All-Time Win Record Surpasses Paul ‘Bear’ Bryant
The weekend of September 17 was a special day for Kentucky football coach Mark Stoops and his family. Prior to a match-up against Youngstown State, Stoops’ family joined him on field as he was recognized for becoming the Wildcats’ all-time winningest coach. More than 59,000 fans (many wearing ‘Stoops Troops’ t-shirts) in the stands went wild as he and his family were introduced.
With a victory over the Florida Gators two weeks ago, Stoops earned his 61st victory in Lexington, surpassing Hall of Fame coach Bear Bryant for the program lead.
After a 31-0 shutout against Youngstown State, the coach addressed what it meant to him to share that moment with his mother, brothers, sisters and children.
“I really appreciate that and the administration doing that acknowledgement and having my mother there and my brother Bob and all my sisters and brothers,” Stoops said.
“It was really nice. So it was fun. I’m glad it’s all behind us now and we can concentrate and move on to the next games. But great weekend. Great day. So, that was fun.”
Stoops took over for the Wildcats in 2013 and holds a 62-53 record since then following Saturday’s victory. Last season, in which the Wildcats finished with a 10-3 record, he became the first coach to lead UK to multiple 10-win seasons.
Mark Stoops comes from a big football family from Cardinal Mooney High School where they all played on the gridiron under legendary Don Bucci. His brothers, Bob, Mike and Ron were also college football coaches. Bob retired in 2016 after 18 years as head coach Oklahoma (where he won a national championship and is the winningest grid coach in Sonners’ history), while Mike is in his first season working with Mark as the Kentucky linebackers coach. Ron spent several seasons at Youngstown State as an assistant coach. With the family all back together, Stoops said he was looking forward to spending some quality time with them Saturday evening.
“I’ve got a lot of family and friends here,” Mark said. “We’ll enjoy the evening and spend some time with my family and friends. I’m really appreciative that my whole family got here and was here to share in that. It’s been a fun weekend.”
Kentucky is currently ranked No. 8 in the AP poll, its highest mark since 2007.
Pictured, from left, moments before kickoff with Youngstown State are, Mike Stoops, Ron Stoops, Will, Mark and Zach Stoops, Mitch Barnhart, Kentucky athletic director; Bob Stoops, Reenie (Stoops) Farragher and Kathy Stoops.
This article is being republished with permission of the Boardman News.