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By LARRY VAUGHT
I met Forrest Daulton when I attend the annual Ohio UK Convention in Middletown, Ohio, and he even won an autographed football card I brought one year of Jacob Tamme that he gave to his grandson that is now on display in his grandson’s bedroom.
“My UK football goes back to Charlie Bradshaw and the Thin Thirty,” Daulton said.
He says he would support whoever UK hires for its next football coach, but with the rumors swirling about a possible hiring of Cincinnati’s Butch Jones — his team beat South Florida 27-10 Friday — possibly this weekend even though the Bearcats have a regular-season game remaining, Daulton wanted to voice his support for Jones.
“I would like to bring to your attention a plus for Butch Jones that a lot of people are missing. My granddaugher is a junior at UC and plays in the band, so I have seen several UC football games the last few years. The cat (Bearcat) can flat out coach,” Daulton said. “Besides that, look no further than UC’s roster, you can find Elder, Moeller, Colerain, Princeston, Lakota, Middletown and all the other Ohio and northern Kentucky high schools. These are the top high school football programs anywhere. Not only does he have his foot in the door of these schools, he has his whole body. This goes along with Michigan, Pennsylvania, Georgia and Florida players. Can he compete with Ohio State and Notre Dame for the top shelf players in Ohio? Most likely not, but you can bet he will go toe to toe with Michigan and all the other BCS schools,” Daulton said.
“I have heard UK supporters and fans say for years that UK needs to get into the Cincinnati and Ohio schools, but it has not happened yet on a consistent basis. Well, this could be the perfect storm if it can be worked out and Butch would be willing to be the head coach at UK. I believe he would try his best to keep the relationship with the coaches in the south that Joker and company already have.”
Some say it’s going to happen, maybe even by Sunday night.
Others were convinced Friday that former Louisville and Arkansas coach Bobby Petrino not only was back in the picture — something I would welcome but immediately doubted — but was going to be hired this weekend. All this was apparently based on a Facebook post by UK booster J.R. Greer of London. That caused message board speculation to spin out of control.
To Greer’s credit, he updated his Facebook page Friday night with this statement:
“I want to apologize that earlier I wrote that Bobby Petrino would be our next coach. My post was in humor as most all my post are (if not pictures of family or friends). We support UK and the Big Blue Nation and trust Mitch Barnhart will make the best hire possible for UK.”
When I briefly contacted him to let him know I had even got texts and calls about the rumor, he said, “I had hundreds of friend requests in a matter of minutes with people saying thanks and some even saying their families had been praying for this.”