Happy Birthday, Charlie Bailey.
If you’re a UK football fan and you’re asking who is Charlie Bailey? then you must be a new UK football fan. Bailey, who turns 73 years old today, may have been the best defensive coordinator in program history.
Bailey was an assistant coach under Fran Curci from 1975-81, then went on to be defensive coordinator at Pittsburgh and Florida before becoming the head coach at Memphis State and later UTEP.
But Bailey’s tour de force was his 1977 defense that helped Kentucky post a 10-1 record and go an unbeaten 6-0 in the SEC. That defense boasted first-team All-American Art Still, among others.
During a six-game stretch, the Cats beat Mississippi State 23-7, LSU 33-13, Georgia 33-0, Virginia Tech 32-0, Vanderbilt 28-6 and Florida 14-7 — holding each team under 14 points.
Even when injuries depleted Bailey’s ranks late in the year, Kentucky pulled out a 21-17 win over Tennessee in the season finale.
The only thing that kept UK from a New Year’s Day bowl game that season was probation.