Former Wildcat could join Stoops' staff

LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) - Things you should know about UK’s hiring of Mark Stoops:

UK fans are fired up about the hiring of Mark Stoops as the Cats' next football coach. In the hours since the hiring, WKYT has been working the phones and found out the following information about the coming together of the “Stoops Era” here in Lexington:

The first recruit that Stoops will try to land is apparently Neal Brown, a wide receiver on Hal Mumme’s staff and the offensive coordinator at Texas Tech. Brown had big success with the “Air Raid” offense in Lubbock and is happy as a member of Tommy Tuberville’s staff.

However, a move back to Kentucky is something the Danville native and former Boyle County star would have to think long and hard about. Brown is recruiting and was unavailable for comment on Tuesday. A source has told WKYT, though, that Brown has received no formal offer.

A source tells us that Stoops is expected to bring two coaches from the Florida State staff to Kentucky with him: offensive coordinator James Coley and defensive ends coach D. J. Eliot.

Coley began his coaching career at talent rich Miami Senior High School and has enjoyed a close relationship with Seminoles' head coach Jimbo Fisher. In 2003-2004, he was a graduate assistant coach for Fisher, who was then offensive coordinator for Nick Saban’s national championship team at LSU.

Coley then followed Saban to the NFL’s Miami Dolphins and eventually he reunited with Fisher at Florida State. He was FSU’s recruiting coordinator in 2008-2009 when the Seminoles landed back- to-back top-10 nationally-ranked recruiting classes. In all, he spent six years coaching in the Miami high schools ranks and still has connections there. This is Coley's fifth year on the Seminole staff and while he’s held the title of offensive coordinator for the past three seasons, Fisher is the play-caller.

Eliot is one of three FSU assistants who spent time on the coaching staff at the University of Miami. He was a graduate assistant working with defensive backs and special teams in 2002. Mark Stoops was the Hurricanes' secondary coach while Eliot was with the Hurricanes. He played collegiately at Wyoming before injuries forced him to give up playing and get into coaching.

Sources also tell us that UK Athletics Director Mitch Barnhart would like to have some of the members of Joker Phillip’s staff be considered for Stoops staff. There is no definitive word yet but, I believe offensive line coach Mike Summers would be at the top of that list.

And finally, of the other candidates, at least one appears ready to land on his feet. A source tells us that perhaps as early as tomorrow, another former Mumme assistant, Louisiana tech head coach Sonny Dykes will be named the new head coach at North Carolina State.


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