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Guest post: Returning home not always a good thing for athletes and coaches

Larry and Tina Cox in St. Louis prior to a UK NCAA Tournament game. (photo submitted)

Larry and Tina Cox in St. Louis prior to a UK NCAA Tournament game. (photo submitted)


If you live secluded from the world I have a news flash for you:  LeBron James is coming home. I will admit I am a LeBron fan. His natural talent and passion for the game should not be questioned. Cleveland despised him four years ago and now welcome him home with open arms. This made me think of those who have returned back home. This does not mean their birth place, just a place they called home.

Joker Phillips –The BBN wanted Joker to succeed. He was a Kentucky boy. This was his dream job. We applauded as he took the reigns of the Wildcats. It did not have a story book ending. It just did not work.

Phil Fulmer –The former Tennessee star was the leader of the Volunteers for 16 years. He won a National Championship. In his later years at Tennessee he was not competitive with the upper level of the SEC. Tennessee wanted more than they felt he could give. He was forced to retire.

Roy Williams — Coach Williams has a championship since returning to North Carolina. In my opinion the Tarheels are not the program they once were in the past few seasons. It will also be interesting to follow the current NCAA investigation involving academics at the university. The results could forever tarnish Coach Williams return home.

Bobby Petrino —There is not enough space for me to voice my opinion.

Neal Brown — Coach Brown returned to Kentucky last year after rising rapidly through the coaching ranks. The next few years will determine if coming home was the right thing to do. I have confidence Neal will be successful. I can remember him telling me when he was 15 years old where he would be in his life at this point. He was right.

Chuck Smith- —I would have bet my dog Skeeter that Chuck Smith would never return to Boyle County. I would have been wrong. Coach Smith became a high school coaching legend during his time at Boyle County. Can the stars line up again? Time will tell.

I can never see Travis Ford or John Pelphrey being the coach of the CATS.  However the BBN will rally loud for them whenever Calipari leaves. As the saying goes:  Once a CAT, always a CAT.


Who says you can’t go home
There’s only one place they call me on of their own…  Bon Jovi

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  1. Larry Pup

    Of the examples you gave, Joker is the saddest for me. I hope he recovers and coaches into old age somewhere. He will always be a UK great in my eyes even though as a head coach it did not work out at Kentucky.

  2. King Ghidora

    I don’t think there’s enough space on the net to cover Bobby Petrino’s saga comprehensively. The guy is a walking soap opera. That about sums it up. It’s already more time than I want to spend on him.

    1. Love SEC F-Ball

      I agree. Petrino has been in approximately 16 programs in 31 years.
      So what is home for him? Always enjoy posts from Tina. Interesting.

      I do think Neal Brown is a perfect fit for us. Time will tell.

  3. Hula

    Joker was a good WR coach, a mediocre but predictable OC and a wretched HC. Brooks was able to take overlooked 2 and 3 star players and “coach them up” with a staff of good position coaches. Joker purged them to bring in his own “recruiters”. Oops.

    The BBN needn’t worry about Pelphry or Ford when Cal decides to hang it up. It is a one name list to take the job. Sean Miller. If he for some reason says no then Brad Stevens will probably be on his way out of Boston by then.

  4. Larry T Clemons

    LeBron just wants to be closer to Kentucky Basketball…..” Don’t We all ! “

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