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Wednesday, August 15, 2012

FSU FOOTBALL - Mark Stoops - The Future Can Wait

From Today's Tallahassee Democrat

Stoops wants to be a head coach, but in no rush

“I’m not worried about that whatsoever — the when and where and why. I’m just worried about right now and helping this team win. And that’s the truth.”


By Corey Clark

This much was certain after Mark Stoops concluded his 25-min­ute press conference with the local media recently.

The Florida State defensive co­ordinator wants to be a head coach someday, but he’s not going to take just any job.

“I‘m in a great situation,” said Stoops, who is considered a rising star in the profession.“I’m in a situ­ation where it’s one of the top coor­dinator jobs in the country. We have great players. Coach (Jimbo Fisher) has a fantastic structure. It gives me the ability to coach these guys and be successful. I mean,
 what else can you ask for? So it’s a great situation here.”

Stoops has good reason to be picky.

He is one of the highest-paid de­fensive coordinators in the coun­try after Florida State gave him a raise to $568,850 this past offsea­son. His last name speaks loudly. His resume speaks even louder.

Not only did he help turn around Arizona’s defense while working as defensive coordinator for his brother Mike, but he’s already made an enormous impact at Flori­da State in just two years.

The year before Stoops arrived in Tallahassee, FSU had the 108th overall defense in the nation.

Last year it was fourth. Those are the types of numbers that can turn heads. Stoops was asked at media day if he got any head coaching offers in the offseason. This was his response: “I‘m just working hard to do my job and preparing myself the best I can to be a better and better coach. I appreciate the structure and the organization and the leadership that I’ve been afforded the opportunity to sit here and be a part of. It makes me a better coach working here in this organization. So I’m just always trying to improve myself and prepare myself to be the best coach I can be whether it’s as a defensive coordinator or head coach. And sure I have aspirations to be a head coach someday.” 

He was asked again if he got any offers. Stoops just smiled and waited for another question. 

Like virtually all coordinators at the Division-I level, Stoops wants to be a head coach. That’s no surprise. His brother Bob has been at Oklahoma for 13 years now, and brother Mike was the head coach at Arizona for eight years before being fired last season. 

“You’ve got to make sure you take the right job to have an opportunity to win,” Stoops said. “There are lot of things you have to have in place to be successful. There’s a lot beyond yourself and your coaches. You have to have support from top to bottom to be successful.” 

But Stoops said he isn’t getting antsy. He said he’ll wait for the perfect opportunity to come along, and if it doesn’t he’s happy where he’s at. Stoops’ name was mentioned in connection with a handful of head coaching jobs after last season — and he was reportedly offered in the neighborhood of $1 million a year to be the defensive coordinator at Auburn. 

Those overtures should only intensify if the Florida State defense plays up to its potential in 2 012 . 

And when that day comes — sooner or later — when he’s the head coach of his own program, he said he’ll owe a lot to his time working for Fisher. 

“I know I’m more prepared right now than I was when I walked in the door,” Stoops said. “And I appreciate that and the opportunity I’ve been given here. I know how Bob does things and how Mike does things. And I love what they do. But it’s always great to learn other things. And there are some things I’ve learned here that I’ll take with me for the rest of my life as a head coach.” 

He quickly added: “But I’m not worried about that whatsoever — the when and where and why. I’m just worried about right now and helping this team win. And that’s the truth.” 

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