Florida’s Pelphrey ‘respectfully declines’ to discuss WKU job


Cole Claybourn

It may be a while before WKU fans know where a popular name mentioned for the head coaching vacancy stands on pursuing the job.

Through Florida’s Sports Information Department, Gators Assistant Coach John Pelphrey “respectfully declined” to discuss with the Herald whether or not he’d be interested in the WKU job.

“If that changes, I’ll be sure to let you know,” said Denver Parler, Assistant Director for Communications at Florida via email.

Pelphrey’s name was mentioned almost immediately by several other journalists and fans as a potential candidate when former head coach Ken McDonald was fired last Friday.

Pelphrey, a Paintsville native and former Kentucky star, spent five seasons coaching in the Sun Belt Conference at South Alabama from 2002-2007 where he compiled an 80-67 overall record, defeating WKU in the 2006 Sun Belt Tournament to lead South Alabama to the NCAA Tournament.

From there, Pelphrey spent four seasons as head coach at Arkansas where he lead he Razorbacks to the Second Round of the 2008 NCAA Tournament. He was fired as Arkansas’ head coach last March.

Pelphrey so far is the second potential candidate to respond to the Herald’s request for an interview regarding interest in the WKU job. Bellarmine Head Coach Scott Davenport on Saturday said he “hasn’t even thought about” the WKU job.

Athletics Director Ross Bjork said on Saturday that WKU would move quickly to find a new head coach, which could mean finding one before the season ends.