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Will Kansas reach out to Mitch Barnhart?

Way back in 2010, there were reports that Mitch Barnhart was a top-three finalist for the athletic director opening at Kansas. I have no idea if that was true or if it wasn’t, but that is a thing people were saying at the time when Kansas needed a new AD in 2010. Sports By Brooks (RIP) cited multiple sources for it.

Now Kansas needs a new AD again after firing Sheahon Zenger on Monday. Zenger was unable to get the Jayhawks football program going, so he is now out of work.

This begs the question: Will Kansas give Mitch a call?

I think it’s unlikely Barnhart would leave for a new school at this point in his career, but I also don’t know any more about Barnhart than you do. I do know his hiring of Mark Stoops got the UK football program moving in the right direction, so Kansas would be wise to give him a look.

Barnhart is from Kansas and graduated from Ottawa University (in Kansas, not Canada), but Kentucky has been his home for the last 16 years. He’s also the longest-tenured AD in the Southeastern Conference and his contract has him at UK until 2022.

So as I said, I can’t imagine Barnhart leaving what he’s built up here in Lexington, but Kansas might make a phone call to check his interest.

Article written by Drew Franklin

I can recite every line from Forrest Gump, blindfolded. Follow me on Twitter: @DrewFranklinKSR

23 Comments for Will Kansas reach out to Mitch Barnhart?



  1. Catcasey1
    5:59 pm May 21, 2018 Permalink

    Turtle neck Tom



    • ukkatzfan
      7:20 pm May 21, 2018 Permalink

      You got that right. Then Tom looking at his self in the mirror will then have 2 meanings.



  2. chris43
    6:00 pm May 21, 2018 Permalink

    It’d just break my heart to see him leave….please say it ain’t so! Please don’t leave!!! Lmao



  3. Rabbi Li
    6:02 pm May 21, 2018 Permalink

    Stock up now Jayhawks! Corky has a new state of the art design that he’s going to have $100K+ spent on day one to make a reality…

    https://guide.alibaba.com/shop/new-jumbo-checker-rug-game-ku-kansas-jayhawks-made-in-the-us_9224899.html



  4. njCat
    6:07 pm May 21, 2018 Permalink

    As frustrating as the KY football program has been for him, why would he want to start over again with a program that is in even worse shape.



    • Kernel Sanders
      7:08 pm May 21, 2018 Permalink

      And also, if Kansas is looking for an AD that knows football, then why would they hire Barnhart? Not saying he’s horrible, but UK and Kansas are about the same as far as football cred.



    • KentuckyVSEveryone
      4:59 am May 23, 2018 Permalink

      This is a joke right?!?! If Kentucky was in the BIG 12 they would not have been 7-5 and 6-6 the past 2 seasons! You do realize that we play in the SEC and are no longer considered a pushover in the most dominate conference year after year. Defense is optional in the BIG 12…Benny would probably run for 200+ a game! Kansas is by far one of the worst D1 football programs! Comparing us to them is an insult.



  5. Rembrandt
    6:28 pm May 21, 2018 Permalink

    Teaser headline. Ridiculous suggestion.



  6. bigblue98
    6:32 pm May 21, 2018 Permalink

    Would hate to see him leave. Above all else it feels good to have an AD who portrays class. When looking at Turtle Neck Tom and some others I would be embarrassed for UK if they were leading our athletics.



  7. Not Dan Issel
    7:12 pm May 21, 2018 Permalink

    Mitch Barnhart is the best athletic director we have had at UK. Would hate to see him leave.



  8. ukkatzfan
    7:22 pm May 21, 2018 Permalink

    Remind them that Mitch likes checkerboards….. That’ll scare away any team.



  9. shelby
    7:52 pm May 21, 2018 Permalink

    It’d be a step down imo; our football, baseball, softball, etc… all better; basketball is close, but we’re better.



  10. Cmstew502
    7:55 pm May 21, 2018 Permalink

    He can’t go to Kansas unless the other team has a checker piece on Missouri that he can jump



  11. CoachCat
    8:09 pm May 21, 2018 Permalink

    Forgive me if I’m wrong but isn’t this the idiot who hired Billy G and made Joker Phillips head coach in waiting



    • ClutchCargo
      8:58 pm May 21, 2018 Permalink

      Yes, one and the same. He’s not a terrible AD, but not irreplaceable either. He also passed on Cal in favor of BCG.



  12. DrSayre
    8:58 pm May 21, 2018 Permalink

    I hope he stays, but if he goes, the checkerboard can go with him



  13. KyZoneBlitz
    9:21 pm May 21, 2018 Permalink

    Yes, he hired Billy the drunk G, but at that time, He was coming off an elite-8 appearance with A&M if I’m not mistaken? And also it was considered to be a slam dunk hire by everyone nearly in the media. He was a can’t miss, to return us to prominence, sometimes things don’t work out, Billy G didn’t come in fizzling out and almost off the cliff, he was red hot, a freight train moving through anything, on hos way to the top, no, he didn’t fall off the cliff until after He got here, he just did it really fast and really hard, lol. I alao know he made Joker coach in waiting, but he also hired Rich “Papa” Brooks, who took us from the crushed bugs below the door mat, to atleast with one foot in the door and trying to get the other unstuck from a piece of him left by Vandy. Also, Brooks personally vouched for Joker, and made the initial push for CIW. M.B. originally wanted to go elsewhere, but Brooks sold Joker. Yes, those coaches were here, but so is Cal, who if he can win another couple titles will be our greatest coach ever, period. I love Rupp, but it’s different now, more games, more athletic athletes, more dedication by the competition. Stoops IMO, could also go down as one of our best coaches ever, Momentum has not moved backward yet. Yes, we let some slip away, but, for what we were when he got here, I’m willing to give him the time, Marrow the time, Hinshaw, Gran the time to figure it out, bring in anyone else they need to, because I feel if they can’t get it done, we will at best be average, and need great coaches to get there.



  14. Alleykat16
    12:10 pm May 22, 2018 Permalink

    CM Newton wasn’t that bad as far as our basketball program he was responsible for 2 championships Pitino and then with Tubby. At the time who new rick would fall as far as he fell.



  15. UKfanforlife
    1:44 pm May 22, 2018 Permalink

    I have not been a fan of any of the past ADs. I was not a fan of Mitch for the Billy G fiasco. Joker was not his fault.

    Until the upgrades to the football facilities had happened, I would have given him a D-. Since the upgrades he is now a B-. If Mitch leaves, it is not the worst thing that could happen.

    Stoops has not impressed me, so far. He was hired as a guy who was D minded and I haven’t seen anything that has wowed me yet. He is a C, so far. Will his program make a jump this season? For some reason they won’t fire their QB coach and for me the jury is still out on the OC, who makes me scratch my head. They have been terrible at QB from day 1. For whatever reason or other, they can’t figure things out. Please Kentucky staff and team, prove me wrong in a big way, this upcoming season.