Back in May, Kentucky announced that it had extended the contract of Mark Stoops.
Nearly six months and eight games later, they’ve done it again.
UK announced Friday afternoon that it had reached an agreement on yet another contract extension for its head football coach. The deal back in May would’ve kept Stoops with the Wildcats through June 30, 2019; this new agreement binds him to UK through the 2019 season, meaning that it’s a rare half-year extension.
“Mark is guiding our program in the direction we all want it to go and we are proud to reward that,” athletic director Mitch Barnhart wrote in the first of a series of tweets posted to his Twitter account. “I was confident Mark was right for this job when I hired him, but he has exceeded my expectations. From leading a group of young men to recruiting to fundraising, Mark has embraced and excelled in all facets of this job. I am excited about the progress our team has shown on the field, but this is as much about the next five years as it is the last 1.5.
“As I’ve said before, I believe we can compete at the highest level in the toughest conference. @UKCoachStoops is the coach to take us there.”
There was no word on what if any salary increases may be involved.
After going 2-10 in his first season last year, Stoops has his Wildcats sitting at 5-3 in 2014 and on the verge of bowl eligibility for the first time since 2010. While there’s certainly a greater on-field buzz when it comes to the Wildcats, it’s on the recruiting trail where it’s the loudest and most pronounced.
Kentucky currently has the No. 22 recruiting class for the 2015 cycle after Stoops and his coaching staff pulled in the No. 17 class this past February and the No. 29 class in 2013. Prior to Stoops’ arrival, UK had just two recruiting classes — 2006 (No. 36) and 2009 (No. 41) — finish inside the Top 50 nationally since 2002.