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  • Will Mark Stoops’ 2018 Staff Get Results Needed for Skeptical Fans?

    By: LONNY DEMAREE

    Big success lies in first-avenue on the street called winner. That’s the first step in a novice head coach’s career.
    Stoops has a long linage of coaches in his family and it’s little doubt that’s one of the things that stood out when Mitch Barnhart was searching for a new head coach. We are starting to see signs that it’s working. Often times that is not a true indicator for success.

    The next step is having someone that you trust; 3) having someone that can recruit; 4) having someone that can coach; 5) and most of all someone that can teach on and off the field.

    For a new coach to put together a staff that is successful is in sometimes in the luck of the draw and in somebody’s recommendation. The coach has to create some coaching capital along with, in UK’s case someone that’s comfortable that he is going to get established. Now with gradual improvement Stoops is the dean of the SEC east. D. J. Eliot who he knew and coach with was one of his hires. He and Eliot came to UK together from Florida State. A big name school but Eliot to be placed in a position of responsibility at UK where there were uncertainties. Eliot failed the test because Stoops assumed a large responsibility of defensive coordinator duties. But Eliot was someone that he trusted to be loyal to him.

    Neal Brown who is proving himself to be a quick learner at Troy State University was a recommendation for Stoops to hire primarily for the “Air Raid” that the fan base was hung up on.

    Other than a short stint at LSU as special team’s coordinator, Bradley Peveto was hired in the same position at UK and failed miserably. Stoops hired Craig Naivar in 2014 who couldn’t figure out how to wear his hear wear on the sideline. He too lasted only one year after failing as special team’s coordinator.
    Special teams is one-third of the entire football team and a big indicator in a teams win/lost success. The best special team/kicking game coordinator I’ve ever witness is Mark Nelson. He coached the likes of Derek Abney and Craig Yeast that were tremendous return specialist. Nelson’s team rare got blocking in the back penalties. His coverage teams didn’t allow long returns.

    Now in the sixth-year it looks as though beginning with last season he finally has the overall coaching staff in place that along with the Jimmy’s-and-Joes that can put wins on the board consistently.
    Dean Hood came aboard last season and special team’s coordinator and showed marked improvement. Along with those duties he is back at home at secondary which is his bailiwick. Stoop brought in Brad White from the Indianapolis Colts to coach the outside linebackers. Stoops hired Michael Smith who learned his craft under crusty veteran Kansas State University Head Coach Bill Snyder a future Hall of Fame coach. Wide receiver play should show marked improvement. The season will be the third season for Eddie Gran and Darin Hinshaw both of vast experience. Based on what we’ve seen from those two, they know what they are doing.

    For a first time coach such as Stoops was sometimes it take time to put together a staff that meets all the aforementioned qualifications. This season could be very interesting.
    This article was originally published in forum thread: Will Mark Stoops’ 2018 Staff Get Results Needed for Skeptical Fans? started by LonnyDemaree View original post
    Comments 13 Comments
    1. StuBleedsBlue2's Avatar
      StuBleedsBlue2 -
      The quick answer to the question is No.

      My prediction on the season is that we're going to win 7 games with a much more difficult schedule year over year. The skeptical fans are going to complain about Stoops getting another contract extension and it's going to be the same thing all over again.
    1. LakeCat's Avatar
      LakeCat -
      I will be thrilled with seven wins. Problem is we will be lucky to win 6 with inexperienced QB and Stoops propensity to blow at least one game that should have been a win.
    1. StuBleedsBlue2's Avatar
      StuBleedsBlue2 -
      Quote Originally Posted by LakeCat View Post
      I will be thrilled with seven wins. Problem is we will be lucky to win 6 with inexperienced QB and Stoops propensity to blow at least one game that should have been a win.
      What about the games that Stoops and Co win that they shouldn't? There's usually at least one of those each season too.
    1. Terry Blue's Avatar
      Terry Blue -
      Folks tend to forget those
    1. catmanjack's Avatar
      catmanjack -
      Then list them, last year was the SC game on the road so why can't UK play like that all the time?
    1. CatQuick's Avatar
      CatQuick -
      Even though I complain about play calling just like everyone else, I think Eddie Gran has a good handle on the offense. He doesn't have 5 stars to work with, but I think he can adjust his season philosophy to fit his talent. Defense drives me crazy. Maybe this is just an old man's foggy memory, but seems like Jerry Claiborne with his wide tackle eight formation always had guys in pretty good position and they tackled well until they ran out of gas. Tackling and player positioning under Stoops has been mystifying for someone that was a coordinator on that side of the ball. If the Jimmy and Joes on defense show improvement in technique and in game decisions then I think results will follow.
    1. Terry Blue's Avatar
      Terry Blue -
      Wide tackle 6
    1. catmanjack's Avatar
      catmanjack -
      Issue with the defense seems to be discipline and a huge lack of it. Which goes to coaching.
    1. Doc's Avatar
      Doc -
      When you win one you shouldn't but lose two you should win, the net is losing more than expected. That is the norm and that isn't good. Last year UK should have, or at least could have beaten FL and Ol Miss. Last year 8 wins was written on the wall with the schedule
    1. Terry Blue's Avatar
      Terry Blue -
      We could have lost some that we won too. Folks tend to ignore those and concentrate on one's we could have won. Actually last season there were several more we could have easily lost than ones we could have easily won. Remember with no draft picks the last 2 years it,s a near miracle we beat any Power 5 teams
    1. VirginiaCat's Avatar
      VirginiaCat -
      Quote Originally Posted by CatQuick View Post
      Even though I complain about play calling just like everyone else, I think Eddie Gran has a good handle on the offense. He doesn't have 5 stars to work with, but I think he can adjust his season philosophy to fit his talent. Defense drives me crazy. Maybe this is just an old man's foggy memory, but seems like Jerry Claiborne with his wide tackle eight formation always had guys in pretty good position and they tackled well until they ran out of gas. Tackling and player positioning under Stoops has been mystifying for someone that was a coordinator on that side of the ball. If the Jimmy and Joes on defense show improvement in technique and in game decisions then I think results will follow.
      But remember the bitching about the WT6. Basically allowed offenses to move from 20 to 20 with the concept that you stopped teams there. Not sure that works against today's type offenses..
    1. Terry Blue's Avatar
      Terry Blue -
      Jerry had a lot of in state players. Very conservative style, don't think he had the talent to do great things in SEC
    1. kingcat's Avatar
      kingcat -
      Jerry played good sound football with below SEC standard players. That led to below standard SEC results, and always will I guess