Mark Stoops, the former defensive coordinator for Florida State University, has just been hired on as the new head football coach at the University of Kentucky.
Stoops, the brother of Oklahoma head coach Bob Stoops and former Arizona head coach Mike Stoops, will replace Joker Phillips, who was fired a little over three weeks ago after three seasons and a 13-24 record with the Wildcats.
Athletics director Mitch Barnhart announced the hire in a news release issued Tuesday afternoon on the school’s website.
“Mark’s passion has been evident in the way he coaches and in his love for the game of football,” Barnhart said in the release. “That passion carried over into our process and his desire to wear the Blue and White. Our desire to get better defensively and continue to expand our recruiting base helped guide us to Mark. He comes from a coaching family and has been in big games and big atmospheres throughout his career.”
Yahoo! Sports reports that Stoops, 45 will officially will be introduced at a news conference on Sunday, December 1.
“I am thrilled to be named the head football coach at the University of Kentucky,” Stoops is quoted as saying by the University of Kentucky. “My family and I are excited and looking forward to becoming a part of the Big Blue Nation.
“First of all, I want to thank Jimbo Fisher and Florida State University for allowing me to be the defensive coordinator at Florida State. It has been three of the greatest years of my life. I am grateful for the support of all Seminole fans as we focus on the ACC Championship.
While under Stoops control, Florida States’ defense jumped from the 108th ranked overall in 2009 to No. 2 nationally this season, allowing just less than 250 yards a game.
Prior to his stint as defensive coordinator at FSU, Stoops spent six seasons as defensive coordinator at Arizona University.
ESPN’s Kirk Herbstreit discusses Kentucky’s decision to hire Mark Stoops in the video below: