One opposing view on Mark Stoops

Greg Hansen of the Arizona Daily Star wrote today about new UK head coach Mark Stoops, who was defensive coordinator at Arizona under his brother, Mike. Hansen was not optimistic about Stoops chances at Kentucky, however.

But beyond that, Mark Stoops is like a lot of assistant coaches at big-time programs like Florida State. He looked good because he had so many good players.

At Arizona, Stoops was not a lights-out defensive coordinator or game-planner. He wasn’t in the category with the leading UA defensive coordinators of the last 50 years and was nothing to match Rich Ellerson, Moe Ankney, Sharkey Price, Larry Smith, Larry Mac Duff or Duane Akina.

Now Mark Stoops will match his best against the best from Alabama, LSU, Georgia and the rest of the SEC. His last name won’t win a single game.

I quoted Hansen in my profile of Mark Stoops today.

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  1. operationruse says:

    I will obviously defer to Mr. Hansen regarding the history of Arizona defense over, but I would like to know exactly what his basis is for saying Stoops is not at the same level as those other coaches? The only thing I know about Arizona defense is they got the nickname “desert swarm” and went on to prove to be overrated and Lance Briggs played there. I actually thought Stoops made them respectable based on stats. Also, a coach is limited to a large extent by the talent on his roster. I am not sure, but I do not believe Arizona had a bunch of NFL players when he was there.

    I am actually more impressed by the significant change he made in Florida State from the time he arrived. They were still getting NFL talent before he got there, right?

  2. operationruse says:

    Mr. Hansen makes a legitimate point when talking about the jump from coordinator to head coach, but I think the risks are just as large, if not larger, to go from a head coaching position at a school outside the SEC (unless we are talking about one of the big programs, which is not realistic) to one of the toughest jobs in the SEC. If we were going the assistant coach route, I cannot think of a better candidate. Many wanted to hire Kirby Smart, but I think he is a much greater risk than Stoops. Smart has not been an assistant for as long, and he has enjoyed success under a great coach but also one that is reputed to be a micromanager, particularly on defense. Stoops was reportedly given complete control over the defense at Florida State, so his results stand on their own.

    I also liked the fact that Stoops actively pursued the UK position (James Franklin did this with Vandy). Any coach that had to be “sold” the job at UK is not one that I would want. This program needs excitement and a culture change. Stoops appears to be ready to do his best to bring both. Smart reportedly is waiting to get one of the better jobs so he can have the best chance to be successful. While that might be “Smart,” it also says something about the lack of confidence in one’s own ability.