Fisher helped teach Stoops value of strong support staff

Mark Stoops

Mark Stoops

Q. Coach, you worked for Coach Jimbo Fisher at Florida State, Coach Fisher worked for Coach Nick Saban. One of the things Coach Fisher said that he learned from Coach Saban was you have to have a really strong support staff. Coach Saban has a strong support staff. That something you’re working on?

KENTUCKY COACH MARK STOOPS: Absolutely. 100 percent. I was fortunate to spend three years with Coach Fisher. As you work with great people you respect, and certainly you listen to people like Coach Saban like you respect that’s absolutely the best in our business, and I had the great fortune of working with Jimbo Fisher. And a lot of the messaging and a lot of the structure of the program, certainly what I do recruiting, you know, is a big piece of Jimbo Fisher and the structure that he had within the structure of our practice plans comes from Jimbo Fisher.

It’s funny. As you look at it, I had a guy on my staff was that was with Coach Saban and went back to Coach Saban. You look at practice plans and structure and all of the things necessary, there is a lot of similarities. That’s a great compliment.

You have to do what is best for you and your program. A very wise coach told me some time ago that you have to have a great plan, but you also have to have a great gut and great instincts. So you have to tailor things to your program and your university. But it’s extremely important. Getting to the support piece, extremely important.

I learned a great deal from Coach Saban to put great people in all areas — did I say Coach Saban? — Coach Fisher from putting great people in place to help you and to help educate our players and to put them in a position to try to offset some of the problems that we see in society today. Certainly, academically, weight strength, sports psychologists, any number of people that you could put in front of our players to help them.

So, I think the support piece is extremely helpful. I think some people have greater resources than others. But I think we are working and striving to get the pieces in place that we can do that can help us move our program to the next level.

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