Mark Stoops
Kentucky head coach Mark Stoops speaks during the Southeastern Conference NCAA college football media days, Wednesday, July 19, 2023, in Nashville, Tenn. (AP Photo/George Walker IV)

Kentucky Coach Mark Stoops Talks Upcoming Season

Kentucky head football coach Mark Stoops spoke at SEC Media Days Wednesday about the upcoming season and major developments with the sport.

Transfer Portal

With differing opinions of the transfer portal, Stoops shared his perspective on how the portal relates to competitive balance in the sport. He said that the “double-edged sword” with the portal can help a program gain on a team. However, this “free agency” also helps those teams competing for championships. Moreover, those programs can fill weakness in their roster with free agents, allowing them to continue competing for championships.

Replacing Will Levis

Former Kentucky quarterback Will Levis was drafted in the second round by the Tennessee Titans in this year’s NFL draft. Stoops was asked how the offense will change without the production from Levis. He first mentioned the return of Liam Coen from the Los Angeles Rams as the offensive coordinator to replace Rich Scangarello. Though the system will look different, Stoops said he’s excited for the next guy and the next opportunity.

Comparing Levis to Devin Leary

Transfer quarterback Devin Leary is expected to replace Levis for the starting role in 2023. Leary, now a sixth-year senior, amassed a 17-9 record as a starter with NC State. Stoops was asked if there were any similarities between Levis’s and Leary’s style. He pointed to both player’s creativity in the pocket when it comes to eluding pressure.

Coaching Highlights

Stoops is entering his 10th season with Kentucky and has a 66-59 as the head coach of the Wildcats. Last season, the Wildcats finished with an overall record of 7-6, recording a 3-5 SEC record. Additionally, the team fell to Iowa in the TransPerfect Music City Bowl.

He is now the all-time winningest coach in Kentucky history after surpassing Paul “Bear” Bryant last season. His squad opens up the 2023 campaign at home against Ball State. Kentucky will host the Florida Gators on Sept. 30, as well as Tennessee and Alabama later in the season.

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