UK Football

Florida State could call Mark Stoops. What would he owe Kentucky if he left?

Florida State head coach Willie Taggart was fired Sunday, ending his time with the Seminoles just 21 games into his tenure. Kentucky head coach Mark Stoops is among the names being thrown around to succeed him in Tallahassee.

Taggart in 2016 signed a six-year, $30 million contract with Florida State, which owes him a little more than $17 million as part of the agreed buyout terms.

Stoops was the defensive coordinator at Florida State from 2010-2012 before UK hired him ahead of the 2013 season. The 2012 Seminoles finished with a 12-2 record and as Atlantic Coast Conference champions; they went on to win the Orange Bowl that season.

UK restructured Stoops’ contract in August, increasing his annual salary by $500,000 each year through June 30, 2025, the end of the contract terms. Stoops this season is set to make $4.75 million.

Stoops, who’s in his seventh season leading the Wildcats, would have to pay Kentucky $1.75 million to buy out his contract following the completion of the 2019 season. Kentucky, if it chose to voluntarily terminate the contract without cause prior to 2025, would owe Stoops more than $22 million.

Former Oklahoma coach and current XFL head coach Bob Stoops — Mark’s brother — has also been mentioned as a possible hire, as has former UK offensive coordinator Mike Leach, who’s currently the head coach at Washington State.

Click here to view Mark Stoops’ current contract.

Josh Moore is in his first year covering the University of Kentucky football team and in his fifth year reporting for the Lexington Herald-Leader, where he’s been employed since 2009. Moore, a Martin County native, graduated from UK with a B.A. in Integrated Strategic Communication and English in 2013. He’s a huge fan of the NBA, Power Rangers and country music.