Taylor's Thoughts: Kidd a big Brooks fan

Roy Kidd was a Rich Brooks supporter long before others jumped on the bandwagon. Kidd, the retired coach at Eastern Kentucky University, won 315 games and two national titles before hanging up his whistle five years ago. He made a call to University of Kentucky athletics director Mitch Barnhart when Brooks' future as coach at the school was on shaky ground.

"I told Mitch Barnhart to give the man a chance," Kidd said. "You can't expect a guy to go in anywhere - much less the Southeastern Conference - and turn the program around with so few scholarships (at the time). Give him a chance to get his players in there and give him an opportunity to get his scholarships back up to 85 players just like the other schools. I think you'll see a difference.

"I think they're going to turn the program around and fortunately I think he has."

Kidd has witnessed Kentucky practice on more than one ocassion and was impressed with the way Brooks conducted business.

"I have watched Rich Brooks practice on more than one ocassion," he said. "I think the guy is a good football coach. I (am) impressed with his staff and I like the way they practice. I like the way they (do) things and I think they are very well organized."

Kidd said he wasn't surprised by Kentucky's success under Brooks last season, which included a 28-20 win over Clemson in the Music City Bowl that concluded an 8-5 campaign.

"I could tell (then) if he had time, he could get the program turned around," he said. Kidd didn't make it to a practice session last year, but plans to take in a segment this fall. "I'm going to try to go over this year," Kidd said.

Kentucky will take on Kidd's former team when it opens the season on Sept. 1 at Commonwealth Stadium in the second meeting in history between the two schools.

Kidd was on the sidelines when Kentucky handed the Colonels a 52-7 setback in 1998.

Back then, Kidd and his staff had to contend with Tim Couch. This time, Eastern will face another talented signal caller in Andre Woodson.

"I wish we would have played them better, but we happened to play them when they were at their best with Couch," he said. "Now they're going to run into them again this year when they are at their best."

This time around, Kidd will sit back and view the contest from a different perspective.


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