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  • Mark Stoops responds to questions concerning his Contract Extension

    Earlier this month, Mark Stoops signed a contract extension through the 2030 Season which places him among the highest paid football coaches in the country. Although the contract was signed in early November, the University of Kentucky did not announce the extension and did not have any public addressing of the extension until today at the Monday press conference. Mark Stoops addressed the extension in that conference.

    Q. The contract extension, why did you want to make that commitment in season now?

    COACH STOOPS: Well, we made that commitment to each other a while ago. I kind of feel bad about the timing of it. I wasn't very proud of some of the losses, certainly coming off the Vanderbilt game and all that.

    But I told you, what, last January, that when Mitch (Barnhart) and I and Dr. (Eli) Capilouto make an agreement, we make an agreement. And I said that about Jimmy (Sexton) and lawyers and all that stuff, but we have worked together so long that we have a great commitment to each other and a trust and a belief in each other. The stability was important and early in the season there was a lot of noise. I just simply said, ‘I'm committed to this. I'm not going anywhere. I'm committed to this place’ -- and vice versa.

    And so it was agreed upon, when things were really good. But obviously I feel bad for Mitch and Dr. Capilouto in not doing my part, truthfully. After that game, believe me, I better just stop there. I felt very bad about that loss and some of the parts of the season.

    Q: Based on what you just said, as it relates to the contract extension, were the years and the commitment that they show more important than the dollars themselves?

    COACH STOOPS: Absolutely. It's important. And I think the contract that I had also could roll over for a very long, long time. And we got to that point where it was like, okay, I think that piece of it, we know we could let go and move on from the automatic rollovers and things of that nature.

    We never know -- none of us can predict the future. So, it was a commitment. I was appreciative. It's simply, as easy it was the last time, for me, it's like, I know I'm committed here. If that proves to everybody, so people quit talking about things -- I know we lost, so everybody’s start saying the other way (laughter). But I get it. So, take the good with the bad. I've been here a long time. But I'm committed to this place and have been. This is my home. This is the place that I've helped build to this point. We have built it to this point. Do we want more? Yes. I think we want to continue to grow. Dr. Capilouto expects more. Mitch expects more, and I do, and I want to continue to build, continue to have the continuity, and I want to improve.

    There's a lot of people that would like to have the stability that we have had. And there's a lot of people that would, much like us, be driven to compete at higher levels as well.

    Q. There were rumors that some big-time programs were coming after you pretty hard. How seriously did you listen to any of their pitches?

    COACH STOOPS: I don't talk about any of that because I don't like to disrespect any school or anybody or anything. I think with the work that we've done here, I think it goes without -- I don't need to say anything.

    There's a lot of people over the years that have inquired. I really don't push that. I'm in season. I'm committed to my players. I'm committed to this place and I've never strayed five minutes from that.
    Comments 2 Comments
    1. Terry Blue's Avatar
      Terry Blue -
    1. KentuckyWildcat's Avatar
      KentuckyWildcat -
      His ex-wife probably appreciates the raise