LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - The University of Kentucky went defensive in the search for a head football coach.
Various media reports have the Cats set to announce the hiring of Florida State defensive coordinator Mark Stoops as the replacement for Joker Phillips.
Stoops, 45, is the younger brother of Oklahoma head coach Bob Stoops and former Arizona head coach Mike Stoops.
He is one of five finalists for the National Defensive Coordinator of the Year. His Florida State defense currently ranks #2 in the nation in total defense, giving up just 249.42 yards a game. Kentucky ranks 57th at 391 yards per game.
Stoops played defensive back at Iowa, graduating in 1989, and has also coached at the college level at Iowa, South Florida, Wyoming, Houston, and Miami (FL).
He was defensive coordinator at Arizona, under his brother Mike, for 6 seasons before taking the Florida State job.
Florida State is currently #13 in the Bowl Championship Series standings and plays Georgia Tech Saturday night at 8 p.m. in A.C.C. championship game. The winner of that game will host the Orange Bowl. The most likely opponent in the Orange Bowl will be the Big East champion, which will most likely the winner of Thursday nights Louisville-Rutgers game.
The Orange Bowl is Tuesday, January 1, in Miami, Florida.
Phillips, who was dismissed on November 4, ended his U.K. coaching career with a loss to Tennessee on Saturday. He compiled a 13-24 record in three seasons as the Cats head man.
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