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Kentucky to name Gillispie coach

Kentucky to name Gillispie coach

Kentucky to name Gillispie coach
Jeff Goodman /

Kentucky didn't strike out.

The program with the highest winning percentage in college basketball history, the one with seven NCAA titles, the one with 48 NCAA tournament appearances -- will announce the hiring of Texas A&M's Billy Gillispie on Friday afternoon.

According to sources, Gillispie accepted Kentucky athletic director Mitch Barnhart's offer late last night and will be introduced at a 1:15 p.m. EST news conference and pep rally.

Gillispie agreed to a contract extension to remain at Texas A&M about a week ago after the Aggies put a lucrative deal together when Arkansas made a run at him.

However, there was no way that Gillispie, who has risen quickly after turning around things at UTEP and Texas A&M over the past five years, was going to spurn Kentucky.

Barnhart has struck out on Florida's Billy Donovan and Texas coach Rick Barnes already.

Kentucky hasn't won a national title since 1998. Tubby Smith led the team to a 22-12 record this past season and the Wildcats lost to Kansas in the second round of the NCAA tournament.

Gillispie took a Texas A&M team that didn't win a single conference game prior to his taking over and took them to the Sweet 16 this past season. The Aggies were 27-7 and 70-26 in his three years in College Station.

Smith's biggest downfall may have been his inability to recruit high-profile players. Gillispie shouldn't have much of a problem -- as he pulled in a top recruiting class this past season, but most of his ties are in the Lone Star State

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