Never mind, nothing to see here.
I can confirm Matt's breaking news here. Fully expecting Stoops to remain in Lexington. https://t.co/R1jySQx11w— Billy Liucci (@billyliucci) November 26, 2023
It was well-known that Texas A&M would likely try to name a head coach before the transfer portal opened nationwide on Dec. 4, but I don’t think anyone thought it would be this fast. Just hours after the Aggies played their final regular season game of 2023, multiple outlets are reporting that the Aggies have found their next football coach: Kentucky’s Mark Stoops.
Barring a last minute collapse, sources tell https://t.co/zQ9IHLlF7I Kentucky coach Mark Stoops is likely to be the next head coach at Texas A&M.— Mark Passwaters (@mbpRivals) November 26, 2023
Breaking: Texas A&M is expected to soon finalize its hiring of Kentucky head coach Mark Stoops. My story confirming the news, which I believe Rivals had first. https://t.co/GWr3dgLUX5— Carter Karels (@CarterKarels) November 26, 2023
Stoops currently makes $9 million per season at Kentucky, and would have to pay a $4.5 million buyout to get out of his current contract with the Wildcats. It is not yet known what his contract details at A&M would be. For many A&M fans, this may be viewed as a disappointing hire. Given that names like Dan Lanning, Ryan Day and Kalen DeBoer made the rounds, it’s understandable that Stoops is not on that level, image-wise. But he’s got more SEC experience than you could have possibly hoped for, and ultimately overachieved at a Kentucky program that was at near Vanderbilt levels of ineptitude before he arrived. While Stoops very well could do well at A&M, this is no slam dunk hire. Stoops does have two 10-win seasons and two top 20 finishes under his belt at Kentucky, but also four losing ones (granted three of those were his first three years as he rebuilt the program). He’s also never finished better than 5-3 in SEC play. If you’re an optimist, the hope is that Stoops can level up his performance at a program that commits resources to football at an elite level (which Kentucky certainly did not do). He’s a competent coach, and one who can likely improve this team in 2024. But whether or not he has the potential to lead this team to championships is very very much up for debate. More to come as this reported hiring unfolds.