Coach Brooks Receives Extension, Raise

LEXINGTON, Ky. – Kentucky head coach Rich Brooks has received a contact extension through the 2011 season and will receive a raise in pay to $1.6 million per year, UK Director of Athletics Mitch Barnhart announced Friday.

“The University of Kentucky is very appreciative of the steadfast effort and plan that Rich has put into place to allow us to have back-to-back bowl victories for the first time in more than half a century,” Barnhart said. “He is providing this program with the continuity and consistency that has enabled us to compete in the most difficult football league in America."

“The success that we have enjoyed over the last two seasons and his leadership of the young men in the program make him very deserving of this new agreement. He has restored integrity and stability to a program that was facing monumental challenges when he arrived.”

The extension and raise reward the remarkable rebuilding job done by Brooks, who took over a program for the 2003 season that was burdened by the effects of NCAA probation. Inheriting a low number of players and further hampered by probation-imposed scholarship reductions, Brooks had only 70 recruited scholarship players for the 2003 season, 72 recruited scholarship players in 2004, and just 69 for the ’05 campaign – well below the NCAA maximum of 85.

The results were predictable as Kentucky produced a 9-25 record for the 2003-05 seasons. But all along, Brooks and his coaching staff were building a program. The fruits of patient coaching and tireless recruiting were realized when the Wildcats went 8-5 in the 2006 season, including a Gaylord Hotels Music City Bowl upset of highly favored Clemson. It was the most wins for a Kentucky team and first bowl victory since 1984.

Additional highlights of the ’06 campaign included:

-third place in the Southeastern Conference Eastern Division, UK’s best league finish since 1993

-a final national ranking of 28th in the Sagarin Computer Ratings published in USA Today

-one of the 10 most improved teams in the nation, based on a five-win improvement from 2005

-the first win in an SEC opener in 19 years

-the first win over Georgia in 10 years

-a win over Mid-American Conference champion Central Michigan

-three consecutive fourth-quarter comeback victories over Georgia, Vanderbilt, and Louisiana-Monroe

More dramatic results were produced in 2007 – another eight-win season, coming against a schedule rated as high as the fifth-most difficult in the nation – capped by a Music City Bowl triumph over perennial power Florida State. Additional landmarks featured:

UK defeated two top-10 ranked opponents, then-No. 9 Louisville and eventual national champion LSU. It was the first time since 1977 that UK defeated a top-10 ranked team. It was only the third time in school history, and the first in 43 years, that UK knocked off a pair of top-10 ranked foes in the same season

Kentucky’s win over No. 1 LSU was only the third time in school history, and the first since 1964, that the Wildcats dispatched a top-ranked team

UK had back-to-back eight-win seasons for the first time in 30 years, since 1976-77

UK won back-to-back bowl games for only the second time in school history, and the first time in 56 years, since the 1950-51 seasons

UK was the only team in the nation to defeat three conference champions – opening the season with a win over Eastern Kentucky, the eventual Ohio Valley conference champ; later beating Florida Atlantic, the eventual Sun Belt titlist; and then LSU, the eventual SEC and national champion

Kentucky returned to The Associated Press national rankings for the first time in 23 seasons, since the 1984 campaign. The Wildcats were in the rankings for eight weeks, reaching as high as No. 8. Kentucky did not finish the season in the top 25, but were third among other teams receiving votes

Kentucky was listed in the BCS poll for the first time in school history. The Wildcats were ranked as high as No. 7 in the BCS rating

Five of the six computer ratings used in the BCS system put Kentucky in the nation’s top 25 teams in the season-ending results. Kentucky’s final ranking was as high as No. 18 as listed in the Sagarin Ratings

Kentucky completed an eight-game home winning streak, most ever in Commonwealth Stadium

UK has an active streak of nine consecutive non-conference wins, the most since a 17-game non-conference win stretch from 1954-60

Kentucky set school records for total attendance (550,588) and average attendance (68,824). UK ranked in the nation’s top 25 in average attendance, a feat that has been achieved eight out of nine seasons since Commonwealth Stadium was expanded in 1999

“I feel that it was important, from a recruiting standpoint, to have a relatively long-term contract in place so that recruits know that there is stability in the program,” Brooks said. “I appreciate the administration’s willingness to move forward and I look forward to more success, bowl games, and keeping our program at a highly competitive level in the Southeastern Conference.”

We'll have a complete wrap up of this afternoon's press conference, starting on 27 NEWSFIRST at five.

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  • by nell Location: lexington ky. on Jan 24, 2008 at 03:40 AM
    coach brooks should be coach of the year in
  • by Jason Location: London on Jan 23, 2008 at 10:40 AM
    If Brooks generates more $ he should get more $. Its how business works (edited). I love these people that blame the governer that has been in office for 20 days for a problem that has been HIDDEN from us so the sitting gov could try to be re-elected. Fletcher/Beshear/Bugs Bunny, whoever the heck wouldve won the problem would still be inherited from the last bunch. Good thing the do nothing republicans can at least blame someone now for their own dogs shortcomings. Politicos are idiots, get over the two party system its the real killer of our society.
  • by Chris Location: Lex on Jan 22, 2008 at 07:57 AM
    WOW!!!!!! How stupid can you get? No one, not coach or athelete is worth over minimum wage in this day and age. This is a game, a frivoulus form of entertainment that is there just to pass soome time with. No wonder the world and this country are going to hell in a handbasket. The end is truly near for this world as we know it. Good Luck Dummies!!!
  • by John Location: Lexington on Jan 22, 2008 at 06:58 AM
    The problem, Raymond, is that Lee Todd was on TV 2 days before this talking about how he was having to cut positions and wouldn't be able to pay for the caliber of professor he wants due to funding cuts. Athletics is part of education so why not pull some of the money from there to curtail the cuts. If a department chair of a research facility that is bringing in dollars, more than your feable mind can account for, to UK can't recieve a large raise then why is this guy getting one.
  • by Mark Location: Lexington on Jan 22, 2008 at 06:55 AM
    I say that I have to agree with Raymond from RICHMOND. I aslo agree with the statement that other people like Fireman, Policeman, Teachers, and others need a raise also too but that money comes from tax dollars not the entertainment business dollars like Football does, Look at all the money that football brings in and thats why those guys get paid like they do. Im not trying to sound mean but if all those other jobs brought in millions of extra dollars then they would get paid more but they dont and I dont think the general public wants to pay more taxes do they. Its no different than Garth Brooks being a multi millionair is it, I mean really should he get 25 million for singing a .30min CD, He cant help it that so many people love his singing ability and thats why he has the money he has. People pay for entertainment period and they always will. What do you want to do, Go to work then come home and look at the 4 walls, No I dont think so. They will pay to be entertained.
  • by Wake up Location: Here for now on Jan 21, 2008 at 08:06 PM
    You people got to wake up. No coach or athlete in any sport is worth the money they make,but,if we didn't support them by going to the games and tuning in on t.v. they wouldn't be paid that much. So if any coach deserves what he's getting paid Coach Brooks does. Maybe someday down the line people will start thinking about the ones who really deserve a raise. Its the vol. firefighter. Now some of you are living in areas with paid departments and I think they do great work,but what about the ones in rural parts of the state. They should at least get a tax break from the state.
  • by Raymond Location: Richmond on Jan 21, 2008 at 06:45 PM
    All these anti statements about how much money coach Brooks is making is really out there. People you have to realize that the money from football doesnt just pay for sports but it pays for alot of other things also, Like scholarships in other fields also, It pays for so much more than we will ever see. Lets say you have 6 home games and its a sell out every game, Well theres $19,500,000.00 min. and that dont include parking, food, or merchandise. So what the problem with paying a guy that makes that type of money for UK . Theres not. Its in every line of work and not just sports. A heart Doctor gets paid 50,000 for 1 procedure. The equiptment is paid for, the heart was donated, So why does he get all that money. He's a specialist in his field and has worked hiss but off but You dont see him giving any of the 50 grand back do you, NO. its job specific and if coach brooks can earn UK 115 million dollars in 5 years whats the problem of him getting paid his very small percentage?
  • by OMG on Jan 21, 2008 at 10:59 AM
    For all you people who say football takes away money from the school, you could not be more wrong. It brings more money than basketball. 50% of our tax dollars go to education. So, say thank you to coach Brooks. Your fight is with Frankfort!
  • by Just Darn Happy on Jan 21, 2008 at 07:52 AM
    I didn't send my child to a public university. If I'm going to pay out the nose anyway, it was a much better choice to go with the smaller, private university where class size is very small. In a setting like this, these young adults actually get one on one time with the professor and there are no graduate student teachers. No big athletics to take the money away either. Ah yes, the freedoms of private schools; gotta love it!A child's game is no place for adults and to give them a guaranteed contract is just plain ridiculous. If he didn't win he'd still be making lots of cash. Now that he wins, he gets a raise? When he lost, why didn't they DECREASE his pay? Priorities in this nation our askew.
  • by fbfan Location: Lexington on Jan 21, 2008 at 06:57 AM
    Not sure what world you are living in Micth, but the REAL world is one where salaries are DECREASING. This is not the economy to THROW more money down the drain!
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