UPDATE @ 4:38pm
From The Associated Press
LEXINGTON, Ky. (AP) - University of Kentucky athletic director Mitch Barnhart says fans deserve a coach who understands Kentucky "is not just another coaching job."
Barnhart said during a prepared statement Friday afternoon that the school has dismissed coach Billy Gillispie after just two years on the job. He said there were times when there is not the right chemistry or the right fit with Gillispie at the helm.
Gillispie went 40-27 in two seasons with the Wildcats. Kentucky went 22-14 this season and missed the NCAA tournament for the first time since 1991.
He had a base salary of $2.3 million.
Please note: The reporter seen chasing after Gillispie in the video above works for a TV station in Kentucky. He is not an employee of WSAZ.
The university says it will announce "a change in the head coaching position of the men's basketball program" at a 4:30 p.m. news conference.
University president Lee T. Todd Jr. and athletic director Mitch Barnhart are expected to attend.
Gillispie was in his second year as coach of the Wildcats, whose season ended Wednesday with a loss to Notre Dame in the National Invitation Tournament quarterfinals.
Gillispie is 40-27. He agreed to a seven-year deal that pays him a base annual salary of $2.3 million.
Gillispie and the UK administration met Friday afternoon to discuss the future.
A news conference is scheduled for 4:30 p.m. EST. We'll carry it live here on WSAZ.com.
ESPN's Digger Phelps claims Florida coach Billy Donovan and Memphis' John Calipari are the leading candidates to replace Gillispie as head coach.
Kentucky lost Wednesday at Notre Dame in the NIT quarterfinals. This was the Wildcats' first time out of the NCAA tournament in 18 years.
No word on when that meeting will take place.
Keep clicking WSAZ.com for the latest information.
“I think we have to learn patience a little bit,” Gillispie told WKYT-TV during the taping of his final weekly television show of the season on Thursday morning.
“As far as where it’s at, that’s not in my hands,” Gillispie told WKYT’s Dave Baker. “Anytime you work for somebody, you’re at their mercy. Everyone has the right to make decisions. The right to make decisions.”
Wednesday night, the Wildcats fell 77-67 to Notre Dame in the quarterfinals of the NIT. The loss is likely to increase speculation about the coach's job security
After Wednesday’s NIT loss, Gillispie says discussion about his future with the Wildcats weren't a distraction in the game with Notre Dame.
Instead, Gillispie says he was most worried for the players and “then I worry about the assistant coaches and their families. You never heard me trying to defend myself. I just go about it. I try to be honest, do ever single thing I can in an honest way and sometimes people are going to agree with that and sometimes they are not.”
University President Lee Todd said recently he would evaluate the program after the season.
Center Patrick Patterson expressed his support for Gillispie following the Notre Dame loss and said he plans to return for his junior season.
Gillispie, who is 40-27 in two seasons at Kentucky, says he’s proud of the team’s efforts this past season but understands disappointment about the Wildcats not making the NCAA tournament for the first time in 25 years.