thrown in. He’s already hitting the recruiting trail down in Florida.

He’s going to like what he sees on the field next year as a linebacker in Kentucky’s strongest defensive position. Middle linebacker Jacquez Jones coming back next season is huge for the Wildcats. As a result, the Cats have their leading tackler returning. In addition, Trevin Wallace returns as well. As a freshman, Wallace had 32 tackles, two sacks, and a memorable field goal return for a touchdown in the win over Florida.UK starts with one of the best linebacker groups in the SEC.

Defensive coordinator Brad White’s a popular name in the coaching circles right now. In fact, he turned down a similar job at LSU. He’s going to be a head coach sooner than later so Mike may end up being the defensive coordinator for Mark at some point.

Again Kentucky hires Mike Stoops as the new inside linebackers coach where he has a strong group to work within 2022. Thanks for checking the and all the great content out here at Last Word On College Football.