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Mark Stoops Named Dodd Trophy Coach of the Week

Photo by: Brendon Miller - Bluegrass Sports Nation

ATLANTA – October 2, 2023

Officials from the Bobby Dodd Coach of the Year Foundation and Peach Bowl, Inc. today announced that Kentucky head football coach Mark Stoops has been selected as The Dodd Trophy Coach of the Week Presented by PNC Bank.

The Dodd Trophy Coach of the Week award honors a football coach who led his team to a significant victory during the previous week, while also embodying the award’s three pillars of scholarship, leadership and integrity.

Kentucky defeated No. 22/23 Florida 33-14 at Kroger Field to improve to 5-0 on the season, including a 2-0 mark in Southeastern Conference play. The 19-point win was the Wildcats’ largest margin of victory over the Gators since 1979 and represented Kentucky’s third consecutive victory over Florida for the first time since a four-game win streak in 1948-51. Ray Davis rushed for a career-high 280 yards on 26 carries,  and his four touchdowns in the game (three rushing, one receiving) tied for the most in Kentucky school history. The defense held Florida to just 69 yards rushing, led by D’Eryk Jackson’s five tackles, one sack, 1.5 tackles for loss and one pass breakup, along with Maxwell Hairston’s career-high 10 tackles.

“What a superb all-around job by coach Stoops this past weekend, preparing his players for their toughest matchup of the season so far,” said Jim Terry, chairman of the Bobby Dodd Coach of the Year Foundation. “Coach Dodd would have admired the toughness and dominance that coach Stoops’ team showed on Saturday in all three phases of the game.”

Stoops, now in his 11th season as Kentucky’s head coach, is the all-time winningest head coach in the history of the Wildcats football program. He has led his teams to a 71-59 record, including a 4-3 mark in bowl games. UK is now 5-0 for the third time in the last six seasons under coach Stoops, joining the 2018 and 2021 teams that both finished with a 10-3 record and bowl victories. Stoops previously spent time at various schools, including Miami (FL) – where he helped win a national championship — Arizona and Florida State.

Stoops’ student-athletes also been successful in the classroom, earning a 970 NCAA Academic Progress Rate during the last academic year, while also recording an NCAA Graduation Success Rate of 88 in 2022.  Last year’s quarterback, Will Levis, not only earned Academic All-America honors but also was chosen the Academic All-America Team Member of the Year for all of Division I football.

In the community, Stoops and his staff are a part of The Coaches for Kids Foundation, which is dedicated to creating partnerships to support the University of Kentucky Children’s Hospital. Coach Stoops has helped raise more than $2 million to support the KCH and the creation of the “Hall of Champions” – a hallway within the hospital dedicated to UK football and other Kentucky athletes that offers a fun and welcoming environment for patients and their families.

“Coach Stoops has built a tremendous culture at Kentucky by developing his student-athletes to be leaders both on and off the field,” said Gary Stokan, CEO and president of Peach Bowl, Inc. “He’s continuously taken the program to new heights during his 11 years in Lexington and is very deserving of this honor.”

The Dodd Trophy Presented by PNC Bank – along with the Dodd Trophy Coach of the Week Award – celebrates the head coach of a FBS team who enjoys success on the gridiron, while also stressing the importance of scholarship, leadership and integrity.

A panel consisting of all previous winners, national media, a member of the Dodd family and a College Football Hall of Fame member will identify the final list of potential recipients at the conclusion of the 2023 season. The winner of the 2023 Dodd Trophy Presented by PNC Bank will be announced in Atlanta during the week of the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl.

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