After Bradley Dale Peveto left Kentucky to take the special teams coordinator position at LSU, Mark Stoops has been looking for his replacement. Knowing he couldn’t fill it with just anyone, he did his research and looked deep into the realms of college football to find just the right man for the job. Well, amongst the chaos that was Kentucky basketball last evening, Stoops apparently found him. And boy did he seem to do well. That man is Craig Naivar, the now former defensive coordinator for the Texas State Bobcats.
This hire rings through with everything Mark Stoops has stood for since arriving to Lexington. Improving the image, expanding recruiting pipelines, and basing the entire team on a tough-nosed defensive mindset. With Naivar, all of this is possible. Having established and well earned connections by being at Texas State, Naivar should be able to use his pull as a special teams coordinator at an SEC school to lure some bigger names in the Texas circuit to come to Kentucky and play with the big boys of college football.
In addition to the expected recruiting boost that Naivar will bring, he will also bring more of the tough, defensive mindset that Stoops is instilling in the program. This mindset will now be able to carry over to the special teams, improving tackling form and that ballhawk instinct to cut down the returns made by opposing teams. This hire, although not made official by the university just yet, appears on the surface to be a diamond-in-the-rough hire. One that can easily make Mark Stoops reach a whole new level with the Kentucky fan base.
So Kentucky fans…while the basketball team figures out where to go from last evening, we can all temporarily turn to football that is on the horizon. Something fans are not use to saying or hearing is becoming a reality. Kentucky football is on the rise. It’s the next big thing. And it WILL compete under Mark Stoops and company. Will you be there to witness it?