Mark Stoops agrees to new deal to remain at Kentucky to end Oklahoma rumors

You can put the rumors to bed, as Kentucky and Mark Stoops have agreed to a multi-year contract extension. 

Has there ever been a more wild 72 hours in college football? It’s been a game of musical chairs for head coaches, with Lincoln Riley and Brian Kelly headlining things with their moves to USC and LSU, respectively. Rumors have been flying that Kentucky’s Mark Stoops could be making a move too.

Well, that’s not going to happen. On Tuesday afternoon, the school announced that Stoops has agreed to a contract extension that will run through the 2028 campaign.

“I’m excited to continue to build this program to national prominence, Stoops said. We’re on our way and I’m more confident in Kentucky football than I’ve ever been.”

As rumors swirled about Stoops being a candidate at Florida and LSU in recent weeks, those rumors escalated after the Oklahoma job opened with Lincoln Riley leaving for USC.

Mark Stoops staying put with Kentucky is massive news for the Wildcats

Despite Stoops being a logical candidate to helm the program his brother Bob did for so many years, his agreement with Kentucky had been in place before cementing it after the season finale on Saturday.

“Mitch and I came to an agreement a week or two ago and shook hands on it Saturday afternoon. This process is a compliment to our relationship.”

Stoops led Kentucky to a 9-3 record and second-place finish in the SEC East. This will be the sixth straight season he’s led Kentucky to a bowl game.

“We have been in discussion with Coach Stoops in recent weeks and are excited about his ongoing commitment to Kentucky,” athletic director Mitch Barnhart said in a release. “Coach Stoops has done an outstanding job in building the UK football program and we look forward to continued success under his leadership.”

Kentucky committing to Stoops ensures he won’t be linked to any job openings in the near future as they continue to build the program into a consistent winner in the competitive SEC where 13 out of 14 teams are going bowling this season. It will only get more challenging with the additions of Texas and Oklahoma in the future.

Terms of the new contract extension are not available, but Stoops should see a raise from the $5.25 million he made under the old agreement.

 

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