Mark Stoops mentioned as candidate for potential Power 5 job
Long before becoming the head coach at Kentucky, Mark Stoops was a defensive back at Iowa from 1986-88. He then began his coaching career as a graduate assistant for the Hawkeyes from 1990-91.
So, if the head-coaching job at his alma mater opened up, would Stoops ever consider taking it?
Last week, there were 13 former Iowa players who filed a lawsuit against the program, including current head coach Kirk Ferentz, alleging “targeted discriminatory behavior.” And while it’s unclear how this situation will unfold, perhaps Ferentz — who has been the Hawkeyes’ coach since 1999 — could end up leaving in some fashion, creating a vacancy at the top of their staff.
If that happened, Banner Society’s Steven Godfrey noted that Stoops “could be lured ‘home’ despite his own sweetheart deal in Lexington,” adding that he may be a fit for Iowa.
“That’s a much more desirable job than folks might realize,” an industry source told Godfrey. “[Iowa has] always been viewed as a coach’s school, where if you fit there, you can build something very long-term. They aren’t going to meddle; they’re reasonable about expectations. It’s not like a lot of other Power 5 jobs, especially where you can go to the Rose Bowl.”
Stoops hadn’t been a head coach before coming to Kentucky in 2013. Over eight seasons, he’s led the Wildcats to a 47-48 record, which includes a 3-4 mark so far this season. He’s also guided Kentucky to a bowl game each of the previous four seasons.
It would take some new developments for this to come to fruition, but it could become something to watch if the Iowa job has an imminent opening.
For now, Stoops is looking to lead Kentucky to a strong finish to the 2020 season. The Wildcats are set to travel to No. 1 Alabama this Saturday for a 4 p.m. ET kickoff on SEC Network.