Mark Stoops

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Mark Stoops
Mark Stoops in 2013.jpg
Stoops at Kroger Field in 2013
Current position
TitleHead coach
Annual salary$6.75 million[1]
Biographical details
Born (1967-07-09) July 9, 1967 (age 55)
Youngstown, Ohio
Alma materUniversity of Iowa
Playing career
Position(s)Defensive back
Coaching career (HC unless noted)
1990–1991Iowa (GA)
1992–1995Nordonia HS (OH) (AD/DB)
1996South Florida (DB)
1997–1999Wyoming (DB)
2000Houston (co-DC/S)
2001–2003Miami (FL) (DB)
2004–2009Arizona (DC/DB)
2010–2012Florida State (DC/DB)
Head coaching record
Accomplishments and honors
SEC Coach of the Year (2018)

Mark Thomas Stoops (born July 9, 1967) is an American college football coach and former player. He is the head football coach of the Kentucky Wildcats.

Early life[edit]

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.[2][3] He is the brother of former Oklahoma head coach Bob Stoops and former Arizona head coach Mike Stoops, who also served as defensive coordinator for the University of Oklahoma until he was fired on October 7, 2018 after losing 48-45 to Texas.

After graduating from high school, Stoops played college football for the Iowa Hawkeyes from 1986 to 1988.[4]

Coaching career[edit]

Stoops was a graduate assistant coach at Iowa from 1989 to 1991, and then became the athletic director and defensive backs coach at Nordonia High School in Macedonia, Ohio (1992–1995).[5][6]

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.[5][7]

Stoops served as the defensive backs coach for the University of Wyoming Cowboys from 1997–1999.[8]

At Wyoming, Stoops 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.[9]

Miami (FL)[edit]

In February 2001, Stoops was named the defensive backs coach for the University of Miami Hurricanes, replacing Chuck Pagano, who left to go to the Cleveland Browns.[10]


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.[11]

Florida State[edit]

On December 11, 2009, Stoops accepted the job as defensive coordinator at Florida State University.[12]


On November 27, 2012, Stoops was hired as the new head coach of the University of Kentucky football program, replacing former head coach Joker Phillips, who was fired after a 2–10 season. In Stoops' first season as the Kentucky Head coach, he went 2-10, followed by back to back 5-7 seasons.

After an 0–2 start to the 2016 season, Stoops led the Wildcats to a 7–6 finish after that start and defeated their in-state rival, the eleventh-ranked Louisville Cardinals. They lost in the Taxslayer Bowl to Georgia Tech.

The 2017 season featured ups and downs and the breakout of star running back Benny Snell. They finished 7-5, losing afterwards in the Music City Bowl to Northwestern.

The 2018 season was a historic one for the Wildcats. Paced by Snell on offense and Josh Allen on defense, they snapped a 31-year losing streak to Florida, finishing 9-3–only the fourth time in school history that the Wildcats have won at least nine games. Kentucky defeated Penn State in the Citrus Bowl on January, 1st, 2019 giving the Wildcats their first 10-win season since 1977, and only their third in school history. Stoops was named SEC Coach of the Year, the first time a Kentucky coach had won the award since Jerry Claiborne in 1983.

The 2019 season was one of overcoming adversity. After a 2-3 start in which they lost all of their Quarterbacks to injury, Kentucky turned to Wide Receiver Lynn Bowden Jr. to take over at QB. With a revamped offense, the Wildcats finished the Regular Season 7-5 routing Louisville 45-13 on Senior Day. Kentucky capped the season with a thrilling win over Virginia Tech in the Belk Bowl, as the Wildcats scored the winning touchdown with 15 seconds remaining for an 8-5 finish.

The 2020 season, affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, saw Kentucky play a 10-game, All-SEC regular-season schedule. Despite a 4-6 record, Kentucky was still able to be invited to a bowl game, specifically the 2021 Gator Bowl against No. 24 NC State. Stoops led Kentucky to victory in the Gator Bowl 23-21, making it three straight bowl victories for the team.

The 2021 season was marked by key transfer arrivals for both sides of the ball: QB Will Levis, WR Wan'Dale Robinson and LB Jacquez Jones. The aforementioned players' impact was significant; the offense scored 33.3 points per game while the defense allowed 22.1 points per game. The improved play from both offense and defense led to a 9-3 regular-season record, including a historic 20-13 home win against Florida (the last home win against Florida was November 15, 1986). Stoops lead Kentucky to a 20-17 victory over Iowa in the 2022 Citrus Bowl, giving the team its 2nd 10-3 record since 2018, 2nd Citrus Bowl victory in four years and fourth straight bowl victory.

Notable players coached[edit]

The following are players that Stoops has coached as either a position coach, defensive coordinator, or head coach:

Miami (FL)[edit]

  • Phillip Buchanon – Played 10 seasons in the NFL with 5 different teams, 2001 BCS National Champion.

All of the aforementioned players were first round NFL Draft picks.


Florida State[edit]


  • Benny Snell – Pittsburgh Steelers running back, Kentucky career rushing yards leader (3,873)

Personal life[edit]

Stoops is the younger brother of former Oklahoma head coach Bob Stoops, former Oklahoma defensive coordinator and current Florida Atlantic assistant Mike Stoops, and Ron, Jr., the oldest of the brothers, who was an assistant coach at Youngstown State. Stoops and his wife Chantel have two sons, Will and Zach.[13] On January 4, 2021, the couple announced that they will be divorcing.[14]

Head coaching record[edit]

Year Team Overall Conference Standing Bowl/playoffs Coaches# AP°
Kentucky Wildcats (Southeastern Conference) (2013–present)
2013 Kentucky 2–10 0–8 7th (Eastern)
2014 Kentucky 5–7 2–6 6th (Eastern)
2015 Kentucky 5–7 2–6 T–4th (Eastern)
2016 Kentucky 7–6 4–4 T–2nd (Eastern) L TaxSlayer
2017 Kentucky 7–6 4–4 T–3rd (Eastern) L Music City
2018 Kentucky 10–3 5–3 T–2nd (Eastern) W Citrus 11 12
2019 Kentucky 8–5 3–5 T–4th (Eastern) W Belk
2020 Kentucky 5–6 4–6 4th (Eastern) W Gator
2021 Kentucky 10–3 5–3 2nd (Eastern) W Citrus 15 18
2022 Kentucky 0–0 0–0 (Eastern)
Kentucky: 59–53 29–45
Total: 59–53


  1. ^ Hale, John. "Salary, incentives, buyout: What to know about Mark Stoops' new Kentucky football contract". Louisville Courier Journal. Retrieved January 4, 2022.
  2. ^ Thamel, Pete (August 29, 2004). "A Family of Coaches Has Followed Its Leader". The New York Times. Manhattan, New York. Archived from the original on January 23, 2011. Retrieved November 27, 2012.
  3. ^ Trotter, Jake. - "Stoops@10: Growing Up Youngstown - A symbol of Youngstown - Blue-collar roots, values define Stoops". - The Oklahoman. - August 19, 2008.
  4. ^ 2007 Big Ten Media Guide. - p.93. - (*.PDF Adobe Acrobat document)
  5. ^ a b Cotey, John C. - "USF hires its fourth assistant". - St. Petersburg Times. - January 24, 1996.
  6. ^ Durrenberger, Charles. - "New Influences". - Arizona Daily Star. - April 17, 2004.
  7. ^ Lutz, Bob. - Starting Team from Scratch Doesn't Faze Cats' Leavitt". - The Wichita Eagle. - December 29, 1995.
  8. ^ Gagliardi, Robert. - "Football A Family Affair for Coaches". - Wyoming Tribune Eagle. - September 26, 1998.
  9. ^ "Houston Cougars". - San Antonio Express-News. - August 20, 2000.
  10. ^ Degan, Susan Miller. - "Canes Choose DB Coach". - Miami Herald. - February 28, 2001.
  11. ^ Moredich, John. - "Mark Stoops joins UA as defensive coordinator". - Tucson Citizen. - December 1, 2003.
  12. ^ "FSU hires Mark Stoops".
  13. ^ Patton, Janet (February 21, 2013). "UK football coach Mark Stoops buys Beaumont house for $1.45 million". Lexington Herald-Leader. Archived from the original on November 28, 2018. Retrieved November 28, 2018.
  14. ^ Moore, Josh (January 4, 2021). "University of Kentucky football coach Mark Stoops and wife Chantel divorcing". Lexington Herald-Leader. Archived from the original on January 5, 2021. Retrieved January 5, 2021.

External links[edit]