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Bill Cowher photo courtesy CBSSports.com

Bill Cowher photo courtesy CBSSports.com

By LARRY VAUGHT

Bill Cowher to Kentucky?

That’s the speculation that some UK insiders are still saying as the Kentucky football coaching search continues. While it is impossible to know which rumor could be true, this is one I just do not believe.

First, Cowher has won the Super Bowl. He’s an NFL guy. Why come out of coaching retirement to suddenly have to recruit 18 to 25 teen-agers per year and then try to coach them to compete in the SEC? Plus, his ball-control offense is not likely to work at UK like he has with the Steelers. With Pittsburgh, he usually had superior talent and a lockdown defense. He won’t have that in the SEC at Kentucky.

So based on what I am hearing and what seems logical to me, Cowher to UK is just not going to happen. Maybe there’s another NFL assistant coach who might make that move, but not Cowher.

Now to Sonny Dykes, the head man at Louisiana Tech. Remember, he’s the first name I mentioned before I decided that Bobby Petrino’s winning ways and availability could make him the best priority. However, Dykes is young, has a unique offense thanks to offensive coordinator Tony Franklin and has ties to UK and the SEC.

I’m convinced there has been at least some unofficial contact perhaps with Dykes’ agent, but UK need not drag its feet on the Louisiana Tech coach. This won’t be his only offer if UK does offer.
One reader reminded me of what John Calipari tells his assistants when they are looking for jobs — only take a team that’s in the top three of their division or conference. A big name coach won’t take on last place UK. But a rising star like Dykes might.

Then if you go to footballscoop.com, it says that Kentucky has considerable interest in Cincinnati coach Butch Jones, who has been favored by numerous UK fans. He’s winning and certainly has a recruiting base that would be favorable at Kentucky.

And what is UK athletics director Mitch Barnhart saying? Nothing. He’s avoiding the media because he doesn’t want to limit his focus or say something about what he’s looking for in a coach that could be misinterpreted.

So for the time being, informed speculation like this is the best you’ll get — and feel free to keep sharing your thoughts. Have loved all the discussion.

 

50 Responses to Do not believe the ‘Bill Cowher to Kentucky’ speculation

  • P90XDude says:

    Bill Cowher is a not coming to Ky period. MB is going to have a really hard time getting a coach to come to Ky. And will the fan base be excited enough when he does announce? These are the 2 most likely events that will happen.

  • I agree Cowher, no wat at Kentucky or The SEC…Now with UK / Duke Basketball Game done, I believe News, Soon…at least from a strategic timing opportunity, The next 48hrs, would be good timing. IMHO

  • shinny says:

    I agree with you Larry on Cowher. Perhaps Barnhart is keeping quite because if my memory serves me right, there were alot of known turndowns before finally taking Brooks. It would be bad pub to go through that again.

  • grant says:

    as i stated yesterday, pro teams have tried ot lure him to no avail, with lots” O ” money. so why would he come to uk ? for all the ncaa rules? recruiting trail fun? no way in the world would he come here unless he had a penchant for all the fun the ncaa rules and regulations would afford him. like i said it would not be for the money , he has turned down coaching jobs that would make him more than here. as a life long steeler fan i just don’t see him here nor do i believe he would be good here . i am not sure he would relate very well in football terms to an 18 year old. i will take a guess as to which assistant from the steelers would be interested though. kirby wilson, running backs coach.

  • Mike Flannery says:

    Cowher would not take this job and he is not a good fit. I would still love to see an attempt to get Gary Patterson from TCU or Gus Malzahn from Arkansas State.

    • Juan4UK says:

      Patterson is an interesting choice. I like that on the surface. exciting offense, really good recruiter. New potential recruiting ties and territory. I like it.

  • Mitch says:

    When do you expect we will hear something from the folks at UK? What are we waiting on?

    • larryvaught says:

      Keep hearing mid-december for a coach which I think would be a disaster for UK

      • TrueBlueJohn says:

        Agreed, the more jobs that open up, the farther down the list UK falls. Now is the time to act.

      • Chuck says:

        That would be absurd, why announce the firing of Joker so early if your going to wait that long to hire a coach?

        • Juan4UK says:

          Because the fan base revolted. Stopped buy tickets en masse. That was our line in the sand, and Mitch did what he had to do for any hope what so ever that they have anybody in the stands for the last game.

      • Mike Flannery says:

        If Barnhart does bring in a Fulmer, Cutcliffe or some total experiment, I may hang him in effigy myself in Triangle Park. The success that Brooks had with going to bowl games has us wanting more. I am talking 6 to 8 wins within a few years while building towards competing with upper level teams SEC teams down the line.

      • JackG says:

        Larry, I’m with you on this. This is a very crucial hire for this program. Why wait til mid December? We need to get on the ball, make the hire and start moving forward.

  • Juan4UK says:

    No coaching search is gonna be giving a play by play to the public. I have no clue who it will end up being. But as far as the Cal advice goes, that’s basketball . Basketball is lower profile as far as dept resources go. So its harder to build in a weaker low tier team n conference . The difference is, this is the sec and football. So even a mediocre performance looks good on a resume. U have to assume that stats will go up no matter what so that will look like an improvement , not to mention the salary increase for an sec team.

  • Chuck says:

    It has been rumored that the Assistant from the Steelers that is a target is Todd Haley, the OC. He wouldnt be a bad hire IMO. Its going to take someone that can do one heck of a sales job to get the fans to come back if Petrino doesnt get the job. Haley is a disciplinarian. Not sure how good of a recruiter he would be though.

    • larryvaught says:

      Thanks Chuck. That could well be the name

      • Chuck says:

        Also a rumor going around that Petrino tried to contact Mitch and Mitch hasnt returned his call. Any truth to that Larry?

        It might help Petrino’s image for him to do a sit down interview with someone talking about his life after the scandal.

        • Juan4UK says:

          Chuck you are correct in that Petrino is going to have to do a full blown PR campaign in order to get back in the public eye. He probably should have already started one.

        • JackG says:

          He did that on ESPN about 6 weeks ago. I watched it and he was very humbled. Sounded like he knows what he needs to do going forward.

    • Mike Flannery says:

      Was Todd Haley a previous Coach at Arizona State that got fired?

  • Ira says:

    One we do not need another assit coach as our next HC. The learning curve its just to steep in the SEC for most to be successful especially here at UK. You are already behind the 8 ball to begin with.

    Two Why would Cowher want to come here. It doesn’t make sense. For all the reasons already mentioned I don’t see it happening either.

    Three we have the possibility of Petrino, but time is narrowing on that window as other SEC teams will start making their openings know. But not only the SEC, the ACC, The Big 10, 12, Pac 12.

    Four If Bobby Petrino isn’t hired, then whomever is hired, will be compared to Bobby Petrino no matter what, especially if he doesn’t kick start this progam immediately.
    It will be if Bobby Petrino had been hired our offense would have done this. Our winning record would have been that. We could have beaten that team if only Bobby Petrino was here. We would have sell out crowds if only Bobby Petrino was hired. We’d have went to a different bowl game if only….It will be endless.

    I hope Mitch Barnhart truely knows what kind of cat he is fixing to let out of the hat, with the wrong hire this time.

    • Juan4UK says:

      Ira do you think Petrino, who knows that UT, Auburn and UK are all going to be calling is going to pick the first school that offers? A multi million $$ contract is never going to be a case of “first come first serve”. In any industry.
      You are absolutely dead on, that any hire is going to be compared to BP. Which is a product of todays world, but it is what it is.
      I am all for Mitch to pay a $4 million salary to the right candidate, but do you think that that would be the best move for Petrino to start off on the right foot with? That is forcing UK into a bidding war for his services? Acting like nothing has happened. If we get him fine, but I don’t like the idea of him yanking our chain with his past.

  • Al Golden was misled while interviewing for the UM coaching position. The NC2A problems size and scope were not fully explained. As I understand it – - he was none too pleased with the administration.
    He’s a fine person and coach. Obvious ties to the best HS football in America.
    Last time we hired UM’s coach he produced a 10-1 season.
    He may be receptive – - at least worth a run at him.

    • Juan4UK says:

      Paul, I just skimmed his record and it’s not THAT impressive, to me. Average at best and maybe got the job due to his connections at Penn St. (for character no less). So, I don’t know about him.

  • grant says:

    todd haley? supposedly he is at his dream job right now. his dad worked for the steelers . that one suprises me, thought it would be kirby wilson. larry care to divulge the potential disaster hire? cutcliffe? that to me is my disaster hire.

    • Chuck says:

      His dream job is to be the head coach for the Steelers. I would imagine that he wants to be a head coach more so than an O-Coordinator.

  • grant says:

    good points ira. i will admit i would be one of those voices.

  • Mitch says:

    Does Mitch Barnhart not realize what this is doing to our program? He made the right call and relieved Coach Phillips of his duties but now he’s taking his sweet time going about things while I’m sure other schools who may still have a head coach are contacting and in some cases interviewing folks like Petrino to be their next coach. Why, in your opinion Larry is UK and Barnhart waiting so long?

    • Juan4UK says:

      Mitch, I think, these things take time. I don’t know what the average time is, but I do know that I have seen coaches wait to be announced until their seasons end. So that it doesn’t mess up their games. I honestly never expected a decision or announcement until late December.
      Add to it the coaching carousel in the SEC this year, I don’t think there is any chance that we, as the last best job in the SEC that’s open, will get a quick resolution.

  • Larry Pup says:

    Larry V…..Do you tkink Kirby Smart is a good fit at UK?

  • RJ says:

    I would be very surprised if Cowher ended up at KY. If he did he did it would be because he was bored out of his mind and needed a “challenge”. The Carolina Panthers tried to get him for big $$$ when they fired John Fox and he turned them down. Carolina is in the same situation that KY is in – very few wins.

  • Larry Pup says:

    That MB has not come out and made it real clear that BP will not be considered gives me hope he is still in the hunt.

    BP gives UK these potential positives I think: 1. proven head coach and a winner in the SEC, 2. majority of fan support from BBN, 3. winning football at UK in 3 years or less, 4. UK plays for an SEC Championship if he stays 4 or more years, 5. sell out crowds at CWS and increased revenue, 6. UK goes bowling year in year out with him as head coach. 7. great recruiting of football talent with our share of 4 and 5 star recruits, the bed rock of success at any Div. 1 school.

  • Mike says:

    Larry,
    If Sonny Dykes were to be hired at UK, would Tony Franklin be with him? I’m not sure what Tony’s standing is with the UK administration.

  • charlie says:

    Sonny Dykes offense sounds great. However, his defense is terrible. Ranks 111th in scoring defense. Texas State hung 55 points on his defense last week.

  • Tom H says:

    Larry, do you think if UK does hire Sonny Dykes will MB allow or want Tony Franklin to come with him as OC considering TF was at UK under Mumme and after TF wrote his tell all book?

  • UKFAN197TONE says:

    I doubt there are 5 UK fans that thought for a second that Cowher (or Parcells) would ever come to UK. Except to visit.

  • Ira says:

    Juana4UK,
    I don’t think Auburn is going to go for Petrino. But Pellini is in the mix now, and so was Mike Gundy at one point. I keep saying Tuberville to Arkansas. Everyone keeps forgetting he is from Arkansas it would bring him home and back in the SEC as well.
    UT who knows. That fanbase is rabid enough for Petrino, and and as a fanbase are as desperate as we are for wins. But I would think they would want a more proven coach without the bagagge as well. No more Lane Kiffen’s or a mid major Dooley.

    I read a great article on SB nation how Greg Brynes AD for Arizona went about the hiring of Rich Rodriguez as their HC. The long and short of it, he identified the person, kept it totally quiet, and made the hire that fit his program.

    Our fanbase has identified or at least a somewhat majority in my opine has identified Petrino as the correct hire. Mitch has had the jump on everyone besides Arkansas. They’ve had an entire year and we all know they aren’t calling him back. So its really in
    Mitch’s ballpark.

    Mitch had better understand, this fanbase is in rebellion. The frustration is at an all time high. The fanbase is speaking loud and clear, we expect better from our AD. It is up to him to deliver. If he wants to pass on Petrino, fine, but it had better be a damn site better coach than him, or it is gonna backfire on the AD big time. Vandy’s home crowd numbers may become the new norm for the home games!

  • pacman says:

    Lance Leipold, 72-3 record at Wisconsin Whitewater. Has won 4 of the last 5 NCAA titles in his division. Came in 2nd the only year he didn’t win it all. All in 5 years there. Pretty impressive

  • Jim says:

    I could be wrong about this, but doesn’t the job openening have to be posted for two weeks as an open position, before UK can officially announce that they have made a hire? I recall that UK had to post that the job of head coach was open for a few weeks, before they announced that Joker was the new coach. If it didn’t happen, maybe I hit my head and imagined the whole thing.

  • KYWCAT says:

    The only way we will here the announcement before the season’s end is if we are hiring a coordinator/assistant as HC or we are hiring a coach who is not actively coaching. There will not be a head coach elsewhere, who has a team going to a bowl or a conference championship, who will likely stand up 1-2 weeks before season’s end and announce his leaving, it is too disloyal if he is succeeding at his current institution. Not hearing an announcement doesn’t mean a deal isn’t being struck or hasn’t already. There is a time and way to do this. None of us are AD’s, University Presidents, etc. We don’t know and cannot speak intelligently on such things. Maybe they will introduce during a timeout in the endzone of the Samford game. Better come watch just in case!

    • larryvaught says:

      Like your optimism KYWCAT, but I am not nearly as optimistic that this search is being handled as well as you think

      • Ira says:

        I don’t think its being handled well at all. I’ve heard its about as organized as a Kindergarten halloween party.

        Once again its looking like UK basketball is getting the Gold Cup and UK football is going to have to settle with the rusty bucket.

  • matt says:

    My quess is the reason we won’t hear something till mid December is because whoever we hired is still coaching their team. I’m sure the hire is a done deal and we just waiting on their season to end.

  • grant says:

    please no cutcliffe

  • Phil says:

    Folks, UK’s football program has been a loser for nearly 60 years. If you think that simply changing the coach is going to fix that, then you’re a fool.

    No, if you want to fix UK’s football program you need to look to UK’s Administration. You need to let the Administration know that until UK wins an SEC football championship 1) you will not by UK licensed apparel, or tickets to UK games; 2) you will make no further donations or bequests to UK; and 3) you will demand that your state senator and representative withhold 10% of UK’s annual funding as payment of a “humiliation fee” for all of the humiliation UK has caused to the state over the past 60 years.

    I’m not criticizing the Administration. Over the years, they have done what’s best for the university financially, as they should. There was never a need to invest any money in the football program because UK’s fans have always supported the university, even with mediocre teams. That needs to change. We need to let them know that it is in the university’s best interest financially to have a winning football program. The adminstration needs to know that UK will have a winning football program, or they will lose a TON of money.

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