Everyone knows about the famous 7-win club, right? It’s the group of coaches that have found a way to beat Kentucky 7 times or more during their careers. And Bruce Pearl is knocking on that door, with a 6-12 record all-time against the Cats. There are 15 modern era coaches and another 7 from the pre-modern era who have already reached the feat:
Dale Brown (LSU): 18-33
Billy Donovan (Florida): 17-29
Ray Mears (Tennessee): 15-15
Bob Knight (Indiana): 15-18
Dean Smith (North Carolina): 13-3
Kevin Stallings (Vandy): 12-23
Don DeVoe (Tennessee): 11-14
Wimp Sanderson (Alabama): 11-18
CM Newton (Alabama, Vandy): 10-32
Roy Williams (Kansas, North Carolina): 9-10
Hugh Durham (Florida St, Georgia): 9-30
Norm Sloan (Florida): 8-19
Nolan Richardson (Arkansas): 7-12
Denny Crum (Louisville): 7-13
Sonny Smith (Auburn): 7-19
Roy Skinner (Vandy): 14-18
Wack Hyder (Georgia Tech): 9-16
John Bender (Tennessee): 7-1
George Keogan (Notre Dame): 7-2
Eddie Hickey (Creighton, St.Louis, Marquette): 7-8
Josh Cody (Mercer, Vandy, Clemson, Temple): 7-19
John Mauer (Florida, Tennessee): 7-22
There are a couple interesting things about the list above:
- Every single coach in the modern era has a losing record against the Cats, except for Dean Smith, who held an INCREDIBLE 13-3 record over UK during his tenure.
- Outside of Smith, the other 14 coaches in the modern era still had a combined record of 156-285 against UK, for a win percentage of 35.4%. And these are, in theory, the best coaches that UK faced.
- Only Smith, Knight, and Williams accomplished this from an out of conference school, and all three are in the Hall of Fame. The SEC coaches who accomplished this basically did so out of longevity more than superiority.
It’s a completely silly list, I grant you. I think my point in bringing it up is to question whether you feel that Pearly has “earned” the status of a UK hated coach. Has he won enough against us to make him relevant. Most of the coaches on that list above were not loved by this fanbase for the sheer fact they beat us a few times. Some also had personalities that rubbed us the wrong way but overall we just didn’t like to lose.
Is Pearl in that category yet?