Candidates for the Kentucky job
Posted by: Pete Roussel on November 4, 2012
I once coached with an assistant that served on Hal Mumme's staff at Kentucky.
He told me, "Pete, if you ever have a chance to go to Kentucky, go. It's a much better job than people think."
Today, Kentucky athletic director Mitch Barnhart dismissed head coach Joker Phillips.
Barnhart will handle the search internally, but rest assure, there will be no shortage of strong candidates interested in the job.
In the next couple of weeks, you could see Sonny Dykes, Butch Jones, and John Chavis emerge as candidates.
Mitch Barnhart targeted David Cutcliffe for the Kentucky head coaching job before hiring Rich Brooks. At the time, Cutcliffe was the head coach at Ole Miss. He had Eli Manning coming back and couldn't pull the trigger.
Don't expect Western Kentucky head coach Willie Taggart to enter the mix. Taggart has done an exceptional job at Western Kentucky and will likely emerge as a candidate at other places this off-season.
Here's the wrap on a few candidates:
Sonny Dykes (LA Tech - head coach): Dykes (42) coached at Kentucky in 1999 under Hal Mumme. He is currently 21-13 in three years as the LA Tech head coach including 13-5 in the WAC. He led the Bulldogs to the Poinsettia Bowl last season.
Butch Jones (Cincinnati - head coach): Jones (44) went 20-3 in the MAC during his three years as the Central Michigan head coach. He is currently in his third year at Cincinnati, where he holds a 20-13 overall record. The Bearcats won the Big East in 2011. Cincinnati is just over 80 miles from Lexington.
John Chavis (LSU - defensive coordinator): Chavis (56) has never been a head coach, but he was honored as the Broyles Award winner last season, which goes to the best assistant coach in the country. Before joining Les Miles' staff, Chavis coached at Tennessee from 1989 - 2008.
Be certain to follow the Coaching Search Ticker throughout the week for more information on the Kentucky coaching search.
Pete Roussel is a valuable resource for coaches, athletic directors, NFL front-office personnel, and college football enthusiasts. A former college football coach, Roussel shares insight on coaches 365 days a year and is recognized as the most trusted expert on coaching transactions. Follow @CoachingSearch on twitter and send your feedback to firstname.lastname@example.org