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BTI’s Rants and Ramblings: How Has Mitch Barnhart Done in Hiring?


Mitch Barnhart will soon be wrapping up his 14th athletic season as athletic director.  And at the end of the day the athletic director guides the direction of the overall athletic programs at UK, hires and fires staff, and attempts to make revenue for the athletic department and university.  We often look at the money side of things but why not look at how Mitch has done in the hiring department in his time.  I highlighted every hire Mitch has made since 2002 in the major 7 sports at Kentucky.  Of those 7 sports, Mitch has hired a total of 13 coaches.

2007: Billy Gillispie, 2 years (40-27, 0 conference titles), FIRED
2009: John Calipari, 7 years (217-47, 4 conference titles, 1 national title), CURRENT

2003: Mickie Demoss, 4 years (71-55, 0 conference titles), RESIGNED
2007: Matthew Mitchell, 9 years (219-89, 1 conference title), CURRENT

2003: Rich Brooks, 7 years (39-47, 4 bowl games), RETIRED
2010: Joker Phillips, 3 years (13-24, 1 bowl game), FIRED
2013: Mark Stoops, 3 years (12-24, 0 bowl games), CURRENT

2004: John Cohen, 5 years (175-112, 1 conference title), LEFT FOR MISSISSIPPI ST.
2009: Gary Henderson, 7 years (226-174, 2 NCAA Tournaments), CURRENT

2005: Eileen Schmidt, 3 years (61-108, 0 conference titles), LEFT FOR VIRGINIA
2008: Rachel Lawson, 9 years (322-213, 1 College World Series), CURRENT

2012: Johan Cedergren, 4 years (39-30,-12, 1 conference title), CURRENT

2009: Jon Lipsitz,  7 years (81-52-15, 4 NCAA Tournaments), CURRENT

Of the 13 coaches Mitch has hired in these major sports, he’s only had to fire 2, Gillispie and Joker.  Two others left for other jobs, one retired, and one resigned.  The other seven are the current head coaches.  When looking through that list I think Mitch’s overall hiring has gone pretty well.  I am sure he wishes football would step it up and baseball would become more of a power, but he has found consistent success in men’s and women’s basketball, softball, and both soccer programs.  What is your overall feelings on Barnhart’s hires looking at this list?



Article written by Bryan the Intern

20 Comments for BTI’s Rants and Ramblings: How Has Mitch Barnhart Done in Hiring?

  1. JackEsq
    8:10 am May 26, 2016 Permalink

    Did he hire anyone in volleyball, track, cross country, and swimming/diving? Seems as if there’s been some success in those areas as times. Asking for a friend.

    • WildcatCam
      9:05 am May 26, 2016 Permalink

      He did hire the track and field/cross country coach, we got him from Stanford. He’s an elite coach!

    • nybrasky
      9:46 am May 26, 2016 Permalink

      And his son has serious hops.

  2. Billy Hill
    8:50 am May 26, 2016 Permalink

    Mark Stoops has a worse record than Joker Phillips. Joker was fired for that record…Stoops got a raise. Only at Kentucky.

    • ClutchCargo
      9:09 am May 26, 2016 Permalink

      Joker also inherited a decent roster that had had recent success by UK standards, and ran the program right into a ditch; Stoops followed Joker and inherited a roster that would struggle to beat the best high school programs and people had stopped coming to UK football games. Please tell me you can see the difference in these two situations.

    • WildcatCam
      9:14 am May 26, 2016 Permalink

      I’m not that got who just looks at the ambiguity of a record and makes am assumption about a team, but it is ironic that Stoops (whom I also love and think had beat potential) has a worse record than Phillips and still has his job. However, he is slowly trending up, while JP trended down.

    • ukkatzfan
      9:16 am May 26, 2016 Permalink

      Stoops was playing with Joker’s players. The record and quality of play will catch up with the recruiting. Only at Kentucky, would a fan like a hillbilly named Billy Hill not like the job Stoops is doing. Stoops is by far Mitch’s best hire. Now that we got real coaches on the offensive side, results on the field will now be seen. #ALLIN

    • Kyblueblood
      9:21 am May 26, 2016 Permalink

      Agree with Billy Hill..the only reason Mitchy has a job is because of Cal, its obvious. People really need to quit reading about any sport besides the male sports. Everyone cared about the womens team for a week…but never go to the games. Like the track and field coach from Stanford comment above? Less than .0000001% of UK fans knew that. Quit giving Barnhart the credit he doesnt deserve

    • macsauce13
      9:42 am May 26, 2016 Permalink

      Joker inherited some of Brooks’ guys, who were quality. Joker brought in a lot of crap. Stoops has been bringing in top tier talent, we just need more. Stop saying bullcrap like that. What good does it do the program? If you can’t be positive then be quiet. If you can’t be quiet then go somewhere else.

    • J-Dub421
      9:50 am May 26, 2016 Permalink

      Blueblood, Barnhart is the Athletic Director at UK. This means he’s responsible for ALL sports at UK, not just football and men’s basketball. Most of our sports teams across the board are better under Barnhart’s tenure, so he is doing his job.

      “People really need to quit reading about any sport besides the male sports.” Your sexism is showing. UK’s women’s basketball team was 7th in the country last season for attendance, so people do go to their games.

    • Kyblueblood
      9:52 am May 26, 2016 Permalink

      @macsauce13 nah man im good I appreciate your advice though. Stoops has bringing in top tier talent? That wins what? Quit drinking the kool aid and wake up. Its so cute when you get angry, remind me of a kitten who doesn’t get milk. &;hearts

    • Jiminy Crickets
      10:21 am May 26, 2016 Permalink

      While not gracious of doing it, I think the point you’re trying to make is is that women’s basketball with the seventh largest attendance in the country still lost money. The only two profitable sports on UK’s campus Are the football team and men’s basketball team.

    • Jiminy Crickets
      10:25 am May 26, 2016 Permalink

      Sorry, I meant to say the point he is trying to make. I think most of us would agree that women’s basketball is up-and-coming and that for the most part until this crazy mass exodus, Mitchell has done a good job. However I don’t think anyone of us would actually care if the rifle team or the cross country or track team were not highly competitive. His hires in football have been questionable at best, and I think most of us that actually follow Kentucky sports would agree that Calipari was not Barnhart’s idea. He had every opportunity to hire Calipari when tubby resigned.

    • J-Dub421
      11:12 am May 26, 2016 Permalink

      So programs that aren’t profitable should be cut?? Auburn better cancel their football program then.

    • UKBlue1
      2:17 pm May 26, 2016 Permalink

      The stupidity of some of are fans is truly amazing !! Trying to do a side by side comparison of Joker against Stoops is like trying to compare an Apple to a Ferrari. The inability of simple minded BBN to see the bigger picture no matter if it’s basketball or football is scary. Joker recruited elementary level kids to play in the SEC; Joker broke the program so bad Stoops is essentially trying to build a program as if UK never had a football program & doing it within the SEC & is some how getting at least SEC talented kids to commit to UK. The intangibles of Stoops against Joker is what simple minded people will never get.

  3. Kyblueblood
    9:54 am May 26, 2016 Permalink

    @jdub I am not sexist at all so you can quit milking that teet. Oh youre right, sorry, they average 6k people per game. My bad.

    • J-Dub421
      11:05 am May 26, 2016 Permalink

      “People really need to quit reading about any sport besides the male sports.” Those were your exact words, so yes you are sexist. That pretty much states that all women’s sports are are worthless and not worth watching or caring about. I sincerely hope you don’t have any daughters.

  4. ukjosh25
    10:28 am May 26, 2016 Permalink

    Don’t forget he Tanked & Bombed on the two most important hires resulting in coaches being fired. Let’s be honest- football & basketball are the only two revenue generating sports at UK. Two panic hires caused a lot of uneasiness with the BBN. Yet, he did hire Cal… Just two years late. Let’s just call the Joker hire a joke! A hire to keep “good” recruits the Cats had in waiting. No offense but we saw where those recruits took us with his coaching… The Stone Age. Yet, in Barnhart’s tenure he’s done well for the smaller sports & growing them. AGAIN…. If it weren’t for Cal at UK and running the show, Mitch would not be here. Even if Pres Lee Todd did sneaky save his job before he left.

  5. EdC
    1:47 pm May 26, 2016 Permalink

    IMO he sucks. He spent the majority of his tenure siphoning money off of the massively profitable football program resulting in continuing to the one of the laughing stocks of SEC football. At one point there was more money being spent on Big Blue Madness than on all football recruiting combined. His idea of a great football coach is:

    – Inexpensive by SEC standards
    – Wins just enough games to get into a crappy bowl game awarded on fan support, not team quality
    – Wins just enough games to keep the home attendance very profitable.

    I get that there are a lot of other sports. My bet is that if you go to any SEC school and ask them what’s important they are going to put men’s Football & Basketball at #1 & #2 and in that order and with everything else a distant 3rd with probably baseball or track sitting in 3rd.

    Men’s basketball: 60%, 82% Overall: 78%
    Women’s basketball: 56%, 71% Overall: 67%
    Football: 45%, 35%, 33% Overall: 40%
    Baseball: 61%, 57% Overall 58%
    Softball: 36%, 60% Overall 54%
    Men’s Soccer 57%
    Women’s Soccer: 61%

    That doesn’t feel like somebody that should be getting a bonus for running an operation.

  6. blueman79
    2:25 pm May 26, 2016 Permalink

    Considering the awful state of football for the past 6 years, I don’t understand why anyone believes Barnhart has done a good job. The BCG hire was also a real stinker.