Mark Stoops returns to coach the Wyoming secondary in 1998. He joined the Cowboy staff after spending the 1996 season as the defensive secondary coach for the University of South Florida.
The 1997 season was the best in school history for the Wyoming secondary. Stoops coached Consensus All-American Brian Lee, who led the nation in interceptions. The Cowboy defense ranked No. 6 in the nation in pass defense, and intercepted a school record 24 passes, breaking the previous school record of 23 set in 1978 and 1959. At the completion of the 1997 season, free safety Lee signed a free agent contract with the New England Patriots, while cornerback Je'Ney Jackson signed as a free agent with the Indianapolis Colts.
Prior to coaching at South Florida, Stoops was the athletic director for the Nordonia Hills School District in Macedonia, Ohio, from 1992-96. While at Nordonia Hills, he also served as the defensive secondary coach at Nordonia High School.
Stoops, a 1989 graduate of the University of Iowa, was a three-year letterman for the Hawkeyes, and two-year starter at defensive back. He participated in the Rose Bowl following the 1985 season, the 1986 and 1987 Holiday Bowls and the 1988 Peach Bowl. Following his graduation from the University of Iowa in 1989, he served as a graduate assistant football coach at his alma mater. The Hawkeyes made two more bowl appearances while he was a graduate assistant -- the Rose Bowl following the 1990 season and the 1991 Holiday Bowl.
Stoops comes from a great football family, as his father, Ron, was the defensive coordinator at Cardinal Mooney High School in Youngstown, Ohio, for 28 years. His brother (Bob) is the assistant head coach and defensive coordinator at the University of Florida, brother (Mike) is the defensive coordinator at Kansas State and his other brother (Ron) is the head coach at Boardman High School in Boardman, Ohio. Born July 9, 1967, Stoops is single.