LEXINGTON, Ky. (AP) - Mark Stoops has spent the last eight months fulfilling the off-the-field demands that come with coaching Kentucky. Now all of that has given way to what Stoops was hired to do - lead the Wildcats back to respectability.
The Wildcats open practice Monday with the rookie head coach and his new staff trying to rebound from consecutive losing regular seasons including 2-10 last year. Stoops' challenge is compounded by depth concerns at wide receiver and running back and choosing from three quarterback hopefuls, not to mention surviving a brutal schedule that includes two-time defending national champion Alabama.
The media has picked the Wildcats to finish last in the Southeastern Conference's East Division, but that hasn't stopped Stoops from sparking enthusiasm among players, Wildcats fans and recruits.