UK football notes: Stoops expects coaching staff to remain intact

broberts@herald-leader.comDecember 18, 2013 

Tight Ends coach Vince Marrow watched during UK fan day on Friday August 9, 2013.

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There are currently no football coaching vacancies at the University of Kentucky, and Mark Stoops is hoping to keep it that way.

Stoops said Wednesday that he does not envision any personnel changes to the coaching staff after his first season at UK.

"I'd like to keep everyone intact, and I plan on keeping everyone intact," he said.

Though he isn't expecting any departures, Stoops said he is pursuing a title change for tight ends coach Vince Marrow, who is UK's primary recruiter in Ohio and has been given much of the credit for building what will probably be the program's highest-rated class in recent memory.

Stoops implied that he will recommend Marrow for the title of "recruiting coordinator," though there's a process that the coach must go through to get that accomplished.

"I'm going to recommend some changes and some promotions in certain spots and certain things," he said. "I'd like to handle that all at once and make sure I go through my bosses on all that and everything. But, yeah, I plan on recommending Vince for a promotion in that area."

Roster stability?

UK confirmed in recent days that running back Dyshawn Mobley and wide receiver Daryl Collins will seek transfers, and others have also been rumored to be leaving the program.

But Stoops said Wednesday that he doesn't expect any more departures.

"I don't think so," he said. "Sometimes I may hear that they're looking, or this or that. But to this point, that's all that I know of."

Stoops thanked Collins and Mobley for their contributions to the program and expressed joy that starting defensive ends Za'Darius Smith and Alvin "Bud" Dupree will return for their senior seasons instead of pursuing careers in the NFL.

"That was big for us," he said. "I thought it was very important for our defense and for our team and for leadership to have those guys return. So I'm excited for them and to help them improve their stock in the draft for the following year."

Heisman ties

As far as recruiting pitches go, Stoops and UK defensive coordinator D.J. Eliot can already point prospects to their success with linemen at Florida State and make a pretty good case.

Now Stoops can also say that he coached a Heisman Trophy winner.

FSU quarterback Jameis Winston, who received the award last week, was Stoops' scout team quarterback in 2012 when the now-UK head coach was the Seminoles' defensive coordinator.

"Coached him up pretty good last year," Stoops said with a grin. "He's a wonderful young man. He's fun to work with. He always — I think the biggest thing about him is just the way he carries himself. He just had a presence about him that was special. I couldn't tell that from watching him on scout team that he'd be that good, but you knew he had that charisma about him.

"He had that great trait that you're always looking for in a quarterback."

Stoops, who was FSU's defensive coordinator for three seasons, said he'll be rooting for the Seminoles over Southeastern Conference champ Auburn in next month's national championship game.

"I'm sorry, I've got to go against the SEC on this one," he said. "I've got too many close relationships with the people there and certainly the players there."

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