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I just want to share why my hopes are so high with Mark Stoops. We have all seen the impact he has had on recruiting, but without coaching - you are nothing. In conversations and reading other pieces, it is obvious that Stoops builds a fatherly type love and respect with his players.
I think a lot of coaches suffer from the idea that they have to be "cool" and "relate to the players." Not necessarily true. No offense - and Coach Cal said it best - what does a grown man have in common with a teenager? It's important to show that you are going to be honest and keep a player's best interest at heart. Ultimately, it comes down to 'can you get me where I need to be?' whether that's academically or athletically.
I think that is what makes Coach Cal so successful. For some guys, he is the father that they never had. A little tough love never hurts if you are proven to be successful and legitimately care about your players. An image that will always stick with me is when DeAndre Liggins ran over to hug Coach Cal at the end of a tournament game, he was crying and Coach Cal kissed him on the forehead. Think about what that young man went through, he grew up in a rough part of Chicago, he had a child and he was a highly sought after recruit that hadn't lived up to expectations prior to Coach Cal. He was known to be hard headed. Think about how much he grew as a man under John Calipari.
I think that's what makes me feel so confident about Mark Stoops. I think he is that same kind of person, coach. His scheme works and it's obvious his players love him. When you have that, it's a match made in Big Blue heaven.
Another thing that is important, Stoops has surrounded himself with equally hungry coaches. No one loves UK more than Neal Brown and Chad Scott. Every coach on the staff has either had proven success or a skies high potential.
It's also why Chip Kelly won't succeed in Philadelphia...but that's a different story...
I don't want it to sound unimportant to have stuff in common with a recruit, it helps - a lot. It has to be natural though. You can't be someone that you are not or a kid is going to see right through you. Stoops has surrounded himself with young, hungry assistants. That is not a coincidence.
Spot on. Completely agree and hope you are right.
I agree 100% Josh. Stoops is one of those rare guys that "gets it". He's like a duck in water..he has that magnetism all the great coaches possess. This entire staff is full of great recruiters, but just as importantly..great football minds..great position coaches.
Josh - You started a great thread here. I think Stoops is going to be great at Kentucky. I know Mitch and administration has come through with everything they promised to date, including, but not limited too $110 million in funding for facilities as well as resources for this great staff. We have had people with names before (e.g. Curry), we have had young up and comers willing to take risks before (e.g. Mumme), but since the great "Bear" we have not have coach that understands the depth and detail of managing a top notch program. Curci was the closest thing, but he lost control of the compliance side of the program.
Stoops may be the guy the awakens the "Sleeping Giant."
I agree, and good post. Stoops has already shot some much need energy back into the fan base. My fan morale was so frickin' low last season, I forgot when a few of the final games were even on and missed them. Joker said the next coach would need 3 (?) years to get the program back on track after his regime derailed it. I don't buy that. With the right combination of coaching, scheme, and talent (which the Cats have already started to improve upon) this program should be able to get back to being respectable pretty quickly. There is no Tim Couch on this roster, but there is enough talent on this team to think 4-5 wins isn't out of the realm of possibility if the coaches can maximize the talent by changing the players attitude and putting them in schemes they can execute.
I really think Max Smith is an NFL QB. Kid has the arm, toughness, and accuracy to be a very good field general. I think Smith will become a household name in Browns pass happy attack. Pat Towles is also a very good QB. Just needs time and reps. Max Smith was throwing for 300 yards a game at a 70% comp clip, in a stagnant offense with no continuity. Neal Browns simple, timing based attack suits Smith perfectly. I think Max puts up huge numbers this year.
Its not hard to see that Mark Stoops has the "IT" factor. In a short time frame hes changed this football program for the better. Uk is recruiting against the big boys of college football and more than holding thier own..there is more positive buzz surrounding this football team than anytime I can remember in my 37 years.
I love this entire staff. I think its the perfect mix of proven success and youthfull exhuberance. This is a young, hungry staff that also happens to recruit extremely well.
Great post Josh. I'd also include John Schlarman as a guy who loves this program to death in your second post.
I thought same thing as I read his post and almost went and posted it glad I didn't so there was not identical post back to back.
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