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UK Baseball Coach Gary Henderson Resigns

(Chet White, UK Athletics)

(Chet White, UK Athletics)

Chet White, UK Athletics

Gary Henderson has resigned after spending eight seasons as the head coach of the Kentucky baseball team.  His resignation comes after the Cats missed the NCAA Tournament for the second straight year.  Mitch Barnhart said in a statement:

“I am deeply appreciative of the contributions Gary Henderson made during his time here,” Barnhart said. “He has poured his heart and soul into Kentucky baseball, giving us many of the best seasons and most thrilling moments in our history while competing in the most difficult league in America. He has conducted himself and the program with honor and integrity. Already solid in the classroom, he challenged the team to even greater success academically and the players responded with several consecutive semesters with a team grade-point average over 3.0. Again, I am thankful for everything he has done at UK and wish the best for Gary and his family.”

Henderson took UK to new heights in 2012, winning 22 straight games while sitting atop college baseball as the No. 1 team in the country for three weeks.  He also helped groom A.J. Reed into the consensus National Player of the Year in 2014.  The Cats reached four NCAA Tournaments under Henderson.

However, Henderson’s teams never advanced beyond the Regional Tournament.  With a talented roster in 2016, he was criticized by many for a late-season collapse, something that had become commonplace during Henderson’s tenure.


Henderson has penned a letter to the Big Blue Nation, beginning with:

It has been an honor and a distinct privilege to represent the University of Kentucky as head baseball coach. It has been a source of pride to compete in the SEC for 17 years, including the last 13 at Kentucky, eight as head coach and five as an assistant coach. We’ve just completed five consecutive 30+ win seasons, for the first time in Kentucky Baseball history, and we’ve competed in two NCAA regionals. That said, it is 100% my decision to resign at this time, based in part because the results don’t meet my expectations.

To read the letter in its entirety, click here.

Article written by Nick Roush

"Look upon the doughnut, and not upon the hole." @RoushKSR

21 Comments for UK Baseball Coach Gary Henderson Resigns

  1. scorpiocard
    9:38 am June 1, 2016 Permalink


  2. leon singleton
    9:58 am June 1, 2016 Permalink

    Time for Mathew Mitchell to resign.

  3. Dubowski
    10:05 am June 1, 2016 Permalink

    @scorpiocard do UK fans troll UL sites? i dont think so. keep putting the hours in over here little bro, were all laughing.

    • scorpiocard
      11:56 am June 1, 2016 Permalink

      Yes they do, and what’s a rivalry without some fun smack talk?

  4. BluKudzu
    10:46 am June 1, 2016 Permalink

    Baseball, Hoops, and the debacle with Stoops. 3 very high profile sports that are in crisis. Baseball has failed to meet expectations, again. People running from the Hoops program as fast as they can, and football fans fed up with the cost vs. product, of an overly-hyped coach and staff screaming “Yahtzee” and “why not?”
    Add to that, a 12 million buy out, and the continued game mismanagement, it is not hard to understand why people refuse to buy tickets for football.
    The athletics department is one coach away from full collapse. Something happens in men’s basketball, it is over.

    • Blueblueblueblue
      10:49 am June 1, 2016 Permalink

      This may be true, but the athletic dept. doesn’t matter at UK – only men’s basketball. As long as Calipari is around men’s basketball will always be competing for national championships, which despite the fact that they have better talent than everyone else and should probably be winning every other year at least, UK fans seem fine with.

    • Mathlete
      11:25 am June 1, 2016 Permalink

      @BluKudzu – Be honest with yourself, football isn’t in crisis mode (outside of season ticket sales). Outside of a 4 year span in the Brooks Era this is as good a team as we’ve had in decades. We’re not in “rebuilding” mode, we’re in building mode. It’s more frustrating now that we’ve had a shot to win and then don’t rather than getting blown out by Vandy by 40 points at home, but this is still a relative golden era in UK Football.

      Women’s basketball is a hot mess though, no doubt.

    • Blueblueblueblue
      12:15 pm June 1, 2016 Permalink

      Seriously a “golden era”. Yikes

      – OVERALL RECORD: 25-48 (34% wins)
      – SEC RECORD: 8-40 (16% wins)
      – NON CONFERENCE RECORD (excluding Louisville): 16-3 (84% wins)
      – LOUISVILLE: 1-5 (16% wins)
      While the numbers are bleak, when you break them down, the picture gets even bleaker.
      The only SEC teams UK has beaten: Vandy (2), South Carolina (3), Ole Miss, Tennessee, Mississippi St.
      Non-Conference Teams UK has beaten: 64% of UK’s wins have come against very poor competition.
      – Akron
      – Charleston (2)
      – WKU (2)
      – Central Michigan
      – Jacksonville St.
      – Kent St.
      – Samford
      – Miami (OH)
      – Alabama St.
      – UT Martin
      – Ohio
      – ULM
      – Louisiana Lafayette
      – Eastern Kentucky
      Non-Conference Teams who have beaten UK:
      – Pittsburg (in bowl) Note that Pitt is the only power 5 non-conference opponent UK has played and they didn’t choose to play them.
      – WKU (2) — worth noting that as soon as UK realized WKU was going to beat them consistently, they immediately stopped playing them. Classic UK move. They do it in all sports.

    • Mathlete
      1:09 pm June 1, 2016 Permalink

      Now compare those records to every 6 year period from 1980-2010:

      1980-1985 – 26-40-2
      1986-1991 – 28-37-1
      1992-1997 – 24-43
      1997-2003 – 28-42
      2004-2009 – 35-39

      We haven’t been good at football in a LONG time. In fact, in those periods above, we had all of 11 seasons at .500 or better, and 4 of those were 2006-2009 during the last years of the Brooks era. We had 1x 9-win season, 2x 8-win seasons, 4x 7-win seasons, and 4x 6-win seasons (including bowl wins in those seasons).

      Historically speaking we’ve been roughly as bad at football as we have been good at basketball. Again, this is a relatively golden era.

    • BluKudzu
      2:18 pm June 1, 2016 Permalink

      Mathlete, I agree we have been bad a very long time. I will also respectfully argue that Stoops was the wrong hire, and is not the person to build, rebuild, or turn a program around. In fact, hiring of Stoops is unpardonable.
      First, addressing the Joker. Joker had zero support from the AD. He had nothing, and little thought was given when he was handed the reins of head football coach at UK. He had never been a head coach anywhere, he had no experience in running the program, he had no experience of being a head coach in a league like the SEC. He was not the guy I would choose to lead.
      Then he was fired at the end of his third year.
      Everyone blames Joker. Not fair. The man who hired him made that very lame and ultimately, costly move, is to blame. he cost us at least ten years.
      Enter the next phase, the redefining of the program, with millions spent in facility renovation, equipment, training, recruiting centers, practice facilities, etc. A ton of money spent on upgrades to ensure our program will be competitive for the future, except one thing; Coaching.
      We replaced a coach that had no head coaching experience, no building a team experience, no experience as a head coach in a league as difficult as the SEC, with the same thing.
      We did not spend more to go after a big name, and with poor contract negotiations, we got him at least for the next three years of a 4 year 12 million dollar contract.
      That was a very bad move by Barnhart, which based on what I saw thus far, makes me think, the Athletics department is just one coach away from disaster.
      We can’t afford another Billy Clyde.

    • theWilkman
      2:29 pm June 1, 2016 Permalink

      I’ll trust the opinions of former players like Tamme, Jarmon, Woodyard, Woodson with regards to Stoops being the “right hire” over some yahoo in the KSR comments section. And even without their opinions to bolster mine, I can use my own eyes to see the massive upgrade in talent, even compared to Brooks’ best years. If wins don’t follow at some point, Stoops’ continued employment must be reviewed, but to pretend like he’s been an abject failure is completely dishonest.

      But really all I have to do is read your sugar-coating of Joker’s tenure to know how off-base you are. If KSR had been around in 2004-5, I can guarantee you’d be on here typing the same garbage about Brooks. I bet you had one of those “Ditch Mitch and Rich” bumper stickers.

  5. whatwasthat
    11:50 am June 1, 2016 Permalink

    Trolls have been first on the board a lot lately scorpotard, leon, fbi. Things must be bad over on the bird boards. But Henderson should’ve be gone 3 or 4 years ago, and looks like the trigger should have been pulled on Mitchell 2 years ago. Football will be fine, after the joke ran the program into the ground and football fan knows this rebuild was going to be painful.
    I can understand though we they are here. Loserville was using trashy hookers to try and get recruits and the coaches were paying for it and this basketball dorm has stains on the ceilings and one of their beloved t-will is apparently a sodomite, t-will indeed.

    • theWilkman
      11:58 am June 1, 2016 Permalink

      I was about to post the same thing. Go back through the last 10+ posts and it’s quite amusing to see who the first few posters tend to be.

    • Blueblueblueblue
      12:16 pm June 1, 2016 Permalink

      Did you really just call someone a “sodomite”? Good lord. Is it 1975?

    • whatwasthat
      2:37 pm June 1, 2016 Permalink

      Sodomite is the correct term for for unnatural and abnormal sexual behavior. Ah 1975 good times, peanut head elected as prez, kinda reminds me of 2016, peanut head as prez. I know you don’t believe in the fairy tell of there being a higher power, but I do. not passing judgment on your t-will just repeating the story as told by the great Katina, gotta love what that hooker has done to loserville. Oh and yes I will judged one day also, but I won’t be for being a sodomite.

  6. 3 fan
    1:03 pm June 1, 2016 Permalink

    Hope the baseball team can keep some recruits. The Jordan kid is the real deal.and may go pro out of hh school anyway

  7. Blueblueblueblue
    1:30 pm June 1, 2016 Permalink

    It makes no sense that UofL is better than UK at baseball. Henderson had to go.

  8. scorpiocard
    1:52 pm June 1, 2016 Permalink

    In related news, U of L coach Dan McDonnell just signed a 10 year $10M deal that makes him the highest paid college baseball coach in history.

    • whatwasthat
      2:56 pm June 1, 2016 Permalink

      Good for Loserville, he is a good coach and has done a great job. Sounds like a man of faith by quoting from the book of Matthew, just a shame he has to work at such a sleazy place.

  9. BluKudzu
    5:46 pm June 1, 2016 Permalink


    “I can use my own eyes to see the massive upgrade in talent, even compared to Brooks’ best years.”

    That would be with lower class ratings of talent, which Brooks used to beat the eventual national champion, and the only other team to beat the national champion that same year? (LSU and Arkansas)

    Great point.

    Right now UK is battling to be the 3rd best College football team in the commonwealth, behind both Western and Louisville, and almost lost that position to EKU, in overtime, at home. Abject Failure, no. Builder of a football program in the SEC? Well, thus far, the resume suggests otherwise.

    So, Ok whatever. I will tip my hat to you on that observation and comment.

    “But really all I have to do is read your sugar-coating of Joker’s tenure to know how off-base you are.”

    Again, based on your previous comments and suppositions, I can see how the point was totally lost upon you. Again, whatever dude….. I am not a Barnhart fan, nothing personal, just lost favor with him when he hired Joker, and let him drive the work Rich had done into the ground.

    But again, whatever. Sugarcoating.

    I would love nothing more than to come back on here, at the end of the year and admit I was wrong. I will do so. For all that is holy I hope to do so.

    I do hope you are right, and Barnhart does not let this go too far since he has spent all the money to rebrand our football team. I do hope he takes a look if Stoops continues to lose.

    “If wins don’t follow at some point, Stoops’ continued employment must be reviewed, but to pretend like he’s been an abject failure is completely dishonest.”

    Just one more thing and I will close.

    Joker beat UT, with less talent than Stoops or Brooks ever had. So think about that when you start sugarcoating Stoops. He did it with nothing like Stoops has at his disposal.

    Hoping your world remains blissful.

    • theWilkman
      9:58 am June 2, 2016 Permalink

      If you don’t see the talent upgrade, that’s your fault. Again, when former players, including the best to play at UK in decades, say the same thing I listen. Just because we beat LSU, which I was there for, doesn’t mean the team had more overall talent. We were going in the right direction, and Joker squandered it. You bring up the UT win like that’s something special, when he squandered chances to beat them previously. That UT team was terrible, that was no accomplishment other than ending the ridiculous streak.

      Yes, you are sugar-coating Joker. He didn’t have HC experience, but he was the OC during the our best run in decades, and 10/10 ADs would have hired him with expectations that he could continue that. In hindsight it was a bad call by Mitch, but that’s more on Joker’s face-plant than Mitch’s bad decision making.

      If you were willing to come on here and admit you were wrong, you would already be doing it. Saying Stoops was a “disaster” hire is wrong.

      My world will remain blissful, don’t worry about that. I hope one day you can take a step back from your Stoops obsession and get some bliss yourself.