Kentucky Wildcats football
|Kentucky Wildcats football|
|Athletic director||Mitch Barnhart|
|Head coach||Mark Stoops|
|Home stadium||Commonwealth Stadium (Kentucky)|
|Stadium surface||Bermuda Grass|
|Division||SEC Eastern Division (1992–present)|
|All-time record||581–593–44 (.495)|
|Postseason bowl record||8–6–0|
|Claimed national titles||0|
Blue and White
|Fight song||On, On, U of K, Kentucky Fight|
The Kentucky Wildcats football team represents the University of Kentucky in the sport of American football. The Wildcats compete in the Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) of the National Collegiate Athletics Association (NCAA) and the Eastern Division of the Southeastern Conference (SEC). The team is currently coached by Mark Stoops.
- 1 History
- 1.1 Early History (1892-1945)
- 1.2 Paul "Bear" Bryant era (1946-1953)
- 1.3 Blanton Collier era (1954-1961)
- 1.4 Charlie Bradshaw era (1962-1968)
- 1.5 John Ray era (1969-1972)
- 1.6 Fran Curci era (1973-1981)
- 1.7 Jerry Claiborne era (1982-1989)
- 1.8 Bill Curry era (1990-1996)
- 1.9 Hal Mumme era (1997-2000)
- 1.10 Guy Morriss era (2001-2002)
- 1.11 Rich Brooks era (2003-2009)
- 1.12 Joker Phillips era (2010-2012)
- 1.13 Mark Stoops era (2013-Present)
- 2 Bowl games
- 3 Current Coaching staff
- 4 Recruiting
- 5 Championships
- 6 All-Americans
- 7 First Team All-SEC
- 8 Players currently in the NFL
- 9 Hall of famers
- 10 Individual award winners
- 11 Future schedules
- 12 References
- 13 External links
Early History (1892-1945)
Kentucky first fielded a football team in 1892. The team was coached by A. M. Miller and went 2-4-1. Head coach Jack Wright led the team to a 7-1 record in 1903. Fred Schacht posted a 15-4-1 record in two seasons but passed away unexpectedly after his second season. J. White Guyn also had success leading the Wildcats, posting a 17-7-1 record in his three years. Edwin Sweetland went 16-3 in three seasons (1909-1910 and 1912) but resigned due to poor health. Sweetland also served as Kentucky's first athletics director. Coach Harry Gamage had a 32-25-5 record during his seven seasons from 1927-1933. A.D. Kirwan, who would go on to be the president of the university, coached the Wildcats from 1938-1944 and posted a 24-28-4 record in those six seasons. Longtime athletics director Bernie Shively also served as Kentucky's head football coach for the 1945 season.
Paul "Bear" Bryant era (1946-1953)
Paul "Bear" Bryant was Kentucky's head football coach for eight seasons.
Bear Bryant came to Kentucky from Maryland. Under Bryant, the Wildcats won the 1947 Great Lakes Bowl, lost the 1950 Orange Bowl, won the 1951 Sugar Bowl and the 1952 Cotton Bowl Classic. In final AP polls, the Wildcats were ranked #11 in 1949, #7 in 1950, #15 in 1951, #20 in 1952 and #16 in 1953. The final 1950 poll was taken prior to the bowl games; Kentucky then defeated undefeated and #1 ranked Oklahoma in the Sugar Bowl, ending the Sooners 31-game winning streak. Bryant won SEC Coach of the Year honors in 1950, the year some Wildcats fans claim the Wildcats won the national championship. Bryant left after eight seasons to accept the head football coach position at Texas A&M. Assistant coaches at Kentucky under Bryant that went on to become head coaches include Paul Dietzel, Frank Moseley, Jim Owens and Phil Cutchin. Notable players who played for Bryant at Kentucky include Howard Schnellenberger, Jerry Claiborne, Steve Meilinger, George Blanda, Vito Parilli, and Bob Gain.
Blanton Collier era (1954-1961)
Cleveland Browns assistant Blanton Collier was hired to replace Bryant as head football coach at Kentucky in late 1953. After completing his first season at Kentucky, Collier was named SEC Coach of the Year after posting a 7-2 record. Collier's assistants during his tenure at Kentucky included the likes of Bill Arnsparger, Chuck Knox, Howard Schnellenberger, and Don Shula.
Despite having a winning record, 41-36-3 in eight seasons, Collier was fired. Collier struggled to recruit for much of his tenure, about which frustrated fans wrote letters of complaint to the university. Collier is the last Kentucky head football coach to leave the Wildcats with a winning record.
Charlie Bradshaw era (1962-1968)
Charlie Bradshaw, an Alabama assistant under Bear Bryant, was hired to replace the fired Collier. Despite all the hype about being a Bear Bryant assistant, Bradshaw's tenure turned out to be a disappointment, as he was unable to have much success with the Wildcats. He had a 25-41-5 record in seven seasons. Bradshaw was the head coach of the infamous Thin Thirty Kentucky team. Kentucky had 88 players when Bradshaw arrived, but by season's end, only 30 players were on the team. The story of that team is told in the 2007 book The Thin Thirty by Shannon Ragland. Bradshaw is the last Kentucky coach to defeat Tennessee twice in Knoxville, and the last Kentucky coach to defeat Auburn twice. He was also the last to defeat a #1 ranked team in the country until Rich Brooks in 2007.
John Ray era (1969-1972)
Notre Dame assistant John Ray took over as head football coach in late 1969. Ray's teams consistently had solid defenses, but struggled to produce on the offensive end. Ray's teams failed to win more than three games in a single season, going 10-33 overall in Ray's four seasons. Ray's contract was not renewed after the 1972 season.
Fran Curci era (1973-1981)
Kentucky hired Fran Curci away from Miami. The 1976 Wildcats claimed a share of the Southeastern Conference championship under coach Fran Curci and won the Peach Bowl, finishing #18 in the final AP poll. The 1977 Kentucky team went 10-1 and was undefeated in SEC play but, despite finishing the season ranked #6 in the AP poll, did not play in a bowl game due to NCAA sanctions. Kentucky finished at #6 and Penn State at #5 despite the fact that Kentucky defeated Penn State at Penn State during the regular season.
Jerry Claiborne era (1982-1989)
Coach Jerry Claiborne returned to his alma mater from Maryland. He led the Wildcats to the 1983 Hall of Fame Bowl and the 1984 Hall of Fame Bowl, defeating a Wisconsin team ranked #20 in the polls to finish the season with a 9-3 record and a #19 ranking in the final AP and UPI polls. Claiborne also won SEC Coach of the Year honors in 1983. The E.J. Nutter Training Facility was built in 1987. Coach Claiborne and Kentucky experienced an era of constant change at the quarterback position following the 1987 season through his departure that included the likes of Craig Nelson and Eric Mellon (1986–87), two way starter (Quarterback/Safety) Ricky Lewis (1987–88), and Chuck Wharton (1988–89), prior to landing Mr. Kentucky Football Awardee Pookie Jones of Calloway County. Claiborne retired following the 1989 season and was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame as a coach in 1999. He is the last coach to defeat Florida and was the last coach to defeat Tennessee until Joker Phillips in 2011.
Bill Curry era (1990-1996)
Bill Curry surprised the college football world by leaving Alabama for Kentucky in late 1989. Despite the high hopes that the Kentucky football program would rise under his leadership, Curry's Wildcats teams never achieved much success. The Wildcats best season under Curry was 1992, playing in the 1993 Peach Bowl. Curry was asked to resign after seven seasons and just a .33 winning percentage. Curry's record at Kentucky was 26-52.
Hal Mumme era (1997-2000)
Coach Hal Mumme came to Kentucky from Valdosta State and brought an exciting, high-scoring, pass-oriented offense known as the "Air Raid". He led the Wildcats to the 1998 Outback Bowl and the 1999 Music City Bowl. Mumme achieved a 20-26 record in his four seasons. Mumme coached star quarterback Tim Couch, the top overall pick in the 1999 NFL Draft. He was popular among the Kentucky fans, but the program was hit with severe sanctions for infractions during Mumme's tenure. Although Mumme himself was not implicated in any violation, he resigned after the 2000 season. Assistant coaches under Mumme at Kentucky included Mike Leach and Sonny Dykes.
Guy Morriss era (2001-2002)
Guy Morriss was promoted from offensive line coach to head coach after Mumme's resignation. Under coach Morriss, the Wildcats went 2-9 in 2001 but improved to a 7-5 record in 2002. However, the Wildcats were not eligible for postseason play due to NCAA sanctions from Mumme's tenure. The most significant event of that season came in a loss to LSU. (See: Bluegrass Miracle) Morriss accepted an offer to become the head football coach at Baylor after the 2002 season.
Rich Brooks era (2003-2009)
The team's next head coach was former Oregon head coach Rich Brooks, who led the team out of the probationary years to an 8-5 regular season record in 2006, including a memorable upset over the defending SEC champion Georgia, snapping a nine-game losing streak to the Bulldogs. Brooks also led the football team to its first bowl game since 1999 and its first bowl game victory since 1984, as Kentucky defeated the Clemson University Tigers 28-20 in the Music City Bowl.  In 2007, the Wildcats were ranked 8th in the nation before a loss to South Carolina on October 4. After the loss to South Carolina, Kentucky bounced back on October 13 to defeat #1 LSU in a historic triple overtime game.
Brooks took Kentucky to four consecutive bowl games, winning the first three. The 2007 Kentucky Wildcats football defeated the Florida State Seminoles 35-28 in the 2007 Music City Bowl in Nashville, Tennessee, on December 31, 2007. Quarterback Andre' Woodson was named the Music City Bowl MVP for the second year in a row. In 2008 the Wildcats opted to go to the Liberty Bowl instead of the Music City Bowl and defeated Conference USA champion East Carolina 25-19. In 2009, Brooks and Kentucky returned to the Music City Bowl, losing in a rematch to Clemson 21-13. Brooks retired after seven seasons and a 39-47 overall record.
Joker Phillips era (2010-2012)
Former Wildcat wide receiver and longtime assistant coach and associate head coach Joker Phillips was formally named head coach January 6, 2010 after Brooks' retirement.  Kentucky started off strong under Phillips with a win on the road against arch rival Louisville. The 2010 squad snapped a long standing losing streak to South Carolina Coach Steve Spurrier by defeating the Gamecocks at Commonwealth Stadium. However, they dropped games to both Ole Miss and Mississippi State, lost to a Florida team on a down year and once again failed to beat its other arch rival Tennessee, having lost 26 in a row to the Vols, the longest losing streak by one team to another in college football.
On November 26, 2011, Kentucky snapped the longest active FBS losing streak to any one team by defeating the Tennessee Vols 10-7 at Commonwealth Stadium.
On November 4, 2012, the day after a 0-40 home shutout by Vanderbilt resulting with a 1-9 record, UK athletics director Mitch Barnhart released a public letter to Big Blue Nation announcing that Joker would not be returning as the head coach of the Kentucky football team following the 2012 season. With Joker's 5-year contract only being 3 years complete at the end of the season, the University has to pay $2.55 Million over the next 2 years.
Mark Stoops era (2013-Present)
Florida State defensive coordinator Mark Stoops was hired as Kentucky's head football coach in late 2012. One of Stoops' first moves was hiring offensive coordinator Neal Brown, who brought back the "Air Raid" offense. After nine months as the head coach of the Wildcats, Stoops and staff signed the highest ranked recruiting class in program history, ranked as high as 4th in the country. Stoops' first season at Kentucky was a struggle, as the Wildcats duplicated the 2-10 record from 2012. Kentucky's wins in 2013 were over a winless Miami (OH) and FCS opponent Alabama State.
UK has played in 15 bowl games, compiling a record of 8-7. Note that in the table below, the year references the season, and not the actual date the game was played.
Current Coaching staff
|Mark Stoops||Head Coach|
|Neal Brown||Offensive Coordinator/Quarterbacks Coach|
|D.J. Eliot||Defensive Coordinator/Linebackers Coach|
|Vince Marrow||Tight Ends Coach|
|Dan Berezowitz||Recruiting Coordinator|
|Chad Scott||Running Backs Coach|
|Tommy Mainord||Wide Receivers Coach/Passing Game Coordinator|
|John Schlarman||Offensive Line Coach|
|Jimmy Brumbaugh||Defensive Line Coach|
|Bradley Dale Peveto||Safeties Coach/Special Teams Coordinator|
Kentucky Wildcats Football Scout.com team recruiting rankings:
Prior to the advent of the BCS in 1998, national champions were primarily chosen by a combination of national ranking systems and nation media poll rankings. During the last 142 years, there have been more than 30 selectors of national champions using polls, historical research and mathematical rating systems. Beginning in 1936, The Associated Press began the best-known and most widely circulated poll of sportswriters and broadcasters. Before 1936, national champions were determined by historical research and retroactive ratings and polls. It is important to remember that from 1936-1964, the Associated Press chose a “national champion” prior to bowl games.
In Kentucky’s 1950 season, Kentucky was one of 5 “national champions.” 1950 the Sagarin poll didn't exist. The Sagarin computer model was used retroactively to review football teams and the Sagarin computer model determined that the 1950 UK team could be the number 1 team. However, no one in 1950 considered UK the National Champions. UK does not have a National Championship trophy, banner or any other items signifying that they were National Champions in football in 1950. Still, Kentucky fans like to claim that they have a National Championship in football. The National Champions in college football during the 1950 season were Kentucky (Sagarin), Oklahoma (AP, Berryman, Helms, Litkenhous, UPI, Williamson), Princeton (Boand, Poling), and Tennessee (Billingsley, DeVold, Dunkel, Missouri,Don Faurot Football Research, National Championship Foundation, Sagarin (ELO-Chess)). Tennessee was the 1950 consensus national champion, winner of the Cotton Bowl and the only team to beat Kentucky during the 1950 season. Oklahoma was named National Champion by AP and UPI Coaches' Poll, both which awarded their titles before the bowl games. Kentucky would go on to beat Oklahoma in the Sugar Bowl 
|Season||Conference||Coach||Overall Record||Conference Record|
|1950||SEC||Paul "Bear" Bryant||11-1||5-1|
† Mississippi State forfeited their 1976 win over Kentucky, giving Kentucky an official 5-1 conference record and a share of the SEC title with Georgia.
- Kentucky also finished the 1977 season with a 10-1 record (6-0 SEC), but were not eligible for a share of the SEC championship or for postseason play due to NCAA probation.
|Bob Gain||T||1949||No||No||All-Players, NY Sun, NEA|
|Bob Gain||T||1950||Yes||Yes||AP, UPI, INS, Camp, NEA, CP, FWAA-Look, AAB, FD, NYNews|
|Babe Parilli||QB||1950||Yes||Yes||AP, INS, Camp, Colliers, NY News, Sporting News, AA|
|Babe Parilli||QB||1951||Yes||Yes||UP, INS, Camp, NEA, CP, AAB, NY News, All-Player|
|Doug Moseley||C||1951||No||No||AP, FWAA-Look|
|Steve Meilinger||DE||1952||No||No||AP, NEA, All-Player|
|Steve Meilinger||DE||1953||No||No||NEA, Colliers, AAB|
|Ray Correll||DG||1953||No||No||FWAA-Look, Chicago Tribun|
|Lou Michaels||OT||1956||No||Yes||UPI, NA, Camp, Colliers,NY News|
|Lou Michaels||OT||1957||No||Yes||AP, NEA, Camp, FWAA-Look, Coaches, NY News, Sporting News|
|Sam Ball||T||1965||No||Yes||UPI, NEA, Camp, FWAA-Look, Coaches, Time, Sporting New|
|Rodger Bird||HB||1965||No||No||Time, NBC|
|Rick Norton||QB||1965||No||No||Time, NBC|
|Warrant Bryant||T||1976||No||No||Camp, Coaches|
|Art Still||DE||1977||No||Yes||AP, UPI, NEA, Coaches, FWAA, Camp, Sporting News, Football News|
|Mike Pfeifer||T||1989||No||No||Football News, Mizlou|
|Tim Couch||QB||1998||No||No||Camp, FWAA, AAF|
|James Whalen||TE||1999||No||Yes||AP, Camp, FWAA, AAFF, CNN/SI, CBS SportsLine|
|Derek Abney||KR||2002||Yes||Yes||(AP, FWAA, Camp, Sporting News, ESPN, CBS SportsLine, CNN/SI, College Football News|
|Glenn Pakulak||P||2002||No||No||CBS SportsLine|
First Team All-SEC
|1983||Duece Howerton||Running Back|
|1994||Melvin Johnson||Free Safety|
|1995||Moe Williams||Half Back|
|1997||John Schlarman||Offensive Guard|
|1998||Kris Comstock||Offensive Guard|
|1998||Craig Yeast||Wide Receiver|
|1999||James Whalen||Tight End|
|2000||Derek Smith||Tight End|
|2000||Omar Smith||Offensive Tackle|
|2001||Derek Abney||Kick Returner|
|2001||Dennis Johnson||Defensive End|
|2002||Derek Abney||Kick Returner|
|2002||Antonio Hall||Offensive Tackle|
|2002||Artose Pinner||Running Back|
|2003||Derek Abney||Kick Returner|
|2003||Antonio Hall||Offensive Tackle|
|2006||Jacob Tamme||Tight End|
|2007||Jacob Tamme||Tight End|
|2008||Trevard Lindley||Defensive Back|
Players currently in the NFL
Hall of famers
|1981||Chicago Bears, 1949, 1950-58
Baltimore Colts, 1950
Houston Oilers, 1960–66
Oakland Raiders, 1967–75
|Dermontti Dawson||Center||2012||Pittsburgh Steelers, 1988-2000|
|Paul "Bear" Bryant||Head Coach||1986||1946-53|
|Jerry Claiborne||Head Coach||1999||1982-89|
Individual award winners
- Bob Gain - 1950
University of Kentucky 100th Anniversary Team
Chosen in 1990 by Kentucky Newspapers
- #21: Calvin Bird
- #22: Mark Higgs
|August 30, 2014||TBD||UT-Martin*||Commonwealth Stadium • Lexington, KY|
|September 6||TBD||Ohio*||Commonwealth Stadium • Lexington, KY|
|September 13||TBD||Florida||Ben Hill Griffin Stadium • Gainesville, FL|
|September 27||TBD||Vanderbilt||Commonwealth Stadium • Lexington, KY|
|October 4||TBD||South Carolina||Commonwealth Stadium • Lexington, KY|
|October 11||TBD||Louisiana-Monroe*||Commonwealth Stadium • Lexington, KY|
|October 18||TBD||at LSU||Tiger Stadium • Baton Rouge, LA|
|October 25||TBD||Mississippi State||Commonwealth Stadium • Lexington, KY|
|November 1||TBD||at Missouri||Faurot Field • Columbia, MO|
|November 8||TBD||Georgia||Commonwealth Stadium • Lexington, KY|
|November 15||TBD||at Tennessee||Neyland Stadium • Knoxville, TN|
|November 29||TBD||at Louisville*||Papa John's Cardinal Stadium • Louisville, KY (Governor's Cup)|
|*Non-conference game. Homecoming. #Rankings from AP Poll. All times are in Eastern Time.|
- Schedule Source:
Future non-conference opponents
|at Louisville||vs Louisville||at Louisville|
- "NCAA Football Award Winners" (PDF). National Collegiate Athletic Association. 2012. pp. 13–18. Retrieved December 19, 2012.
- "NCAA FBS Consensus All-America." ESPN. December 15, 2012. Retrieved December 19, 2012.
- "E.J. Nutter Training Facility". University of Kentucky. Retrieved 8 March 2010.
- http://fs.ncaa.org/Docs/stats/football_records/2011/FBS.pdf Past Division I-A Football National Champions .
- "2014 Kentucky Football Schedule Announced". Retrieved August 21, 2013.
- "Kentucky Wildcats Football Schedules and Future Schedules". fbschedules.com. Retrieved 2012-02-22.