VAUGHT: Barnhart trusted Brooks' honesty

Kentucky athletics director Mitch Barnhart can remember a few short years ago when many, many UK fans were calling for him to let Rich Brooks go. Instead, he stuck with Brooks, the Cats have won back-to-back bowl games and Brooks recently got a contract extension.

"I knew that Rich was a good football coach. I knew he understood what it took to get there and I knew he was forthright enough and honest enough to say if it wasn't working or wasn't getting closer, he would let me know that," Barnhart said.

"Just dealing with him, there are no mind games. It is just straight up. His absolute truth and honesty is what he gives you. For that reason, you can respect what he says. That is why his players play hard for him. They respect him. You may not like what he says all the time and you may not like how he delivers it, but at the end of the day it is truthful and you can respect the consistency with which he delivers it.

"Those are the things I saw and believed in. I believed the players truly loved him and would play hard for him. That's all you can ask of a team."

Barnhart also understood that the rebuilding project he asked Brooks to undertake would take time and that he deserved time to get his plan in pace.

"You can't grow these things from where we were quickly," Barnhart said. "It's just not an overnight deal, especially the way he was going to do it without massive overhaul of the roster, cutting corners and things that would get us back to where we were trying to do a quick-fix deal. It wasn't a quick fix. It just wasn't. It was methodical. We are not out of the woods yet. Sustainability is the goal here and that's what Rich wants. He wants to build this to last and he's doing that."

AllWildcats Top Stories