Dean Hood has watched Mark Stoops from afar for several years.
Now he’ll be working with the Kentucky head football coach side by side.
Stoops made official Wednesday what had been rumored for several days: Hood, 53, is UK’s new special teams coordinator and outside linebackers coach. Hood moves into the position vacated by Matt House when House was recently promoted to defensive coordinator. House’s promotion was necessitated by the departure to Colorado of D.J. Eliot.
Hood spent eight years as head coach at Eastern Kentucky before being fired after the 2015 season despite an overall record of 55-38. Hood’s 2015 team, which finished 6-5, played Kentucky to overtime that season before the Wildcats prevailed. Last year, Hood coached special teams and tight ends at Charlotte.
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“I could not be more excited to have Coach Hood join our staff,” Stoops said in a UK news release Wednesday. “He brings extensive experience and knowledge as a head coach, defensive coordinator and special teams coordinator. Having watched him at Eastern Kentucky, I developed great respect for him and I know he is held in high regard by the high school coaches in the state. He is a welcome addition to our program.”
Hood, a native of Ashtabula, Ohio, led EKU to two Ohio Valley Conference championships and three FCS playoff appearances and was named OVC Coach of the Year in 2008. Before guiding the Colonels, Hood was defensive coordinator and secondary coach at Wake Forest from 2001-07.
“I am from northeast Ohio and I take a lot of pride from being from there,” Hood said in the UK release. “Being from Ohio I have followed the Stoops family for a long time and they are known for being tough, hard-working and family oriented. All of those things are important to me as well. ... Being 17 miles away at EKU, I was always impressed with him and the discipline of his program. I was impressed with how he presented himself in the media and public with an honest and let’s-go-to-work attitude and how they have put together a really good strategic recruiting plan. I’m excited and honored to be a part of his staff.”
One more position remains open on the UK coaching staff. Multiple reports suggest that Derrick LeBlanc of North Texas will replace Jimmy Brumbaugh as defensive line coach. Brumbaugh resigned last week to become co-defensive coordinator and defensive line coach at Maryland.