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: Sep 29, 2006
Posted on: March 27, 2009 11:19 am

What's up with the Gillispie situation?

I Beg of you - NO DONOVAN AT UK!! What is wrong with you people - you've forgotten 2 years ago?!  In addition, I would be very surprised if Gillispie is gone based on the over-reaction of the "loud minority" or crazed Cats fans.  Not all of us are unrealisitic in our expectations - Tubby was a good coach - running him off probably was the best they get their man in Billy G and already switching horses?!  That's embarrassing!  Pull it together - have pride UK, Donovan is not the man for the job in Lexington - stop begging - it's embarrassing me as a UK fan - the program is bigger than the coach - and Donovan or Travis Ford despite their ties - are not "natural" fits to this program as a coach - Donovan knows this - he could never do in Lexington what he was able to finese in Florida - the bar is set very high in Lexington - UF?  Had a couple of good years, now look at them...just like Arkansas, Tennessee, South Carolina, LSU, etc., they all have runs - we occassionally lose - grow up.  Give Billy a little more time!!



Since: Mar 16, 2007
Posted on: March 27, 2009 7:04 am

What's up with the Gillispie situation?

He needs to clean up his act off the court. 

Since: Aug 10, 2007
Posted on: March 27, 2009 3:43 am

What's up with the Gillispie situation?

If there is a 4th name on the list is that of former UK coach and current UoL coach Rick Pitino.


Pitino left UK after the 97 season for the Boston Celtics.  He left a great team for a horrible team.  He left a championship team for a challenge.  He could do the same again ... rebuild Kentucky.


Izzo hasn't won since his great assistant coaches left.

Calipari hasn't won a championship and hasn't been in a good conference EVER .... A-10 and CUSA are weak!

Donovan recruits punks and I'm not sure I want that at UK and he has been in the NIT the past 2 seasons.


The way I see it we keep BCG for at least one more year and see what he can do with a majority of his players ... only the seniors will be holdovers from Tubby   ...

OR ...

UK must bring back Rick Pitino ... pay him whatever it takes ....

Since: Oct 20, 2006
Posted on: March 27, 2009 3:31 am

What's up with the Gillispie situation?

It is funny how just a couple of years ago that everyone was saying what a great move it was for Kentucky to get Gillispie.  He was proven as a turnaround artist, a good recruiter and was in demand.  It was everything that UK wanted.  He has a couple of mediocre years and he is a bum that must go.  You dont think that the top level coaches notice a little thing like that?  What if they come there and have a couple of bad seasons with talent that they didnt recruit?  I love how radio stations around Lexington give Pitino credit for Tubby Smith's championship team because he recruited most of the players, so Tubby was basically given a gift.  However, Gillispie suffering in his first couple of seasons is horrible, but it had nothing to do with the players he was handed.  If I were any of the coaches listed in the article, I would stay put and not jump at this job.  The only way would be if you think Gillispie recruited some real gems that were just about to blossom!

That said, I like the Travis Ford choice for coach.  Even if he suffers through a couple of off seasons by UK standards, the boosters like him and he was one of them.  He can play that card about respecting the UK history, not being satisfied with mediocre and doing better and that would probably buy him about 1-2 seasons more than Gillispie and enough time for him to put his stamp on the team.  The only way that Pitino made it through is first few years as a UK head coach was that the program was down from their NCAA penalties.  As a matter of fact, it is probably only Pitino that could come back and suffer through a few bad seasons in UK land.  The fan base and sports radio are just brutal there.  I lived there through the end of the Pitino years and half way through Tubby's tenure.  I still remember being at Fayette Mall walking through Sears and seeing the UK game on and listening to more than a few people yelling..."COME ON RICK".  Yepper...cheering the coach on to do something.  Like Pitino was going to hit a shot from the bench.

Since: Mar 24, 2008
Posted on: March 27, 2009 2:03 am

What's up with the Gillispie situation?


I always find it amazing when people talk about Izzo ball and low scoring. It's the Big Ten that drags the scoring down. Not Izzo's offense. He would run all day long if he could. There's a big reason why MSU's scoring offense is much higher in non-conference games. It's the style of defense that is thrown at them in conference that slows everything down to a crawl...and they STILL led the conference in scoring.

That being said, Izzo isn't going to leave. Not to Kentucky. Not to Arizona and not to Alabama or whatever school some hack is trying to throw Izzo's name into next.

Since: Sep 18, 2008
Posted on: March 27, 2009 1:19 am

What's up with the Gillispie situation?

Most all these people who think Kentucky is a lousy job just, for some reason, don't Kentucky to maintain its tradtion. What's wrong with a big-name school spending money it has to get the coach it wants? Nobody cared when North Carolina went after Roy Williams or Kansas went after Bill Self or UCLA went after Ben Howland or Indiana went after Tom Crean. Why shouldn't Kentucky be able to do the same thing? I seem to recall Carolina and UCLA fans being just as upset earlier in the decade during their slides.  

Since: Aug 31, 2006
Posted on: March 27, 2009 12:20 am

What's up with the Gillispie situation?

"every graduating senior izzo coached has reached a final 4. 

and did you forget they won a national championship? "



I did forget he won a national championship because it was like before Naismith was born.  Also, like I said, just plain boring basketball.  A win is a win, but winning ugly and losing ugly are kind of the worst of both worlds.  Any yes, I am quite happy that Izzo would stay put.  As I said, a Tubby clone on valium is NOT what UK fans and school need at this time.

Still hoping BCG gets one more year, but not looking good...

Since: Mar 26, 2009
Posted on: March 27, 2009 12:19 am

What's up with the Gillispie situation?

ready4foosball you can forget about Phill Ford or any other black coach.  They know your games.  GO TAR HEELS 

Since: Mar 26, 2009
Posted on: March 27, 2009 12:15 am

What's up with the Gillispie situation?

To speak about Tubby in the big 10 is just ignorant when they got 7 teams in tourney and the SEC got 2 teams and had to let Mississippi State win the SEC tourney to get three teams in.  You keep telling yourself that Kentucky was better off firing Tubby because you will definitely keep losing.  Go Wildcats AKA KKK AKA Hillbilly nation.

P.S. just playing GO TAR HEELS


Since: Mar 26, 2009
Posted on: March 27, 2009 12:09 am

What's up with the Gillispie situation?


"He hasn't done anything of note in two decades with Michigan State either.   A final four or two in like 20 years.  Not exactly setting the nation on fire."

are you serious? 

every graduating senior izzo coached has reached a final 4. 

and did you forget they won a national championship? 

dont worry izzo's not leaving, especially for kentucky 

The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or