Kentucky hires Mark Stoops as coach

Florida State defensive coordinator Mark Stoops is set to become the next head coach at Kentucky.

Kentucky hired Florida State defensive coordinator Mark Stoops as the Wildcats’ football coach.


Stoops, brother of Oklahoma’s Bob Stoops, replaces Joker Phillips, who was fired on Nov. 4. Phillips went 13-24 in three seasons at Kentucky and the Wildcats were 0-8 in the Southeastern Conference this year.

Kentucky made the announcement on Tuesday and the 45-year-old Stoops will be introduced at a news conference on Sunday. No. 13 Florida State (10-2) plays Georgia Tech Saturday in the Atlantic Coast Conference Championship Game.


SOUTHERN MISSISSIPPI: The university has fired coach Ellis Johnson, a former South Carolina and Clemson defensive coordinator, after one disastrous season that saw the program plummet from Conference USA champion to the worst record in the Football Bowl Subdivision.

Athletic director Jeff Hammond announced the decision on Tuesday morning, three days after the miserable 0-12 season ended with a loss to Memphis on Saturday.


ACC: Duke’s David Cutcliffe is the coach of the year and Miami running back Duke Johnson is its overall rookie of the year.

Johnson also was named the top offensive rookie following a vote of 46 members of the Atlantic Coast Sports Media Association while Florida State cornerback Ronald Darby won the defensive rookie of the year.

• The conference has filed a lawsuit against Maryland seeking full payment of the approximately $53 million exit fee for the school’s move to the Big Ten.

The ACC said the school must pay $52,266,342, which is three times the league’s annual operating budget for the 2012-13 season.

• With conference realignment rumors swirling, North Carolina took the unusual step Tuesday of saying it wants to stay in the ACC “for another 60 years at least.”

North Carolina athletic director Bubba Cunningham sent an email reply to Tar Heels fans in an attempt to calm a flurry of rumors that had North Carolina possibly headed to another conference.