Kentucky Wildcats football
|Kentucky Wildcats football|
|Athletic director||Mitch Barnhart|
3rd year, 7–17 (.292)
|Home stadium||Commonwealth Stadium (Kentucky)|
|Stadium surface||Field Turf|
|Division||SEC Eastern Division (1992–present)|
|All-time record||587–599–44 (.495)|
|Postseason bowl record||8–6–0 (.571)|
|Claimed national titles||1 (1950)|
Blue and White
|Fight song||On, On, U of K, Kentucky Fight|
Mississippi State Bulldogs
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.
- Early history (1881–1945) 1.1
- Paul "Bear" Bryant era (1946–1953) 1.2
- Blanton Collier era (1954–1961) 1.3
- Charlie Bradshaw era (1962–1968) 1.4
- John Ray era (1969–1972) 1.5
- Fran Curci era (1973–1981) 1.6
- Jerry Claiborne era (1982–1989) 1.7
- Bill Curry era (1990–1996) 1.8
- Hal Mumme era (1997–2000) 1.9
- Guy Morriss era (2001–2002) 1.10
- Rich Brooks era (2003–2009) 1.11
- Joker Phillips era (2010–2012) 1.12
- Mark Stoops era (2013–present) 1.13
- Bowl games 2
- Current coaching staff 3
- Recruiting 4
- Louisville 5.1
- Tennessee 5.2
- Indiana 5.3
- Vanderbilt 5.4
- Mississippi State 5.5
- All-time record vs. SEC teams 5.6
- National championships 6.1
- Conference championships 6.2
- All-Americans 7
- First Team All-SEC 8
- Players currently in the NFL 9
Hall of famers 10
- Pro 10.1
- College 10.2
Individual award winners 11
- Outland Trophy 11.1
- University of Kentucky 100th Anniversary Team 11.2
- Retired numbers 11.3
Future opponents and schedules 12
Conference and non-conference opponents 12.1
- SEC West opponents 12.1.1
- Non-conference opponents 12.1.2
- 2016 schedule 12.2.1
- 2017 schedule 12.2.2
- Conference and non-conference opponents 12.1
- References 13
- External links 14
Early history (1881–1945)
Until about 1913, the modern University of Kentucky was referred to as "Kentucky State College" and nearby Transylvania University was known as "Kentucky University". In 1880, Kentucky University and Centre College played the first intercollegiate football game in Kentucky. Kentucky State first fielded a football team in 1881, playing three games against rival Kentucky University. The team was revived in 1891. Both the inaugural 1881 squad and the revived 1891 squad have unknown coaches according to university records in winning two games and losing three. The 1891 team's colors were blue and light yellow, decided before the Centre–Kentucky game on December 19. A student asked "What color blue?" and varsity letterman Richard C. Stoll pulled off his necktie, and held it up. This is still held as the origin of Kentucky's shade of blue. The next year light yellow was dropped and changed to white. The 1892 team was coached by A. M. Miller, and went 2–4–1.
The greatest UK team of this era was the
- Official website
- "2015 Football Media Guide". University of Kentucky Athletics. p. 100. Retrieved August 14, 2015.
- "NCAA Football Award Winners" (PDF). National Collegiate Athletic Association. 2014. pp. 13–18. Retrieved December 19, 2014.
- "Kentucky Wildcats Official Athletic Site – Football". Ukathletics.com. Retrieved 2015-05-21.
- Kentucky Football Media Guide, p. 177
- "Kentucky Wildcats Official Athletic Site – Football". ukathletics.com.
- Michael Leo Donovan, Yankees to Fighting Irish : What's Behind Your Favorite Team's Name (Taylor Trade Publications, 2004), p107
- "Kentucky Players who served in the Military".
- "Bear Bryant". College Football at Sports-Reference.com.
- "100 years of Bear Bryant; 100 facts you may not know". AL.com. Retrieved 2015-05-21.
- Rickerd, Brian (October 14, 2013). "University of Kentucky football great Meilinger has only one regret about Hall of Fame – Frankfort & Franklin County, Kentucky". State-journal.com. Retrieved 2015-05-21.
- Hank Rippetoe. "Kentucky Football: The Blanton Collier Years (Part Two) 1954 -1961". A Sea of Blue.
- "Muscles of Iron". Musclesofiron.com. Retrieved 2015-05-21.
- "Lexington, KY local and state news by the Lexington Herald-Leader - Kentucky.com". Kentucky.com. Retrieved 2015-05-21.
- Hank Rippetoe. "Kentucky Football Tales from the Dark Side: Charlie Bradshaw Part Three". Aseaofblue.com. Retrieved 2015-05-21.
- "Charlie Bradshaw". Fanbase.com. Retrieved 2015-05-21.
- "THE THIN THIRTY". cappaa.com.
- Hank Rippetoe. "Kentucky Football History: Tales from the Dark Side – The Charlie Bradshaw Years Part Two". Aseaofblue.com. Retrieved 2015-05-21.
- University of Kentucky Libraries. """Notable Kentucky African Americans – Northington, Nathaniel "Nate. Nkaa.uky.edu. Retrieved 2015-05-21.
- "John Ray". Sports-Reference.com. Retrieved 2015-05-21.
- "Star-News – Google News Archive Search". Google.com. Retrieved 2015-05-21.
- "Fran Curci". College Football at Sports-Reference.com. Retrieved 2015-05-21.
- 1976 infractions case
- "The Day – Google News Archive Search". Google.com. Retrieved 2015-05-21.
- "History Lesson: The late Jerry Claiborne turned around Maryland's football program". The Frederick News-Post. Retrieved 2015-05-21.
- "Jerry Claiborne". Sports-Reference.com. Retrieved 2015-05-21.
- "E.J. Nutter Training Facility".
- "The Sports Illustrated Vault - SI.com". SI.com.
- "Bill Curry Hired By Kentucky". philly-archives.
- outsidethesidelines. "More on Bill Curry...". Roll 'Bama Roll.
- "Bill Curry". College Football at Sports-Reference.com.
- "Curry Goes Out a Loser Against Tennessee". latimes.
- "Hal Mumme Named Head Coach of Kentucky Football". ukathletics.com.
- "Hal Mumme". College Football at Sports-Reference.com.
- "USATODAY.com – Mumme resigns as Kentucky football coach". usatoday.com.
- "Tim Couch Flashback: "Dangerous As A Broken Fruit Jar" – Saturday Down South". Saturday Down South.
- "Smart Football". smartfootball.blogspot.com.
- "Kentucky Elevates Ex-eagle Morriss". philly-archives.
- "2001 - Kentucky Wildcats Football Statistics and Results - Totalfootballstats.com". totalfootballstats.com.
- "Kentucky Wildcats 2002 Football Schedule". nationalchamps.net.
- "Henderson's 'Bluegrass Miracle' Stuns UK, 33–30". LSUsports.net.
- "Baylor University – Media Communications – News". Baylor University – Media Communications.
- "Brooks hired to coach Kentucky". TuscaloosaNews.com.
- "Kentucky Wildcats 2006 Football Schedule". nationalchamps.net.
- "Georgia Bulldogs' last five matchups vs. Kentucky Wildcats". ESPN.com.
- "The Tennessean-Dickson". The Tennessean.
- "Kentucky Wildcats vs South Carolina Gamecocks – Preview". ESPN.com.
- "LSU Tigers vs Kentucky Wildcats – Recap". ESPN.com.
- "Brooks Retires at Kentucky". ukathletics.com.
- "Kentucky Wildcats vs Florida State Seminoles – Recap". ESPN.com.
- "USATODAY.com". usatoday.com.
- "Kentucky Wildcats vs East Carolina Pirates – Recap". ESPN.com.
- "Music City Bowl: Clemson Beats Kentucky, 21–13". The Huffington Post.
- "Phillips introduced as UK football coach". wkyt.com.
- "2010 Kentucky Wildcats Football Schedule". FBSchedules.com.
- "Pittsburgh Panthers vs Kentucky Wildcats – Recap". ESPN.com.
- "Joker Phillips Fired: Kentucky Fires Football Coach". The Huffington Post.
- +Scott Anderson. "Firing Joker Phillips Wasn't Cheap". Nation of Blue.
- "Mark Stoops, Florida State Seminoles defensive coordinator, hired as head coach of Kentucky Wildcats". ESPN.com.
- "Neal Brown Named Offensive Coordinator, Quarterbacks Coach". ukathletics.com.
- SethBurchett. "UK football: Mark Stoops – Altering perceptions and expectations". A Sea of Blue.
- "2013 Kentucky Wildcats Football Schedule". FBSchedules.com.
- "Kentucky tops Vanderbilt 17–7, ends SEC drought". Yahoo Sports. September 27, 2014.
- A (December 1, 2014). "Stoops: Wildcats progressed despite 5–7 finish". Usatoday.com. Retrieved 2015-05-21.
- Jason Marcum. "Troy hires Kentucky's Neal Brown as head coach". SBNation.com. Vox Media.
- "Oh, Four Oh Four". idsnews.com.
- "mcubed.net : NCAAF Football : Series records : Kentucky vs. Vanderbilt". mcubed.net.
- http://fs.ncaa.org/Docs/stats/football_records/2011/FBS.pdf Past Division I-A Football National Champions .
- "SEC Future Football Schedule Rotation Announced". fbschedules.com. Retrieved 2014-06-14.
- "Kentucky Wildcats Football Schedules and Future Schedules". fbschedules.com. Retrieved 2012-02-22.
|September 2||at Southern Miss*||M. M. Roberts Stadium • Hattiesburg, MS|
|September 30||Eastern Michigan*||Commonwealth Stadium • Lexington, KY|
|November 25||Louisville*||Commonwealth Stadium • Lexington, KY (Governor's Cup)|
|*Non-conference game. Homecoming. #Rankings from Coaches' Poll released prior to game. All times are in Eastern Time.|
|September 3||Southern Miss*||Commonwealth Stadium • Lexington, KY|
|September 10||at Florida||Ben Hill Griffin Stadium • Gainesville, FL|
|September 17||New Mexico State*||Commonwealth Stadium • Lexington, KY|
|September 24||South Carolina||Commonwealth Stadium • Lexington, KY|
|October 1||at Alabama||Bryant-Denny Stadium • Tuscaloosa, AL|
|October 8||Vanderbilt||Commonwealth Stadium • Lexington, KY|
|October 22||Mississippi State||Commonwealth Stadium • Lexington, KY|
|October 29||at Missouri||Faurot Field • Columbia, MO|
|November 5||Georgia||Commonwealth Stadium • Lexington, KY|
|November 12||at Tennessee||Neyland Stadium • Knoxville, TN|
|November 19||Austin Peay*||Commonwealth Stadium • Lexington, KY|
|November 26||at Louisville*||Papa John's Cardinal Stadium • Louisville, KY (Governor's Cup)|
|*Non-conference game. Homecoming. #Rankings from Coaches' Poll released prior to game. All times are in Eastern Time.|
|vs Southern Miss||at Southern Miss||vs Chattanooga||at Eastern Michigan||vs Eastern Michigan|
|vs New Mexico State||vs Eastern Michigan|
|vs Austin Peay|
|at Louisville||vs Louisville||at Louisville||vs Louisville|
|Year||Alabama||Auburn||Arkansas||LSU||Mississippi State||Ole Miss||Texas A&M|
Kentucky plays Mississippi State as a permanent non-division opponent annually and rotates around the West division among the other six schools.
SEC West opponents
Conference and non-conference opponents
Future opponents and schedules
- #21: Calvin Bird
- #22: Mark Higgs
University of Kentucky 100th Anniversary Team
- Bob Gain – 1950
Individual award winners
|Art Still||Defensive End||2015||1974–1977|
|Paul "Bear" Bryant||Head Coach||1986||1946–53|
|Jerry Claiborne||Head Coach||1999||1982–89|
|Steve Meilinger||Defensive Line||2013||1951–53|
Joe Federspiel Middle Linebacker New Orleans Saints 1972–1980
Chicago Bears, 1949, 1950–58
Baltimore Colts, 1950
Houston Oilers, 1960–66
Oakland Raiders, 1967–75
|Dermontti Dawson||Center||2012||Pittsburgh Steelers, 1988–2000|
Hall of famers
|Pos.||Name||Height||Weight||Hometown||Draft Year||Rd.||Overall||Current NFL Team|
|WR||Randall Cobb||5'11"||190 lbs.||Alcoa, TN||2011||2||64th||Green Bay|
|FB||John Conner||5'11"||246 lbs.||West Chester, OH||2010||5||139th||New York|
|LB||Bud Dupree||6'4"||270 lbs.||Irwinton, GA||2015||1||22nd||Pittsburgh|
|WR||Steve Johnson||6'3"||210 lbs.||San Francisco, CA||2008||7||229th||San Diego|
|DT||Ricky Lumpkin||6'4"||306 lbs.||Louisville, KY||2011||UD||–||Oakland|
|K/P||Tim Masthay||6'2"||198 lbs.||Murray, KY||2009||UD||–||Green Bay|
|WR||Chris Matthews||6'5"||218 lbs.||Los Angeles, CA||2011||UD||–||Seattle|
|DT||Corey Peters||6'3"||295 lbs.||Louisville, KY||2010||3||83rd||Atlanta|
|RB||Alfonso Smith||6'1"||209 lbs.||Louisville, KY||2010||UD||–||San Francisco|
|DE||Za'Darius Smith||6'6"||265 lbs.||Greenville, AL||2015||4||122nd||Baltimore|
|TE||Jacob Tamme||6'4"||220 lbs.||Danville, KY||2008||4||127th||Denver|
|LB||Danny Trevathan||6'1"||235 lbs.||Leesburg, FL||2012||6||188th||Denver|
|OG||Larry Warford||6'3"||332 lbs.||Richmond, KY||2013||3||65th||Detroit|
|OT||Garry Williams||6'3"||320 lbs.||Louisville, KY||2008||UD||–||Carolina|
|LB||Avery Williamson||6'1"||238 lbs.||Milan, TN||2014||5||151st||Tennessee|
|LB||Wesley Woodyard||6'1"||230 lbs.||LaGrange, GA||2008||UD||–||Tennessee|
Players currently in the NFL
|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|
|2014||Alvin Dupree||Defensive End|
First Team All-SEC
|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|
- Kentucky also finished the 1977 season with a 10–1 (6–0 SEC) record, but were not eligible for a share of the SEC championship or for postseason play due to NCAA probation.
‡ 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.
|Season||Conference||Coach||Overall Record||Conference Record|
|1950||SEC||Paul "Bear" Bryant||11–1||5–1|
The NCAA has never officially recognized a national champion from among the bowl coalition institutions, but in 2004 the NCAA commissioned Jeff Sagarin to use his computer model to retroactively determine the highest ranked teams for the years prior to the BCS. His champion for the 1950 season is Kentucky. The polls for the 1950 national champion, taken before the bowl games were played, list either Oklahoma (AP, Berryman, Helms, Litkenhous, UPI, Williamson), Princeton (Boand, Poling), or Tennessee (Billingsley, DeVold, Dunkel, Missouri,Don Faurot Football Research, National Championship Foundation, Sagarin (ELO-Chess)). Tennessee was the 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 
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.
All-time record vs. SEC teams
The Mississippi State-Kentucky series became a rivalry when the SEC assigned cross-divisional opponents. The Bulldogs (of the SEC West) and Wildcats (of the SEC East) were assigned to each other. They play every year. Mississippi State leads the all-time series 22–21, which rotates between Lexington, Kentucky and Starkville, Mississippi. Mississippi State has won 8 of their last 9 vs. Kentucky.
Having started in 1896, the Kentucky-Vanderbilt football series has been played annually since 1953. The two are divisional opponents in the SEC East. The series, which rotates between Nashville, Tennessee and Lexington, Kentucky, stands at 41–41–4 with the average score being Vanderbilt 17-Kentucky 15.6.
More known for its basketball rivalry, the Indiana-Kentucky series was played annually from 1987 until 2005 in what was known as the "Battle for the Bourbon Barrel" game. The series rotated between Bloomington, Indiana and Lexington, Kentucky and the two teams played for a trophy called the "Bourbon Barrel" from 1987 until both schools mutually agreed to retire the trophy in 1999 following the alcohol-related death of two Kentucky football players. Indiana leads the series (18–17–1). The two haven't played since 2005.
The barrel exchange was retired in 1998 after two Kentucky football players died in an alcohol-related crash.
Tennessee and Kentucky have played each other 108 times over 114 years with Tennessee winning 75 games to 24 wins by Kentucky (.736). Tennessee has won the most games in Lexington, Kentucky with 35 wins to 14 by Kentucky (.702). Tennessee also has more wins than Kentucky in Knoxville, Tennessee with 45 wins to 10 (.787). Tennessee has the most wins in the series at Stoll Field with 19 wins to 11 Kentucky wins (.621). The Series is tied at 3 a piece at Baldwin Park. Tennessee leads the series at Neyland Stadium with 35 wins to 7 Kentucky wins (.792). Tennessee leads the series at Commonwealth Stadium with 17 wins to 3 Kentucky wins (.850). Like many college football rivalries, the Tennessee-Kentucky game had its own trophy for many years: a wooden beer barrel painted half blue and half orange. The trophy was awarded to the winner of the game every year from 1925 to 1997. The Barrel was introduced in 1925 by a group of former Kentucky students who wanted to create a material sign of supremacy for the rivalry. It was rolled onto the field that year with the words "Ice Water" painted on it to avoid any outcries over a beer keg symbolizing a college rivalry.
In 2013, it was announced that the game would be moved to the final game of the season following Louisville's 2014 move to the ACC. This scheduling change fits with other end-of-year SEC vs. ACC rivalry games, such as Florida vs. Florida State and South Carolina vs. Clemson.
First played in 1912, Louisville-Kentucky football series was revived in 1994 after the success of the basketball series that restarted in 1983. They played the first four games of the renewed series at Commonwealth Stadium until Papa John's Cardinal Stadium (PJCS) was completed in 1997, at which time they began rotating the series between Louisville, Kentucky and Lexington, Kentucky. The all-time series is led by Kentucky 14–13. Kentucky played Louisville in the Cardinals' first 4 seasons and twice in the 1920s, holding the Cardinals scoreless in all contests. Kentucky then left the SIAA in 1922 to become a charter member of the Southeastern Conference and limited its play of in-state schools. It would be 70 years before these two in-state rivals faced each other again.
Kentucky Wildcats Football Scout.com team recruiting rankings:
|Mark Stoops||Head Coach|
|Shannon Dawson||Offensive Coordinator/Quarterbacks Coach|
|D.J. Eliot||Defensive Coordinator/Linebackers Coach|
|Vince Marrow||Tight Ends Coach|
|Dan Berezowitz||Recruiting Coordinator|
|Evan Browne||Assistant 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|
|Andy Buh||Safeties Coach/Special Teams Coordinator|
Current coaching staff
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.
In Stoops' second season, the Wildcats broke a 17-game SEC losing streak when they beat Vanderbilt the fourth game into the season. The Wildcats finished the 2014 season with a 5–7 record. After the season, offensive coordinator Neal Brown left to take the head coaching job at Troy.
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.
Mark Stoops era (2013–present)
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 Phillips would not return for the 2013 season, but that he would finish out the 2012 season as head coach. 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 final 2 years of the contract.
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.
Former Wildcat wide receiver and longtime assistant coach Joker Phillips was formally named head coach January 6, 2010 after Brooks' retirement; he had been Brooks' designated successor since 2008. 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. The Wildcats capped the season with a 27–10 loss to Pittsburgh in the BBVA Compass Bowl.
Joker Phillips era (2010–2012)
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 Caroina 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 with a 39–47 overall record.
 in a historic triple overtime game.LSU After the loss to South Carolina, Kentucky bounced back on October 13 to defeat No. 1  on October 4.South Carolina, the Wildcats were ranked 8th in the nation before a loss to 2007 In  28–20 in the Music City Bowl.Clemson University Tigers 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  The team's next head coach was former
Rich Brooks era (2003–2009)
Guy Morriss was promoted from offensive line coach to head coach of the Wildcats 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 in 2002 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.
Guy Morriss era (2001–2002)
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 NCAA violations involving cash payments from an assistant coach to prospective recruits. 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.
Hal Mumme era (1997–2000)
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.
Bill Curry era (1990–1996)
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 No. 20 in the polls to finish the season with a 9–3 record and a No. 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, Eric Mellon, and High School All-American and two way starter (Quarterback/Safety) Ricky Lewis, 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. His final record at Kentucky is 41–46–3.
Jerry Claiborne era (1982–1989)
The 1977 Kentucky team went 10–1, went undefeated in SEC play, won a share of the SEC title and finished the season ranked No. 6 in the AP poll. Due to the sanctions, however, the Wildcats were not able to go to a bowl. Kentucky finished at No. 6 and Penn State at No. 5 despite the fact that Kentucky defeated Penn State at Penn State during the regular season. Curci was unable to put together another winning team as a result of the reduced scholarships, and was fired after the 1981 season.
Kentucky hired Fran Curci away from Miami after Ray was let go. The 1976 Wildcats tallied their first winning season in 13 years and won the Peach Bowl, finishing No. 18 in the final AP poll. For all intents and purposes, however, Curci's tenture ended soon afterward, when the NCAA slapped the Wildcats with two years' probation for numerous recruiting and amateurism violations. They were banned from postseason play and live television in 1977. The most damaging sanction in the long term, however, was being limited to only 25 scholarships in 1977 and 1978.
Fran Curci era (1973–1981)
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 a dismal 10–33 overall in Ray's four seasons. Ray's contract was not renewed after the 1972 season.
John Ray era (1969–1972)
Bradshaw, a harsh, brutal coach, 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 also recruited Nate Northington, the first African American to play in an SEC athletic contest (1967).
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 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 No. 1 ranked team in the country until Rich Brooks in 2007.
Charlie Bradshaw era (1962–1968)
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.
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.
Blanton Collier era (1954–1961)
Assistant coaches at Kentucky under Bryant that went on to become head coaches include Vito Parilli, and Bob Gain.
Bear Bryant came to Kentucky from Maryland. Under Bryant's tutelage, 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 No. 11 in 1949, No. 7 in 1950, No. 15 in 1951, No. 20 in 1952 and No. 16 in 1953. The final 1950 poll was taken prior to the bowl games; Kentucky then defeated undefeated and No. 1 ranked Oklahoma in the Sugar Bowl, ending the Sooners 31-game winning streak. Bryant won SEC Coach of the Year honors in 1950 and then left after eight seasons to accept the head football coach position at Texas A&M.
Legendary coach Paul "Bear" Bryant was Kentucky's head football coach for eight seasons.
Paul "Bear" Bryant era (1946–1953)
Longtime athletics director Bernie Shively also served as Kentucky's head football coach for the 1945 season.
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.
John J. Tigert coached Kentucky for two seasons (1915–1916) with each season having one loss. 1915 captain Charles C. Schrader was All-Southern. The 1916 team fought the Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Association (SIAA) co-champion Tennessee Volunteers to a scoreless tie. The year's only a loss, 45 to 0 to the Irby Curry-led Vanderbilt Commodores, was the dedication of Stoll Field. Quarterbacks Curry and Kentucky's Doc Rodes were both selected All-Southern at year's end. Vanderbilt coach Dan McGugin stated "If you would give me Doc Rodes, I would say he was a greater player than Curry."
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. The 1909 team upset the Illinois Fighting Illini. Upon their welcome home, Philip Carbusier said that they had "fought like wildcats," a nickname that stuck.
Fred Schacht posted a 15–4–1 record in two seasons but died unexpectedly after his second season. J. White Guyn also had success leading the Wildcats, posting a 17–7–1 record in his three years.