LEXINGTON, Ky. — Mark Stoops is beginning his 7th season at Kentucky. Each year has progressively improved with the Wildcats finishing 2nd in the SEC Eastern Division last year and winning the New Year's Day Citrus Bowl.
On Friday the Wildcats officially reported to training camp, went through photo and media day. The SEC Media picked this UK team to finish 6th in the Eastern Division this year but the Wildcats believe they're not taking a step back. During his turn behind the mic, Coach Stoops talked about why he has so much confidence in his 2019 Wildcats. "When we got back after the bowl win, to see the team immediately after that game, I enjoyed it," said Stoops. "Then to start thinking about it before we get back to work there in January, you know, what needs to go into this year. Your mind starts racing, all those things. I was just pleasantly surprised with the approach of this team. I just feel like from the moment they got back on campus, I saw the hunger in their eyes. They want to prove themselves, put themselves in a position to be successful."
Coach Stoops believes this is a program that is to the point where it will just reload key positions that were lost from the previous season. When asked why he wasn't underselling his team Coach Stoops added, "We're not interested in going back. We're not here to take a step backwards. We're not."
The Wildcats held their first practice before Saturday's Fan Day. UK opens the season on Saturday, August 31 against Toledo in Kroger Field.