Kentucky coach Mark Stoops decides to stay with Wildcats after emerging as Texas A&M’s top target

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With the college football regular season winding down, the Texas A&M coaching search is coming into focus. And as we all expected, finding the next Aggies football coach has been a rollercoaster. Although it appeared on Saturday that Texas A&M was ready to move forward with its top target, Kentucky coach Mark Stoops was set to make an announcement, Stoops instead confirmed overnight with the Wildcats on social media.

“I know there’s been a lot of speculation about me and my work these past two days.” Stoops tweeted. “It’s true that this weekend was full of opportunity, but after celebrating a big win against our rivals with the players I love as a family, I knew in my heart that I couldn’t leave the University of Kentucky right now. Work where I love, and where I am in college football with the best administration and great fans. “I’m so happy to say I’m a Wildcat!”

Stoops, 56, took over a moribund Kentucky team in 2013, eventually leading the Wildcats to a bowl game in his fourth straight season. As of 2018, Stoops has quietly transformed into one of the top coaches in the SEC. He has a 47-28 record with four bowl wins over the past five seasons. Kentucky has won 10 games twice in that span, matching the mark held by Texas A&M since 1998. Before Stoops’ arrival, the Durcats had not won 10 games since 1977.

For a while Saturday, it looked like Texas was poised to take on an even bigger SEC challenge in trying to lead A&M to prominence. That’s no longer the case as a continued run against Kentucky is in the cards.

Texas A&M is considering replacing Jimbo Fisher, who was fired by the Aggies after six seasons. Fisher was hailed as a savior when he was hired away State of Florida; The school has been given a blank national championship slate to prepare for what awaits Fisher’s tenure. In the year After a stellar 6-4 start to the 2023 season, however, the Texas A&M brass decided it was time for the marriage to end. Fisher owes more than $70 million in buyout funds, which triples the next largest buyout College football History.

The Aggies’ quest for a new coach comes at a critical time for the program. The Aggies have the No. 1 recruiting class of all time in 2022 and the lion’s share will be juniors in 2024. Texas A&M ranks No. 4 in the 247Sports team talent pool. Alabama, Georgia And Ohio State. Keeping the roster together and maximizing the 2024 season will be top of mind for any coach taking over at College Station. Texas.

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