Billy Gillispie lands his dream job

When Billy Donovan made it known that his desire was to stay in Florida, UK moved quickly and went to plan "B" which may have been Rick Barnes or Billy Gillispie. Gillispie accepted the job of bringing Kentucky back to what the fans envision for their program. Several pertinent facts and questions are discussed in the following lines. He is only the sixth Kentucky coach in seventy-six years.

He will hit he ground running – He said as soon as he leaves the press conference he would be about filling out the recruiting class for 2007-08. When he got the call from Mitch Barnhart, he was out recruiting juniors for his then situation at Texas A&M.

How does he feel about being, basically the second choice for the job? -

"Was I the second choice?" Gillispie said. "If I was somewhere before the 7th or 8th choice I'd be happy. I could care less!"

Gillispie's first words at the pep rally that was held at Memorial Coliseum – "What an honor, what an honor, what an honor! What an honor to be standing in the place where basketball was basically invented!"

What is his style of offense? – Any coach would like to have an entertaining style but those players sitting over there determine that, the coach said pointing to the players that were at the press conference. I'm not going to play a style for styles sake. We will play what ever style it takes to win.

What does he expect from the fans, he was asked at the pep rally? – "You all have been doing great but you have got to do better?

How much of a workaholic is Gillispie? – One example is the fact he averages 8,000 texts messages a month and is a tireless worker in recruiting.

What does he need to be a winner at Kentucky? – He left little doubt about it: "Great players, great players, great players."

Dr. Lee Todd's impressions on Billy Gillispie – "Mitch Barnhart and Rob Mullins did a great job. Some people refer to him as the ‘miracle worker' at Texas El Paso and Texas A&M. He really wanted to be here and that really impressed me. I impressed upon him that we've got to be clean first and then competitive."

When asked whether he was waiting to be called about the job, he was somewhat evasive but said – "Through a mutual friend there was very, very, very limited conversation about Kentucky."

About familiarizing himself with the Kentucky high school coaches, he said – He can't wait to meet the high school coaches in the sate. He said they have done that everywhere he's been. He intimated he want to use every player in the state he thought could help him win. He said he wanted to get as many home grown players as he can that can win national championships and cut down nets.

About his mentor Bill Self who gave him his first opportunity he said – "We talk on a daily basis. He's been the best friend you can have. He's given me proper guidance.

Gillispie was asked about the fact that Tubby Smith won a national championship, three regional championships and 26 games a year and was second-guessed on the way out – "Being second guessed? They didn't tell you I've was married before (laughs), I'm not married now. I learned at an early age you have to have thick skin in those kinds of things, deal with it and roll with the punches. You try to do your best, give your best every single day and to the best of your knowledge and enlist the best help that you can possibly get. I've never been around any situation where people didn't honor or really respect unbelievable effort and I know that's going to be the same here."

As in anything, nothing and nobody's perfect and the fact that that there were a couple of DUI's in his past, he said he's made mistakes in his past and like everybody and will continue to make mistakes, not of that magnitude. He said he's always been around people that were forgiving of his mistakes and he would continue to work on not making those types of mistakes again. Mitch Barnhart said they visited that issue and he and Dr. Todd discussed the issue and they putting that far in the rear view mirror and moving on!


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