Stoops Regrets Timing of Contract Announcement; The coach said the deal came about when Kentucky was on a winning streak

Published 4:18 PM Wednesday 23 November 2022

KEITH TAYLOR

Kentucky today

Mark Stoops has no regrets signing a contract extension but wishes the timing of the deal could have been better for both sides.

The Kentucky soccer coach signed the contract, which will last through the 2030 season and expire in June 2031. As of February, he’s getting a pay rise to $8.65 million. The extension was not made public or shared with the media, but records show it was signed on Nov. 11, the day before his team’s 24-21 loss to Vanderbilt. His buyout will change from $1.75 million to $4.5 million, decreasing by $500,000 at the end of each season he stays on top.

“It was agreed when things were really good, but obviously I feel sorry for Mitch (Barnhart) and Dr. (Eli) Capilouto because to be honest they didn’t do my part. After that game (Vanderbilt), believe me, I better quit. I felt really bad about that loss and some parts of the season.”

Stoops said he has no plans to leave anytime soon, although he has received interest from other programs.

“I am committed to this place and have been,” he said. “This is my home. This is the place I’ve helped out up to this point. Do we want more? Yes. I think we want to keep growing.

“DR. Capilouto expects more. Mitch expects more and I do and I want to keep building, keep having the continuity and I want to improve. There are a lot of people who would like to have the stability that we had. And it there are a lot of people who, like us, would be driven to compete at higher levels as well.”

Stoops, the second-longest-serving coach in the Southeastern Conference behind Alabama’s Nick Saban, will end the first decade of his tenure when the Wildcats (6-5, 3-5 SEC) take on state rivals Louisville (7-4) on Saturday at Krogerfeld .

Kentucky will also have a school record seventh consecutive postseason. Stoops overtook Paul “Bear” Bryant earlier this season to become the program’s all-time winning coach. Stoops said he’s had offers from other schools.

“I don’t like respecting a school or anyone or anything,” he said. “I think with the work that we’ve done here, I think it goes without… I don’t need to say anything. Many people have asked over the years. I really don’t force it. I’m in season I am committed to my players. I am committed to this place and have never left it five minutes.”

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