Like many people that were born and raised in this state I have bled Wildcat Blue my whole life. I was heartbroken when we lost Rick Pitino as I consider him the greatest coach currently alive. He put his best work into rebuilding our disgraced basketball program in the 90s. It was not his fault that we hired the wrong coach not once but twice after he left.
And what was the reason we hired the wrong coach? Fear of taking a chance on brilliant young coaches that run the Pitino system of "Kentucky Basketball". That fear led us to hiring the more established Tubby Smith over Billy Donovan who would have continued the Pitiono legacy and won who knows how many championships with our resources. Instead, we watched Smith and Gillispie totally take apart the base that Pitino had built.
Now, Rick Pitino knows full well what it will take for a coach to be successful at Kentucky. While the majority of Wildcat fans obsess over the shiny object, I would like to say that I agree with Coach Pitino and be one of the lone voices of sanity in the dark for Travis Ford.
Travis Ford bleeds Wildcat Blue like all of us. He plays the Pitino style of ball. He has proven taking over horrible teams at Eastern and UMass that he is a winner. His recruiting class at OK State is considered very good. I remember watching Travis play and have seen that he brings that same fire to his coaching. With the resources in Lexington he would bring championships for generations to come. And he would bring one other thing that John Calipari simply can't. A lifelong love for the Wildcats that would ensure that he would nurture our program and keep it clean and strong for generations to come. Is there any doubt he would retire as Wildcat coach??
So while everyone remains transfixed at the shiny object and the prospect of stealing the recruits of the Memphis Tigers, I will mourn for our program that we passed up a rising young star in college coaching that shares our love for our team. While I am sure John Calipari will be a good quick fix, the simple fact is for the life of our team for decades to come Travis Ford is the best choice.