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 10:16 pm

What's up with the Gillispie situation?

Man, you're right about "a long time ago" T-Bone!  For what it's worth, UK is that beacon of light in CBB.  The meca, if you will, that most coaches aspire to end up at.  FSU has a great coach but isn't proven enough to bring us back.  Clemson tanked their season after their awesome start and I don't know anything about VT.  The only other coach I would give a shot to coach at UK is Jay Wright from Villanova.  He has stated he doesn't want to leave Villanova but UK just has that magic.  I'm not old enough to remember a great deal of UK history.  My earliest recollection is the 1992 Final Four so I always heed to experience. 

Since: Mar 16, 2009
Posted on: March 26, 2009 10:13 pm

What's up with the Gillispie situation?

truebeliever & ukcatsfreak & others


I can tell your true dedicated diehard UK fans and I understand what your feeling under the current situation and how it can be very frustrating with losses and no tourny. With that said though, you turn around and state in your posts how Gillispie doesn't do this or doesn't do that how "WE" do it here at Kentucky. Kentucky is the school with the basketball team and tradition, but the coach is who makes the team and takes it as far as it can go with the sky the limit. Thats why your basketball home is called "Rupp Arena" not Kentucky Arena.

Would it all be the same tradition if Rupp did it however the fans said it should be? Probably not... The coach (whoever it is at the time) has to do it his way and play his style of ball and have the fan support thru the bad times also. Yes, alot of fans will whine and gripe but the ones that are true fans that care about the program have to stick with the coach at all times or it will never work out. Tubby Smith is a great coach and always will be. Billy Gillispie is a great coach also and has players still from Tubby's years and if you don't give a coach a minimum 7 to 8 years then you have no clue for sure about that coaches ability.

Like I said in an earlier post, Duke wanted to get rid of coach K early on and how do you think that would have been now with hindsight? I still feel coach Gillispie deserves his true chance regardless how a certain amount of fans feel. Now if they do look for another which just might happen. Travis Ford would be a good choice and would be like him coming home to earn his chance. But then if he didn't do so great the first few years, how would Kentucky fans treat him? How long would they give him?




Since: Sep 1, 2006
Posted on: March 26, 2009 10:06 pm

What's up with the Gillispie situation?

My wife just came downstairs and said it came across the news that it was announced that BCG is gone.  I live in Louisville, but a UK grad and fan.  I was hoping to give him at least another year to have an opportunity for him to show that he can change his off court issues and prove to the doubters that he can coach and not just recruit, but I guess that is behind us now.  There is supposed to be a press conference tomorrow.  Given that I wouldn't think Barnhart to be in a situation to start the coach recruiting process without having something in place and the fact that two of the candidates mentioned in this thread wouldn't (or at least shouldn't) start talks until their season is complete, I would have to say it has to be Billy D. or Travis Ford. 

Since: Mar 26, 2009
Posted on: March 26, 2009 10:05 pm

What's up with the Gillispie situation?


Has Gillespie piised off someone?  Why the short 2 year leash?  My impression was that he was taking over a program that had been in decline for five years.  Why not give him at least 3 years to turn the corner with his own players.  I don't follow SEC that closely, but as a Longhorn fan, I was damn glad to see him leave A&M.  I thought he was a helluva coach, and he just had a presence about him that said "I know I'm good."  Sort of a BB version of Bob Stoops.  I think UK would be making a mistake to let him go.

Tell me Wildcat fans, what am I missing?  Two years is an awful short term unless there's more to the story than X's & O's."


See what I responded to an earlier comment....It applies here too...Also, his drinking gets in the way, plus his presence and attitude of too good for it all...

Since: Feb 16, 2009
Posted on: March 26, 2009 10:04 pm

What's up with the Gillispie situation?

Colonel, I am old enough to remember the rich tradition of great basketball that once was played at UK.  But, with all due respect, that was a long time ago, long before the current high school recruits could remember.  So why would Donovan leave a strong program with great facilities and lots of support from the administration as well as the boosters for Kentucky?  He has very little upside when he has shown he can win it all at Florida.  I do agree with you that Grant is not ready for the big pressure of UK quite yet.  I think best (and likeliest candidates) candidates would be the coaches from Florida State, Clemson and Virginia Tech.  They each have done very well in a tough conference so they have good pedigrees and are ready to restore the UK program to what it once was.  Any thoughts?


Since: Aug 31, 2008
Posted on: March 26, 2009 10:00 pm

What's up with the Gillispie situation?


Since: Dec 13, 2007
Posted on: March 26, 2009 9:59 pm

What's up with the Gillispie situation?

I posted the only qualified candidates should BCG be fired by UK.  The problem is that I don't believe BCG should be fired.  He only had 2 years to turn around the Tubby era and that's horrible policy.  Barnhart ignored Big Blue Nation long enough for Brooks to win 3 consecutive bowl games and we're ditching a great coach after 2 years.  That's prepostorous and we should be ashamed.

Since: Jan 17, 2007
Posted on: March 26, 2009 9:59 pm

What's up with the Gillispie situation?

Bluegrass Cat: Don't be ashamed to be a fan of your Cats!  Kentucky has a great history and tradtion, and every UK fan should be proud of that.  Your AD and his superiors, on the other hand, are showing some bad form.  I don't know much about BG, except that he did pretty damn well everywhere he went before UK, and he may be one season away from achieving expectations there, as well.  Don't know, since I don't really follow UK sports.  I am a Big 12 fan, and as someone else already mentioned, we were happy that he left A&M.  If I were any of the three coaches in question, I would avoid that situation in Lex like the plague.  Who wants that kind of inflated expectations from a spoiled fan base.  I know that Travis Ford would jump at the chance to coach Kentucky, but fervently hope he stays put for a few years.  After all, the UK job will be open every 3-4 seasons.


Since: Oct 1, 2008
Posted on: March 26, 2009 9:59 pm

What's up with the Gillispie situation?

Darn, I hope these reports are false, not because I think Gillispe will be successful in Lexington, but for the exact opposite reason. I am a Vandy fan who doesn't exactly want Kentucky to succeed, and Billy G seems like the right person to keep that program in a downward spiral, much of which is his fault already. When it comes to in game coaching and adjustments, he has been among the worst coaches in the SEC over the past two years, and while next year's recruiting class for them looks pretty good, UK is still falling behind other SEC schools in terms of the quality of recruits. His demeanor isn't exactly the most endearing either (see his halftime interviews). I guess that's what you get when you hire an alcoholic for a coach.

So in conclusion, Tubby Smith > Billy Gillispe. Bring back Tubby.


Since: Mar 26, 2009
Posted on: March 26, 2009 9:58 pm

What's up with the Gillispie situation?

Racism? Really? UNC doesn't compete and doesn't win championships. UK has won as many titles as UNC in the last 25 years, welcome aboard. Roy Williams is the most overrated coach of the last 25 years. He took a team loaded with NBA talent (Pierce, Vaughn, LaFrentz, etc.) and pissed away talent for years. UCLA wandered through the desert for years before Howland, UNC won something like 9 games this decade, Duke missed the tournament and wasted 50 McDonald's All-Americans. Nobody wants to hear stupid s__t about NEVER winning a title again.

Why would coach A, B, C and D leave their school? Things are great, blah, blah and blah. Why would they leave? Because they are the best and they all think they're Gods. If you don't have ego and that stiffness in your pants, you would never have reached the pinnacle of your profession to begin with. They would leave and come to Kentucky because they want to prove to everyone that they're the best, the best of the best. That's why. Don't be stupid when you give anectdotal evidence about the bake sale Izzo had at Backwoods Elementary in Flint. He would jump ship and come to UK if the offer was right because he has a massive ego. Period. I can come and shut everyone up, they'll all love me and I'll win 15 national titles. Why? Because it ain't gonna happen to me the way it happened to them, because I'm a badass. Please stop being stupid with these "he'll never leave because....."  

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