LEXINGTON, Kentucky — Jay Boulware and Mark Stoops became friends on the recruiting lane.

From 2009 to 2012, Boulware was the tight ends coach and special teams coordinator at Auburn, while Stoops was the defensive coordinator at Florida State. The couple’s paths often crossed while scouting for high school athletes.

In 2013, Stoops became the new coach of Kentucky. Boulware left Auburn for Oklahoma to work under Stoops’ older brother, College Football Hall of Fame inductee Bob Stoops.

During this phase with the Sooners, Boulware said he was “re-introduced” to Mark Stoops. In the years that followed, Boulware watched the Wildcats from afar and admired how the younger Stoops took on a dead program and made it a staple of the bowl season.

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