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Dean Hood - Football - University of Kentucky Athletics



Dean Hood returned to Kentucky Football in 2024 as the Wildcats’ director of player development. Hood returned after serving four seasons (2020-23) as the head football coach at Murray State University in Murray, Kentucky. Prior to MSU, Hood spent three seasons on UK head coach Mark Stoops’ staff as the special teams coordinator while also coaching outside linebackers (2017) and defensive backs (2018-19). He announced his retirement from coaching on Jan. 1, completing a coaching career that spanned 37 years.

In his new role, Hood prepares student-athletes for personal, academic and athletic development success through UK’s “40 for 40” program and works alongside special assistant to the head coach Eddie Gran with NIL (Name, Image and Likeness) and player branding as well as community service opportunities.

During his previous stint at UK, Hood was an integral part of Max Duffy winning the Ray Guy Award for the nation’s best punter in 2019. He also coached in three bowl games, including two bowl wins with the Wildcats.

At Murray State, Hood led the Racers to back-to-back winning seasons in 2020 and 2021, marking just the third time the program had accomplished that feat since 1999-2000. When the 2020 season was pushed to early 2021, Hood’s Racers produced one of the best turnarounds in the nation with a 5-2 record, MSU’s first winning season since 2011 and the program’s best Ohio Valley Conference record since 2005. Coach Hood was named the 2020 OVC Coach of the Year, becoming the fourth in Murray State history to be honored.

In 2023, Hood and the Racers began play in the Missouri Valley Football Conference, the most competitive league at the FCS level. MSU defeated Presbyterian 41-10 (Sept. 2) for their 1,000th win and won their inaugural MVFC game over Indiana State, 30-28, on Sept. 30.

Hood spent the 2016 season as the assistant head coach, special teams coordinator and tight ends coach at Charlotte. Prior to that, he was the head coach at EKU (2008-15), leading the Colonels to two Ohio Valley Conference Championships, three FCS Playoff appearances and an overall record of 55-38 (.591). In 2008 he was named the OVC Coach of the Year and in 2011 he was the American Football Coaches Association Regional Coach of the Year. He also was a finalist for the Eddie Robinson Award, which goes to the best coach in FCS football, in both the 2008 and 2014 seasons.

With Hood at the helm, EKU produced nine All-Americans, one OVC Offensive Player of the Year, one OVC Defensive Player of the Year, one OVC Freshman of the Year and 26 first-team all-conference performers.

Before EKU, Hood spent seven years (2001-07) as the defensive coordinator and secondary coach at Wake Forest and his defensive units were known for creating turnovers and scoring touchdowns. The Demon Deacons forced 186 turnovers during his tenure, more than two per game. Hood’s defenders earned All-ACC mention 14 times. That list included four NFL draft picks – Calvin Pace, Montique Sharpe, Eric King and Josh Gattis.

In 2006, Hood helped the Demon Deacons win the Atlantic Coast Conference Championship for the first time since 1970 with an impressive 11-3 record (the most wins in school history). His defense ranked second in the conference, allowing just 15.4 points per game, while leading the league in interceptions with 22, second most in the nation. Against the run, Wake yielded just 105.8 yards per game, 21st nationally and the third lowest total in Wake Forest history. Wake Forest earned its first and only BCS Bowl bid, facing Louisville in the FedEx Orange Bowl.

Hood’s first coaching stop was at Fairmont (W.Va.) State working with the defensive backs (1987-88). The 1988 team won the WVIAC championship and led the nation with 31 interceptions. He then spent time at Colgate (1989), Glenville (W.Va.) State (1990-93) and Ohio University (1999-2000).

He also had a previous five-year stint at EKU as the Colonels’ secondary coach (1994-96) and defensive coordinator/secondary coach (1997-98) under College Football Hall of Fame head coach Roy Kidd.

Hood, a native of Ashtabula, Ohio, earned his bachelor’s degree in biology from Ohio Wesleyan in 1986 and a master’s degree in physical education from West Virginia in 1989.

At Ohio Wesleyan, he was a three-time All-North Coast Athletic Conference selection as a defensive back. He was elected captain two seasons and was a first-team All-American as a senior. In 2001, he was inducted into the OWU Athletic Hall of Fame.

He and his wife, Crystal, originally from Richmond, Kentucky, have four children – two sons, Trey and Daven, and two daughters, Jada and Cordia.

Dean Hood’s Coaching Career

2020-23 Murray State Head Coach
2018-19 Kentucky Special Teams Coordinator/Defensive Backs 2018 Citrus Bowl, 2019 Belk Bowl
2017 Kentucky Special Teams Coordinator/Outside Linebackers 2017 Music City Bowl
2016 Charlotte Assistant Head Coach/Special Teams Coordinator/Tight Ends
2008-15 Eastern Kentucky Head Coach 2008 FCS Playoffs, OVC Champs

2011 FCS Playoffs, OVC Co-Champs

2014 FCS Playoffs

2001-07 Wake Forest Defensive Coordinator/Secondary Coach 2002 Seattle Bowl

2006 Orange Bowl, ACC Champs

2007 Meineke Car Care Bowl

1999-2000 Ohio Secondary Coach
1997-98 Eastern Kentucky Defensive Coordinator/ Secondary Coach 1997 FCS Playoffs, OVC Champs


1994-96 Eastern Kentucky Secondary Coach 1994 FCS Playoffs, OVC Champs

1995 FCS Playoffs

1990-93 Glenville State (W.Va.) Defensive Coordinator/Assistant Head Coach 1993 NAIA Runner-up
1989 Colgate Assistant Secondary Coach
1987-88 Fairmont (W.Va.) Secondary Coach 1988 NAIA Playoffs, WVIAC Champs


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