Blog Entry

What's up with the Gillispie situation?

Posted on: March 26, 2009 4:55 pm
Edited on: March 26, 2009 6:51 pm

MEMPHIS, Tenn. -- Even here in FedExForum, with four of the best teams in the country gathered for Friday night's games, the question I've been asked most today doesn't involve Blake Griffin or Tyler Hansbrough, or even Ty Lawson's toe. No, the question I've been asked most -- by coaches and other media people -- is this: When is the Billy Gillispie thing going down?

Answer: Soon ... barring a major change of plans.

Multiple sources -- and by multiple, I mean like 70 -- have told that Gillispie will almost certainly never coach another game at Kentucky, that it's simply a matter of making it official. The prevailing thought is that a humbled Gillispie could possibly save himself by acknowledging missteps and promising to better embrace the celebrity that goes hand-in-hand with coaching at Kentucky, but people close to Gillispie insist he's "too stubborn" for that, and that he'd take his $6 million buyout and walk away before ever greatly altering his personality.

So why the wait?

Sources have said UK would like to have a replacement lined up before it moves on Gillispie, that the ideal scenario has the school introducing its next head coach less than 48 hours after Gillispie is asked to resign.  More than likely, that means athletic director Mitch Barnhart is spending today trying to determine -- through intermediaries, of course -- if Florida's Billy Donovan will really jump, and if he won't then the next two likely candidates are Michigan State's Tom Izzo and Memphis' John Calipari, both of whom are still coaching their teams in this NCAA tournament and thus unavailable for the time being.

Here's a prediction: Kentucky will get one of those three.

Which one?

I'll let you guess, for now.

But any list that includes a fourth option is probably a list one name too long, because Barnhart will do whatever it takes to make a home run hire, well aware that he can't take a chance on a relatively young option and risk another mistake. Another mistake will cost him his job, but Donovan, Izzo or Calipari would extend it for years, no question.


Since: Dec 13, 2007
Posted on: March 26, 2009 6:03 pm

What's up with the Gillispie situation?

Billy Donovan...come on up!  UK is the premiere coaching job in the country and Donovan can bring more titles here.  He has the resume and affability with players to attract even better recruiting classes than he did at UF.  Sure the expectations are unreasonable but he turned UF into repeat National Champions which hasn't been done by too many coaches at any school.  Anthony Grant isn't ready for UK and UK isn't ready for a trial run.  I wouldn't be opposed to Calipari coming.  He hasn't won a National Championship but what he has done at Memphis speaks for itself.  He is Pitino-like enough to pacify even the most ardent of UK fans.  Tom Izzo would be worthy of the UK coaching job but likely won't leave Michigan.  All but Grant have the chops but Donovan is the best fit by a country mile and would be making a mistake by staying at UF. 

Since: Oct 25, 2006
Posted on: March 26, 2009 6:03 pm

What's up with the Gillispie situation?

After those three pass the job goes to alum Travis Ford.



Since: Dec 6, 2006
Posted on: March 26, 2009 5:48 pm

What's up with the Gillispie situation?

I can't see Izzo leaving the state of Michigan, he grew up in Michigan went to school in Michigan and did almost all of his coaching in Michigan.  Calipari would be an amazing catch if he was able to keep his recruiting classes for 2009 intact and go to Kentucky with him.

Since: Oct 22, 2006
Posted on: March 26, 2009 5:39 pm

What's up with the Gillispie situation?

Personally, I don't see the appeal of is a lose, lose situation for any top quality coach. Too many chiefs and not enough indians. Kentucky would be far better served to look for a Tom Crean type coach and allow for the rebuilding period to be accomplished.

Since: Aug 30, 2006
Posted on: March 26, 2009 5:34 pm

What's up with the Gillispie situation?

Anthony Grant situation is way more interesting to this basketball fan. I have a hard time Izzo, Donavan, or Calipari would leave their cushy jobs.



Since: Mar 25, 2007
Posted on: March 26, 2009 5:31 pm

What's up with the Gillispie situation?

I hope KY gets Donovan Would Calipari leave Memphis with the class he has for 2010??? I doubt it would take him long at KY to turn them around in a weak SEC. Izzo moving south, weather would be nicer.

Since: Sep 15, 2008
Posted on: March 26, 2009 5:30 pm

What's up with the Gillispie situation?

I suspect it will be Izzo. I think there's more chance of getting him to move than the other two. I personally think Donovan or Calipari would be nuts to make the jump, but I could be wrong. Actually I think anybody who wants to go to Kentucky is nuts. That's one of those places where anything short of championships is considered failure. But for some reason I think Izzo might give it a try.


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