Meet Mark Stoops, New University of Kentucky Football Coach






A hearty Big Blue Nation welcome to the University of Kentucky’s new football coach, Mark Stoops!

So reports Matt Jones of Kentucky Sports Radio:

From the Wikipedia tubes:

Mark Stoops (born July 9, 1967) is an Americanfootballcoach who is the defensive coordinator at Florida State University.

Stoops, one of six children born to Ron and Evelyn “Dee Dee” Stoops, attended Cardinal Mooney High School in Youngstown, Ohio, where his father was an assistant coach and defensive coordinator.[1][2]

After high school Stoops played college football for the Iowa Hawkeyes from 1986-1988.[3]

Coaching career

He was a graduate assistant coach at Iowa from 1989–1991, and then became the athletic director and defensive backs coach at Nordonia High School in Macedonia, Ohio (1992–1995).[4][5]

In 1996, when Kansas State assistant Jim Leavitt was hired as the head coach for the South Florida Bulls, he hired Stoops as defensive backs coach.[4][6]

He served as the defensive backs coach for the University of WyomingCowboys from 1997-1999.[7]

At Wyoming he served under head coach Dana Dimel. When Dimel was hired at the University of Houston, he took Stoops with him to join the Cougars as co-defensive coordinator (along with Dick Bumpas) and safeties coach in 2000.[8]

In February 2001 he was named the defensive backs coach for the University of MiamiHurricanes, replacing Chuck Pagano, who left to go to the Cleveland Browns.[9]

Mark’s brother Mike was hired as the head coach of the Arizona Wildcats for the 2004 season. Mike then hired Mark as part of his staff.[10]

On December 11, 2009, Mark Stoops accepted the job to be defensive coordinator at The Florida State University.[11]


The Stoops File Birthdate: July 9, 1967 Hometown:Youngstown, OH High School: Cardinal Mooney College: Iowa Family: wife, Chantel; sons, Will and Zack
Coaching Background

• Mark Stoops is in his 23rd season of coaching and his third year as Florida State’s defensive coordinator and secondary coach. Hired by Jimbo Fisher in January of 2010 to replace the venerable Mickey Andrews, Stoops came to FSU from Arizona, where he spent six seasons serving the Wildcats in the same capacity under his brother head coach Mike Stoops. He is also the brother of Oklahoma head coach Bob Stoops.

• Stoops transformed Florida State’s defense into one of the nation’s best in 2011. FSU allowed its opponents to run for an average of just 2.35 yards per carry, which led the nation. The Seminoles ranked fourth nationally in total defense (275.0), second in rushing defense (82.69), fourth in scoring defense (15.1), eighth in tackles for loss (8.62) and tied for eighth in sacks (3.08 per game). His secondary ranked 20th in pass defense and 25th in pass efficiency defense. The Seminoles led the ACC in eight different defensive categories. Linebacker Nigel Bradham capped off his career leading the Seminoles in tackles for the third straight year – becoming the first Seminole since Marvin Jones to accomplish that feat. He ochestrated a defense that featured one of the deepest defensive line rotations highlighted by defensive ends Brandon Jenkins, Bjoern Werner and Cornellius Carradine who combined for 20.5 sacks, 31 tackles for loss, 14 quarterback hurries and nine pass breakups. The middle of the line featured stout tackles Everett Dawkins, Anthony McCloud and Freshman All-American Timmy Jernigan who combined for 14 tackles for loss, 6.5 sacks and a remarkable 80 tackles. With nine starters returning in 2012, the Seminole defense again figures to be among the nation’s best.

• Stoops is credited with overhauling the Seminoles’ defense in his first season as Florida State’s defensive coordinator in 2010. The `Noles yielded 19.6 points per game which was third best in the ACC and 20th in the nation. The Seminoles ranked 42nd nationally in total defense after ranking 108th in 2009 and ranked sixth in the ACC in 2010 after ranking last in the league in total defense in 2009. Florida State improved its overall defense by more than 80 total yards per game, mainly by limiting opponents to 75 less rushing yards per game. The Seminoles ranked third in the nation in quarterback sacks and 21st in tackles for loss led by second team All-American Brandon Jenkins who finished with 13.5 sacks (third-most in the ACC and sixth nationally) and 21.5 tackles for loss. FSU tied with Boise State for the national lead with 48 total sacks. In the secondary, he coached Xavier Rhodes to ACC Defensive Rookie of the Year honors and National Defensive Freshman of the Year honors.

• Stoops was instrumental in turning Arizona into one of the finest defensive units in the Pac-10 during his six-year stint. Arizona ranked 25th nationally in total defense in 2009 and was ranked among the top three in the conference in five statistical categories as the Wildcats finished with a second consecutive 8-5 season.

• Stoops built an impressive resume by developing nationally elite units, especially in the secondary. Prior to his six-year run at Arizona, he spent three seasons at the University of Miami as the secondary coach. His 2002 and 2003 units led the nation in pass defense, while the 2001 Hurricanes – which won the national championship – led the nation in pass efficiency defense, scoring defense and turnover margin.

• He spent the 2000 season as co-defensive coordinator at Houston, following a three-year run at Wyoming as the secondary coach. His first full-time college job came in 1996 when he was hired by USF to help with the start-up of the program.

• A proponent of zone schemes, Stoops’ pass defenses have been especially proficient and extraordinary at takeaways. The 2001 Miami team established a single-season school record with 27 interceptions and 45 takeaways. Miami’s 2002 secondary tied an NCAA record by allowing just 9.5 yards per completion. The 2003 Hurricanes were second in total defense and fourth in scoring defense and pass efficiency defense. The 1997 Wyoming secondary contributed significantly to its school-record 24 interceptions.

• Stoops recruited and developed some of the finest defensive backs in the nation over the past decade, many of who have gone on to enjoy outstanding NFL careers. Among the notable are Arizona’s Antoine Cason and Michael Johnson, Miami’s Philip Buchanon, Kelly Jennings, Brandon Merriweather, Ed Reed, Antrel Rolle, Mike Rumph, Sean Taylor, and Wyoming’s Brian Lee.

• Like his brothers, Stoops played collegiately in the secondary at Iowa for Hall of Fame coach Hayden Fry. Fry hired Stoops as a graduate assistant for the 1990 and 1991 seasons. The Hawkeyes won the 1990 Big Ten title and played in the Rose Bowl; duplicating feats Stoops also achieved as a player during a four-year career.

• As a player and a coach, he has taken part in 12 bowls, including his first season at Florida State and both of his final two seasons at Arizona.

• Before launching his collegiate coaching career, Stoops followed in his father’s footsteps as a high school football coach. He spent four years at Ohio’s Nordonia Hills as an assistant and the school’s athletic director.

• Raised in Youngstown, Ohio, Stoops played high school football at Cardinal Mooney.

Stoops’ Coaching Ledger

Year School Position W-L Postseason
1990 Iowa GA 8-4 Rose
1991 Iowa GA 10-1-1 Holiday
1992 Nordonia Hills DB
1993 Nordonia Hills DB
1994 Nordonia Hills DB
1995 Nordonia Hills DB
1996 USF DB 0-0
1997 Wyoming DB 7-6
1998 Wyoming DB 8-3
1999 Wyoming DB 7-4
2000 Houston CODC/DB 3-8
2001 Miami (Fla.) DB 12-0 Rose
2002 Miami (Fla.) DB 12-1 Fiesta
2003 Miami (Fla.) DB 11-2 Orange
2004 Arizona DC/DB 3-8
2005 Arizona DC/DB 3-8
2006 Arizona DC/DB 6-6
2007 Arizona DC/DB 5-7
2008 Arizona DC/DB 8-5 Las Vegas
2009 Arizona DC/DB 8-5 Holiday
2010 Florida State DC 10-4 Chick-fil-A
2011 Florida State DC 9-4 Champs Sports

 From the Palm Beach Post:

FSU defensive coordinator Mark Stoops was selected as one of five finalists for the national Defensive Coordinator of the Year Award. Stoops’ unit is the only FBS defense to rank in the top five in four major categories: Total defense, first at 236.3 ypg; rushing defense, first at 70.6 ypg; scoring defense, fifth at 13.09 ppg and passing efficiency defense, third at 96.62.

The Seminoles also have allowed the fewest first downs (13.27 per game) and the fewest third down conversions (25.0 percent) in the nation.

The other four finalists: Notre Dame’s Bob Diaco, Stanford’s Derek Mason, Alabama’s Kirby Smart and Florida’s Dan Quinn.

The winner will be announced on Dec. 4 and recognized at the American Football Coaches Association’s annual convention in January.

From John Clay, Lexington Herald-Leader:

Bio notes:

  • Before Saturday’s loss to Florida, Stoops’ defense led nation in total defense, allowing 236.3 yards per game.
  • Was Arizona’s defensive coordinator under brother Mike at Arizona from 2004 through 2009.
  • Has been at Florida State since December, 2009.
  • Brother of Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops.
  • Is a finalist for National Defensive Coordinator of the Year award.
  • Stoops is 45 years old.
  • Before season said, “Sure I have aspirations to be a head coach someday. I’m just always trying to improve myself and be the best coach I can be.”
  • Year before Stoops arrival, FSU was allowing 434.6 yards per game.
  • Makes $550,000 per year with the Seminoles.
  • Played at Iowa.
  • Started coaching career as grad assistant at Iowa.
  • Worked for Jim Leavitt at South Florida in 1996.
  • Leavitt had coached with Bob Stoops under Bill Snyder at Kansas State.
  • Stoops was defensive backs coach for Dana Dimel at Wyoming from 1997 through 1999, then was defensive coordinator at Houston under Dimel in 2000.
  • Was defensive backs coach at Miami from 2001 through 2003 under Larry Coker.
  • Joined his brother Mark’s staff at Arizona in 2004.
  • Before last season, Kirk Herbstreit listed Stoops as one fo the top five defensive minds in college football behind Nick Saban, Gary Patterson, Bo Pelini and Will Muschamp.
  • Wife is Chantel, with sons Will and Zack.
  • From his bio: A proponent of zone schemes, Stoops’ pass defenses have been especially proficient and extraordinary at takeaways. The 2001 Miami team established a single-season school record with 27 interceptions and 45 takeaways. Miami’s 2002 secondary tied an NCAA record by allowing just 9.5 yards per completion. The 2003 Hurricanes were second in total defense and fourth in scoring defense and pass efficiency defense. The 1997 Wyoming secondary contributed significantly to its school-record 24 interceptions.

A video from this year’s media day (h/t John Clay):


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