It’s over. Well… maybe it’s not over, but the fat lady is warming up her vocals on Coach Phillips’ career at UK. I don’t want to upset Chester, the passionate UK football fan who called into the show today, even further, but the reality of the situation looks bleak. Yes, Kentucky still has a chance to make a bowl game, and maybe it happens. Right now, though, with the rest of the SEC schedule looming, the odds are stacked against the Cats. At this moment, it’s hard to outline exactly who will be up for the job or would even be a good fit. It’s not hard to determine exactly what characteristics our new coach has to possess to be successful.
–Florida, Georgia, and Alabama ties. For the past couple of years, Coach Phillips has made a concerted effort to recruit in these states. The result? A ton of playmakers that are going to help this program for years to come. I don’t know what they are putting in the water in these places, but these guys just play football at a higher level.
–QB Development. Usually when a team changes coaches they go to a different specialty than the previous coach had (defense to offense, or vice versa). This should not be the case if Kentucky gets a new coach. The Wildcats have to maximize the talent they have at the quarterback position to be successful, therefore, an offensive coach needs to be hired. QB Maxwell Smith is going to be a star at some point in his career, if he’s not already. As a true sophomore, this kid has shown tremendous ability that makes you wonder what type of numbers he can put up in his career at Kentucky. For two more years, a new coach will have to get as much out of Smith’s development as possible if the Cats are going to compete in the SEC. Right after Smith’s career is over, a new coach will have two guys in Patrick Towles and Jalen Whitlow competing for Smith’s spot. Both these guys have a ton of ability, setting up a great future under center for the blue and white.
–4-3 Defense. Even though Kentucky’s defense played better against the Gators, a 3-4 defense just isn’t working for this program. DC Rick Minter did an excellent job in 2011, the first year of the switch, but he had a host of talent that he might not be privileged to have every year. A 4-3 defense is a lot more simple, and something Kentucky had a lot of success with in previous years. It seems like we were send more guys to the NFL in that defense as well.
So what say you? In your opinion, what characteristics does our next coach need to have, BBN?