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  • They said it couldn’t be done in UK Football

    By: LONNY DEMAREE

    I’ve said for year that college is about the coach with the proper administrative support behind him. Mark Stoops is the man that has a staff behind him that are recruiting go-getters. There is one word that fits UK’s plight – COMMITMENT!

    Stoop Staying Put

    With Stoops’ ascension of the University of Kentucky Wildcats football program, there will again be articles and speculation written about him having interest in another job. Sources extremely close to Stoops say he will coach at Kentucky for another 6-years. Mitch Barnhart the athletic director will make it comfortable for him to stay here.

    Barnhart Trained

    Barnhart had some indoctrination in what could be done as an athletic director, having worked under Doug Dickey at Tennessee. Also having knowledge Bowden Wyatt and Bob Woodruff’s tenure as AD’s at Tennessee,
    He applied what he learned about commitment having the knowledge. Upon his hiring at UK in 2002, look at what he has accomplished.
    Having said all the aforementioned, look at football in particular, and all the other championship programs on the university campus.
    It's been preached for years that it couldn’t be done in the Southeastern Conference in football. It’s swiftly being debunked. The UK football team in now tied with Alabama as the longest bowl winning streak in the SEC.

    SEC Invincible?

    There are still going to be people running around saying it can’t be done in the SEC. Back in pre-President George H.W. Bush people honoring speaking engagements advocating leaving the league and going to the ACC or Big Ten believing it would be easier. I’ve never ran from a fight and people I talk to, I said just get better. Now that’s happening. UK recruiting class was fourth in the SEC. I felt there were ulterior motives to their speech narrative.

    The veteran Believers

    WE BELIEVE was John Ray’s mantra. That was the theme he preached. Without a commitment he had a rostrum with no walls around it. Also there were believers that had no hammer and nails. In my pre-media days, I was the leader of the pack. I was preaching “Hang In There” to some guys that went as far back as Bear Bryant. Some whose names I can’t recall such as Tom Taylor pass on to the great beyond. Some that have live to see the good times are Stan Lovett who has announced Williamsburg high sports for thirty years. Lovett can be seen at every pre-fall camp media day press conference. There’s Gil LeMay a retired post office worker that was a dedicated football practice observer. LeMay has survived the rough times. These guys refused to be swayed by the strongest of talking heads. There were and still some that refuse to accept it and I don’t care to belabor the issue.

    Tom Kalinowski
    All due respect to “Mister Basketball” Bill Keightley who is in the Kentucky Hall of Fame. Kalinowski belong too. He’s UK’s been football equipment manager since the Fran Curci days. Again, all due respect, but the football position has far more responsibility.