Mitch Barnhartt finally broke silence bout UK’s coaching search after today’s loss to Tennessee. The Courier Journal’s Kyle Tucker give’s us a breakdown of Barnhart’comments.
ON THE COACHING SEARCH: “We continue to work through the process. The goal is to continue to build up the foundation that Joker has put in place. The young talent that we’ve got, the respect and accountability that he’s gained in the locker room, the way we conduct our business, those are the things we want to build upon. We’re working at it and we’ll work our way through that process. We won’t short-circuit that. I don’t think there’s any reason to do that. We’ll let you know when we get done. It’s a good job. People are excited about the opportunity to coach in our league and coach at the University of Kentucky. We’ll continue to look at that. That’s sort of where we are. That’s about the update that we have.”
ON A TIMETABLE: “We don’t have a timetable. We’ll just respect the process and continue to work our way through it. We’ve been working at it since we made the change a couple weeks ago. The players have been great through the whole process. The coaching staff’s been wonderful through the process. Joker’s been as class as class can be. He’s an amazing, amazing guy, which hasn’t changed at all. He’s just exactly what you’d expect. He expected our players to conduct themselves in a certain way and he’s been an absolute example of how to do that. I respect him very, very much. And on a day when we close our season down, that’s about where I’ll leave it with you today.”
ON CANDIDATES: “No one’s been offered the job. People have been responsive. People have been responsive to talking about the job. It’s much different than the last time. We were on probation, looking at 19 scholarships and there wasn’t a lot of folks that thought it was a really great opportunity. Coach Brooks came in here and took it by the horns and fought through some really, really difficult times.
“The opportunity that we have ahead of us is, as you’ve seen today: we put over 400 yards of offense on the board. We’ve got some young guys still trying to figure out what to do and how to get it in the end zone and finish those (drives). That will come. The person that walks in will have an opportunity to inherit some of that young talent. There are some obvious things we’ve got to get better and we know that. That’s why we’re in this position. But we do have some young players in this locker room that do care about this program and have a chance to move it forward. We’ll just continue to work through it.”