Kentucky hires FSU assistant Mark Stoops as coach

FILE - In this Aug. 12, 2012, file photo, Florida State defensive coordinator Mark Stoops is interviewed during the Seminoles' football media day in Tallahassee, Fla. Kentucky has hired Florida State defensive coordinator Mark Stoops as its new football coach. The university announced Tuesday, Nov. 27, 2012 that Stoops will replace Joker Phillips, who was fired on Nov. 4.  (AP Photo/Phil Sears, File)

FILE - In this Aug. 12, 2012, file photo, Florida State defensive coordinator Mark Stoops is interviewed during the Seminoles' football media day in Tallahassee, Fla. Kentucky has hired Florida State defensive coordinator Mark Stoops as its new football coach. The university announced Tuesday, Nov. 27, 2012 that Stoops will replace Joker Phillips, who was fired on Nov. 4. (AP Photo/Phil Sears, File)

LEXINGTON, Ky. (AP) — Kentucky has hired Florida State defensive coordinator Mark Stoops as the Wildcats' football coach.

Stoops replaces Joker Phillips, who was fired on Nov. 4. Phillips went 13-24 in three seasons at Kentucky and the Wildcats were 0-8 in the Southeastern Conference this year.

Kentucky made the announcement on Tuesday and the 45-year-old Stoops will be introduced here at a news conference on Sunday. No. 13 Florida State (10-2) plays Georgia Tech Saturday in the Atlantic Coast Conference championship game.

Terms of Stoops' contract with Kentucky were not released. His salary with the Seminoles was $550,000 a year. He should definitely receive a raise in his new position; Phillips' annual salary was $1.7 million.

Stoops' hiring concludes a quicker-than-expected coaching search by the university. After Saturday's season-ending loss at Tennessee, Kentucky athletic director Mitch Barnhart said he had no timetable to find a replacement for Phillips.

But it didn't take long for Barnhart and the Wildcats to make a move. The decision makes Stoops a head coach for the first time in his career.

"I want to thank (Kentucky) President Eli Capilouto and Mitch Barnhart for this opportunity," Stoops said in a statement. "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 coach Jimbo Fisher said after the Seminoles' practice Tuesday that Stoops will coach Saturday's game but that he hadn't talked with him about coaching through a bowl appearance. Stoops did not talk to reporters after the workout.

Stoops becomes the third brother in college football's famed coaching family to lead his own program. Older brother Bob Stoops is the head coach at Oklahoma and Mike Stoops is the Sooners' defensive coordinator. Before joining the Oklahoma staff this year, Mike was the head coach at Arizona.

"He's earned it," Bob Stoops said of his brother. "He's done really well everywhere he's been. I know he's really prepared for the job."

Bob said his advice to Mark is to trust his instincts.

"When you get one of those positions, everybody wants to tell you what to do," the OU coach said. "That's how it was for me. I didn't let anyone hurry me. I took it at my own pace, trusted my guy and my instincts on what I wanted to do, and fortunately it worked out."

Mark Stoops has been the Seminoles' defensive coordinator the past three seasons. Florida State's defense was ranked 108th when he took over and he has turned the Seminoles into one of the nation's top defensive teams.

The Seminoles have the nation's second-ranked defense, giving up 249.4 yards per game. Kentucky allowed 391 yards a contest this season and ranked 11th in the 14-team conference.

"Our desire to get better defensively and continue to expand our recruiting base helped guide us to Mark," Barnhart said. "He comes from a coaching family and has been in big games and big atmospheres throughout his career."

Now Stoops' challenge will be making Kentucky competitive in the conference that has won the last six BCS national championships.

The Wildcats are coming off their third straight losing season and second without a bowl appearance. Seven of their eight conference losses this season were by margins of at least two touchdowns, including a 40-0 blowout at home to Vanderbilt on Nov. 3 and a 37-17 season-ending loss at Tennessee on Saturday.

Stoops has a proven track record of rebuilding defenses, which represents a philosophical shift from the offense-minded Phillips.

Before joining Fisher's staff, Stoops resurrected an Arizona defense with similar issues that Kentucky experienced. Arizona was 109th in total defense before his arrival; the defense was ranked in the top 25 in his final two seasons and Arizona earned consecutive bowl bids.

Stoops leaves a Florida State program poised to claim a BCS bowl bid if it wins the ACC championship on Saturday. The Seminoles enter the ACC title game with the nation's seventh-ranked scoring defense, allowing 15.1 points per game.

Fisher said it's a compliment to the defensive players at Florida State that Stoops "got the shot because of how they played and how he coached them."

"I'm very proud of him. Very happy for him," Fisher said after Florida State's practice Tuesday. "He got an opportunity to go on and further his career and it's something he wants to do. ... We wanted Mark to stay here for a long time until he got what he wanted to do. Our players are very elated. They know that that's part of this business."

Florida State defensive end Bjoern Werner said the players are also happy for Stoops.

"Everybody knew he wanted a head coach job," Werner said. "Everybody was happy for him. Nobody was like sad that he was leaving. ... He did everything he could. He turned a great defense into an even better defense."

The search for Stoops' successor will begin next week and Fisher hinted that it could be an internal hire.

"There are possibilities of that all the time," he said. "We have some great coaches underneath."

___

AP Freelance Writer Bob Ferrante in Tallahassee, Fla., contributed to this report.

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Comments » 94

Vol1983 writes:

Good hire.

scvols writes:

I think Mark can improve KY, they will happy with the hire for a couple of years.

dvhill100 writes:

Hopefully it will work out and he'll be successful against everyone but us.

thevoice writes:

in response to Vol1983:

Good hire.

Yeah. This hire came out of nowhere but makes absolute sense. Doubt he was on many folk's list. Just goes to show there are great candidates out there if one looks and thinks.

voloffaith writes:

in response to thevoice:

Yeah. This hire came out of nowhere but makes absolute sense. Doubt he was on many folk's list. Just goes to show there are great candidates out there if one looks and thinks.

Curious..what is his head coaching experience?.....................Seems I keep hearing that this matters besides his pedigree...

thevoice writes:

in response to voloffaith:

Curious..what is his head coaching experience?.....................Seems I keep hearing that this matters besides his pedigree...

The article says he has no HC experience.

Red_October writes:

So what does this say (if anything) that Kentucky has already hired someone and we have not?

voloffaith writes:

in response to thevoice:

The article says he has no HC experience.

Exactly..I read that..was wondering why you considered him to be a"Great candidate".

ProfessionalHandicapper writes:

There has never been a head coach that at one time was not hired with no head coaching experience. Good defensive mind with ties to Florida recruiting. Sounds good.

BIVOLAR_BEARE writes:

Well, that Oliver loser was wrong again..I can't say this is a good or bad hire, we'll just have to wait and see. One thing for certain he couldn't be worse than Joker.

TheRealDragonSlayer writes:

in response to ProfessionalHandicapper:

There has never been a head coach that at one time was not hired with no head coaching experience. Good defensive mind with ties to Florida recruiting. Sounds good.

And everyone really cares what your opinion is. Riiight.

CoverOrange writes:

in response to Red_October:

So what does this say (if anything) that Kentucky has already hired someone and we have not?

Kentucky has a less rabid and delusional fanbase to please. That or it says absolutely nothing at all.

pms151 writes:

KY football does not need HC coaching experience like we do. It just needs some new folks from outside its program. Guess that frees up Randy Sanders from any consideration he was getting. Maybe John Adams will have him on our list in the AM. LOL.

VolsUpsetYetAnother writes:

WHO CARES! Put this on the Wildcat's website.

SevenT writes:

in response to BIVOLAR_BEARE:

Well, that Oliver loser was wrong again..I can't say this is a good or bad hire, we'll just have to wait and see. One thing for certain he couldn't be worse than Joker.

Great Hire, the Big Blue Nation needs Defense!

Glentenn writes:

in response to ProfessionalHandicapper:

There has never been a head coach that at one time was not hired with no head coaching experience. Good defensive mind with ties to Florida recruiting. Sounds good.

Agreed. Stoops has done a great job with the FSU defense. Only reason Tennessee didn't consider is because no head coaching experiance. I think come next Monday we will annnouce Charlie Strong as head coach. Another defensive minded guy with strong Florida recruiting ties. Louisville has 35 Florida kids on their roster. A lot of them young players who made an immeidate impact this year. The state of Florida has over 300 division I quality kids every year, Tennessee only has about 50. Not saying I like that but it is what it is.

DeltaCharlie3 writes:

Between the lines, this is really bad news for Tennessee and the rest of the SEC because the other top candidate at Kentucky was widely believed to be current UF OC, Brent Pease.

The last thing y'all want or need is for that Florida offense to develop some continuity and repetition, to go along with some added playmakers in recruiting. Once Champ gets an offense to go with that defense and special teams, go ahead and get ready for another run of SEC titles and NC's.

Muschamp has it going on right now.

Rel2400 writes:

I guess we can now remove Bob Stoops from our candidate list. I can't see the brothers both moving to SEC to compete against each other.

Vol_in_Mich writes:

in response to Red_October:

So what does this say (if anything) that Kentucky has already hired someone and we have not?

Just what you said it did. In other words nothing that means anything.
I think Ky. did OK with this hire, time will tell. Good luck to you Coach Stoops.

Go AD Hart: Get it right this time, take as long as it takes.

60s70s80s90s00s10sallvol writes:

This leads me to think that we have a legtimate shot at Jimbo Fisher. Jimbo has apparently told Stoops he's leaving so Stoops grabbed the chance to lead KY. Hart hired Fisher once at FL ST. and they are apparently pretty close. Typically, you work good with people or you don't. MY FSU friends say it very likely will happen. I hear they had coffee at a "Pilot" on I-95 over the weekend. We can double his salary, money talks and BS walks. His former SEC ties could lead him to want to compete at the highest level year in year out as well. Fisher or Strong either one would please most Vol fans. Once they get over their fantasy Gruden mancrush.

underthehill writes:

I am glad UK did not hire Petrino..I don't like to think about what kind of team he might build there..would'nt mind seeing Petrino go to Auburn and taking on Saban ..

Vol_in_Mich writes:

in response to TheRealDragonSlayer:

And everyone really cares what your opinion is. Riiight.

He made a valid point, butthole.

asleep#212036 writes:

Funny thing, my business associate, a Florida State grad just said this morning he hoped they could keep Stoops around with all the coaching vacancies. I guess he didn't get his wish. He's absolutely a good DC, so were his two brothers. Mike failed as a HC at Arizona, Bob is a legend at Oklahoma, Mark will tip the family coaching tree one way or the other.

I think we need an experienced HC because the expectations (and financial stakes) for the football program at UT are much higher than those at Kentucky, a basketball school. Mark Stoops is not the only coordinator that hindsight might show to be a great HC but I would be hard-pressed if I were Hart to chance it at this critical juncture. And although it is certainly true that many schools, including ours, have done very well elevating assistant coaches, most of the time at big-time programs (as in our case) the assistant came from the current staff - Fulmer, Richt, Fisher, etc...- giving the AD a multi-year working interview if you will. Much less often do big-time programs hire other schools' coordinators to run their programs and have success. It does happen though: Oklahoma and Bob Stoops, Pellini at Nebraska, Muschamp at Florida. In other words, I would expect Kentucky or Vanderbilt to hire another team's coordinator. I would expect UT, Auburn, and Arkansas to try and hire another team's coach. Go Vols!!!

asleep#212036 writes:

in response to Rel2400:

I guess we can now remove Bob Stoops from our candidate list. I can't see the brothers both moving to SEC to compete against each other.

He was never really on the list, if for no other reason than we can't afford his salary and his buyout. If he flew to Knoxville in person and begged for the job, we don't have the money. Let's move on past Gruden and Stoops and think about the people we can afford..... Go Vols!!!

PUL4VOLS writes:

Great for Mark Stoops and the UK defense. I wish him well except when they play the orange and white. We have a new streak to keep going.

pms151 writes:

in response to 60s70s80s90s00s10sallvol:

This leads me to think that we have a legtimate shot at Jimbo Fisher. Jimbo has apparently told Stoops he's leaving so Stoops grabbed the chance to lead KY. Hart hired Fisher once at FL ST. and they are apparently pretty close. Typically, you work good with people or you don't. MY FSU friends say it very likely will happen. I hear they had coffee at a "Pilot" on I-95 over the weekend. We can double his salary, money talks and BS walks. His former SEC ties could lead him to want to compete at the highest level year in year out as well. Fisher or Strong either one would please most Vol fans. Once they get over their fantasy Gruden mancrush.

In my view their seems to be a flaw in this reasoning. Given the fact that Jimbo probably wants the best in upward mobility for his staff, why would he not let Stoops in on the move to a quality SEC program. A couple of years at UT with Fisher as HC would much improve Stoops' chances at a quality HC job. KY ain't that and after 3 years there he will be back where he started.

thevoice writes:

in response to voloffaith:

Exactly..I read that..was wondering why you considered him to be a"Great candidate".

For UK, yes.

TheRealDragonSlayer writes:

Pat Forde rates Tennessee as the #1 available coaching job in college football:

http://sports.yahoo.com/news/ncaaf--f...

asleep#212036 writes:

in response to 60s70s80s90s00s10sallvol:

This leads me to think that we have a legtimate shot at Jimbo Fisher. Jimbo has apparently told Stoops he's leaving so Stoops grabbed the chance to lead KY. Hart hired Fisher once at FL ST. and they are apparently pretty close. Typically, you work good with people or you don't. MY FSU friends say it very likely will happen. I hear they had coffee at a "Pilot" on I-95 over the weekend. We can double his salary, money talks and BS walks. His former SEC ties could lead him to want to compete at the highest level year in year out as well. Fisher or Strong either one would please most Vol fans. Once they get over their fantasy Gruden mancrush.

Problem is, if Fisher wants to come to the SEC, he already has ties with Auburn. Granted, they have the NCAA sniffing around with a hankerin' for some Tiger tail after the Cam coverup but still, he was OC there for 5 years and they do have three top-10 recruiting classes sitting there waiting for a real coach. The ACC is getting dicey and his DC is gone so yeah, he might leave but rebuilding UT is a big job I'm not sure he wants to tackle at this point in his career, his ties to Hart notwithstanding. Go Vols!!!

fearthehound writes:

in response to underthehill:

I am glad UK did not hire Petrino..I don't like to think about what kind of team he might build there..would'nt mind seeing Petrino go to Auburn and taking on Saban ..

What the...heck? I say slap a big morals clause in Petrino's contract and make him pay all the money back if he can't keep his pants zipped, make him pay a ridiculous amount if he leaves within five years, and get him on a contract at UT and get him recruiting now. The man has head coaching experience, SEC experience, and we know he can put winners on the field.

gobigorange5090 writes:

in response to voloffaith:

Curious..what is his head coaching experience?.....................Seems I keep hearing that this matters besides his pedigree...

It matters at Tennessee. Does it not???? We are Tennessee. We are used to winning in football.. Kentucky isnt.

FLORIDAGATORHATER writes:

in response to Glentenn:

Agreed. Stoops has done a great job with the FSU defense. Only reason Tennessee didn't consider is because no head coaching experiance. I think come next Monday we will annnouce Charlie Strong as head coach. Another defensive minded guy with strong Florida recruiting ties. Louisville has 35 Florida kids on their roster. A lot of them young players who made an immeidate impact this year. The state of Florida has over 300 division I quality kids every year, Tennessee only has about 50. Not saying I like that but it is what it is.

God I hope not. He (Strong) just got beat by UConn. Next please. Charlie Strong doesn't have the name recognition UT needs to recruit nationally.

asleep#212036 writes:

in response to TheRealDragonSlayer:

Pat Forde rates Tennessee as the #1 available coaching job in college football:

http://sports.yahoo.com/news/ncaaf--f...

Interesting one of his reasons UT was a better job than Arkansas was that the East was the softer side of the conference. I don't know going forward. Florida is definitely headed back to the top and the Ol' Ball Coach has the Gamecocks consistently winning. Georgia finally reached their potential and IF they can beat Bama and Notre Dame, look out down the road. Granted our fourth place team was Vandy, an 8-win cupcake without a single win over a BCS team with a winning record but in the West, Mississippi State is in the same boat - 8 largely meaningless wins. Bama and LSU are tough, but A & M has 24 seniors and graduates almost their entire O-line, tough sledding for Johnny Football next year. Question is, can UT and Missouri get up off the mat faster than Arkansas and Auburn? If so, welcome back SEC East. I also think UT is the better job due to geography, facilities, and tradition, but not because it will be in any way "easier" to win in the East down the road. Go Vols!!!

60s70s80s90s00s10sallvol writes:

in response to pms151:

In my view their seems to be a flaw in this reasoning. Given the fact that Jimbo probably wants the best in upward mobility for his staff, why would he not let Stoops in on the move to a quality SEC program. A couple of years at UT with Fisher as HC would much improve Stoops' chances at a quality HC job. KY ain't that and after 3 years there he will be back where he started.

You could be right. Jimbo is a class person or so they say and I am sure he wants what's best for his staff. One could argue any BCS Conf HC job is better than a Assistant role. Money is better for sure.
I think this move to KY for Stoops also could simply be a sibling rivalry thing. "My brothers are and have been head coaches and I want to be one too" wahhh.
At any rate this is a better time of year to be looking for a coach than our last trip. Hart is a career sports guy, a man's man and a coach's friend. The last AD is a good person, but an accountant, (who couldn't count)not a sports guy, Hart will find us a good coach I believe, I pray! Obviously his job will depend on it at some point. We could do a lot worse than Jimbo, in fact we just did worse.

pingkr62 writes:

in response to fearthehound:

What the...heck? I say slap a big morals clause in Petrino's contract and make him pay all the money back if he can't keep his pants zipped, make him pay a ridiculous amount if he leaves within five years, and get him on a contract at UT and get him recruiting now. The man has head coaching experience, SEC experience, and we know he can put winners on the field.

Personally I'm not a fan of Petrino, but your ideas are awesome!

DwayneElizondoMountainDewHerbertCamacho writes:

in response to voloffaith:

Curious..what is his head coaching experience?.....................Seems I keep hearing that this matters besides his pedigree...

This is going to be really complicated to feel free to go back and re-read this explanation as many times as you need to.

University of Tennessee football is not University of Kentucky football. I think we can all agree on this.

University of Kentucky football has always been bad. So UK = Bad football.

University of Tennessee football has almost always been good football. So UT = Good football.

UK is trying to get BETTER.

UT is trying to WIN A NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP.

If UK was trying to win a national championship, then this would be a risky hire. But...they are not. They are simply trying to get better. They just hired a coordinator that has a history of making his unit better. Therefore: good hire UK.

See...it's really not that hard to understand.

VolinCalif writes:

in response to underthehill:

I am glad UK did not hire Petrino..I don't like to think about what kind of team he might build there..would'nt mind seeing Petrino go to Auburn and taking on Saban ..

That may prove to be the best call of the day. I thought that Petrino would go to Ky. So following my great predictions for the Vols this year, I did it again. But I feel that if we haven't already got a coach in process that Petrino's chance just improved.

VOLFAN4LIFEINFLA writes:

Jimbo Fisher has confirmed that he is not leaving Florida State. Bob Stoops has confirmed that he is not leaving Oklahoma. Al Golden has confirmed that he is committed to turning around Miami. Jon Gruden is supposedly expected to be named the new head coach for the Philadelphia Eagles after this season. Bobby Petrino has too much baggage for the University of Tennessee to stoop down to his childish level and hire him. David Cutcliffe signed a new contract extension through 2019 with Duke. In my opinion I think Charlie Strong is a favorable selection because Louisville has not made a move to extend his contract or offer more to his salary.

10SE writes:

Wasn't CPF a candidate for the head coaching job at Kentucky? Does this say anything??

BIVOLAR_BEARE writes:

in response to 10SE:

Wasn't CPF a candidate for the head coaching job at Kentucky? Does this say anything??

Yeah, even UK at their lowest point didn't want Phil..Don't worry Phil, the Kansas job may be open again by the end of the season next year..The 3rd times the charm.

Clarkrm0706 writes:

in response to 10SE:

Wasn't CPF a candidate for the head coaching job at Kentucky? Does this say anything??

The Rumor was that KY was interested in him, not the other way around.

born2ride writes:

Kentucky is a graveyard for coaches.

Vol_in_Mich writes:

in response to DwayneElizondoMountainDewHerbertCamacho:

This is going to be really complicated to feel free to go back and re-read this explanation as many times as you need to.

University of Tennessee football is not University of Kentucky football. I think we can all agree on this.

University of Kentucky football has always been bad. So UK = Bad football.

University of Tennessee football has almost always been good football. So UT = Good football.

UK is trying to get BETTER.

UT is trying to WIN A NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP.

If UK was trying to win a national championship, then this would be a risky hire. But...they are not. They are simply trying to get better. They just hired a coordinator that has a history of making his unit better. Therefore: good hire UK.

See...it's really not that hard to understand.

Hey person with the really long screen name, maybe the Vols should be really worried about getting a lot better before they ever think about a SEC championship much less a N.C. This mess didn't happen overnight, it ain't gonna be fixed over night. Best try to have a winning season first! Then maybe some kind of little bowl & maybe win it.

lemme_axya_this writes:

in response to DeltaCharlie3:

Between the lines, this is really bad news for Tennessee and the rest of the SEC because the other top candidate at Kentucky was widely believed to be current UF OC, Brent Pease.

The last thing y'all want or need is for that Florida offense to develop some continuity and repetition, to go along with some added playmakers in recruiting. Once Champ gets an offense to go with that defense and special teams, go ahead and get ready for another run of SEC titles and NC's.

Muschamp has it going on right now.

He'll have it going on at Texas soon. He's still their coach in waiting, he's just waiting in the cesspool for now.

Hound_Dog69 writes:

in response to Red_October:

So what does this say (if anything) that Kentucky has already hired someone and we have not?

KY fired joker phillips weeks ago and UT fired CDD 9 days ago, KY has a lot less options compared to UT when it comes to bringing a high profile coach to their team. UT has more money, better facilitys, better stadium, better everything, and with the right coach will be a serious SEC contender in a couple of years. Kentucky has been and will always be a bottom of the SEC team.

asleep#212036 writes:

in response to VOLFAN4LIFEINFLA:

Jimbo Fisher has confirmed that he is not leaving Florida State. Bob Stoops has confirmed that he is not leaving Oklahoma. Al Golden has confirmed that he is committed to turning around Miami. Jon Gruden is supposedly expected to be named the new head coach for the Philadelphia Eagles after this season. Bobby Petrino has too much baggage for the University of Tennessee to stoop down to his childish level and hire him. David Cutcliffe signed a new contract extension through 2019 with Duke. In my opinion I think Charlie Strong is a favorable selection because Louisville has not made a move to extend his contract or offer more to his salary.

All these coaches are saying exactly what you would expect them to say at this point. Stoops isn't leaving Oklahoma so his comments are moot. We can't afford Gruden and there's no guarantee he can coach college kids. The rest of them are not going to say anything until they say "yes" so as to keep the people writing their checks happy just in case it doesn't work out. I agree Petrino is a nonstarter because he lied to his bosses and leaves every former job in a hurry and in shambles. Never liked Cutcliffe as HC - didn't recruit all that well at Ole Miss and didn't jibe with the boosters well either. Plus, he is a connection to the past which a lot of the Vols faithful would see as a retread. Not saying I think that but it's a consideration for Hart if he's worried about support. Golden is intriguing. Anybody who can take Temple to consecutive bowls can coach, period. I doubt he's real happy with the Miami folks right now and the worst may be yet to come. Strong is also intriguing - a defensive guru who can recruit Florida and who has proven at Louisville that he deserves to be a HC. Of course, it may be none of these as Hart obviously likes to play his cards close to the vest. Time will tell. Go Vols!!!

eVOLved writes:

watch them win 25+ on us now

asleep#212036 writes:

in response to 10SE:

Wasn't CPF a candidate for the head coaching job at Kentucky? Does this say anything??

It says that in 5 years since he left UT, nobody has offered him a job. Of course, to be fair, we were still paying him and he has all the money he needs so why work? I wouldn't. If I were Phil, I'd golf, fish, hunt, whatever I liked and forget about coaching college football. It's too tough these days - the kids are all thugs, the fans get more unreasonable by the minute, and he has nothing else to prove as a HC. Go Vols!!!

BruisedOrange writes:

Wonder if KY contacted Charlie Strong first? If so and they got a no, that could indicate he has interest in UT.

Recruiting for the Vols is just going to be tough. Florida & FSU are both bigtime again in that state, Bama, Georgia, S.Carolina and Clemson pretty much control their states... looking to the north, Ohio State and Notre Dame are top draws again... VaTech has the tidewater sewed up... looking west they don't have to drive far or leave Texas anymore to play SEC ball... and LSU controls the I-10 from Mississippi through New Orleans to the Texas border.

But we can OWN N.Carolina (if we work like heck)!

Seriously, a proven ability to recruit nationwide is surely a must. For Tennessee, that may be more important than a head coach with experience recruiting the South.

gobigorange5090 writes:

in response to born2ride:

Kentucky is a graveyard for coaches.

Vandy will be also when Coach Franklin is made an offer he cant refuse. And it will happen....sooner than later!

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