Nov 17, 2012; Lexington , KY, USA; Kentucky Wildcats athletic director Mitch Barnhart on the sidelines during the game against the Samford Bulldogs at Commonwealth Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark Zerof-US PRESSWIRE

Kentucky Wildcat Football: An Open Letter to Mitch Barnhart


Dear Mr. Barnhart,

I would like to begin by apologizing to you. You see I have said some bad things about you (please don’t look me up on Twitter) and I have had less faith in you than I do in Scientology. You see, I have disagreed with many of your decisions regarding Kentucky football through the years and continue to take issue with the Athletics Department’s allocation of funds. I had decided that Bobby Petrino was only coach with any interest in this job that could take the program to the next level and that if you didn’t hire him, or at least make an attempt, my fanhood was about to become a free agent.

I want to apologize to you Mitch because I was WRONG. Mark Stoops is an excellent hire who has all of the markers for a successful head coach. He brings a pedigree and strong recruiting ties to the South, just like we need. He has the personality that a coach at Kentucky will need to get things done. I still can’t believe we are sitting here talking about one of the best defensive coordinators in America agreeing to coach our Wildcats. It must have been a great job of showmanship to lure him here and I doubted you on that front as well.  Getting a coach of this caliber makes a statement to the fans and college football, Kentucky is serious about winning.

Hiring Coach Stoops, and doing so early, puts Kentucky in an advantageous position. Not only will we be able to recruit prior to the December dead period, but as the earliest hire we will get a lot of attention from the media. Already ESPN’s College Football LIVE approved of the hire and surely other shows will follow. (College Gameday?) The Kentucky topic is sure to get a lot of run during the broadcast of the ACC Championship game this weekend. So much good publicity should be great for the program.

Now that you have set us on the first step in our new football journey, I trust you to make the next steps in improving our program. I wish you luck with the bonding requests this winter, which I know are out of your hands to some extent but sorely needed. If UK fans can pressure the legislature in any way to help out, let us know. I think you have seen how much we truly care about this football team. Hopefully we can create a new culture in Lexington, starting with making the Blue/White game more of a priority. It’s such  an advantage to have a good spring game for fans and in recruiting. But I think you already know some of this. Good luck Mitch, you’ve made a believer out of me. #WeAreUK


Darren Durham

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