Texas A&M Football Coaching Rumors: Top Name Set to be Hired?

Kentucky’s coach Mark Stoops during the Cat Walk before the Alabama game at Kroger Field.Nov. 11, 2023
Kentucky’s coach Mark Stoops during the Cat Walk before the Alabama game at Kroger Field.Nov. 11, 2023 /
Next Texas A&M football coach?
Kentucky’s coach Mark Stoops during the Cat Walk before the Alabama game at Kroger Field.Nov. 11, 2023 /

Texas A&M football set to hire Mark Stoops?

In a move that has gained tons of traction in the past 24 hours or so (the name wasn’t even on my tier list!), at least in public knowledge, it appears as though Texas A&M football has identified their next head man in Mark Stoops, per multiple sources. Stoops has been the head coach of the Kentucky Wildcats since 2013. He was hired from Jimbo Fisher’s FSU staff, where he served as the defensive coordinator and DB coach. In his time in Lexington, Stoops has compiled the winningest record, 72-64, since another former Texas A&M football coach, Bear Bryant, was the head coach for the Big Blue. He has notched two 10-win seasons at Kentucky, but has never finished with fewer than 3 losses in conference.

This is a hire that is already going over like a lead balloon with certain members of the Texas A&M football fanbase. On one level, I understand that—when names like Ryan Day and Dan Lanning (or even Kalen DeBoer) are being tossed around, Mark Stoops seems very much like a downgrade. Billy Liucci, for his part, has mentioned that some of those bigger names were much more longshots than anything else, however. In that vein, though, I do think that there are lots of fans that are being too hasty with this whole thing. As Robert Behrens said on Twitter, there is not necessarily a strong correlation between a popular hire and a successful one. Every Aggie fan in the nation thought we were going to win a championship the moment Fisher stepped off that plane six years ago.

There’s potential here, for sure. I’m going to have to wait and see what happens with the offensive coordinator hire, in particular. Stoops’s defensive emphasis and DBs background were two things that I specifically named as things I would like to see in the next Texas A&M football coach. At the same time, though, there are still big questions. How is Stoops as a recruiter? He definitely took Kentucky to unknown heights on the trail, but will that scale?

To my mind, Stoops is not the best candidate out there at this time. However, I am of course not an athletic director or decision maker in the organization, so take that for whatever it’s worth. If we were going to roll the dice on a candidate, Jedd Fisch would have been my pick out at Arizona (though what he’s done in Tucson is not all that dissimilar from what Stoops has done at Kentucky—that job was basically equal to Vanderbilt before he got there). I’m still reserving judgment at this point, though—the way the recruiting class finishes as well as how the portal ends up looking (and the aforementioned OC hire) are going to go a long way here. We will continue reacting throughout the week to come and evaluate things as they happen with the Texas A&M football hire of Mark Stoops.

Game recap: A&M falls to LSU. dark. Next