Very few prognosticators could have predicted the outstanding season that Kentucky would experience on the gridiron this fall. The Wildcats finished the season at 9-3 overall and 5-3 in the SEC, good for a second-place finish in the East division.

Those records mark the best finishes of the Mark Stoops era and the sixth-year UK coach was honored by both the Associated Press and his SEC coaching peers as the league’s best coach this week. The previous Kentucky coach to win the AP’s SEC Coach of the Year honor was Jerry Claiborne back in 1983.

After claiming both prestigious awards, Stoops offered up his thoughts during his Friday press conference. Given his program’s team-approach, it was no surprise to see Stoops credit the entire Kentucky organization for the team’s on-the-field success this season.

“I accept that on behalf of everybody in our organization and I just think you don’t win those awards unless there’s a lot of people doing a lot of good things,” Stoops said. “This is a monster of an organization and you look at all the people involved and there’s a ton of people involved in what you have to do in football. There’s a team of people, player personnel, academics, coaching, equipment crew, training staff, administration, it’s just a large organization and there are a lot of people that do a lot of good things, so it’s just saying that those folks are going a great job and greatly appreciate them.”

It’s good to see Kentucky and Stoops get rewarded for all the hard work that has led to this point. Judging by the results from this season, the best may yet to come for Big Blue Nation under Stoops.