Former Duck Mentor Rich Brooks Reported Next Kentucky Coach.

Dec. 28, 2002

(Associated Press) - Rich Brooks, who resurrected the Oregon football program before a six-year stint in the NFL, reportedly will be named the new coach at Kentucky.

Brooks will succeed Guy Morriss, who left Kentucky earlier this month to take the job at Baylor.

School officials could not be reached for comment, but Brooks' wife Karen confirmed the hiring to WLEX, the NBC-TV affiliate in Lexington, Saturday evening.

Kentucky media relations director Brooks Downing told The Associated Press on Saturday night that he couldn't confirm or deny a report that Brooks would be hired. He also said he didn't know Brooks' whereabouts.

Brooks reportedly won the nod over Grambling State coach Doug Williams, who interviewed for the job Saturday morning.

Williams told The Associated Press on Saturday that Kentucky had offered the job to someone -- but not him.

He said Kentucky athletic director Mitch Barnhart told him the school had chosen another person.

'They called me about 10 this morning and told me that had already offered the job to somebody. He (Mitch Barnhart) wouldn't he elaborate on who it was,'' Williams said in a phone interview.

Brooks, 61, has been out of football since resigning as Atlanta Falcons defensive coordinator in January 2001. He coached the St. Louis Rams to a 13-19 record from 1995-96.

Brooks spent 18 seasons at Oregon, compiling a 91-109-4 record. After winning just 20 of 66 games in his first six years, he guided the Ducks to four bowl appearances in his last six.

In 1994, Brooks won national coach of the year honors after leading Oregon to its first Rose Bowl appearance in 37 years.

With Kentucky on NCAA probation for two more years, several high-profile candidates took themselves out of contention for the vacancy, including Central Florida's Mike Kruczek, Mississippi's David Cutcliffe and former Georgia coach Jim Donnan.

Information from The Associated Press and SportsTicker was used in this report.

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