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Kentucky, Mark Stoops agree to contract extension through 2028

Syndication: The Courier-Journal

Kentucky’s Mark Stoops acknowledges the crowd yelling “Stoops” after he helped coach the Wildcats defeat Louisville 52-21 Saturday night. Nov. 27, 2021 Louisville Vs Kentucky 2021 Governors Cup

Matt Stone/Courier Journal / USA TODAY NETWORK

LEXINGTON, Ky. -- Kentucky coach Mark Stoops has agreed to a contract extension that will keep him with the No. 25 Wildcats through June 2028.

Stoops’ deal is being finalized, but will continue to include guaranteed extensions of one year for a seven-win season and two years for a 10-win finish. A release stated Stoops earned a one-year extension through 2027 with Kentucky’s current 9-3 record.

Stoops said in the release that he and athletic director Mitch Barnhart came to an agreement “a week or two ago.”

“I’m excited to continue to build this program to national prominence,” Stoops said in the release. “We’re on our way and I’m more confident in Kentucky football than I’ve ever been.”

Stoops is 58-53 in nine seasons with the Wildcats and has earned a sixth consecutive postseason appearance. His name had surfaced in recent days amid speculation about openings at LSU - which hired Brian Kelly from Notre Dame - and Oklahoma, where his brother, Bob, coached. Florida had also been mentioned as a possibility before it hired Billy Napier.

Instead, Stoops is staying in Lexington and Barnhart said he is “excited” about the commitment.

“Coach Stoops has done an outstanding job in building the UK football program and we look forward to continued success under his leadership,” the AD added.