Kentucky's Mark Stoops and Louisville's Charlie Strong came together for the annual Governor's Cup luncheon and golf outing at Hurstborne Country Club Wednesday. Their two teams will meet September 14 at Commonwealth Stadium.
Stoops and Strong were both defensive coaches, both coached in Florida at different schools. Now their paths cross in Kentucky. Stoops said he appreciates what Strong has accomplished. "I've watched him, I've known him for some time. I think we are similar in certain ways, defensive background, enjoy coaching, enjoy getting in there and getting dirty and coaching our guys."
Strong said he was familiar with Stoops and his brother Bob. Coaching the Cardinals for three seasons, Strong led his team to a Sugar Bowl upset of Florida in January. Louisville is now seen as a national title contender. "The expectations of this team now and our players really understand it. Because now you're saying we have to get to that next level and we have to improve. And they understand the work ethic now and they understand how they have to improve."
Stoops and Kentucky look to be a big underdog in September. Having coched at Florida State, he knows all about rivalry games. As an assistant at South Florida, Miami and Florida State, Stoops was undefeated. "I want to say I was 10-0, or 11-0 going into these rivalry games in Florida which is a pretty big deal, until this last year the Gators got us."
To get to where UofL is, Stoops has to be on the recruiting traill hard and that's where hes been ever since arriving at UK in December. He was asked if he plays Yahtzee. "Absolutely, what do you think we're so excited about on twitter. Absolutley we play Yahtzee. I'm pretty good but coach Morrow, he's kind of the best."