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Stoops, staff are open to talk with media

Kentucky coach Mark Stoops regularly makes himself available to media members but also allows media access to his coordinators and other assistant coaches

“You don’t get to get to these positions without being able to handle yourself. It doesn’t mean any of us are perfect. We all know we’re not. We’re going to make mistakes, but I don’t worry about that with (offensive coordinator) Liam (Coen) or (new running backs coach) John Settle, or any of our guys. I really don’t. I think you know that I’m not that type of control freak,” Stoops said.

Not every Southeastern Conference football coach allows as much access to staff members.

“The fact Stoops allows staff members to talk to media is something so foreign to media at schools that cover teams like LSU and Alabama it blows my mind,” said Ron Higgins, managing editor of Tiger Rag. “Covering LSU, we only get the coordinators maybe once in preseason and once before a bowl game because the bowls have in their contracts that coordinators must appear at a press conference.

“You have to beg SIDS to get an actual position coach to write a feature on a player. It’s like covering sports in the Kremlin.”

Susan Lax, director of athletics communications and public relations at UK, handles football staff and player interview requests as well as scheduling regular media opportunities. She credits Stoops for his willingness to allow media access.

“I think having assistants available also helps them in their journey to be head coaches. Speaking to the media is part of it,” Lax said. “As long as the coaches are on the same page it should never be an issue.”