It was announced on Sunday that Kentucky head coach Joker Phillips will not be returning next fall for the Wildcats. So who is in the running to be his replacement?
According to Yahoo’s Pat Forde, the list of UK’s candidates will not include disgraced former Arkansas coach Bobby Petrino despite his previous success at in-state rival Louisville.
The Wildcats hope to land an offensive-minded coach to bolster an offense near the bottom of the FBS in both total offense (291.3 yards/game) and points scored (16.4/game). According to Forde, the initial list of candidates includes:
- Louisiana Tech HC Sonny Dykes: Served as a UK graduate assistant under Hal Mumme in the late 1990s; Bulldogs offense is averaging 52 points/game in 2012
- Atlanta Falcons OC Dirk Koetter: Former head coach at Boise State (1998–2000) and Arizona State (2001–2006)
- Florida OC Brent Pease: Former OC and QB coach at UK (2001–2002)
- Texas Tech OC Neal Brown: Former UK quarterback (1998–2000); Red Raiders are in the FBS Top 20 in total offense (499.6 yards/game) and points scored (38.4/game)
Forde also mentions former Tennessee head coach Phil Fulmer and Western Kentucky head coach Willie Taggart, who is 6-3 this season and beat the Wildcats in Lexington earlier this season.
Time will tell if Kentucky’s next coach can turn the Wildcats into a non-joke in the post-Joker Era.