Skip to content

Kentucky Sports Radio

University of Kentucky Basketball, Football, and Recruiting news brought to you in the most ridiculous manner possible.

Five Things To Keep in Mind About a Potential UK FB Coaching Search


The primary topic on most Kentucky fans’ minds right now is simply this…who will be the next UK football coach. For better or worse, most UK fans believe it is a given that a change will occur and the speculation is already running rampant about what the next step will be. For those of us, like me, that like Joker, this is unfortunate. I wish Phillips could succeed here, as he represents the best of what Kentucky football should be about. But it looks as if it is going to be nearly impossible for that to happen. Thus, even if we wish we didn’t have to talk about this, it is human nature to want to figure out what is next. With that in mind, here are Five Tips to keep in mind as we begin this process. These are based on my knowledge of the situation as it stands now which admittedly is not perfect (only Mitch Barnhart knows all in this process), but is likely a decent synopsis of where things now are situated:

1. Absent a Major Transformation, a Change WILL Happen: In UK football fandom, there are three types of fans. The eternal optimists, the pessimists and the HUGE pessimists. For the latter group, there continues to be a theme of “I refuse to believe Mitch Barnhart will replace Joker no matter what.” These people are incorrect. The situation at Kentucky right now with football is untenable. The loss in season tickets this season was unfortunate, but not debilitating. But another year of substantial loss in ticket sales (which would surely happen), combined with the continued advancement of other SEC programs, makes the status quo impossible to keep. If Joker Phillips were to go on an amazing run and take the team to a Bowl Game, then he would likely be retained. But the chances of that at this point seem the same as the chances of finding a flying unicorn to ride into Atlantis. The die has been cast and even though Mitch Barnhart loves Joker Phillips, a change will be almost certainly be made at the end of the season, if not before.

2. Be Careful Where You Get Your News: One of my radio show callers, Jason, has talked for a long time about how one of the worst things to happen to Joker was that he didn’t get the benefit of a coaching search. Fans LOVE a coaching search. People get to speculate on possible candidates, pass along rumors of horse farms being purchased and dream the impossible dream of huge names donning the Kentucky football coaches’ sporty Nike polos. It is all tremendous entertainment and I am told by the experts (as I have never been a part of one in this medium), talk radio is the best place to work in such a time. With that said, if what you seek is truth, finding it can be very difficult. What generally tends to happen is that people start believing the “news” that they personally hope will take place. Just as Presidential campaigns will cite polls with their candidates ahead as authoritative, fans believe sources who place coaches they are in favor of as likely candidates. Here is my advice. Find a source that you trust…whoever that may be and stick with them. I hope that source is KSR, Matt Jones and Drew Franklin’s beard. If not, then find someone else that you believe has the sources and has earned your trust. But if you want to be sane in the process, don’t keep looking for information that simply pleases you. No matter what you heard, Steve Spurrier is not looking at horse farms in Jessamine County. Even though that message board commenter writes with authority doesn’t mean his cousin is Bill Cowher’s wife. Pick who you trust and ride the search with them…you will end up much more sane.

3. No Name is Off the Table: If you have listened to the radio show, you know that this is the most surprising fact of the potential coaching search to me. I had always assumed, with some basis in fact, that there were individuals that for a variety of reasons, Mitch Barnhart would not consider hiring. I no longer think that to be the case. After conversations with various sources, I think this will be a “Shoot for the moon and land in the stars” type of coaching search where literally everything is on the table. An individual like Bobby Petrino, who I am certain has a number of major enemies in and around the football program and Athletics Department, is nevertheless a type of person who will get consideration. Everyone involved with this search knows how important finding such a coach will be to the future of the program. Thus I think all bets that were once safe, are now off. Now a lot of these names may have no interest in Kentucky and selling the program to any hot coach will be difficult. But those that at one time might not have been considered an option, may now see themselves getting a phone call.

4. No Coach Has Been Contacted: This is an important point and is contrary to many of the message board rumors that have been spread. No matter what anyone is telling you, I can say with relative certainty that there has been no contact with any coach by anyone that has any level of authority over the process. Message board posters have run rampant with talk of “boosters” contacting Bobby Petrino and Mike Leach, and my guess is that nearly all of it is bunk. As Oscar Combs noted on radio with me today, some of these people may have made a phone call, but it is more to be able to brag about things with their buddies than to have any real say in the coaching process. For better or worse, Mitch Barnhart is a VERY independent guy. Boosters have almost no control over what he does, ESPECIALLY in the football program. People may have made calls on behalf of Kentucky, but that doesn’t mean the caller has any authority to represent their interest. When all is said and done, Barnhart will make the hire and there will be very few people that are part of the overall process…and none of those people have contacted any coaches up to this point.

5. Money is No Object: For many people, this fact is hard to believe. But I am firmly think it is reality. Barnhart came on my radio show this summer and said that if Kentucky found the right person, “we could make them the highest paid coach in America.” I think this is true and from my conversations with folks, I think that Barnhart would covet such a coach. But being able to pay a top name salary, doesn’t mean one can get a top name. Lots of other factors come into play, including tradition, recruiting base, difficulty to win and (possibly most importantly) facilities. The latter of these issues could see some improvement in the next few months (cross those fingers), but some of the others can’t be helped. Thus luring a top name will be EXTREMELY difficult, especially when one considers the other jobs that will be open and the fact that 25-30 schools (at least) could also pay as much as UK would be willing to give. Kentucky will have a difficult time getting a marquee coach with a big name and reputation…but it won’t be because of an unwillingness to spend money.

Those are the five things I think are important to remember as we head towards what is likely an inevitable process. We will pass along what we hear on the blog and radio, and along the way, I will do posts such as this to share what I know. However my guess is that true information will be somewhat limited. The next four months will be the most important of Mitch Barnhart’s tenure. At the end of it, he will either have a football coach that will excite the Big Blue Nation and an approved plan to radically renovate Commonwealth Stadium, or he won’t. If the coach is the wrong pick, the program might hit a low point that it simply cannot bounce back from…and there will be a secondary effect on many other programs in the University. He cannot screw this hire up, and that pressure, along with the regular excitement of looking for someone new, should make this fascinating to follow.

Article written by Matt Jones

102 Comments for Five Things To Keep in Mind About a Potential UK FB Coaching Search

  1. D Flener
    9:42 pm September 26, 2012 Permalink

    I am definitely thinking BP, Matt. I mean, give the guy a break. Great Coach! Probably not a Billy Clyde. I’m thinking of Richard P. Bad morals maybe but……….

  2. Rich Madky
    9:44 pm September 26, 2012 Permalink

    Taggart, Hudspeth, Dykes, Malzahn. All would triple or quadruple their salary. I think the home run attempts will fail and just waste time that could be spent recruiting.

  3. Aaron Bunch
    9:44 pm September 26, 2012 Permalink

    Excellent article Matt. When will you.come out and officially endorse a candidate for coach?

  4. BigBlueWest
    9:45 pm September 26, 2012 Permalink

    ^troll^ (and I’m an editor)

  5. Rich Madky
    9:45 pm September 26, 2012 Permalink

    And I doubt Petrino would listen to UK even if contacted. Just my two cents.

  6. D Flener
    9:45 pm September 26, 2012 Permalink

    Bobby P. can turn a program AROUND! We don’t have to look far to see that. Just have to keep him OFF the bikes! LOL

  7. BigBlueWest
    9:45 pm September 26, 2012 Permalink

    Sorry … I meant #1 = troll (fail)

  8. Bill Cowher
    9:45 pm September 26, 2012 Permalink

    If your cousin is my wife, she died 2 years ago.

  9. nic j
    9:46 pm September 26, 2012 Permalink

    Matt, good write up. I agree with all parts except #5, which I hope you are correct. I say this because I was told (I know, I know) by a good source that Mitch is not willing to open up the check book because BIG name coaches want too long of a contract, which MB is not willing to offer. I hope I am wrong.

  10. chipanzy
    9:50 pm September 26, 2012 Permalink

    Shouldn’t that be “money is not an OBSTACLE”, not “money is not an OPTION”? If money is not an option, that means the coach would have no salary. I doubt if Petrino will work for nothing.

  11. UKBlue
    9:51 pm September 26, 2012 Permalink

    Whatever is going to happen is going to happen, and we have absolutely no say over what happens.

    One important thing I learned a long time ago: People want to be lied to, now a days they almost demand it even if they say other wise & they want to & are going to believe whatever they want to believe, even if it is so far out of the realm of reality, reality is no where to be found. Listening to some of the callers of KSR just confirms this everyday.

  12. d0gballs
    9:53 pm September 26, 2012 Permalink

    ron zook it is

  13. Rae
    9:54 pm September 26, 2012 Permalink

    You’d be right if Barnhart thinks logically. Will he? Remains to be seen.

    Also, who would be willing to share the spotlight with Cal?

    Where are we getting this money? Seriously, where? I can’t imagine having the cash to pay two head coaches top salaries.

  14. Jonah Hex
    9:55 pm September 26, 2012 Permalink

    At one point , I knew the Petrinos very well. I may or may not have their numbers in my phone. I only say this because I know that they did love the state of KY. And MJ, don’t let history revisionist fool you. They loved him at UofL and Ark. No one liked how he left, or his flirtations (on and off the field), but they loved the product on the field. We have to know what we get, and what might happen in the end, but it could finally turn the program around. This isn’t Sunday school, this SEC football. I’m so tired of losing and being the bottom of the barrel, we need something like this. This also gives Bobby a great chance to rebuild his image and settle things at home. They were happy here and could help on that front too. And who knows, maybe he would stay. Either way, it would be a better program when he was done. FINALLY. There are 11 other football programs in the SEC that would take him as their coach tomorrow. LSU and Bama would pass, but the rest would take him. Shouldn’t that tell us something!!?

  15. Rich Brooks
    9:57 pm September 26, 2012 Permalink

    Daggumit. Am I gonna have to take time away from my maters to fix this mess?

  16. Good point
    9:59 pm September 26, 2012 Permalink

    14. True. Petrino won’t make it out of the SEC.

  17. fatkidineastky
    10:03 pm September 26, 2012 Permalink

    I hope we realize that we should go North and bring South a Coach as it would also be easier to do this recruiting wise…So I say a Butch Jones can recruit MI and OH and his D Coordinator was GA LB Coach for 5 years…..and his Offense will put a**es in the seats

  18. D Flener
    10:08 pm September 26, 2012 Permalink

    May be BIGBLUEwest but…. I bet it is what 90% of TRUE BIG BLUE fans want! BET?

  19. timer
    10:08 pm September 26, 2012 Permalink

    I hear Bill Parcells is still laughing….

  20. UKBlue
    10:10 pm September 26, 2012 Permalink

    The only things right now UK has to offer anyone is: 1. We play in the SEC 2. Big SEC TV Money 3. Soon to be SEC TV Network 4. Money 5. the opportunity to give a coach the chance & opportunity to let him run the program & do the things that he believes need to be done to turn the ship around.

    Number 5 has always been a huge problem at UK when it comes to football. One thing I have always believed (because I personally saw it when I went to UK) is there has been too many people at UK in positions of authority unwilling to give up any power or control to let things get done.

    If the powers that be at UK (there is a long history at UK to suggest this isn’t going to happen) aren’t willing to give up some power, control & allow a new football coach to run the program as a whole; then getting a new coach isn’t going to fix anything & is going to be totally irrelevant.

  21. Bobby Petrino
    10:11 pm September 26, 2012 Permalink

    The Dragon is about to awaken from its 60 year slumber.

  22. Tired of Being 1 of 12 games
    10:12 pm September 26, 2012 Permalink

    When Brooks was hired it was repeated many times that no good coaches would take the UK job. But Sean Payton who went on to coach the Saints to the Super Bowl, has said that he wanted the UK job at that time. So, maybe it would be good to look for the next Sean Payton type coach and let Phil Fulmer enjoy his afternoon nap.

  23. Raylan Givens
    10:13 pm September 26, 2012 Permalink

    Nice article Matt. Your content was justified…

  24. Smokin Joe
    10:14 pm September 26, 2012 Permalink

    BP is the only coach i can think of that could get us 8 wins by 2016. It’s now about winning and winning only. We better get him now ’cause TN. will be looking to get him if we don’t and that will SUCK!!

  25. Bruce Hendrickson
    10:14 pm September 26, 2012 Permalink

    If it is true that money is no problem, then get Nick Sabin. Sabin is probably very happy at Alabama. But, money talks. And who would not want to be the only football coach on the planet to take three teams to the National Championship, let alone, all three from the S.E.C.

  26. bluebabyblue
    10:14 pm September 26, 2012 Permalink

    Enough of Bobby Petrino. He will NEVER be a football coach at UK, not this year, next year, or ANY year, ever! BBN, get your heads out of your %$## and MOVE ON. Mitch would sell his soul to the devil before he would hire Petrino and 100,000 UK Boosters don’t want BP associated with the University or even the State of Kentucky! You nice folks that keep mentioning Petrino…pick another name, that one is DEAD!

  27. Smokin Joe
    10:15 pm September 26, 2012 Permalink

    I like that #21. Been tooooo long!

  28. D Flener
    10:15 pm September 26, 2012 Permalink

    I mean honestly how many of us Fans? skip over the football posts to get to the REAL DEAL? It’s about time UK football mattered in a football dominated conference. An ELITE coach is the ONLY answer. Remember 1988?

  29. D Flener
    10:16 pm September 26, 2012 Permalink

    CM Newton knew what was up!

  30. G2
    10:17 pm September 26, 2012 Permalink

    Funny that this article comes out this evening after I corrected Matt on Twitter and we exchanged a few tweets about this very topic. It is 100% fact that a BOT member at UK used a recruiter to reach out to BP’s camp. If you want to keep saying “booster” so that you can be correct — technically speaking, only — then carry on. But the more you keep denying this, the more foolish you look to those close to BP who are aware of the facts. As far as “message board” folks, well, I’ll just say thing – don’t forget where you came from, Jones.

  31. Duke Sucks
    10:18 pm September 26, 2012 Permalink

    This is the best most honest post in a long time. For all those who are going to say we have a coach already and shouldn’t be writing such things. I would say read the post agian and tell us 1 thing that isn’t true. #19. If Barnhart could have landed Parcells I dought if money would have been a issue. I don’t know why you think Parcells was laughing.He said he seriously considered the job his self. And the main reason he didn’t take the job was he wanted to go back to the NFL.

  32. robuk
    10:19 pm September 26, 2012 Permalink

    Good piece Matt…see u
    on the show thread

  33. Chris "Skittles" Settles
    10:20 pm September 26, 2012 Permalink

    My daddy cuts lawn for lots of boosters in Pikeville and he told me we gonna get ourselves a mighty fine head coach. Wanna know who it is? I tell you…The next coach for UK Football is Pate Carroll ‘cuz he’s done with them damn hippies up north in Seattle and wants to return to college. He was the man at USC (not SCAR Spurrier) and only left ‘cuz them violations messed up the program. Now, Carroll’s gonna return and whoop sum SEC a$$. Again, I know this information ‘cuz my daddy is connected in Pikeville. Go ‘head ask anyone. And BTW, he gonna name Corey Payters his Defensive Line Coach.

  34. mores
    10:21 pm September 26, 2012 Permalink

    I see that “facts” now means “probably pretty accurate forecasts off the top of my mind that are not sourceable or verifiable in any way but are probably effective at confirming the predilections of my audience.”

  35. Fbfbf
    10:22 pm September 26, 2012 Permalink

    Wouldn’t a Petrino hire mean burning all bridges with Rich Brooks? And given Barnhart’s long history with Brooks, isn’t that unlikely? I kinda want Petrino but don’t see it happening.

  36. dave
    10:22 pm September 26, 2012 Permalink

    jim tressel
    todd berry
    butch jones
    sonny dykes
    mark hudspeth
    willie taggart
    kliff kingsbury
    tom herman
    bryan harsin
    brent pease
    kirby smart
    manny diaz
    the list should also include NFL assistants & D2 HCs. look everywhere.

  37. Rolo
    10:24 pm September 26, 2012 Permalink

    Jonah Hex great post. love the last lines, 11 other teams in SEC would take BP in a heartbeat. ur exactly right. fact is there only 1 hire to make at that is BOBBY P. any other hire is we dont give a crap about the FB program hire.

    BOBBY P would be in Lexington within hours if called up, because the man LOVES FOOTBALL. u come to KY win 7 games on average, while throwing in a SPECIAL SEASON every now and then and u would be a GOD.

  38. True Blue
    10:25 pm September 26, 2012 Permalink

    Very nice article Matt. #26 How about Petrino?

  39. Vette72
    10:28 pm September 26, 2012 Permalink

    Matt…Are you really an attorney? Geez!

  40. Rvrv
    10:28 pm September 26, 2012 Permalink

    Dave, we may have been able to get Rich Rodriguez last offseason, but since he is unavailable I would like to see his long time OC Calvin Magee receive consideration.

    Also Carl Pelini and Gus Malzahn.

  41. Another Perspective
    10:31 pm September 26, 2012 Permalink

    Object. Money is no object.

    Matt would mock Ryan for this on the radio.

  42. Snoozefest
    10:34 pm September 26, 2012 Permalink

    Petrino is a weasel and a dirtbag. John Gruden is the only person who could get everyone excited and make UK a contender.

  43. Poloflow270
    10:39 pm September 26, 2012 Permalink

    Great article Matt! I enjoy the KSR message board & Twitter. I’m definitely excited to find out what happens with the UK football program within the next few months!

  44. John from London
    10:41 pm September 26, 2012 Permalink

    My top three candidates would be: Chad Morris (OC at Clemson), Gus Malzahn (HC at Ark St; Former OC at Auburn), and Kirby Smart (DC at Alabama).

    Morris and Malzahn would both bring offenses that players want to play in. Malzahn has a national championship ring to show off, while Morris has been a major asset in creating a competitive, high-powered Clemson team. Smart has been with Saban for a while, and has a couple national championships on his resume.

    At any rate, there are big names out there for UK to go get. It’s just a matter of doing it! They all can’t say no!

  45. lipset
    10:47 pm September 26, 2012 Permalink

    26) dead to you maybe but no one else! everyone said the same bad things of cal also…. how did that turn out?

  46. wondering
    10:48 pm September 26, 2012 Permalink

    Y is no one talking about the TCU coach or Boise State coach. I would think both of those guys would love a chance to put there styles to the test of the SEC.

  47. Jatt Mones
    10:53 pm September 26, 2012 Permalink

    I don’t think you really meant that “money is not an option”…… 🙂

  48. Big Blue 66
    10:53 pm September 26, 2012 Permalink

    only one prob with the write up, if you dont think the boosters have a strong influence, then you are nuts. I dont care how independent you think Mitch is, this decision will have many people involved. Ask Cal if Mitch makes his coaching decisions on his own, lol

  49. Rogue Leprechaun
    10:55 pm September 26, 2012 Permalink

    I was about to praise all of you for not suggesting Chris Petersen anymore. Sigh.

  50. hoofhearted
    10:56 pm September 26, 2012 Permalink

    todd berrry should be considered n my opinion for 2 reasons..#1 hes proved he can take a mediocore team (ulm) and turn it around and play with top notch teams and beat sec opponents (we def have trouble doing that) and #2 he has a fun style of play

  51. BigBlue
    10:58 pm September 26, 2012 Permalink

    I just hope Barnsmart is not allowed to make the decision on his own…

  52. boomdaddy
    10:59 pm September 26, 2012 Permalink

    I call Bullshit on this Matt Jones quote:

    “Mitch Barnhart is a VERY independent guy. Boosters have almost no control over what he does, ESPECIALLY in the football program”

    No way, no how, do I swallow the above statement as fact. If ever there was a time that Barnhart needed buy in in on a coaching hire, it is right now.

    I heard on Dick Gabriel’s radio show that the the Joker hire was an agreement between Rich Brooks and Lee Todd and that Mitch was forced to go along with it. If that is so, it sure doesn’t sound to me like Mitch has the sole authority to hire, like Matt JOnes seems to infer.

    And, all it takes is a few big money boosters to get on board, and they can hand pick a big name. It happens all the time.

  53. Dang it Bobby
    11:01 pm September 26, 2012 Permalink

    52. Both of those guys are gone. Circumstances have changed.

  54. shinny
    11:02 pm September 26, 2012 Permalink

    Everybody just slow down–after (provided Max plays) we beat South carolina saturday night this talk will cool. Remember South Carolina has Georgia next week!!!

  55. dave
    11:03 pm September 26, 2012 Permalink

    46- good point. tenn, arkansas, vandy, uf, texasam, miami, unc, ucla, etc all probably just forgot to ask about them. hopefully we won’t forget too.
    other names the big schools also probably forgot to ask about–john gruden, tony dungy, brian billick

  56. Matt Jones
    11:03 pm September 26, 2012 Permalink

    #52…I dont care where you heard that about Lee Todd and Brooks, that is false.

    #48…boosters don’t affect what Mitch does. You can believe that or not, but it is true. That is part of why he doesn’t have the greatest relationship with many boosters. Calipari has courted many of them since arriving, but Mitch is simply a different breed. If you don’t believe that, it is fine, but it is the case.

    When Calipari got hired, there were a couple of other folks involved, but none of them were UK boosters or donors…and Barnhart/Todd made the final call.

  57. Lexington
    11:06 pm September 26, 2012 Permalink

    BP. As the good lord said, “Let he who is without sin cast the first stone.” Plus, I think it would add extra misery to UofL when they lose to us.

  58. Bobby Petrino
    11:08 pm September 26, 2012 Permalink

    I will be your next coach, bank on it. You will love me!

  59. wildcat502
    11:10 pm September 26, 2012 Permalink

    When boosters get involved, so does the NCAA

  60. m4ff3w
    11:13 pm September 26, 2012 Permalink

    #28: Remember 1988?

  61. Another Perspective
    11:17 pm September 26, 2012 Permalink

    @boomdaddy: A writer can imply but the reader is the one who would infer.

  62. Brock0029
    11:17 pm September 26, 2012 Permalink

    6. If Mitch Barnhart is still AD, don’t expect a competent hire.

  63. Uh
    11:17 pm September 26, 2012 Permalink

    Silly uk fball fans
    Every time u look for a new coach big names come out…. Every time

    And never do they come hahahsha it’d the same thing here
    You’ll get some reject or hazbeen at best LolololololStuadams

    You r uk

    After all. Rotfflmao

  64. Big Blue 66
    11:20 pm September 26, 2012 Permalink

    56, Matt, either you just really dont know, or you are naive. The Board and the boosters are the ones Mitch reports to, if you think Mitch is completely on his own and has 100% control, you are crazy. And there were boosters and donors involved with the Cal deal. Dont forget, the University doesnt write the check, the boosters do, why do you think theres a separate entity that funnels the money.

  65. tyson
    11:26 pm September 26, 2012 Permalink

    56 Matt, recheck your sources. The only reason Joker didn’t get fired last year was because Joe Craft said he would cut off donations to UK in ALL sports if JP wasn’t given one more year. Be a critical thinker Matt, Barnhart isn’t going to tell you what really goes on behind the scenes.

  66. BigBlue
    11:28 pm September 26, 2012 Permalink

    Todd Berry would be good

  67. Linda Taylor
    11:47 pm September 26, 2012 Permalink

    Tyson – Why in the world haven’t you been telling that to all these guys on the comments section that have been screaming right and left for Barnhart’s head BECAUSE he kept Joker this year?
    One thing you can count on, whatever you read in the comments section will be contradicted by someone else. Where? In the comments section.

  68. tyson
    11:57 pm September 26, 2012 Permalink

    67, I just found that out myself a couple of weeks ago. I was pretty surprised. But I believe the person that told me would know.

  69. calfan2
    12:00 am September 27, 2012 Permalink

    Mitch…..go gather some money and some bikes. Now go hunt down your coach Bobby. Please before TN gets him!

  70. Funky Monkey
    12:07 am September 27, 2012 Permalink

    I like the Florida International coach, no kidding.

  71. katzrjamers
    12:22 am September 27, 2012 Permalink

    Matt, just by highlighting this photo you have nuked any future KSR contact with Bobby P. That’s cool with me – always admired True Grit. (JW approves this post)

  72. Scotty_Sharp
    12:27 am September 27, 2012 Permalink

    Todd Graham sent me a text last night saying he’d jump ship from Tempe to Lexington after they win the Alamo Bowl.

  73. Nu uh 33
    12:55 am September 27, 2012 Permalink

    My daddy does oil changes for boosters. No way we hire a west coast hippie man. All he hears everyday is how John gruden and his brother are coming as a package and coach in waiting situation. Lol, just kidding everyone. I love post like 33 because you kno some idiot fan of ours just picked up his phone believing it and texted his buddy. Btw, my two cents: Bobby Petrino is the best available. And most realistic to actually accepting the daggone job with his local ties, daughter still at UofL and whatnot.

  74. Yeah
    2:40 am September 27, 2012 Permalink

    @65 I heard the reason was Mitch’s wife was going to cut off all of her “donations” to Mitch if he fired Joker last season….just what I heard.

  75. putinrichie
    5:17 am September 27, 2012 Permalink

    Regarding the 5 points…
    1.) This is a given and I agree the major pessimists are wrong because Mitch will replace Jooker. Joker is gone unless he gets us to a bowl which is a pipe dream at this point.
    2.) Another good point….too many people think they have credible sources that are really just full of it. However, I think even KSR isn’t the right source 100% of the time. People just have to take everything with a grain of salt.
    3.) I disagree. While I think the search will be extensive and not isolated to certain candidates, I do think there are coaches that eliminate themselves right out of the gate.
    4.) I agree. I also don’t think there is a benefit of contacting a coach right now unless you are bringing someone out of retirement Rich Brooks style. Additionally, I think while Mitch is planning on making a change, he wants to give Joker a fair shot to turn things around too.
    5.) Depending on the caliber of coach, I do think UK would open their pocket book a little more. That said, the caliber of coach that would come to UK isn’t one that will get a top salary.

    7:38 am September 27, 2012 Permalink

    I wish barnhart would go after Alabama’s D Corndinator Kirby Smart. Would love our defense to be developed to that level with the athletes we have.

  77. Kychilly
    8:04 am September 27, 2012 Permalink

    Wake up folks, Kirby Smart is not walking through that door. He makes over a $1M a year as a coordinator and competes for national title, every year. Saban is a micro manager and none of his guys are proven HC’s. The cats need to go after some young OC from the NFL, coordinators in the league are not paid that well. I personally like the idea of Pete Carroll at UK, he and Cal would be great together.

  78. Rob Schrader
    8:13 am September 27, 2012 Permalink

    How about you wake up 77. No way Pete Carroll leaves an NFL job where he is having to success to come to the bottom of the SEC. He went from a potential powerhouse year in and year out to the NFL. Why would he come to a bottomfeeder? Kirby Smart is much more likely.

  79. MakeItStop
    8:33 am September 27, 2012 Permalink

    Who cares about character and morals, you play to win the game…period. I’d take Petrino, I’d even think about Tressel. Just take the bowl ban, since we aren’t going to a bowl anyway. Then you build the program for 4 years. Only issue would be how much heat the NCAA would put on us, having both Cal and Tressel.

  80. Wake up
    8:35 am September 27, 2012 Permalink

    You are delusional if you think Kirby Smart or Pete Carroll is coming here. By the time they go through their search they might as well just keep Joker because they aren’t getting a “wow” ya name…

  81. philip
    8:45 am September 27, 2012 Permalink

    Matt the more I think about it, Joker seems to be everything we would want minus the W s. That’s what makes this so hard.

  82. barn
    8:50 am September 27, 2012 Permalink

    hahaha. i’m sorry, i know he’s a good coach, but i’d think of that picture every time i saw him. that’s better than the bcg mugshot.

  83. Clam
    8:55 am September 27, 2012 Permalink

    Every coaching hire we hear, “Money is no object…We will aim for a big-name coach,” and the results are always: Bill Curry, Hal Mumme, Guy Morris, Ritch Brooks, Joker Phillips. Are you noticing a trend? (By the way, I realize Curry was “successful” at Alabama when he left to come to UK, but they hated him there. Remember the brick thrown through his window).

  84. BPM
    9:18 am September 27, 2012 Permalink

    I am pretty much on the fence about the whole Petrino thing. I desperately want UK football to succeed and Petrino is a pretty safe bet on that front. Can’t stand the guy though. Did it not rub any of you guys pushing for Petrino the wrong way when reading about that incident in Atlanta where he berated the reporter wearing UK gear? That almost pisses me off more than the fact that he abused his power at Arkansas and engaged in unlawful hiring and payment practices, left 3 different teams in shambles and basically has no loyalty whatsoever. Also, Matt is definitely right about one thing, there is absolutely no way Barnhart is contacting anyone about a coaching job right now and he won’t do so until the season is over. That is not how he operates, good or bad.

  85. brandon
    9:27 am September 27, 2012 Permalink

    Brent Venables, with fat Mark Mangino coming along as OC.

  86. Chuck
    9:49 am September 27, 2012 Permalink

    #64 is right about the boosters. Anybody that thinks the Rev.Mitch is going alone on making any decision is naive. Like most major universities the big boosters have the most influence.
    Why not build a program on a strong defense? Go after Kirby Smart at Ala. or Mark Stoops at Fla.State. Like most sports that are successful it’s defense that wins the games or keeps you in the games and gives the offense a chance. The good teams under Curci won with defense and Claiborne’s teams kept us in games with defense. like Rupp always said: “your defense picks up your offense.” Not sure what Petrino’s record is with defensive teams. Who would he bring in to coach the defense? We need to recruit big, mean, tough def.linemen and linebackers regardless who the coach is.

  87. Smokin' Joe
    10:03 am September 27, 2012 Permalink

    If BP gets hired for next year…it’ll be like FIELD A DREAMS!!! You will see cars heading to Commonwealth for hundreds a miles! Winning cures everything…especially in Commonwealth stadium. Is he a scumbag…sure he is, but he could be our scumbag! Make him sign a deal for eternity and we’ll compete for SEC title every year starting in 2017!!

  88. BobKYCats
    10:11 am September 27, 2012 Permalink


    I want the third one. If he can win at Cincinnati (a school barely aware that they have a football team), he can win at UK.

  89. Bobby p
    10:30 am September 27, 2012 Permalink

    I can’t wait to,get to Kentucky and stomp those same cards that bad mouthed me after I took them to places they had never been!

    Go cats.

  90. Jones Returns
    10:42 am September 27, 2012 Permalink


  91. Smokin' Joe
    11:10 am September 27, 2012 Permalink

    Discipline and RESPECT, boys!!!!! Without it your dead!

  92. Rixter
    11:36 am September 27, 2012 Permalink

    Here’s what I fully expect when the next coach is announced: we will all either say ‘omg, are you kidding?” like we did when Rich Brooks was announced, or we will all say “WHO the F is xxxx”, like we did when Hal Mumme was announced.

  93. BlueTexan
    12:14 pm September 27, 2012 Permalink

    “He cannot screw this hire up, and that pressure, along with the regular excitement of looking for someone new, should make this fascinating to follow.” YES, Barnfart can – and, probably will – screw this up. His history on chosing head coaches from scratch (ie. no input and/or supervision) for football/basketball is atrocious. We need a “football” Mike Pratt to make certain the “i’s” are dotted and “t’s” crossed…Barnfart has proven that is beyond his comprehension.

  94. BleedRed
    12:35 pm September 27, 2012 Permalink

    #89 – Yea, UK would never do that, just ask Rick Pitino

  95. Chrush
    1:35 pm September 27, 2012 Permalink

    If we can’t get Mike Leach, hire Mike Leach lite — Sonny Dykes can also bring back the Air Raid sirens to Commonwealth Stadium! His WAC team absolutely destroyed Big Ten Illinois last week. He is a former UK assistant (special teams) under Mumme, and his offensive coordinator is also a former UK OC and native Kentuckian, Tony Franklin of Princeton, KY. Want to see what offense he will run? Go to

  96. CatFaninFLa
    3:28 pm September 27, 2012 Permalink

    Bobby Petrino disgusts me. It would be a disgrace and an embarassment to have him associated and endorsed by the University of Kentucky. I would rather lose to Tennessee and Florida another 24 years than have such flawed character leading our football program. He has proven himself repeatedly to be a selfish, immoral, unloyal, and dishonest person.

  97. rupp's grunt
    3:40 pm September 27, 2012 Permalink

    If money is no object, why not hire Tony Dungy or Bill Cowher? Not that there would be any point. Because it WILL NOT MATTER who the coach is, UK cannot win in the SEC with 2 star players (well, maybe half the time agaist Vandy), and they will ALWAYS get the bottom of the recruiting barrel against the likes of UGA, Alabama, UT, UF and LSU when it comes to football. The two best coaches UK has had in the past three decades are Brooks and the late Jerry Claiborne, and they could barely manage Music City/Peach bowl appearances (Claiborne’s record, per Wikipedia, was an abysmal 41-46-3 at UK, Brooks’ an even worse 39-47) Might as well make Joker coach-for-life, no point in throwing good money after bad.

    But I hope that whoever “Duke” Jones’ choice is, we get, so I can see him enjoying a healthy dose of crow after another 4-5 win season or three.

    C’mon, basketball season!

  98. Caches Agent
    4:47 pm September 27, 2012 Permalink

    No offense to Matt,I hope everyone continues to follow his radio show and his reporting, however given that I am the only person that has regularlt posted as “Coaches Agent” I believe that I should be the most trusted source for your coaching search news. Having made such bold claim, I suppose that I should back it up with some facts.

    First in a series of “You Heard It Here First” postngs regarding inside information on the coaching search.

    Billy G has officially withdrawn his name from the list of potential candidates. My sources tell me that he made that know immediately upon hearing of UK’s announcement that it intends to ban alcohol in certain tailgaiting areas.

    Stay tuned as I will post, as it becomes available, more inside information that you will not hear anywhere else.

  99. Caches Agent
    4:54 pm September 27, 2012 Permalink

    Oops! Meant regularly….not regularlt.

  100. Coaches Agent
    5:56 pm September 27, 2012 Permalink

    You Heard It Here First….Claude Bassett has withdrawn his name from potential candidate list.
    Reason given, his gross mistreatment when here before.

  101. The Ed
    8:14 pm September 27, 2012 Permalink

    Matt, great points all around. Great info. Talk to you soon.

  102. Petrino
    12:02 am September 28, 2012 Permalink

    I can explain the motor bike incident….that young woman told me I was a “Crouch Rocket.”