With the loss to Notre Dame in the NIT, Billy G is gone. So say the talking heads. It’s all over the message boards. I think UK is making a mistake.
I think given the time and space to grow into the job, Billy G would have made a fine coach at UK. Let’s face it. UK has no Roy Williams waiting in the wings. That may never come to pass now. In years to come, UK will regret this day. Billy Gillispie is going to go somewhere and take some team to the Final Four. He’s going to win some Championships. And he’s going to do it with a team of players that he recruited.
UK and it’s fans are going to look on ruefully and be left with thoughts of what might have been. We may be looking on happily. Having recently watched our Team win a Championship with Calipari or some other coach. If the UKAA makes the right hire post-Gillispie. Or we make look on wistfully. Wishing that we and the UKAA hadn’t made the mistake of a precipitous decision to fire a coach who just needed a bit of time to turn it all around.
I’m a bit saddened by all of this. Two years ago, I was excited. It was the end of the Tubby era. I thought we would enter a Golden Age with the gunslinging, Dr. Pepper drinking man from Texas. I had a rug made in Herat, Afghanistan and mailed it back as a welcome gift to Billy Gillispie. I wonder what will become of that rug. Will Gillispie take it with him or leave it for the next coach. It won’t be something that he will look on with fond memories if he takes it with him. For all I know, it winds up in the garbage. Hopefully, he’ll pass it on to the next coach if he doesn’t want to keep it himself.
Both sides have made mistakes. Both sides need to step back and re-evaluate before they move on. Billy G needs to sit down and realize that UK is not just any other job. Mitch and Pres. Todd need to realize that they have a coach who can win and who needs the time to make the transition from the small pond to the Big Blue Ocean. The fans need to make this same realization. G needs to learn how to manage this program and be it’s caretaker and not only it’s coach. Patience is called for here.
If not, I think we are making a mistake of epic proportions. I’m no one to whom anyone will listen. No one to whom anyone should necessarily listen. These things may have already been discussed by one side or the other and dismissed for all I know.
Something just doesn’t feel right, though. And the truth doesn’t seem to be out there. Those outside the circle may never know the truth. Certain people have an invested interest in keeping the truth away from the general public. Such is always the case. Some folks are saying that they are only telling “10% if the story.” Perhaps, there is a lot more out there concerning Gillispie that we don’t know. If it’s in the interest of the UKAA for it to come out, it will be made plain. If not, we will never find out. Perhaps, that’s simply damage control.
Lots of the things that people are complaining about seem to be small to me. If Gillispie were winning already, he’d be forgiven most of this. But since it’s taking longer to win, he’s been hit hard. I don’t think Gillispie realized how big of a jump he made and how fast he was expected to produce.
It’s probably all moot now.
It seems as if the regretful decision has been made. We’ll see.
I know this much. If Mitch doesn’t hit a GRAND SLAM Coaching Hire this time around. He’s next! If not, Lee Todd should be.
The next phase of UK Basketball, begins Friday. Will it be the beginning of a new Coaching Era or an extension of the ongoing era. I’m hoping that G stays on and leads UK to many victories. I’ve never liked the media anyway.