Mitch Barnhart is a ‘pretty stinking competitive guy’ Who Wants to Win


Vicky Graff Photo

Kentucky athletics director Mitch Barnhart had to know he was going to get questions about his recent decision to bring coach John Calipari back for a 16h season even if he was at the introductory press conference for new UK women’s coach Kenny Brooks.

Sure, Calipari and Barnhart did a joint appearance on WLEX-TV’s “BBN Tonight” after the decision to retain Calipari but that was a scripted interview with no hard questions. And don’t forget that media members have very, very limited access to Barnhart — or Calipari.

Barnhart wanted no part of the Calipari questions and that was obvious to anyone at the media gathering with him. The smiles he had when he introduced Brooks went away as he made it clear winning is the expectation for every sport at Kentucky.

“I think you guys (in the media) know me well enough to know there’s never been a day that I haven’t had high expectations for all of our sports programs,” Barnhart said. “If you guys want me to sit here and rattle off all the things our teams have done and what we’re doing currently, you’d go, ‘Oh, here he goes again.’ I know how this works.

“I value my gymnastics team as much as I value my men’s tennis team, my baseball team. They’re all doing pretty good, by the way, you know? If you want me to keep going, I can do that.”

No need. He’s right about baseball, gymnastics and men’s tennis. He could add volleyball and other sports. But basketball is the “gold standard” of Kentucky sports and Barnhart knows that. Expectations for basketball have always been way higher at Kentucky than expectations for other sports.

“My point is, my expectations are high for everybody. If you know me long enough, have I ever not wanted to win at something? No, I’m a pretty stinking competitive guy. I want to win. It matters. I didn’t get in this business to finish last,” Barnhart said.

“I compete and educate, those are two things I will do incredibly well. We’re gonna graduate 140 kids in May. One hundred forty kids will walk across and get their degrees, that means a ton to me.

‘And it will change lives through that, but we’re also going to change lives through what they do and what they learn in their competitive venues. And that’s really good.”

5 Responses

  1. Apparently, Barnhart is not at all concerned with the basketball team graduation rate. Praising kids who stay all four years and work to graduate and says nothing about effect of one and done athletes who have no intention to graduate.

  2. Barney got lucky getting Brooks because i have a sneeky feeling that if Tennessee has
    pulled the trigger on their coach a week or so earlier he would be signing "Good ‘ol
    Rocky Top" right now.

  3. Just TWEAK the article title a little… & voila…

    Mitch Barnhart is a ‘pretty stinking… AD who does not care whether or not UK BB wins.’

    How else to describe a secret contract crazy man who endorses the fraud & gives him millions!!!

  4. BS! He could care less about winning or he wouldn’t make the idiotic hires that he does.

    Then he waits way too long to fire them.

    If you are an underperforming college coach, you want Bitch Marnhart has your AD.

    1. Classic! B.M.!!!!! The CANCER has even gotten to B.M. now–notice he is talking more and more like the CANCER–"changing lives"……the CANCER runs the bball at KY—-B.M. runs the rest of the sports. He’s pretty much alluding to that right here. He wants to discuss ANYTHING but mens bball!!!! The CANCER Is already taking the"ambassador" part of his deal now. I wouldn’t be surprised If he has already decided a particular date or time when he wants to hang it up, and has secretly already told B.M. behind closed doors–the two of them already have their charades planned for how they are going to handle everything when the CANCER leaves, and the way they are going to spin it to the media. He’s never going to be fired. The time for that was after this joke of a latest flameout–and the way everything has been handled since just speaks volumes as to the kind of games that are being played behind the scenes. B.M. has been around here long enough, he knows exactly how the fans feel right now, but over time, he has become just as disconnected and disillusioned with the fan base and the state as the CANCER has. He’s no better. And I guarantee ever since the "bball/fball school" comments, B.M. has been wanting to run for the hills every day of his life from the media, the fans, and anything and anybody in the public forum. But he has nobody to blame but himself for the situation that exists at KY today. He was scared to death in 2019 of being remembered as the A.D. who "let CAL get away", so he did the worst thing anybody can do, and that is to make a deal that is born out of desperation rather than rational thinking. And 5 years later, here we stand. The monster was created, and it lives, breathes, and walks, and has sucked all the life, passion, fun, and joy out of this bball program, as well as all the history and tradition……there were a lot of people at the time of the worst deal in sports history who were ready for a change then, it’s just that they got shut down and got ridiculed and were told they were insane for wanting the CANCER gone. The run from after 2015 to the time of the deal was no greater than Tubby’s—but one coach gets run out of town for it, and another is crowned GOD and is given the keys to the kingdom. And of course we all know the results from the time of the deal to the present–so B.M., when u are getting sh***y with fans and media who are calling u out or asking legitimate questions, remember to look in the mirror and take out your anger and frustration on the person who is truly responsible for the situation you are in now: YOURSELF.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Related Posts

All articles loaded
No more articles to load