Mark Stoops
Kentucky head coach Mark Stoops speaks to reporters during the NCAA college football Southeastern Conference Media Days Tuesday, July 20, 2021, in Hoover, Ala. (AP Photo/Butch Dill)

Mark Stoops Talks Kentucky Football at SEC Media Days

After head coaches from Arkansas, Florida and Georgia took the stage to answer questions from reporters, Kentucky’s Mark Stoops ended day 3 of the SEC Media Days. Along with Stoops, the Kentucky Wildcats were represented by a trio of seniors: quarterback Will Levis, offensive guard Kenneth Horsey and inside linebacker DeAndre Square.

Impact Stoops Had on Kentucky

Stoops will be entering his tenth season as the bench boss for Kentucky, an unprecedented accomplishment. His long tenure is no surprise, however. In his first season with the program, the Wildcats struggled, coming out with a 2-10 record. Jump to 2021, and he led Kentucky to a 10-3 record.

He also has led Kentucky to an impressive bowl record under his tenure. They have gone 4-2 in six bowl games, winning their last four. Included with all the accolades, he was awarded the 2018 SEC Coach of the Year.

Fit in Kentucky

It is no surprise that Stoops has fit in well with the Kentucky, but he does not just fit in well with the program, but he has also been a great fit for the state of Kentucky and the team’s fans. He says that the way he coaches and his overall character make him a good fit for the city of Lexington.

Roster and Expectations

The Kentucky coach also had a lot to say on his team and players. He feels confident about the group he has, and he has been happy about the progress they have made every year.

Quarterback Will Levis is a big piece of this team. After transferring from Penn State, he had his best season in the NCAA. Last season, he threw 24 touchdowns for 2826 yards and earned a 148.3 passer rating.

Stoops has been impressed with the progress he has made on the field and the leadership he brings to the locker room.

In college football, it is easy for a team to change every year. However, Stoops wants to keep the same identity that his team has shown every year. He wants his team to have a tough and physical presence, like they had over the last five years.

What he also wants to work on is making his offense more explosive. In order to make that happen, the Wildcat’s tight end and receiving core need to step up. Stoops is very confident in the talent they have at both positions, even after losing star wide receiver Wan’Dale Robinson, who was just drafted by the New York Giants in the second round of the NFL draft.

Kentucky has shown that they are a force in the SEC, but they are still a team that flies under the radar to many; because of this, it could seem at times that expectations for them are not that high. However, Stoops is not concerned about that, and is more focused on making his team the best they can possibly be on the field.

The Florida Gators will face the Wildcats when they roll into Gainesville on September 10.

About Aileyahu Shanes

Journalism student at the University of Florida. Contributor for WRUF and WUFT. You can reach Aileyahu at or 786-316-5878.

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