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This thread isn't for those wanting Bobby Petrino, Jim Tressell, Chris Peterson or any other marquee name. Sure UK may ask those guys (maybe not too) but realistically, for one reason or another, most of those type candidates will not end up in Lexington. This thread is to look at some more candidates that maybe not everyone knows but maybe should get to know. Before I get to the names (and please feel free to add others) I'd like to say that I'm not endorsing anyone in particular or that any of these will be actual candidates at UK (though I believe some will be on the list), but this is more to look at different possibilities outside of the big name, already established, or splashy hires. These guys are all head coaches for varying lengths of time, all have their current team leading or near the top of their conference, and all but one have beaten at least one BCS team this season.
Dave Doeren(age 40)-Northern Illinois (MAC Conf.)
Doeren is a first time head coach, has a background as a secondary coach, linebackers coach, and as defensive coordinator at Drake as well as Wisconsin.
Head coach record:
2011 11-3 (Tied 1st) Won GoDaddy.com Bowl
2012 8-1 (5-0 conf.)
Bill Blankenship(age 55)-Tulsa (CUSA)
Blankenship was a longtime head coach at Tulsa'a Union High School (amassing a 154-26 record and 3 state titles over 14 years) before deciding to become a college coach. He spent 3 years as WR coach before being promoted to head coach at Tulsa after Todd Graham left in 2010 for the HC job at Pittsburgh.
Head Coach record:
2011 8-5 (Tied 2nd) Lost Armed Forces Bowl
2012 7-1 (5-0)
Matt Campbell(age 32)-Toledo (MAC Conf.)
Campbell is just a youngster at 32 and in his first full year as a head coach but he has been a part of the Toledo program since 2009 when as offensive coordinator he led Toledo's offense to a top twenty national ranking (16th). The following year his offense led Toledo to their first bowl appearance in 5 years. He followed that by being named a top recruiter in 2011 by Rivals.com when Toledo's classed ranked 1st in the MAC by both Rivals and Scout.
Head Coach record:
2011 1-0 Won Military Bowl
2012 8-1 (5-0)
Darrell Hazell(age 47)-Kent State (MAC
Hazell has been in the coaching profession since 1987 coaching various positions on the offensive side but is best known as an assistant under Jim Tressel at Ohio State. After 23 years as an assistant Hazell was named head coach at Kent State after the 2010 season.
Head Coach record:
2011 5-7 (4-4)
2012 7-1 (4-0)
Sonny Dykes(age 42)-La.Tech (WAC)
Dykes is a name that is familiar to most UK fans after two stints as an assistant under Hal Mumme but Dykes is more well known as an assistant and later offensive coordinator under Mike Leach at Texas Tech and also as OC under Mike Stoops at Arizona. Dykes offenses have always been high powered and known for their passing attack. Dykes has also been named by Rivals as a top recruiter and one of college football's brightest offensive minds. Dykes was named La. Tech's HC in 2010 after Derek Dooley left for Tennessee, in 2011 he led La.Tech to their first WAC title since 2001.
Head Coach record:
2010 5-7 (4-4) (4th)
2011 8-5 (6-1) (1st) Lost Poinsettia Bowl
2012 8-1 (2-0)
Willie Taggart(age 36) WKU (Sun Belt Conf.)
Taggart is both a former WKU player and alum, he also served as an assistant and offensive coordinator under Jack Harbough and later served as runningbacks coach at Stanford under Jim Harbough. Notably he coached Stanford RB Toby Gerhart into a Doak Walker award winner and Heisman runner up. Taggart was named WKU's head coach after the 2009 season.
Head Coach record:
2010 2-10 (2-6) (9th)
2011 7-5 (7-1) (2nd)
2012 5-2 (2-1)
Gary Andersen(age 48) Utah State (WAC)
Andersen has an interesting resume, he has had two stints as an assistant at Utah at various defensive positions and also as defensive coordinator including both years Utah went to a BCS Bowl game (once finishing ranked #2 nationally). He also spent one year as HC at Southern Utah, he went 4-7 which improved their win total from the previous 3 years combined. His team has given up an average of 14 points per game and 20 or more points only twice this season, both in wins.
Head Coach record:
Utah State (WAC)
2009 4-8 (3-5) (Tied 5th)
2010 4-8 (2-6) (7th)
2011 7-6 (5-2) (T-2nd) Lost Potato Bowl
2012 6-2 (2-0)
Mike MacIntyre(age 47) San Jose St. (WAC)
MacIntyre was born in Brentwood Tennessee and attended Vanderbilt and later transferred to Georgia Tech. He has a defensive background coaching linebackers at Ole Miss as well as spending 4 years coaching defensive backs for the Dallas Cowboys under Bill Parcells and one year with the NY Jets. After spending one year as a defensive coordinator at Duke MacIntyre was named head coach at SJSU in December 2009.
Head Coach record:
San Jose State (WAC)
2010 1-12 (0-8) (9th)
2011 5-7 (3-4) (Tied 4th)
2012 6-2 (2-1)
I really like this guy, he's young and has ties to the south and has experience recruiting in SEC territory. Also love the fact he spent time on Parcells' staff and has been able to go out west and turn SJSU around. Here's a bit from his bio I liked as well San Jose State averaged 190 rushing yards per game by then, a marked improvement from years past. San Jose Mercury News columnist Jon Wilner credited MacIntyre's experience coaching in the SEC, a conference Wilner wrote was "all about running between the tackles." One last thing, Scout ranked MacIntyre's 2012 class as the best in the WAC conference.
As stated above some of these guys will be candidates on UK's list, others will not but this is simply an example of some interesting coaches that could get BCS jobs and turn a program around. Also keep in mind Brian Kelly spent 13 years in Division 2 at Grand Valley State and 2 mediocre and one good year at Central Michigan before getting a BCS job at Cincinnati and leading them to BCS Bowl and national ranking. Chip Kelly spent 13 years as an assistant at his alma mater New Hampshire University (they are in the American East Conference in case you were wondering) including 7 years as OC before getting hired as head coach of Oregon. Good coaches come from all different backgrounds, they don't have to be well established already to have success.
"Kentucky Football needs to be and will be a championship contender in the SEC."~Mitch Barnhart 11/4/12
I would love to see UK hire Dykes.
How about Andy Ludwig OC of SDSU. they have had good success on the offensive side of the ball. SDSU had a total of 5500 yds of offense in 2011+8 games w/30+ pts and 5 games w/o a turnover. This year so far the point totals are higher and the yardage is up also.
This post was edited by sleepydog 18 months ago
There are plenty of great coordinators out there if UK chooses to go that route but IMO it's tough for anyone without previous head coaching experience to learn on the job in the SEC. This conference is stocked with the best of the best athletes and some damn good coaches, it's asking a lot for a first-timer to be competitive in that environment.
I also think it is asking a lot for a first-timer to come in and fix a train wreck.
People may complain about hiring a "retread", but I think it might just be best to get someone to put the program back on solid ground before worrying about taking the "next step". Right now, the next step up is to climb back to a winning record before worrying about winning the east.
I agree that its a tough proposition for a coach thats a rookie HC and maybe it would be a little much to ask but thats what Joker was right, oops that doesnt make my idea of a 1st time coach a good one does it but I brought up Ludwig because I saw what he had done last year and this year so far and the #s are really good, but I would prefer Tuberville but this thread said it was for someone not well known or a marquee name so I had heard of Ludwig and thought maybe he might be an option.
How about Bronco Mendenhall, BYU head coach
I think train wreck is an exaggeration. When Brooks was hired, that was an accurate description, but right now there's some good talent on the roster that's gaining invaluable experience this year.
A bowl game is in reach next year. It could a great start for a young coach--so great that the biggest fear would be losing him after a year or two.
Great coach but BYU is an independent and he consistently has them in the top 25 and they can make their own schedule. So what's his motivation to take the UK job?
IMO, You can probably scratch Bronco Medenhall, Gary Andersen & Kyle Willingham (who's not listed - but would also be a great hire) all off the list of potential candidates...I do not see any of them coming east of the UTAH border. All have deep rooted ties to the state & are unlikely to come east for a btm deweller SEC program, like UK.
Of the other listed coaches...I'm in favor of Sonny Dykes and Dan Doeren. Both are very very good starting points for an Up&Comer, that might consider UK.
W/ Dykes...You know he's going to bring an fun & exciting OFF system. (not quite a redo of Mumme's Air-Raid - as he runs as much as he throws it)... He'll bring the fans back quickly. But he'll have to win games via a shoot-out (as his DEF has been lacking)...But he's able to do wonders w/ a little less talent. ( which a plus at UK). He's got enough ties to the south to recruit in places UK has been successful before and some places UK has rarely had success (E.TX).
W/ Doeren...You'll get the DEF specialist that has won w/ other guys recruits. (a plus)...And he coached at a program that faced many of the same limitations as UK. (Wisconsin)...WIS doesn't have the in-state recruiting base of a ILL, MICH or OH...And it's bitterly cold... But they pull 3*/4* southern talent every yr!...And he understands a good FB program is built on a solid foundation. (Don't make dumb mental mistakes. Run the ball to set-up the pass. Play hard-nosed DEF.)
Thanks for most thoughtful post-of these candidates, make mine 1. Dykes. 2. Campbell-young blood/something out of the "same 'ol, same 'ol" is the direction the program must go-also note Toledo's recent "upset" of UC-as if a Big East "power" is ever really upset by a MAC squad-this technically makes them better than "#10" UL-
I just do not think Campbell is ready for the SEC.
He's an Ohio guy...Born & raised. All of his coaching ties are to Ohio schools...Mount Union, Bowling Green & Toledo...In 3-4yrs, if he continues to win..Who knows, maybe he gets a look-see from a major program. But I just doubt he'd be given that look right now, in his 1st full yr as the TOL head man, w/o any ties to the southeastern recruiting that will be needed to make UK a consistent threat. (Not that having those Ohio ties wouldn't help UK get in w/ Ohio kids...but UK has to go south to get the speed needed to compete. That's just a fact of life in the SEC)
Now, Butch Jones at UC (though not mentioned above as a up&comer) is definitely on my short list. He's a salesman...He runs an exciting system...And he's won at several different stops. Wouldn't mind hearing his name announced as the next UK HC...Not one bit! He's the kind of home-run hire that Mitch could get, that would satisfy the entire fan base. He'd win the press conference, he'd glad hand the boosters & he could sell the program all across the south. I just like his style & personality!
Here's a quote from an ESPN article on him:
"First of all, we can never let the word budget become an excuse," Jones said. "You've got to find a way. What it does is it tests your creativity. You have to find creative ways to bring revenue into your football program. The age-old thing is building relationships, selling your program, getting more out of your boosters, getting fans to get emotionally invested in your program. I think one word that describes everything is creativity. We have to do more with less. I will never let a shortage in the budget be a reason. We're going to find ways to make it work."
Big East coaches do not typically make what SEC coaches make. There are myriad reasons for that, but the truth remains that Big East schools have got
This post was edited by catcard202 18 months ago
I'm certain you're correct @ all of the above-however, if he does this for even a couple of more years @ Toledo, in today's CFB environment other programs will come calling that can go over the top of UK-to really rise above mediocrity, we must be willing to take a shot-if Dykes cannot be procured, I would much prefer a Campbell to a Fulmer or Tuberville or Cutcliffe-thx for a thoughtful response.....
I like Jones...That's been said & is a given...He's my #1 favorite for UK's nxt HC (for reasons stated above). But I'm not Mitch...And who really knows where Mitch's head is at...I could see him going any # of ways...(other than keeping Joker, that is.)
We've heard rumors of some fan favorites...Pitrino, Tressel, Tuberville, Cutcliffe & Phatty McFulmer. (Im waiting on Houston Nutt to be the next re-tred mentioned - I'm sure it'll happen before too long!)...But of them...Only Pitrino really intrigues me (MANY great leaders/coaches are flawed individual men!)...Tuberville would be a solid - yet not so sexy pick (even if he brought Neal Brown as OC)...But honestly, any of them could elevate UK into the middle of the pack in the SEC East... (competing in SEC games & getting back to bowl eligible status on the consistent). Which would be much better that this crap!
If Mitch goes "Up & Comer"...(Do to striking out on the big name guy)....Dykes, Hudspeth, Diaco, Doeren, Campbell, either Stoops bro not named Bob...Any of those guys would really be solid choices, as well. All are talented fb minds & have qualities that will make them successful in the big leagues, one day. I think the fan base would rally behind whichever guy. (For 3yrs MIN!) & maybe UK would find lightning in a bottle & gets the next great one. Some of those guys will win big in a BCS league in the not too distant future!!!
Ol'Barny could surprise everyone and target an NFL guy...A "no one saw this coming" guy...A Rex Ryan - Jack Del Rio - Josh McDaniels....But it has to be guy w/ contacts all across the fb landscape & the ability to find talented assistants that can teach & some that are great recruiters on the college level. Of this kind of hire...I like the idea of Rex Ryan...The loveable load mouth & DEF specialist....& even if he does like his old lady's feet in a mildly creepy way...He's the type of character that could make UK relevant on a national stage & w/ the national media...(Which really helps not just in recruiting players, but boosters & fans & the STATE BOYS that just might let UK fund FB at a SEC level!)
Does Buddy Ryan still have a place in Anderson Co? (Is Buddy even still alive?)
Yes & Yes..
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