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UK Dance Team Wants Howard Schnellenberger’s Thoughts on UK Job

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:


Article written by Matt Jones

64 Comments for UK Dance Team Wants Howard Schnellenberger’s Thoughts on UK Job

  1. SCCat
    2:56 pm November 2, 2012 Permalink

    on many of the points above Howard and I agree completely. The right man, with the right chemistry of fan support, football acumen, and recruiting prowess will be able to take a program from an also ran to a contender. It happens all the time. We need the Jeff Lebowski for KY. The right dude for his place and time.

    Calipari was/is the Dude for our basketball program. I’m open to suggestion as to who that would be for football…he’s gonna have to play a helluva tune.

  2. dtg
    2:58 pm November 2, 2012 Permalink

    I would certainly be interested in a counter argument article from you. I happen to agree for th most part with with the points he made and KSR pointed out…

    What say you?

  3. chas
    2:58 pm November 2, 2012 Permalink

    Disagree with what? This is as basic as it gets! People make the difference while facilities are a bonus. Barnhart sucks plain and simple and I sure am tired of our AD waffling around without a clue.

    What say you?

  4. chas
    3:00 pm November 2, 2012 Permalink

    #3, I swear I did not steal your line, LOL!

  5. Robin Zander
    3:01 pm November 2, 2012 Permalink

    Big shocker-Jones doesn’t “get it” in relation to football. Schnellenberger is 100% correct on everything he said in this article.

  6. DesignatedDrinker
    3:02 pm November 2, 2012 Permalink

    He may be right on the facilities. He may be right on the 6 hour drive with getting any recruit. But to declare UL a success because they’re winning the big east is wrong. Say they get to 8 wins with UK’s schedule this season. But, how is that that much better than UK in 2007? And when Strong bolts and UL is 5-7, 4-8 in the Big East again, UK will certainly not want to be them. #Shortmemories. South Carolina has the model for becoming relevant, but there aren’t a lot of Spurriers waiting to be hired.

  7. Don
    3:02 pm November 2, 2012 Permalink

    Howard is spot on with everything he said..Matt doesnt follow football enough nor has he been around long enough to know about Howard and his history…UK had several chances to hire Howard and they would have had the person needed to take us to the upper level..But idiots and egos got in the way so Howard went elsewhere..Mitch needs to hire Howard as a consultant to the football program for as long as Howard wants..He is what we need..He must be consulted on this hire…It’s imperative..

  8. Old Henry Man
    3:06 pm November 2, 2012 Permalink

    I agree with Howard. UK should be better.
    Maybe Barnhart can hire the right man.

  9. Indianacat
    3:09 pm November 2, 2012 Permalink

    Like Matt, but saying he disagrees??? Schnellenberger has forgotten more about building winning programs than Mr. Jones and I will ever know. The right person can build a winner. The question is whether that person is out there and how long can you keep them at a program like Kentucky.

  10. wildcat502
    3:09 pm November 2, 2012 Permalink

    I have commented, on here, for the last month. Saying, we will never win in football until the adminstration decides they want to win. It starts from the top and that has been what I have been saying. I`m 51 years old and never has U of K cared about winning football, just .500 or 7 and 5 and they are happy.
    We need someone strong as a head coach. Someone who isnt afraid to take on the adminstration, boosters, etc. Someone who knows how to win, recruit and still keep us off probation. We will never get this person, because the adminstration doesnt want to rock the boat. The boat being basketball people.
    They think 7 and 5 and were happy because we support that. We support the kids, not a .500 team.

  11. MustangCat
    3:11 pm November 2, 2012 Permalink

    We absolutely do not need to consult the likes of Howard. Few men in any sport have anywhere near his arrogance, much less his wifes scariness. Cannot stand the sight or sound of him. He’s almost as bad as BobbyK. in my book. As far as football coaches go, he’d be the last person i would ask an opinion of, and would never consider him for the job. Which is what he is obviously angling at here. I would cancel my football fandom if he came on board. Till he left. Jeesh. Did i say i can’t stand him?!

  12. wildcat502
    3:12 pm November 2, 2012 Permalink

    Howard should be a part of our program. He should have been our coach during the 80`s. But U of K was afraid he would rock the boat and they still are.

  13. Jessdogky
    3:13 pm November 2, 2012 Permalink

    Ok people, can we get some names of people that Mr. Schnellenberger described please? yeah what he says makes sense, but i want to know the people that are out there that you all think can do what he said!! Thanks! Go Big Blue!!

  14. wildcat502
    3:14 pm November 2, 2012 Permalink

    Howard has the right to be a little arrogant. He has won everywhere he went. He has BCS bowl wins and National titles. He is an alumni of U of K and still loves it

  15. jaxcats8503
    3:16 pm November 2, 2012 Permalink

    Guys, there is no correlation between the administration caring about football or wanting to win and only winning 7 games a year. We will only win 7 games a year for the various reasons Matt has talked about ad nauseum and what Howard above is trying to refute. If we can get back to winning 7 games a year everyone would be happy again.

  16. chas
    3:17 pm November 2, 2012 Permalink

    #11, As to if arrogance is a bad thing???? You have to have a certian amount of arrogance to WIN at this level.

  17. SteveM
    3:17 pm November 2, 2012 Permalink

    What an indictment of Mitch Barnhart.

  18. jaxcats8503
    3:17 pm November 2, 2012 Permalink

    Also, only people from Louisville call us U of K. STOP!

  19. ohhai
    3:17 pm November 2, 2012 Permalink

    Ahh the truth hurts. Maybe barney will dumb luck into the right hire. More likely he will just keep his dear friend on staff. You can’t blame our glorious ad for dodging media calls as he is fielding calls from every school in the nation trying to schedule us for their homecoming

  20. chas
    3:19 pm November 2, 2012 Permalink

    #13, Our inept AD who is paid big-bucks “should” be able to come up with a winning coach right? The problem is Barnhart!

  21. UKGrad83
    3:20 pm November 2, 2012 Permalink

    Howard played at UK from 52-56, was OC at Alabama under Bear Bryant (famous ex-UK coach, you may have heard of him), was on staff during the Dolphin’s 1972 undefeated season, won a national title at Miami, and most amazingly he resurrected UL football. The man knows a thing or three about football, especially in the state of Kentucky, having played high school ball in Louisville before heading to Lexington. It’s a shame he never got the chance to be head coach for the Cats. I don’t know if he has any recommendations about a new coach but he’s spot on with his other comments.

  22. NKY_UK_fan
    3:23 pm November 2, 2012 Permalink

    Think Butch Jones would be a good hire for UK?

  23. Big Blue Coming at You
    3:24 pm November 2, 2012 Permalink

    Jones doesn’t agree with Howard who knows far more about football then he’ll ever know? Shocking. Howard is 100% correct. We need the right coach which we’ve never had besides Bear Bryant and we need the commitment from everyone at the university. Fix those two and the rest will fall in place.

  24. OwensboroDavid
    3:29 pm November 2, 2012 Permalink

    Schenellenburger for football associate AD!!!!! Problem solved.

  25. SeoulCat
    3:31 pm November 2, 2012 Permalink

    Agree with Howard. It all starts at the top. If the right staff is in place, with the right system, and a commitment from all to succeed (nice facilities wouldn’t hurt), a winning (.500+ in the SEC) can be had. This notion that football players automatically want to play for an in-state institution and that a dearth of talent at the high school level in Kentucky is an insurmountable challenge is flawed.

  26. wildcat502
    3:37 pm November 2, 2012 Permalink

    I`d love to see where Matt doesnt agree. Matt is smart and very young. We have suffered through U of K football for years and we have seen how other Universities have succeeded and how we havent.

  27. NoJortsNoProblem
    3:40 pm November 2, 2012 Permalink


  28. KCK
    3:40 pm November 2, 2012 Permalink

    Agree with every single word Schnelly had to say re: our football program.

  29. reality
    3:46 pm November 2, 2012 Permalink

    Since you disagree Matt maybe you should have Howard on your show one day. A man with his experience could probably give you some facts and ideas since he has won a national championship. He is very smart and has great ideas. CM Newton is the reason we are in this mess when he didnt hire him instead of Curry. Mitch B has no idea where to start with a Football program. Maybe he should look to Howard for advice. If it weren’t for Lee Todd pulling a Richie Farmer, and giving his girlfriend a fat contract before he left maybe Howard could have been the A.D. and actually accomplished some things. Tired of paying for season tickets and my money gives no results. Go have a fundraiser or get some corporate sponsors. Tired of hearing Frankfort is the excuse. Many in Frankfort graduated from UK so I’m sure they wouldn’t have much problem giving some funding for upgrades. Twiddle dee and twiddle dumb are at a stand still. Maybe Mitch will bring in a retread, and in 3 years we will be right back in this position and he could relieve himself as well.

  30. Mike
    3:48 pm November 2, 2012 Permalink

    Matt, what is it that Howard said that you don’t agree with? The man is absolutely right, all these reasons people give about why UK can’t compete in football are total bs. UofL plays football in the same “talent-poor” state that we do, yet somehow they get it done and we don’t. If UofL and WVU and K State can do it, then there’s no reason that UK can’t. I’m not saying we should be winning national championships here, but there’s no reason we can’t be a top 25 team most years.

  31. Stevie Ray
    3:49 pm November 2, 2012 Permalink

    Schnellenberger is the MAN and a Wildcat All-American! I agree with reality. Howard should have been hired instead of Curry.

  32. barn
    3:51 pm November 2, 2012 Permalink

    also that’s a very sexy pose that dancer is striking

  33. Cayuts
    3:51 pm November 2, 2012 Permalink

    Guys, Guys, Guys be careful of criticizing Matt. He might just close the comments section down!

  34. catlogic15
    3:53 pm November 2, 2012 Permalink

    #17. EXACTLY. Was thinking the exact thing with every quote. And Matt doesn’t know enough about football in any fashion to disagree with Howard. Oh, forgot! He disagrees with everybody.

  35. RYNO
    3:55 pm November 2, 2012 Permalink

    That photo of the dancers is begging for some crafty Photoshop work. Drew, you know what to do.

  36. RYNO
    3:55 pm November 2, 2012 Permalink

    35) YAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAY!!! Thanks Matt (you know why)!

  37. Coach Jamin
    3:57 pm November 2, 2012 Permalink

    OK 11. You keep believing that, while MR. ARROGANT down at Alabama keeps winning National Championships. You keep believing that while MR. ARROGANT keeps winning National Championships in Basketball at Kentucky. You keep believing that while you take a long hard look at Bill Belicek’s hands and count the Super Bowl Rings. You don’t think it takes arrogance to recruit the top notch kids? You don’t think it takes arrogance to instill that CONFIDENCE into his players? Wake up buddy boy. You guys want a name that could do this at UK. Forget Petrino. Forget Leach. Bring in John Gruden. He’d do it for the right amount of money. He’s confident, he has NFL swag and a ring to prove it. He has name recognition, a very exciting offense, and the know how to make an SEC defense. For my money, at this time, John Gruden is the ONLY man for the job at UK.

  38. Rockfield, KY
    3:57 pm November 2, 2012 Permalink

    I like the fact that he’s arrogant, and his mustache is top teir. I’d love for him to say publicly who we should hire, even if he thinks its himself. I’d pay money to go hear him speak.

  39. Vote for Kodos 2012
    3:58 pm November 2, 2012 Permalink

    I’m sorry, but Schnellenberger has more football knowledge in his pinky than matt could ever dream of having.

  40. Coach Jamin
    3:59 pm November 2, 2012 Permalink

    and we could replace Barnhart with Schnelly

  41. Big Thinker
    4:02 pm November 2, 2012 Permalink

    What about this scenario?

    Mitch leaves, enter Brian Cashman (KY native who is on record as saying UK AD is his dream job)
    Schnellenberger hired as a consultant
    Hire big name coach, b/c all would listen with the renewed commitment. Josh McDaniel would be a good start, but so would Butch Davis if you could get him before Arkansas.
    Enjoy September – January again

    It’s crazy, but as Howard said, you have to change the mind set.

  42. Opti
    4:03 pm November 2, 2012 Permalink

    Howard is right…it has always been about the people who lead the program.

    It is a little more difficult to recruit out of state but if you have a dynamic football coach, players will want to play for him.

    The only question is whether UK has any clue as to how to evaluate and hire the right coach.

  43. JackB
    4:05 pm November 2, 2012 Permalink

    The most disappointing part of the article is that the dance team is clearly not together. The two girls in the picture are not in sync – as their kicks are obviously not at the same stage. Is it any wonder the dance team has only won 1 national championship compared to our basketball team’s and cheerleaders’ many championships? I think Mitch ought to quit focusing on football and think about the leadership of our dance team.

  44. True Story
    4:19 pm November 2, 2012 Permalink

    Kentucky does have and will have MORE fan support if only they felt like they had a shot at watching a WIN and an exciting, efficient, potentially winning team. There’s no excitement around football because… well, everyone here knows why.

  45. bigredbleedsblue
    4:24 pm November 2, 2012 Permalink

    I cannot imagine caring less about any person’s opinion about the University of Kentucky athletics. Snellenberger has buildings named after him on the Louisville campus. You people exalting him seem to forget that his coaching career was mediocre at best. Didn’t he have a losing record at UofL? He has done some good things for some of the schools he was at but lets not pretend that this guy is Bear Bryant reborn!

  46. bigredbleedsblue
    4:26 pm November 2, 2012 Permalink

    You people who think we should take Snells advise sound like the same fans who thought we should take Pitino’s advise when hiring a new basketball coach!

  47. Can I get a big AAAA-Men!!
    4:28 pm November 2, 2012 Permalink

    Howard absolutely kicked this main issue square in the nads – UK has to banish the loser’s mentality that has permeated the program since Bear Bryant left. To think like a loser is to BE a loser. As others have said, UK needs someone with a good dose of arrogance to turn this ship around. Of course, that arrogance has to be backed up with know-how and the right connections, or you end up with something like we had with Mumme, but even that is better than the train wreck we have now. Look at coaches that are succeeding in football today, and you will see a healthy dose of arrogance.

  48. Here it is
    4:28 pm November 2, 2012 Permalink

    Don’t be surprised if a Fulmer Tennessee coach comes a calling in Lexington!

  49. Facts
    4:44 pm November 2, 2012 Permalink

    Confidence like that is why howard nails cougars. Also: can we put this transcript up in the office of the new coach? Might inspire him not to make the “facilities” excuse.

  50. danthecat
    5:00 pm November 2, 2012 Permalink

    Matt, Of course you and HS disagree of a lot because you are “afraid” of football being good…Also, he is absolutely right and you are totally wrong…He should be brought into this program as Director of Football Operations and to be in charge of hiring the next coach..IMMEDIATELY, if not sooner…He would provide a vision that is sorely needed here…I am tired of people like you who are a bunch of negative Nellies…It is bb people like you and some of the rich donors that give us NO chance of ever making an attempt to give this thing a chance…You saw where he spoke of where bb could be a PLUS in this endevor so what are you worried about…The man gets me excited..LET’S GET HIM ON BOARD AND GO DO THIS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!11

  51. Hymiet
    5:18 pm November 2, 2012 Permalink

    I ran into Howard at Publix here in Delray Beach, FL (home) about 3 weeks ago. I didn’t recognize him because I don’t know a thing about football. He called me out because of my UK hat. Once I had my bearings and he told me who he was I was pretty taken back. He looked me in the eye and said UK is one of the greatest programs of all time and I’m proud of my time there.

    I can’t not love a man like that. Just saying!

  52. jobob
    5:30 pm November 2, 2012 Permalink

    I think Joker is a great WR coach, any chance we can retain him at that position after we go get a new head man? As long as he has no say in the play calling we should be gtg. So here goes….

    Fulmer is new Head Coach
    Sanders remains OC
    Joker demoted to WRC

    LOL…This seems like something that barnfart would do…right!

  53. snarkster
    5:44 pm November 2, 2012 Permalink

    52 –

    Not my top choice but I could stand it if he comes in with a top notch staff
    No coach wants his predecessor around to possibly cause conflicts
    Sanders really needs to go

  54. kramer
    5:50 pm November 2, 2012 Permalink

    I swear it sounds like Howie is talking about Bobby Petrino when talking about needing a confident coach to take over.

  55. bring in kirby smart?
    5:53 pm November 2, 2012 Permalink

    Everything I read about saban and Alabama only confirms my opinion that kirby smart(saban’s right hand man) to bring the system that saban has in place at Alabama. Saban is doing to Alabama what coach cal has done to UK. He has built a brand. The thing with UK is we have the brand and the fan base. All that is required is to bring that support and brand power over to the football side of the house. Kirby smart could do that and develop a winning program.

  56. old_school
    6:09 pm November 2, 2012 Permalink

    Schnellengerger is absolutely right. UK’s facilities are fine. The fan base is more than eager to embrace a winner. Everything is in place at UK to embrace success – but it will take a commitment from the school itself to put UK Football a priority – not mererly a sideshow to the successful basketball program.

    They key for success for UK football is to look north. Recruit Ohio, Michigan, Ohio, New Jersey, etc. We cannot compete for top players in the south with the rest of the SEC and programs like Miami, Fla. State, etc. With the Big Ten down, and Penn State on long-term probation – the northern states are ripe for the picking.

    Get a coach who will go there and get players like helped UK in the past (Jim Kovach and Art Still). Sell them on the cahnce to play in the best conference in the nation – while staying close enough to home so family and friends can watch.

    The SEC is UK’s worse liablity because of the competition. It’s time UK turn that into it’s best asset by going north and getting top players.

  57. RealCatsFan
    6:21 pm November 2, 2012 Permalink

    #45, read what #51 has written. Yep, Snelley was the HC at UL, but his heart is with the Blue & White. No reason to hate on UL just because they aspired to have a better FB program. UK’s admins need to take a page from their book and step up!

  58. RichieFarmer'sMustache
    7:53 pm November 2, 2012 Permalink

    Those tities look like Archie winking at you in the intro to Kentucky Access…

  59. Magic mike
    9:19 pm November 2, 2012 Permalink

    Howard nail it !! Great interview .

  60. erniecat
    11:04 pm November 2, 2012 Permalink

    Howard was in the state of Florida when he was recruting. Alabama was 5-6 team in sec that year. He is saying this because they didn’t hire him.

  61. bigredbleedsblue
    12:27 am November 3, 2012 Permalink

    Oh thanks 57. Some random guy ran into the snells crusty old behind at a store. Oh now I love the man! Not buying that you are a real cat fan! Either you don’t know Snell’s history or you are just another delusional card fan. By the way howard is entitled to his opinion, it just is beyond meaningless to me.

  62. Phil A Myself
    6:46 am November 3, 2012 Permalink

    “On a lot of the opinions above however, he and I disagree.” Who won the national championship? 🙂

  63. Bob Loblaw
    4:38 pm November 3, 2012 Permalink

    Matt, you need to listen to a championship coach. You’re opinion on UK football has been wrong for a long time and it’s your kind of thinking that keeps UK football from being great.

  64. Yab
    9:40 pm November 3, 2012 Permalink

    Jones is trying to debate Schnellenberger’s observations of football at UK? That’s like the average guy debating Stephen Hawking on the mysteries of the universe. Schnellenberger exhausts more football knowledge in a fart than Jones will ever have in his whole life.