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Two Names To Watch

After announcing today that Joker Phillips will be gone by the end of the season, it’s time for UK to officially begin its search for a new head coach.  You’ll hear a lot of names over the next month, some reasonable, some crazy, but KSR believes two coaches sit high above the rest on Kentucky’s list: Louisiana Tech’s Sonny Dykes and Duke’s David Cutcliffe.

Get to know ’em…

Sonny Dykes is one of the hottest names in coaching in just his third season as a head coach. His Louisiana Tech squad is 8-1 this season with road wins over Illinois and Virginia, and its only loss coming against Texas A&M in a 59-57 shootout.

Kentucky will pursue the former Mike Leach assistant, but it won’t be the only SEC school to give him a call this offseason.


David Cutcliffe is best known for coaching the Manning boys during their college careers. Cutcliffe was the offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach with Peyton at Tennessee and he was Eli’s head coach at Ole Miss. Almost all of the offensive records at both schools were set when Cutliffe was coaching.

Fun Fact: His coaching career began as a student assistant under Bear Bryant at Alabama.


Happy Coaching Search.

Article written by Drew Franklin

I can recite every line from Forrest Gump, blindfolded. Follow me on Twitter: @DrewFranklinKSR

139 Comments for Two Names To Watch

  1. rick
    4:37 pm November 4, 2012 Permalink

    Wonder which one wants to get fired 4 years from now?

  2. Tim
    4:37 pm November 4, 2012 Permalink

    Pat Forde / Yahoo is reporting that Petrino isn’t even on our list, according to his “sources.”

  3. Wtf
    4:37 pm November 4, 2012 Permalink

    I will not renew my tickets with either of them
    Itch if u hire one of them fans will not come back

  4. Justin
    4:38 pm November 4, 2012 Permalink

    why go after cutcliffe if he hasnt really done anything?

  5. matt
    4:38 pm November 4, 2012 Permalink


  6. Duke Sucks
    4:38 pm November 4, 2012 Permalink

    Cutcliff if he doesnt go to tenn. not the sexy pick but I do think he is the man for this situation. Barring no Patrino who is unlikely at bast.

  7. VickieD
    4:40 pm November 4, 2012 Permalink

    Jim Tressel or bust. No different from Cal hire!

  8. jpgott2
    4:41 pm November 4, 2012 Permalink

    Sonny Dykes way over David Cutcliffe!! Dykes is young, and on his way. Cutcliffe has already been in the SEC, and he has an overall freaking losing record as HC!!!

    We honestly need a big name assistant (OC/DC) from a big-time program, or a big name coach.

  9. Drainey
    4:42 pm November 4, 2012 Permalink

    None of the above.

  10. CatGrad7072
    4:43 pm November 4, 2012 Permalink

    What #8 said. Cutcliff seems like Rich Brooks II.

  11. BigBlueFan
    4:43 pm November 4, 2012 Permalink


  12. Scotty Sharp
    4:44 pm November 4, 2012 Permalink

    We’ll be lucky to get Sonny. Crossing fingers..

  13. classof68
    4:45 pm November 4, 2012 Permalink

    What a starting point. Surely they can do better than these two.

  14. Dave
    4:47 pm November 4, 2012 Permalink

    Good Lord! Not Cutcliffe! He’s Bill Curry redux.

  15. Tebkats
    4:47 pm November 4, 2012 Permalink

    Boise State’s Chris Petersen, proven winner.

  16. Jarshoe
    4:47 pm November 4, 2012 Permalink

    Not sure why anyone would be interested in Cucliffe. Likewise, not sure why he’d leave Duke. He’s got them going in the right direction and he’ll have a much easier time winning 6-8 games in the ACC than in the SEC as his history shows.

    Not sure about the fascination with Dykes (or any other up and comer) either. A young coach that comes in here and does well, isn’t likely to stick around when one of the big boys comes around. Hell, we couldn’t even keep Guy Morris from bolting to Baylor.

    I’ll take Fulmer or Tressel.

  17. Dave
    4:47 pm November 4, 2012 Permalink

    Pay a king’s ransom for the Bama DC.

  18. jq
    4:48 pm November 4, 2012 Permalink

    Why da HELL would you want to BRING ANOTHER LOSER IN? i.e., CUTCLIFF record 65-66
    Would be on PAR for BARNHARDT! Hell Mitch call BILLY G. he needs a job.

  19. bye joker
    4:49 pm November 4, 2012 Permalink

    15 why would chris peterson go to a football program that sucks right now and for the most part hasn’t been even close where boise’s football is

  20. Beavis
    4:51 pm November 4, 2012 Permalink

    Guess it is time for another one man coaching search by that idiot Mitch. He will never out live his comments about the fans at UK. Nothing but downhill for that gentleman. If you feel so bad about Joker,,,,just announce you can not stand the fans and resign. Trust me,,,,the feeling is mutual.

  21. old_school
    4:51 pm November 4, 2012 Permalink

    Which one – Cutliff or Dykes – has the closest connections with the rap world? That seems to be the number one requirement at UK.

    Heck – before long – Cal will ask (read – order) the UK administration to change the nickname from Wildcats to Snoopdogs.

  22. Malcolm
    4:52 pm November 4, 2012 Permalink

    So people want Tressel, when he will still have 3 years on his show-clause penalty after this season? I know things are bad, but really, we’d be the first school in history to hire a coach when he still has a show-clause.

  23. tguy
    4:52 pm November 4, 2012 Permalink

    I Do Not understand the Cutliff interests. As an SEC team, why would we bring in a losing coach from a horrible football conference? I know we aren’t a big sexy football school, but good lord. At least hire a coach that has won in a bad conference.

  24. Shelbyracecat
    4:53 pm November 4, 2012 Permalink

    they better get someone better than the two you mentioned or we will never be any good in the SEC.

  25. James
    4:53 pm November 4, 2012 Permalink

    Does anyone else feel that we are about to enter the same cycle we just came out of? Brooks had some success here, but he was old and as a result had a short tenure. Then we ended up trying to main that process, failed, and need a new coach. These guys look like Rich Brooks part II. We need someone young enough to come in and sustain success over a longer period. Either of these two would be a mistake/

  26. Punter U
    4:53 pm November 4, 2012 Permalink

    PLEASE do not hire either of these clowns… go HARD for Jim Tressel, and if he says no, hire Kliff Kingsbury. Look him up if you don’t know the name.

  27. Kneel
    4:54 pm November 4, 2012 Permalink


  28. jymbo
    4:54 pm November 4, 2012 Permalink

    I hope he has bigger names on the list. Dykes a longshot and Cutliff is definently a no no.

  29. James
    4:54 pm November 4, 2012 Permalink

    21. The level that you go to to troll this website blows my mind. I’m sorry that you don’t have any other interests in your life.

  30. classof68
    4:55 pm November 4, 2012 Permalink

    21 – Cal likes Abba best. I think he only promotes rap because that’s what kids today like

  31. tguy
    4:55 pm November 4, 2012 Permalink

    21- You are a complete jackass. It’s the music kids listen to now days. Get over yourself, stop trolling on these message boards

  32. Yab
    4:56 pm November 4, 2012 Permalink

    How sad are these two coaching candidates? Don’t even bother asking for money from the General Assembly for upgrades with either of these two sorry sacks coaching. And, save the postage on ticket renewals. No one is going back for those two.

  33. OwensboroDavid
    4:57 pm November 4, 2012 Permalink

    Damn it Drew Franklin!! Don’t go posting Cutcliff’s name. Mitch will think that people actually want him as coach. I got a name for you……..PETRINO!

  34. Bonkrshr
    4:57 pm November 4, 2012 Permalink

    Rich Rod… discuss please

  35. BigBlue
    4:59 pm November 4, 2012 Permalink

    Dykes is a good coach!
    We are not getting Tressel, Gruden, or Petrino…will not happen. Nor do we need on of those three.
    A guy like Dykes would be just fine.

  36. Badams
    5:02 pm November 4, 2012 Permalink

    Old school, you are an idiot. Why do you waste your time even posting? Sounds like me you have a problem with black people. I guess we will just label you racist from now on. Beavis you are also an idiot. He righted the wrong in a big way with Cal, he will do the same now. I think Cal could hire the best up and coming coach but because he hasn’t already won an BCS title people would be pissed. I’m sorry, it’s UK, we are not goin to get the best coach even if they threw 5 million at them.

  37. Mitch
    5:03 pm November 4, 2012 Permalink

    All you guys getting on here throwing out different name. Hell, you don’t have any idea whose on my list!!

  38. Badams
    5:03 pm November 4, 2012 Permalink

    I think Mitch* hate this stupid iPad

  39. UKBlue
    5:04 pm November 4, 2012 Permalink

    Bowdens Bowdens Bowdens

  40. AaronJ
    5:05 pm November 4, 2012 Permalink

    Either Mark Helfrich or Kirby Smart, the other two would not be any different than joker

  41. BigBlue
    5:05 pm November 4, 2012 Permalink

    Brent Pease would be my choice for our program now. He is a great coach and recruiter and has the passion to win that we need.

  42. Badams
    5:05 pm November 4, 2012 Permalink

    Old school got a question for you. Do you really think these young players give a damn about Eddie Montgomery coming around? Or do they care more about Drake? Figure that out and then you’ll realize how smart Cal is. Or maybe you are incapable of rational decisions.

  43. Patrick
    5:05 pm November 4, 2012 Permalink

    Why is KSR so obsessed with Cutcliffe. No one seems to be pimping him as much as KSR. He is not wanted and would not be the big time hire that is needed this time around. He is a stop gap at best and a complete failure at worst. Dykes I hope is farther down the list than the top two. And if Forde is right the fans are not gonna be satisfied.

  44. 3cats
    5:06 pm November 4, 2012 Permalink

    God Bless You Joker and Best of Luck! Now I hope the UK fans are happy and you get what you wanted…… Cutcliffe who has a 65/66 win/loss record what a joke, a great up grade, coaches DUKE … REALLY! Why is it that we need to go after losers and cheaters! Cutcliffe,Tressel, Fulmer all losers.Tressel couldn’t even coach the 1st year because of the NCAA nailed him for CHEATING!!!!!!!!!!! Just close the f–king program down!
    Go after Temples coach,who coached at UF, T-Tech OC, asst coach from K-State,Fl-State, we need someone from the SEC.Also, now that that a changes has been made can we now fill the stands for senior day and the players?

  45. Ukalum
    5:06 pm November 4, 2012 Permalink

    If Cutcliffe is hired you might as well start processing the paper work to fire Barnhart because all he will bring is mediocrity and blowout losses to the GOOD football teams. Sonny dykes is a real risk if your gonna pursue him you might as well go after Gus Malzahn, he at least has a championship ring and SEC experience. If Barnhart doesn’t at least give an offer to kirby smart, he is an idiot that will never have a football program worth a sh-t. The three teams closest to our situation in terms of facilities and difficulty(miss state, Vanderbilt and Louisville) all went with unproven motivated coordinators. Two of them(Mullen and strong) from a major winning program in Florida. Barnhart should at least ask what smart would want as a salary to come to UK.

  46. David Wiliiams
    5:06 pm November 4, 2012 Permalink

    I never thought about Rich Rod? I would give some money to see this guy coach. He would be a good fit with a lot to prove. Go for it!

  47. SeoulCat
    5:06 pm November 4, 2012 Permalink

    DO NOT bring Cutcliffe over. Hire this man, Mitch, and I swear I will get my buddy, BaghdadCat, to issue a fatwa on you.

  48. Therightguy
    5:11 pm November 4, 2012 Permalink

    Sean Payton His contract with the Saints was voided by the NFL and he might be available.

  49. Really
    5:11 pm November 4, 2012 Permalink

    Cutcliffe? Really? It will be the same situation we have now. He and mitch are good friends so when he fails we will have to hold on to him for two years longer than we should. Geeez

  50. J A Brooks
    5:12 pm November 4, 2012 Permalink

    I love the idiots who say no to Sonny Dykes. LMAO. We have some truly moronic fans. Half of them don’t know anything about the guy and the other half think we have a shot to get Jon Gruden.

    Dykes is one of the hottest coaches in America and if we don’t get him some other school will and in 5 years we’ll be wondering why we didn’t try to get him.


  51. Bonkrshr
    5:12 pm November 4, 2012 Permalink

    Rich Rod… knows how to win… build a program… is looking to prove himself after failure at UM….
    Developed WVU into a power…
    NCAA issues were ridiculously minor…
    Spread offense… I’m sold…

  52. Big Whoop
    5:12 pm November 4, 2012 Permalink

    Forget about Cutcliffe. He won’t leave his unpressured position for UK. If he leaves it will be cecause UT asked for him, but I don’t see that happening. A Mike Leach protege would be the best hire if we can’t lure Leach from Washington St.

  53. UK Fans
    5:12 pm November 4, 2012 Permalink

    Look guys, if you don’t like Sonny Dykes as a potential hire, I don’t know what to tell you. This would be an absolute homerun of a hire. His father, Spike Dykes, was a great coach for a long time with Texas Tech. He has taken Louisiana Tech and made them SEC good… in the Sun Belt. He plays an exciting brand of football that would work with the type of talent we are realistically able to bring to Lexington. If you are just a basketball fan and haven’t heard of him or seen his teams play, please do not bother commenting.

  54. Jokersajoke
    5:12 pm November 4, 2012 Permalink

    Why is everyone on the Tressel wagon? No one’s beating his door down. He’s a proven liar and has a boring philosophy on both sides of the ball. SEC teams will be licking their chops to face him again. Besides any coach that wears a sweater vest and spectacles (they’re too nerdy to be glasses) on the sideline need not apply.

  55. Football Man
    5:12 pm November 4, 2012 Permalink

    Chris Petersen cause it’s time to bring some smurf turf to the SEC!

  56. Jokersajoke
    5:14 pm November 4, 2012 Permalink

    Chris Peterson would be a great hire. Change our field color to Kentucky “Blue” grass (aka smurf turf).

  57. UK Fans
    5:14 pm November 4, 2012 Permalink

    Are people really thinking we could get Rich Rod, Sean Payton(!), or anyone in that strata of notoriety? WAKE UP. It’s not about money. Coaches of that pedigree just won’t come here.

  58. UK Fans
    5:15 pm November 4, 2012 Permalink

    55 and 56: Chris Peterson turned down the Notre Dame job. But you’re right. He was just waiting on the Kentucky job to open up.

  59. Jason
    5:16 pm November 4, 2012 Permalink

    Noone wants either of these guys. Neither puts us where we want to be, just gets us 7-5 seasons at best. SPEND THE EFFING MONEY AND GET SOMEONE THAT WILL MAKE A DIFFERENCE. Tressel, a rising coordinator, somebody. Not these guys.

  60. St Paul Raiders
    5:17 pm November 4, 2012 Permalink

    29- Thank you, couldn’t agree more.

  61. Owen
    5:18 pm November 4, 2012 Permalink

    Here are some names we should look at:

    * Tim Deruyter – Fresno State, 8-3 HC record, former TA&M and Ohio DC. Improvement at every school he’s coached at.
    * Dave Doeren – Northern Illinois, 20-4 HC record and former Wisconsin DC
    * Butch Jones – Cinci, 47-26 HC record. Don’t know that he’d want to leave given he’s comfortable at a BCS school, but we are in the SEC and maybe would pay more.
    * Oddball one, but George O’Leary – UCF, 109-86 overall record, once hired at ND but had that resume scandal. At UCF he did have that kid die on his watch, though.

  62. John L Smith
    5:19 pm November 4, 2012 Permalink

    2 of the last 3 major hires at UK have been epic disasters… UT won a championship while Cutcliffe was busy losing at Ole Miss with a future NFL hall of famed at QB. Of course MB will consider him – but only if John Smith isn’t available. I keep imagining Mitch inserted into the scene from major league when they were talking about players to sign and they realized one guy was actually dead. The joke is in the AD’s office

  63. yep
    5:21 pm November 4, 2012 Permalink

    Sources tell Yahoo! Sports that the candidate list includes Louisiana Tech coach Sonny Dykes and Atlanta Falcons offensive coordinator Dirk Koetter, plus several college offensive coordinators. Among those believed to be interested in the job are Florida’s Brent Pease and Texas Tech’s Neal Brown, both of whom have ties to UK — Pease as a former assistant and Brown as a player.

  64. Hal
    5:21 pm November 4, 2012 Permalink

    sonny dykes
    kliff kingsbury
    todd berry
    jim tressel
    neal brown

    you need to post the forde article. i dont like the guy either but it appears he’s the only national writer who actually cares about this & has some inside info. though he didnt mention cutcliffe.–kentucky-not-considering-hiring-bobby-petrino-after-firing-joker-phillips-04081709.html;_ylt=AjhX5XfYZFK2ypp.6UiJ7YWK1LYF

  65. UK Fans
    5:21 pm November 4, 2012 Permalink

    61. I think that Doeren would be a really solid hire, but not a sexy one that would please people (given that folks seem to be expecting the Petersons, Paytons, etc. of the world to be beating down our door)

  66. yep
    5:22 pm November 4, 2012 Permalink

    With Kentucky athletic director Mitch Barnhart officially announcing the firing of third-year football coach Joker Phillips via an open letter to fans Sunday, the search is on for a replacement.

    Louisiana Tech head coach Sonny Dykes is on Kentucky’s list of candidates to replace Joker Phillips. (AP)
    And it will not include Bobby Petrino, according to sources with knowledge of Kentucky’s initial list of candidates.

  67. Ukalum
    5:22 pm November 4, 2012 Permalink

    The case for kirby smart.
    1) no SEC team will go after him as HC because it poises a lot of risk since he has no HC experience.
    2) as Alabamas coordinator for the past five seasons he has game planned against every team in the SEC and 9 of the 12 teams on our schedule next seasons.
    3) he has been under Saban long enough to learn his recruiting strategy and gain connections across the country with both high school and college coaches
    4) he is young and motivated to create his own path. So if he can make UK a contender in the East, he would on leave for a pre-built title team aka saban retires in five seasons. But he could also fall in love with uk and stay for decades. It’s a chance worth taking.
    5) it would be no bigger risk than hiring Dykes( who has zero SEC experience in the last decade and his OC is tony Franklin who sued UKAA) or Gus Malzahn who has one year at ark state.

  68. bcro0001
    5:22 pm November 4, 2012 Permalink

    JIM TRESSEL!!!!!!!!

  69. J A Brooks
    5:23 pm November 4, 2012 Permalink

    Cutcliffe would be a disaster though. He has a losing record and has now found success at Duke where there is zero pressure and where he plays a super soft schedule. There’s also zero chance he leaves Duke… mainly for the reasons I just stated.

    Dykes has one of the best offenses in the country and is succeeding with a bunch of 2 and 3 star recruits. He’s young and is known to be a good recruiter and was voted as one of the 10 best assistants in the nation by He’s an up and comer we could easily afford and lock into a long term deal. He’s also got ties to UK. He’s a fiery guy and a great competitor. He was able to hang 57 on A&M with LA Tech players when Joker would have been shut out against that team with “SEC players.”

    My votes are Dykes or Kirby Smart… throw a ton of money at them if you need two but they’re the two most obvious choices if we aren’t going to go after Petrino.

  70. Ukalum
    5:23 pm November 4, 2012 Permalink

    Sonny dyke and Louisiana tech are on the WAC by the way.

  71. helore
    5:25 pm November 4, 2012 Permalink

    UK should dock M itch’s pay 70% and let him run the non-revenue sports. He has been a spectacular failure in hiring a football and basketball coach. Thank goodness for Mike Pratt spearheading the hiring of Cal. Sorry if telling the truth means I am not a ‘true fan.’

  72. Eddie
    5:31 pm November 4, 2012 Permalink

    How about Coach Taylor from Friday Night Lights lol.

  73. freeksr
    5:31 pm November 4, 2012 Permalink

    Hope we can get one of these two clowns so we can continue to suck. Trust me people, in three years many of you will be asking why we didn’t just keep Joker.

  74. BigBlueBrock
    5:31 pm November 4, 2012 Permalink

    FYI – “KSR believes” = Mitch Barnhart told Matt Jones to send up these trial balloons.

  75. BigBlueBrock
    5:32 pm November 4, 2012 Permalink

    Sonny Dykes would actually be a decent hire. Cutcliffe would be more typical of Mitch’s tenure, however.

  76. J A Brooks
    5:33 pm November 4, 2012 Permalink

    67) Is anyone really arguing against Kirby Smart? That’s a Charlie Strong like hire… the guy has been voted as a top 5 assistant in the country for several years now. He’s probably the most sought after assistant in the nation.

    A lot of the UK fans that post on boards like KSR have this type of mentality… “I’ve never heard of that guy so he must be terrible. I have heard of that Boise State coach so he’s the guy we should get. Anyone who is not that guy or a former NFL coach would be terrible.”

  77. Roman
    5:34 pm November 4, 2012 Permalink

    67) You’re high hahaha Auburn or Tennessee will get Smart before we even get to call him.

  78. Jim Andrews
    5:35 pm November 4, 2012 Permalink

    UK has to shoot for the stars and promise them the moon.

  79. Ukalum
    5:36 pm November 4, 2012 Permalink

    We need someone who has SEC experience and isn’t able to draw social security. All Cutcliffe, fulmer, etc will get us is another coaching search in three seasons whether its because they suck or because they retired. Because any one in their SIXTIES when hired cant have success at UK for more than a handful of years because age will end their tenures.

  80. dave
    5:36 pm November 4, 2012 Permalink

    67- makes sense. considering will muschamp had never been a HC until UF hired him. and the same with mark richt & UGA. and dan mullen & MSU. and James Franklin & vandy.

    but you’re right, may be a former LSU/FSU/UGA/BAMA assistant would rather coach at UK for decades……

  81. CB 4
    5:39 pm November 4, 2012 Permalink

    Tommy Tuberville

  82. J A Brooks
    5:47 pm November 4, 2012 Permalink

    90% of us just need to sit back and let people who’ve heard of more than 10 coaches make this decision.

    I lost faith as soon as I saw someone say Dykes would be a terrible hire. Would Dykes be a success, who knows, but it would still be a great hire based on the current evidence.

    Smart and Dykes would both be great hires. I don’t know much about the other assistants mentioned by Forde but this is the part where I go on the internet and read about them before I form a decision. Note that I am not deciding they suck before I know anything about them.

  83. Rixter
    5:52 pm November 4, 2012 Permalink

    Cutcliffe? His Duke team has been handled by a combined 104 – 27 the last 2 weeks. Yep, he would fit right in here

  84. Rocks
    5:52 pm November 4, 2012 Permalink

    Bob Beatty as Head Coach and Andrew Coverdale as OC. They have been ridiculously successful at Trinity.

  85. Blove
    5:59 pm November 4, 2012 Permalink

    Mark Helfrich off coor. From Oregon he 38 yr old and would bring exciting style of football in

  86. hoopchi
    6:03 pm November 4, 2012 Permalink

    Is there a door somewhere we can watch?

  87. thegr8one
    6:09 pm November 4, 2012 Permalink

    Dykes is one of the hottest coaches in the country. So, I ask this; why would he come to UK? Coaching graveyard. Plus, he’s got it made at LaTech.

  88. Jesus H. Chrysler
    6:13 pm November 4, 2012 Permalink

    …u heard it here first:
    Charlie Strong will be the next head coach at UK

  89. J A Brooks
    6:15 pm November 4, 2012 Permalink

    Dirk Koetter held a 1—11 record against top 10 teams, and was 2—19 against ranked teams while at ASU. I’ll pass.

  90. J A Brooks
    6:17 pm November 4, 2012 Permalink

    87) More money, ties to UK, moving from WAC to SEC, higher profile… gee I don’t know.

  91. Nato45
    6:20 pm November 4, 2012 Permalink

    84 – you have got to be kidding me. Those guys have a greater talent advantage than Alabama to Kentucky. They have no idea how to coach with less talent. We must get someone who knows how to coach with a talent disadvantage and win. We will never bludgeon anyone.

  92. realist
    6:27 pm November 4, 2012 Permalink

    We’re not getting any big names here and I don’t like any of these choices. I say get someone that wants to make a big name for themselves. My choice would be Willie Taggart.

  93. Cutcliff is the only choice
    6:33 pm November 4, 2012 Permalink

    Cutcliff will be the coach. You do know this is football not basketball don’t you? UK isn’t exactly a big job. Give up the money? Really! We will have to over pay for who ever we get. It’s amazing that some talk of Tomilin, rich Rod, and other NFL coaches. Smart the DC of Bama really? I don’t care what his title is Saban runs the D at Bama. Do most of you realize just how big a rebuild this is going to be. It will take someone who knows how to rebuild a average on a good day program. I would love to see Patrino or Dykes, but with better SEC jobs open don’t hold your breath. Cutcliff will build the program to where Brooks had it. Then he will move on. Then and only then we might be in better shape to hire one of the bigger named coaches. Just don’t kid yourselves into thinking any big named coach would even entertain the idea of coaching here.
    Someone said tressell. He couldn’t beat SEC schools at Ohio State a top 5 all time program so he can win with UK? Really

  94. Blast from the past
    6:40 pm November 4, 2012 Permalink

    How about Hayden Fox? Great college coach with NFL experience.

    The kids on here have no idea what I am talkng about.

  95. thegr8one
    6:44 pm November 4, 2012 Permalink

    #90 I’ll make you a bet. I bet Sonny Dykes is not at UK next year. Interested?

  96. CaptObvious
    6:45 pm November 4, 2012 Permalink


  97. John Short
    6:47 pm November 4, 2012 Permalink

    I’m sticking with Bill Ransdell. He’d be a Jim dandy of a hire and he’s a great American

  98. Arkansas AD
    6:52 pm November 4, 2012 Permalink

    We’ll get Butch or Sonny. Uuburn will take the other. But; you guys can have John L. since he is available. I hear is O.K. with the “L” in his name referencing Lexington

  99. Dave
    6:53 pm November 4, 2012 Permalink

    Anyone who hasn’t heard of Kirby Smart should really not be commenting on the subject of a coaching search/hire.

    UK should go straight to this guy and offer him 3 Million plus tiered bonuses for going to bowl games.

    Get it done or Ditch Mitch!

  100. Dave
    6:55 pm November 4, 2012 Permalink

    Anyone who hasn’t heard of Kirby Smart should really not be commenting on the subject of a coaching search/hire.

    UK should go straight to this guy and offer him 3 Million plus tiered bonuses for going to bowl games.

    If by some miracle, he wins a NC in that time frame, he gets a bonus that brings his annual compensation for that year up to 1 US Dollar more than Nick Saban.

    Get it done or Ditch Mitch!

  101. dtfromgeorgetown
    6:55 pm November 4, 2012 Permalink

    The hire has to be somebody that says “We wanna win at football ”
    Simple as that

  102. J A Brooks
    6:55 pm November 4, 2012 Permalink

    92) well if you don’t like them I guess we’re doomed.

  103. J A Brooks
    6:57 pm November 4, 2012 Permalink

    95) ok… whats my odds. Since you get Dykes going to 115 schools and I only get him going to 1.

  104. UKGrad83
    7:05 pm November 4, 2012 Permalink

    Kirby Smart or Mark Helfrich. Neither one is going to move up for awhile where they are and MIGHT be interested in a HC position in the SEC. Would prefer Helfrich because this program needs excitement and he’s going to build the offense first. He’s from Oregon and I’m guessing he’s crossed paths with Mitch and Coach Brooks. I’d rather roll the dice on him than settle for Cutcliffe or Fulmer.

  105. uk64
    7:07 pm November 4, 2012 Permalink

    Skip Holtz

  106. Dave
    7:07 pm November 4, 2012 Permalink

    The program needs wins.

    Smarts defense is stifling and it’s exciting. I enjoyed watching it.

    He can hire a good OC to get his offense exciting.

  107. J A Brooks fan
    7:15 pm November 4, 2012 Permalink

    Everybody just listen to J A Brooks. He knows what’s best! In J A we trust!

  108. Whatttttttt!!!!
    7:28 pm November 4, 2012 Permalink

    Kirby Kirby Kirby!!!!!!

  109. Cutcliff will be our coach
    7:40 pm November 4, 2012 Permalink

    #90 I agree with everything your saying about dykes and he would be a good hire. I also think your right that he would would leave LA tech for every reason you gave. The only problem is Auburn, TEnn, and Arkasas have all got more to offer plus they are better jobs plain and simple. Our problem isn’t simply all the negatives of our history a little more money and that can be forgot. It’s we are going to be the 3rd or 4th best job in our conference not even factoring in the rest of the country.
    Joker has run this program down pretty bad. The young guys everybody keeps bringing up just aren’t that good. We will be hard pressed to do better then Cutcliff with his offence. Atleast towels is in place he can score a lot of points in that offence and keep interest up untill we can get better players. We are 4 or 5 years away from being to the point Brooks left the program in.

  110. Leach!!!
    7:46 pm November 4, 2012 Permalink

    Mike Leach! He was a good offensive coordinator at UK and enjoyed his time here. He made Texas Tech a contender quickly and I think he could really turn us around.

  111. BK in Scottsville
    7:46 pm November 4, 2012 Permalink

    In my opinion, this will be a defining moment for the administration. The attitude for the past 50 plus years has been it doesn’t matter. They don’t have to make huge changes when things are not going well. Just make it look good without any commitment because, honestly, that is all it takes to put butts in seats. Big blue fans are pasionate and will spend their money blindly.

    Now…The fans are pushing back and refusing to open their wallets to that strategy, which impacts academic spending and non-revenue generating sports. It’s going to be interesting to see how this shakes out with the new dynamic. My guess is “wash, rinse, and repeat” is not going to work this time.

  112. chuck
    8:34 pm November 4, 2012 Permalink

    Forget guys like Cutliff, Leach or Petrino. We need younger, exciting coaches that recruits will relate to. Names like Smart, Helfrich, Dykes, and Petereson would recruit well in the SEC. Forget Pease and Koetter who was fired by Arizona. If you lay enough money out there any coach would be interested.

  113. Green River 46
    8:44 pm November 4, 2012 Permalink

    If I remember right David Cutliff turn UK down once before, and then UK hired Coach Brooks. We don’t want Cutliff.

  114. barn
    8:51 pm November 4, 2012 Permalink

    who says uk will pursue dykes? sources? you state this as fact with no reference of validity

  115. chuck
    8:55 pm November 4, 2012 Permalink

    Why would we want anybody with ties with UK? That’s been the problem. It might be the same old, same old.

  116. Michael
    8:57 pm November 4, 2012 Permalink

    Why would we hire either one of those two mediocre coaches when Mitch Barnhart just fired one? We need a high profile coach who wants to come here or an offensive coach from a high profile winning BCS school.

  117. Michael
    9:00 pm November 4, 2012 Permalink

    We don’t need to go back to the “good ol’boy system” of days past. We need a fresh start from someone who does not have any ties with UK period!!!

  118. The Joke was on Us
    9:04 pm November 4, 2012 Permalink

    112 I’m I wrong or didn’t we just have a coach like the 1 you are asking for in Joker.a younger coach that the recruits can relate too. That work out good. We need a coach we knows how to build a program with some of the problems UK has working against it. Peterson really? He has turned down a lot better jobs then UK no way he would even return a phone call. Dykes would be a great hire I agree, but do you think he would pick UK over auburn or Arkansas. If your going to hire Smart should have just kept Joker. It’s easy to coach with the best players like Bama has. Plus he doesn’t run that D. That is Saban’s D. He’s way to hands on to trust his D to anyone else.

  119. The Joke was on Us
    9:07 pm November 4, 2012 Permalink

    116 I will agree we need a offensive coach. We aren’t going to ever get enuff players to have. Stout SEC D. Only chance we have is to get a gimmick offence that is fun to watch and beat the teams we should. Air raid 3

  120. thegr8one
    9:09 pm November 4, 2012 Permalink

    I’ll give you one reason Dykes will not leave LaTech for UK. A guy by the name of James Davison. That’s all I’m going to say.

  121. Paul Miller
    9:34 pm November 4, 2012 Permalink

    Pat Dye would be a good hire

  122. Aklcat
    9:40 pm November 4, 2012 Permalink

    One has a losing record and the other has coached a total of 34 games, is the goal is to hire someone equal to Joker either one will do just fine. I thought we wanted to improve the program

  123. The Joke was on Us
    9:40 pm November 4, 2012 Permalink

    Who is James Davison?

  124. The Joke was on Us
    9:43 pm November 4, 2012 Permalink

    122 Do you know just how bad Duke was Cutcliff took over. I think his overall record is a little deceiving and not Realy telling. I can tell you this who ever takes over here will have a losing record after 3 years. Even if it was Urban Myer

  125. BK in Scottsville
    9:44 pm November 4, 2012 Permalink

    120 – I agree Sonny is not going to UK, but; he will be leaving LA Tech. Mr Davison is influencial however; once you get past “2000 Farmerville Highway” not so much.I personnaly think he is going to Arkansas, where Mr. Davison can compete with the likes of Jerry Jones for power.

  126. Daniel Plainview
    9:59 pm November 4, 2012 Permalink

    Cutcliffe sounds about as exciting as a hot cup of camomile. Why do we always go after coaches with career LOSING records? Tressel, Bob Diaco, or if you go nfl route, Rob Chudzinski, was an oc in college before moving on to the nfl, look up his experience.

  127. 3 fan
    10:05 pm November 4, 2012 Permalink

    HELFRICH. Watch Oregons offense

    UK needs to change everything. Install blue turf, get the 10 different uniforms, Oregon offense. The recruits love it

  128. MOTODOG
    10:06 pm November 4, 2012 Permalink

    Why not Pease…good coordinator and can recruit Florida. Also gotta love Smart and Kliff Kingsbury. I’ve been screaming his name on here for weeks hoping someone would catch on. Also, his offense is calld Air Raid……Hello Air raid siren!

  129. NFL
    10:13 pm November 4, 2012 Permalink

    Each and every NFL team depends on its fans to prosper. Without keen supporters at the games, teams don’t make profits, or benefit from concessions or stadium advertising. How do you compare against, say, a Greenbay Packer’s fan for the amount you contribute?

  130. WeAreUK
    10:14 pm November 4, 2012 Permalink

    In all reality, I’m sure Mitch will go with Cutcliffe without ever even putting an offer on the table for Dykes like he should. Guys like Petrino have no interest in our program. It’s pretty obvious that the football program has taken a back seat in funding, I agree with those who say that Mitch is the real problem here. Seems like he only hires guys who he’s friends or acquaintances with. Get Mitch out, put more money into the football program and hire a legit coach by throwing some real money at him. I think Charlie Strong would be a solid hire, he proves that he can win and I’m sure he wants to move to a better conference.

  131. jamie
    10:25 pm November 4, 2012 Permalink

    the reason Dykes isn’t a good candidate is because his teams cant define defense much less play it. They gave up 27 points to Texas San Antonio this past weekend (What conference do they play in?). since Kentucky has the toughest schedule in the country that spells disaster. The last LA Tech coach to go to the SEC was named Derek Dooley and he is about to lose his job as well. Houston Nutt needs a job and he has one more games in the SEC than Dykes has coached period. Cutclliff’s team blew a 20-3 lead against Virginia Tech, an average team at best and his record is under 500 as a head coach. Nutt’s career record as a head coach is 135-96. he also recruited some good football players such as Darren Mcfadden Felix Jones, and Peyton Hillis just to name a few.

  132. BK in Scottsville
    10:39 pm November 4, 2012 Permalink

    131 – There is no scenario where I see Houston Nutt in Lexington. He was let go in Arkansas and Ole Miss So that qualifies him for a sure thing at UK? Come on, really?

  133. who has a clue
    11:02 pm November 4, 2012 Permalink

    Here’s a thought Doug Williams. Or the head coach from TCU

  134. Hogtown
    11:06 pm November 4, 2012 Permalink

    Mark Helfrich, OC at Oregon. He is a name that could emerge. Great talent & a connection with Rich Brooks. Didn’t Barnhardt recently make a trip to Oregon.

  135. Lucky Raymond
    11:47 pm November 4, 2012 Permalink

    Everyone needs to be cool and calm this needs to be a good decision to prevent going backwards again, Joker tried but did work out. I would not listen to pat farte, I live in Southern In I have read negative columns for years(cardinal journal). Mitch and UK need to hire up it cost money,so do empty seats, hire the very best proven,younger,strong coach.

  136. Doovie
    12:01 am November 5, 2012 Permalink

    Please God don’t hire either of these! “Ooooh, we hired a Duke Football Coach! Watch out Alabama…” I’m sorry, but Louisiana Tech has always been a good program, I don’t think Dykes has done anything that special there. What happened the last time we hired a “up and coming coach that has turned around programs”? Billy Clyde visited all the bars in Lexvegas. If Mitch is truly willing to pay some cash then we should aim for Helfrich, Smart, Peterson, Petrino,or Tressel. Those are the only homerun hires I see bringing any excitement. Just ask Tennessee how a LaTech coach worked out for them.

  137. thegr8one
    9:29 am November 5, 2012 Permalink

    #125 You are exactly right. Notice I said Dykes wasn’t coming to UK. I didn’t say he wouldn’t leave LaTech. Arkansas is my educated guess as well.

  138. How about
    10:02 am November 5, 2012 Permalink

    Hire Smart for the defense, Helfrich for the offense, make them Heads Coaches, pay them two million a piece, pursue corporate support ( it’s the accepted way now days) we have Wildcat Coal Lodge, why not Commenwealth Predator Loan Stadium a BainCapital I ‘m here to help you Company? Then ask Coach Cal to develop the young super stars. He could make it happen

  139. jared in stl
    2:06 pm November 5, 2012 Permalink

    Coaches paid less then what Joker’s salary was -Charlie Strong -Chris Peterson -Brian Kelly