Lexington, KY Kentucky deserves a coach who understands “this is not just another coaching job,” and so Billy Gillispie was fired after just two years on the job.
University of Kentucky athletic director Mitch Barnhart said during a news conference Friday that there were times when there was not the right chemistry or the right fit with Gillispie at the helm.
Gillispie went 40-27 in two seasons with the Wildcats. Kentucky went 22-14 this season, tied for the second-most losses in the program’s 106-year history, and missed the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 1991.
Barnhart said the university did not plan to pay Gillispie a $6 million buyout that was to be part of his never completed seven-year deal.
“Suffice it to say it will be less than that,” Barnhart said.
Gillispie never signed the long-term contract, and Barnhart said the school would abide by the memorandum of understanding, which he considered a year-to-year contract. Gillispie made $2.3 million annually.
University president Lee T. Todd Jr. also emphasized the philosophical differences between the school and Gillispie.
“This is complete job that requires a lot more than just coaching and recruiting,” Todd said.
And it seems it won’t be Florida coach Billy Donovan who replaces him.
“In response to the rumors circulating about my interest in other jobs, I wanted to address this as quickly as possible,” he said in a statement. “I am committed to the University of Florida and look forward to continuing to build our program here.”
Mizzou, Anderson talking
Columbia, Mo. — Talks are under way to keep Missouri basketball coach Mike Anderson right where he is. Athletics spokesman Chad Moller told The Associated Press on Friday there have been “informal talks about what can be done, and what needs to be done” to retain Anderson.
Missouri reportedly is ready to raise Anderson’s $850,000 annual salary to at least $1.3 million and renew his contract for five years.
Calhoun: Mistakes possible
Hartford, Conn. — Connecticut coach Jim Calhoun has acknowledged that he or his staff may have made mistakes in recruiting basketball player Nate Miles. Calhoun, speaking to Yahoo! Sports after Thursday night’s 72-60 UConn win over Purdue in the NCAA Tournament, said it is sometimes hard to determine what is or is not permissible under the NCAA’s recruiting guidelines.
Iowa players to transfer
Iowa City, Iowa — It’s been two years since coach Todd Lickliter took over at Iowa, and he’s essentially right back where he started. Lickliter said Friday that starting guards Jake Kelly and Jeff Peterson and reserve forward David Palmer plan to transfer.
Clemson’s Booker returning
Clemson, S.C. — Clemson standout Trevor Booker will return for his senior season. Tigers coach Oliver Purnell made the announcement Friday. The 6-foot-7 Booker averaged 15.3 points, 9.7 rebounds and two blocked shots a game.