LEXINGTON, Ky. (CBSMiami) – The University of Kentucky will hire former Florida State Seminoles defensive coordinator Mark Stoops will be the Wildcats’ new head coach, according to the WKYT, the CBS-affiliate in Lexington, Kentucky and Kentucky Sports Radio.
Stoops interviewed for the position late last week, according to CBSSports.com. Kentucky is looking to replace Joker Phillips who struggled to a 2-10 record with no Southeastern Conference victories in 2012.
While at Florida State, Stoops has led the defense to new heights. Florida State finished the regular season seventh in the nation in scoring defense, allowing just 15.1 points per game.
Stoops’ defense was especially stout against the run, allowing just 85.1 yards per game, even after giving up more than 200 to bitter rival Florida in the final game. FSU’s pass defense allowed 164.3 yards per game and terrorized opponents with a ferocious pass rush.
While Stoops has name recognition, he will be stepping into a tough situation at Kentucky where football is an afterthought to the school’s always tough men’s basketball team. Plus, recruiting at Kentucky will be infinitely more difficult than at Florida State.
The job is Stoops’ first as a head coach, but he joins brothers Bob and Mike in the college ranks as current or former head coaches.