Before landing his first head coaching opportunity at Kentucky, Mark Stoops was the defensive coordinator at Florida State where he helped to develop a number of first round draft picks from the Seminoles defensive side of the ball.
So it was no surprise that once the Seminoles decided to move on from the Willie Taggart era less than two years in, that Stoops' name was among the first to pop up (along with his brother, former Oklahoma head coach Bob Stoops - and those rumors have been put to bed).
After their 50-7 win over FCS Tennessee Martin on Saturday, Mark was asked point blank about meeting with Florida State officials last week, and his response was definitive.
"I'm not going to get into specifics, but I had a great experience at Florida State and it afforded me the opportunity to come here, and I love it here. I've been very fortunate with great administration who have been so good to me, and the fans and our players, and recruits."
"This is where my heart is. This is where I want to be...so I'm going to be at Kentucky."
Long considered one of the toughest jobs in the SEC, Stoops gradually built the Wildcats into a proven program that can not only battle annually for bowl berths, but has also built a program capable of achieving what many thought was not possible at UK. He's ended the three-decade long losing streak to Florida, and led Kentucky to a special 10-3 season last year, that included a trip to the Citrus Bowl, where they defeated #12 Penn State 27-24.
Overall, Stoops is 42-44 since taking over the Wildcats in 2013, and he currently has his squad bowl eligible for the fourth straight season at 6-5 with their season finale at home against Louisville on deck for this weekend.
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