Everyone has thoughts about the UK football job and what can be expected/desired for the future. If you have been around these parts, you know our opinion, but it is also good to hear the thoughts of others along the way. In that vein, Larry Vaught interviewed Howard Schnellenberger about the job and he had some strong theories about where UK ranks on the national radar. Here are some of the relevant passages:
On the question of if UK can be a power in football:
“Kentucky has every natural resource you need to be good,” Schnellenberger said. “There should be no inferiority complex at Kentucky. If the university will focus its resources financially, spiritually and psychologically for the development of a great football program with the right guy in charge that brings a lot of confidence with him and a lot of public awareness to the university, then they have a chance to succeed.
“The worst thing that can happen to a program is going 4-8, 6-6, 5-7, maybe 7-5. Just good enough to every once in a while have a winning season. Those are the ones that limp along and there’s no way they will take the next leap up.”
But what about the UK Recruiting Base:
“Lexington is half a day’s drive from half the population in the United States. You just have to go out and get the kids. Louisville does that now and you can cherry pick from Chicago to Detroit to Pittsburgh to Cleveland to Atlanta to Memphis to Birmingham. They are all close enough to Kentucky to get kids to come if the right man is in charge,”
And the lack of facilities?
“Bull–-. Facilities are the last thing you need. At Miami we had the worst facilities of any top 100 team in the country and we won the national championship. At Louisville, look at where we were before they got Papa John’s (Cardinal) Stadium and we beat Alabama,” Schnellenberger said. “People make the difference. Kentucky is in the greatest conference in the world. It’s people that make a difference because you have the schedule to sell. But it is not just coaching. It takes the president, board of trustees, donors. They all have to be on board. They all have to get together and see what they want.”
Is there anything that is a drawback?
“I don’t see a drawback at all except the psychology of the university and the attitude toward football,” the former coach said. “It’s not hard to change. You have got to have leadership at the top. A couple of pied pipers and a music man. You can develop that.”
I like Howard Schnellenberger a lot and think he is one of the five coolest men to ever wear a moustache. On a lot of the opinions above however, he and I disagree. But with that said, his opinion holds weight and is worth considering as we enter into what very likely may be a coaching search in the near future. Until then, read the story above and check out a man who has some of the best stories in sports: