The House of Blue

The home for all discussion on UK athletics


Hearing a movement

  • The movement is to get rid of him..You heard it backwards..Trust me on this one..

  • Ive talked to a couple of buddies I played with when we were there in the program during the days of the dinosaurs and they said that Joker will not be fired this year but the writing is on the wall for next year if the AA can come up with a possible direction they can go as far as a new coach goes. I havent heard any names yet but one of them wont be Petrino.

  • Even though I felt like bringing back Joker this year was a frutiless and futile effort that was destined to produce what we are now seeing, I supported Mitch and gave him the benefit of the doubt since Joker only had two years in the head seat, I didn't believe the stuff floating around that Mitch doesn't care about football. If Barnhart doesn't make a serious move to bring a legitimate head coach in here and turn this thing around the he needs to be hit by the same door as Joker when they both go next year. I can't believe he would do anything as mindlessly assinine as prolong the pain another year.

    Sure, the perpetually addle-brained say "Oh the injuries!... Oh we have no upperclassmen! He needs another year!" What they choose not to grasp though is that we were talking about having mostly freshmen and sophmores two years ago and (if a change isn't made) we'll be saying the same damn thing two years from now.

    Every year we hear how we only have 14, 15, 16 schollies to give, but then come February after the annual comedy carousel of attrition, we're handing out 23-25 schollies. And as for injuries Yeah, maybe there is some bad luck involved, but maybe its also because we have to throw a dozen or more true freshmen into the SEC sausage grinder every year without a redshirt year to gain the physical conditioning and knolwedge of the system needed to succeed.

    Change needs to be made and if Mitch isn't willing to make it then I'm willing to join the chorus of those saying his position needs to be part of that change. I say "if" though because I simply don't accept he will be that bloody stupid.

    And as for bringing two top, firey, hungry young coordinators in here? What promising young guys are gonna risk their careers for a lame duck year of this train wreck. We have older guys like Minter and Cassity now, because young guys saw the writing on the wall and wanted nothing to do with it. You want hungry young coordinators? Bring in a new HC that can at least give them some hope for a future.

    You don't bring in coordinators to motivate and prepare the team. You hire a new head coach who can and will do it.

    This post has been edited 7 times, most recently by bluedynasty 21 months ago

  • "And as for bringing two top, firey, hungry young coordinators in here? What promising young guys are gonna risk their careers for a lame duck ear of the train wreck. We have older guys like Minter and Cassity now, because young guys saw the writing on the wall and wanted nothing to do with it."

    Good point. There is a reason T Martin left, and part of it is he saw the writing on the wall.

  • For those wanting to keep Joker another year, tell me a few things HE does extemely well, and stands out to you as something you want to hang your hat on?

    Other than keeping our team off probation I cannot think of anything he has excelled at as head coach. So unless you can list 3-5 things he is very good at you don't have a leg to stand on. You are just holding UK football back.

    This post has been edited 2 times, most recently by Big Sarge 21 months ago

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  • You spit troof...

  • So tell me why any already proven Head coach would come here to do the same? IT AIN"T HAPPENING folks. Basketball, we are the destination school. Football, we are what Auburn is in basketball. We are not getting a Gruden or even a Petrino. They have bigger fish to fry then coming to a "basketball" (perception or not) school with and almost non-exsistant home recruiting base.

    This post has been edited 2 times, most recently by shauner17 21 months ago

  • Who is Jake Trenton?

  • Yeah, because I would stay at UT opposed to going to a preseason favorite and perennial championship contender. Delusional hate from some fans. Sure, lets fire joker, see where that goes. I'll be the guy waiting after a "Big name" coach leaves after 2 years and we can't find another good coach.

  • In my post I said nothing about an established headcoach. I don't believe there is a coach out there worth paying
    $4M a year that will come here. I think we will end up with a coach a step or two down. I think there are more than a few coaches out there that are capable of get UK to a notch or two above where CRB had us.

    I believe there are issues facing UK that will make it difficult for any coach to come here and contend for an SEC Championship on anything near a constant basis. I don't think it is impossible by any means for a coach to come in here and win 7-9 games a year and compete with the middle of the pack consistently (and the top dogs occasionally. Anyone expecting up a Tony Dungy, Bill Cowher or Jon Gruden is going to be very disappointed. Probably likewise for fans of sweater vest, Kirby Smart or Gary Patterson. Even damaged goods like Petrino would probably pass if Aubie come a callin'. I do think that a coach along the lines of Butch Jones, Sonny Dykes, Mark Hudspeth, Gus Malzahn, Mario Cristobel or one of many to top coordinators would take the job and could do some very good things at UK.

    I do not discount the chance that Joker might just win five or six games in a season beating the non-UL OoC opponents plus maybe Vandy and maybe UL or another SEC in a down cycle like Arkansas is this year. Problem is, I believe five or six wins a year is just about Joker's ceiling.

    My problem with giving Joker another season is that he is a prime example of the "Peter Principle" - he has risen to the level of his incompetence. What happens next year if they win four or five games and everyone says, "Progress! He needs more time!" Well since it will be the final year of his contract - they will want to give him a five year contract extension "so he can recruit."

    NO! Time for this to stop! Joker is great guy, but great guys lose their jobs every day. He'll end up an NFL assistant or a college coordinator and be fine. I love Joker, but when it comes right down to it, I'm not a "Joker Phillips fan" - I'm a UK Football fan." I want a coach that can sell his vision for the program and have his guys fired up coming out of the tunnel on a weekly basis. As far as I'm concerned, that is not Joker and will n0ot be no matter how many seasons you give him.

    This post has been edited 3 times, most recently by bluedynasty 21 months ago

  • The problem is the administration and fans like being top dog in basketball. Which is fine but its a second rate sport in today's culture. Football is top dog around the country and we should get with the program. We currently have one of the worst head coaches in the country. Our facilities are lacking compared to the rest of the sec but yet we will collect a fat check from the sec. Which will then be distributed to the non revenue sports. Don't get me wrong I like basketball and think it deserves what it gets but we need to better ourselves in football. We need something unique that will bring in fans and recruits. Not a dull head coach and a revolting fanbase.

  • Basketball gets way to much blame for UK football woes and is probably the lamest excuse they use. Recent upgrades to the lockerrooms at Rupp and the Coal Lodge were the result of earmarked donations and Cal going out and appealing to friends of the basketball program. This is easy to do when you're winning big at any program.

    Sizeable capital improvements like major renovations to Rupp and CWS are hard to sell in economic climates like the cycle we are now in. I believe there will be a request to the state legislature this year or next that will include sports facility improvement and I think the lion's share will go toward CWS. I believe the other earmarked gifts like those for the Rupp lockerroms or the Coal Lodge will be there to, but the program will have to be headed in the right direction. It will not happen as long a joker is at the helm, IMO, but might with a more dynamic HC in command.

    Another thing is, while I do believe there are definite needs on the football side of the ledger, I don't believe there is any feasible amount of money that will ever make UK a NCAA football To Dog. Top Dog status for UK basketball is possible merely by having the right coach in place. Part of the reason I say it can never happen at UK is the inherent in-state recruiting disadvantages, but also because UK will never have a university administration or local press corp that will look the other way like those surrounding our SEC Brethren.

    This post has been edited 3 times, most recently by bluedynasty 21 months ago

  • I would like to know what changes on the staff they think would actually help this program. You can't really complain about the offensive production when we have had players to run it. The Phillips/Sanders era of offense has been fairly good except of 2011 IMO.

    Minter has done about as well as can be expected with the deficiency in experienced players. So we change DCs and all of a sudden we win 7 games next year?

    The problems with this program IMO are much more structural and managerial from the head coaching side of things not the assistants. It's illogical to give this head coach one more year with the thought that one or two new assistant coaches are all of a sudden going to cure things.

    "Ignorance is constricted awareness" - Deepak Chopra

  • Damn good question.

  • Minter as head coach... There is no way, trust me. He may be lucky to be back next year!!!

  • The interesting thing is that it isn't the young players that are killing us on defense. It's the veterans. If we had solid guys playing in place of Mikie benton, Wyndham and Ukwu our defense would be pretty good. We are playing much better at corner and are pretty good up the middle. Teams running yards have come off tackle over the top of wyndham and ukwu and people are abusing Mikie Benton by putting their good receivers in the slot. Go back and watch the Miss. STate game. Bumpus killed us accross the middle. Benton was matched up with him all day. Bumpus had 9 catches. All them came from the slot.

    It's a lot easier to hide a player on offense than it is on defense. Goes to show how awful our recruiting was 4 and 5 years ago in the midst of our "glory days".

    This post was edited by hoptownukfan 21 months ago

  • Great Post!

    Nice job of putting this situation in it's true proper perspective. Hopefully we will eventually get a good outcome out of all this turmoil.

    "Ignorance is constricted awareness" - Deepak Chopra

  • I'm not going to question Mitch here--he'll either bring in a new coach, or not, and if not, it's because the other options are truly terrible.

    But I stand by the AD because I think he has led our football program well. We've had many hard knocks as football fans, but the worst for me was when Guy Morriss left--not because I loved Guy or even thought he was a real good coach--but because we had our best season in 15 years and then lost our coach to a middling program.

    I think Mitch realized the damage that kind of thing could cause. There's no way to take the next step--you either hire a guy, he loses, and you have to hire another guy--or you hire a guy who wins and leaves and you still have to hire another guy. The Brooks-Joker plan that developed over time was a wise one and laid the groundwork for a stable program. It did indeed produce the most stability our program has ever seen, which I realize isn't saying much, and clearly the Joker-part of the plan is not going to work out. But we'll be testing the waters with a completely new staff after 11 or 12 years instead of after 3.

  • Somebody who knows the situation well said that Mitch learned his lesson with Tubby and Guy Morris. When he gave Guy Morris a less than stellar offer, Morris bolted. Barnhart had no idea Morris would do that.

    When Mitch went to Tubby and demanded that he fire his entire staff and replace them with proven recruiters, tubby said, "well, Minnesotta wants me, I'm gone". The Brooks hire turned out good. He had to scramble to find him. The BCG hire was a disaster (turned out good though with Cal)

    Most people don't know that Calipari had already agreed in principle to become our head coach the night before BCG was fired.

    Barnhart has told people he won't make a move on a major head coach again unless he has a very good idea of who he is going to hire. There may be a 'hiring process" that takes place, but it will likely be nothing more than due dillegence on the guy he has faith in to replace joker.

    That brings me to my next point. Barnhart isn't going to fire Joker just to fire Joker. He's going to have to have somebody lined up that he percieves as a better option than Joker.

    Barnhart is a true leader. He's learned from a couple of situations. The sign of a true leader is somebody who owns up to their mistakes and makes sure they never happen again.

  • But I also assume he had sense enough to know Guy wasn't the kind of coach you wanted to open the purse strings to lock him down. I think that's been borne out. and if there's anybody around who cares to light the match, Guy is probably on the hot seat at Texas A&M Commerce. As bad as it is to get beat down by Florida, I'd hate to think how awful it would be to lose to Incarnate Word by 3 touchdowns.

  • I'm not saying he should have kept Guy. What I'm saying is that Barnhart learned, that if you're going to negotiate "tough" with coaches and "could" lose them, he's not going to have an option in place before he has the meeting.

  • Good posts by multiple people on here.

    If you've read any of my previous posts then you know my stance on this. Without at least 3 more wins down the stretch I believe he is done. You can preach all you want about youth and injuries. Blah blah blah is all I hear. Every team deals with injuries. It's part of big boy football. Joker has been heavily involved in recruiting all of these players so while he may not have been recruiting coordinator (as was pointed out to me) he did have a hand in all of these players coming here. If this team finishes with 2 wins (assuming we beat Samford) then Joker is done.

    It won't be that Mitch wants to fire him. Ticket sales, donors, and sponsorhips will dictate he be fired. Anyone who disagrees with this is just being foolish. In today's game losing the program significant amounts of money will get you canned long before losing games will. If Joker is at the helm next season after a 2 win year, ticket sales will once again drop. While I don't have hard numbers since I do not work for UK, I do know that they lost around $5 million on ticket sales alone this year. I think it is safe to say that the athletic program will lose roughly $10 million this year. He won't get the chance to make that $15-20 million loss next year. Let's not forget, the athletic department at UK is self-sustaining and gets no help from the University. In fact, the University has actually borrowed money from the athletic department. With ideas being tossed around such as renovating Rupp, improving football facilities, building a new baseball stadium, etc..., do you really think they will keep someone on as coach who is essentially responsible (at least in the public's eye) for costing all sports programs money?

    As someone else said, it's time people around here realize that football is king in America. It is the cash cow that feeds all the other sports programs. A good football program at UK would do nothing but help improve UK's basketbal program. I can't believe people say that it would hurt it. There is no competition for attention. You have football season and basketball season. Yeah, they overlap a few weeks but it's no big deal. This isn't 1970 people. Or the 50's when Bear Bryant was here. Calipari would love nothing more than for him to be able to bring recruits in here during football season (which is when basketball recruits are allowed to commit) for big games and have a packed stadium with a great atmosphere. He would simply tell the recruits, "if you think this is crazy, wait til you see how they act with basketball." It's simply ridiculous that people think like this today. It's working pretty well at Ohio State. I'm not saying we have to win national titles in football. Just be freakin competitive!

    Another thing, what would firing and hiring new coordinators actually accomplish? He has already done that. I guess 4 straight bowl games wasn't good enough for him so he brought in "his people". That is working out well. As someone else said, new coordinators would only add a couple of years to Joker's contract. Because then you have to give him time to get his players working in a new system.

    Look, Lexington is a small town and a lot of people on here do know some people with some generally good information. But I will tell you with extreme confidence that unless this team finds a way to win roughly 3 more games this year that there will be a new coach. Now I couldn't tell you if it would be Chuck Smith or Jon Gruden, just to throw out stupid names at completely opposite ends of the coaching spectrum. What do you think makes more sense? Running the risk of losing $10-$20 million next year, or spending another $1-$2 million and offering a coach $4 million a year (I think Jokers salary is $1.8 mil if I'm not mistaken, but that may not be right). It's finally starting to hit the athletic department in the one place that it never has, and the one place it simply can't afford it...the checkbook. Money talks. Without improvement, someone will walk.

  • And if I am wrong, I will be the first person on here to say I was wrong.

  • "Roughly 3 more". There's only 6 more... Is it 2,3, or 4?

    I've said all along that joker has to get to 5 or he's gone. 4 won't cut it.

  • A few weeks ago I definitely would have said at least 5 total wins. I think if they get to 4 there is still a chance he is here. Reason is that while they have not won, the last few weeks we have at least been competitve. Even with all of the offensive woes we have had, our defense kept us in the game longer than it should have at Florida. We were up 10 on South Carolina at the half. And last weeks game against MSU was never out of reach until the end of the game.

    Don't get me wrong, I'm not backtracking. I still don't think Joker is right for the job. He looks lost numerous times during any game. It just doesn't seem to click for him- at least from my perspective. But IF this team does win 3 more games this year it and they look like they are improving in doing so, I think he could very well be the coach again next year. And I have stated on other posts on here that IF the team is improving and looks like they are heading in the right direction then I would not have a problem if Joker is kept on. My problem lies if things keep going in the same direction and we only get 1 or 2 more wins. Then you can't keep him. And 4 wins might not be enough to do it. As I said earlier, this isn't as much about Joker as a coach or person as it will be about finances. If we do win 4 games and there is a general sense that ticket sales will decrease again next year, I don't think he will survive.