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I must credit KyForward's Jon Hale for alerting me to this comment from Mitch Barnhart at today's announcement that men's tennis coach Dennis Emery is moving into a fundraising role with the department.
“Dennis has got relationships that extend well beyond anything any of us that have only and I say only, 10 years. I’ve been here 10 years and that seems like a long time. He’s been here 30. I would dare say there’s virtually no one in this community that he hasn’t had a relationship in some way, shape or form. Then you being to expand that circle of friends and it gets pretty wide. So, I think that there are a variety of things that I would hope and I think that he would absolutely thrive on. It’s the ability to be an incredible ambassador for things that I can’t get to all of the time, places we can’t go and places we need representation. Really, really important.
"Two, fostering relationships with people that we have not been able to, at times, do as good a job as we need to do. Everything from former athletes to some of our donor relations that I have not been able to be as good as I need to be. And, three, the other piece in that is to help with the fundraising component for K-Fund and for our department to help move some of these projects that we’ve got going forward to reality. Those are the roles that I see. That’s a pretty big task.”
That's a fascinatingly honest answer from Mitch, and more proof that he is actively changing some of the things that haven't worked as well as they'd hoped in the past. His administration has done a lot of terrific things, but athletics is a moving target and he very clearly understands they've got some things that have to be adjusted as they move forward.
This post was edited by Matt May 21 months ago
Great news. Further proof in my belief that Mitch is the ultimate leader. What's the shining example of leadership? Mitch admits when he's made mistakes and when he has shortcomings. He's done this over and over. He's willing to make tough decisions.
Only took 10 years to figure it out?
I'm not sure that's completely fair.
I think that UK has taken a much harder hit in football tickets and those KFund donations the past 2-3 years than they ever anticipated. Therefore they've lost alot of $$$.
UK is not going to be able to get the necessary bonding from Frankfort for larger projects. While, I doubt they will raise $150M privately I do think they know they need to try and upgrade/add somethings the next few seasons. I think Emery is probably the right guy for this gig. I really don't hear much from Pratt and his role in the KFund arena.
I swear some folks will never really appreciate how good MB is until its too late and he is gone.
If you had an ounce of knowledge of the fundraising mess he took over you'd understand that the strides mitch has made in fundraising has been nothing short of remarkable. The establishment of the K-fund was one of the more contreversial things ever done at UKAA. Fans complained, screamed, cried etc... for months. We had a system in place where basketball tickets were passed down from generation to generation to generation and the donations for the seats were virtually nothing. We had a system in which basketball was the only sport to ever receive capital funds. We had a system that was broken.
It took Mitch 6 or 7 years to clean up the mess that had been made for the last 80 years.
Wow! UK has the #7 Athletic Department in the country via performance between the lines and is one of a handful of departments that is truly profitable. On top of that, UKAD will give $3 million to UK on top of paying for all of its scholarships. Now, Mitch makes a major shift in relationship building and fundraising and you bitch about it.
DA, you really have no clue what is going on in the UK Athletic Department. Yes, UK had back to back losing seasons in football and no one is happy about it. That will change or a new staff will get a chance. Basketball is on top of the world and the other sports are doing great.
Matt - Thank you for the news. This could be a really good thing for UK Athletics.
That sounds very good. I hope it pays off in the long run, as the AD definitely needs some funds to be raised.
Keep Calm & Stoops On..
Thanks again for the info, Matt.
Mitch needs someone that can reconnect with key people in Jefferson County. He (Mitch) simply has had no luck with the big dogs of the city like Ivey and Newton did. Cal mended more donor fences in Lville in 3 months than the fundraisers of ukad did in YEARS. Glad to see Mitch realize how much more attention fundraising needs.
Hagan killed the Louisville link for uk by not hiring Schnelly when he almost begged for the job. one of the reasons Howard was not hired by UK (and this is truly unforgettable and unforgiveable) is that Howard wanted to emphasize the city of Louisville and even suggested that he may live there to mine the donors available to UK at that time. The Lex. big wigs and sports adm. were afraid Louisville support would undermine the Lex. big wigs' control over UK sports. Truly SAD!! However, i know Dennis Emery will do a fantastic job in his role as money maker for UK. Having known him since 1989, he is truly a great person and one of the best i have ever been associated with insports. Good luck Coach Emery.
You act as if fundraising has fallen off and hasn't improved under Barnhart when in fact we have moved up and improved drastically in fundraising.
No, fundraising has fallen off dramatically within the city of Louisville. That just happens to be where a vast majority of the money in the state resides. Jurich basically had laid claim to all of the big money in Louisville until Cal starting becoming chummy with John Schneiter and most recently Steve Trager.
Look, Mitch has done a great job in most aspects of what he's asked to do. However, being a fundraiser usually takes a slap you on the back, big personality, sales person. That's the oposite of Mitch. However, that's exactly what allowed Jurich to do so well with guys in the city of Louisville that were previously Big Blue donors in years prior.
Mitch has recognized this as an area of weakness and now he's trying to address it. That's the sign of a true professional. I think he's seen how effective a big personality like Cal has been with potential donors that he pesonally (Mitch) had no luck with.
It's a shame that Rick Brooks left UK on the terms he did. He would've been so damn perfect for a role like Emery is walking into.
He's gonna need it. I wish Schnelly had been hired. JMO.
Spurrier just said that USCs recent success in recruiting is directly attributed to all the new facilities they had built...
I don't care who raises the funds, but UK needs some juice.
Fundraising overall is amazingly better. Louisville or no Louisville uk is much better off than if they had never hired Barnhart. Brooks for all his good traits allowed his loyalty to get the best of him. Look to the comments of Steve brown for all the perspective you need into the attitude of brooks and "his guys" when he left.
Surprised this wasn't picked up on more by the fans of this site. Steve said that when the university made the commitment to compete with the big boys in facilities, it allowed he and his staff to compete with the big boys for players. Not long ago, USC got some good in-state players but really struggled geting the studs from out of state. Now they can go into any state in the South and compete for kids. COMMITMENT to excellence by the University, it's a beautiful thing!
Football infrastructure is a vital cog for ANY success in FBS football, let alone competing in the SEC.
I remember when Urban Meyer was in between UF and OSU working for ESPN when he did a report on ND. He said that no matter who they hired as coach, that that person would have a distinct advantage on the recruiting trail because of the SERIOUS facilities upgrades the school just invested in....the beat goes on.
I love Spurrier. When it was rumored he was on UKs campus for interviews, I was stoked. He appeared loose and confident at SEC presser yesterday.
Scary to see what truly great coaching and institutional support can do to build a winning program from rubble. Holtz may have started it, but Spurrier is finishing the deal. USC is on their way to two consecutive 11 win seasons.
One day, I wish I can say that my Alma Mater followed a similar path from the roadmap laid before us.
Franklin also stated that administrative involvement and capital improvements that have gotten underway were major reasons they've been able to improve their recruiting.
Vanderbilt is getting now what UK has already done in the last 10 years.
The only thing Kentucky lacks is a renovated Commonwealth Stadium. It has everything else you need. When they can find a way to come up with $100 million to do those things to CWS then Kentucky's facilities will be every bit as good as the rest of the league's.
Vanderbilt Stadium seats what, 40k? They've got a long way to go.....
The Franklin jock-hangers-on shtick is getting old.
Has anything been other than use the media here? This was posted months ago.
The meanest dog in Taiwan.
Two things I think we need more than stadium upgrades are a players lounge and a recruiting room that are competitive with what other programs have. Justin Taylor recently commented that he was surprise how basic our facilities were compared to Alabama's.
I think facilities that benefit the training and living environment of players are infinitely more important than making the stadium bigger or more attractive. To be honest, I have been to several other SEC stadiums and Commonwealth is one of the nicest IMO.
"Ignorance is constricted awareness" - Deepak Chopra
What you just described is exactly what barnhart has done over the last 10 years. He's improved what players use everyday.
I didn't know that. I'd always heard Schnelly wanted too much control of the program, and the admin was unwilling to give it to him. I'd be very interested to know more of the specifics.
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