There’s a problem for a football team when one of its assistant coaches is viewed as being good at his job: He becomes a candidate for a better one. But the question Dirk Koetter may have to ask himself is whether being Kentucky’s head football coach is superior to being the Falcons’ offensive coordinator.
Koetter, whose work with the Falcons’ offense and quarterback Matt Ryan has contributed to the team’s 8-0 start, has been listed as a coaching candidate at Kentucky, which fired Joker Phillips on Sunday. Yahoo’s Pat Forde listed Koetter, Louisiana Tech coach Sonny Dykes and “several college offensive coordinators” as job candidates, attributing the
information to unnamed sources.
Coaching rumors often are baseless. But Forde is a solid reporter, generally doesn’t throw stuff against the wall and also is pretty tapped in to all things Kentucky.
Falcons coach Mike Smith said Monday that the school had not requested permission to speak to Koetter.
But would Koetter even want the Wildcats’ job? Most assistants live for head coaching opportunities. But Kentucky football never has been viewed as a destination job — just the opposite — and Koetter is in a pretty good situation now, working with great offensive talent and in a stable organization. He also doesn’t have to recruit.
He had success as the head coach at Boise State, going 26-10 over three seasons (1998-2000), left for Arizona State but was fired after going 40-34 in six seasons (2001-06), including only 21-28 in Pacific 10 Conference play. Then came his five years with the Jacksonville Jaguars before the Falcons hired him in the offseason.
For what it’s worth, Forde also wrote what others have previously speculated — that Bobby Petrino will not be a candidate at Kentucky. I’m not sure if that’s because of Petrino’s embarrassing exits at his last two jobs — quit with Falcons, fired after having an extramarital affair with a subordinate at Arkansas — or because Petrino thinks he can do better.
Too bad. It would’ve been amusing seeing John Calipari and Petrino trying to co-exist in the same athletic department.
By Jeff Schultz
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