Mark Stoops named Kentucky football coach

Melina Vastola-US PRESSWIRE

The SEC finally lands a Stoops.

Update: Confirmed by Kentucky. Here's Stoops on the move:

"I am thrilled to be named the head football coach at the University of Kentucky," Stoops said. "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.

"I want to thank President Capilouto and Mitch Barnhart for this opportunity. I promise the faithful of the Big Blue Nation I will be focused and driven to create a positive, winning atmosphere for the program and an environment that all of Kentucky can be proud of."

Florida State defensive coordinator Mark Stoops will replace Joker Phillips as the head coach at Kentucky, according to Matt Jones. He's the brother of Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops and defensive coordinator Mike Stoops and has never been a head coach before -- other than Bob's stint at Florida, Mark becomes the SEC's first real taste of the Stoops family.

In his three years at Florida State, the Noles rose from No. 108 to No. 2 in the country in total yardage allowed. He's obviously a defensive coordinator of the year candidate on any ballot.

I don't really see how this hire changes things that much at Kentucky. He might do a very good job, but UK's overwhelming disadvantages in recruiting, resources and support make underdog tactics all but essential. Stoops isn't likely to veer too far outside the box, but we'll wait and see who he hires at offensive coordinator.

Stoops has held the FSU DC job since 2009, previously serving at Arizona, Miami, Houston, Wyoming and elsewhere. His expertise is as a defensive backs coach, with his playing career in the secondary at Iowa.

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