On a track, the bottom line is fast times.
In the search for Kentucky's next cross country and track and field coach, time is ticking.
The successor to Don Weber, who resigned June 12, is expected to be named within the next week.
Mitch Barnhart, UK athletics director, said a quick turnaround is needed because of the unique seasonal demands.
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Rather than fielding a team during just one term, track/cross country competes fall, winter and spring, men and women.
Weber's successor is expected to be in place and in charge when high school cross country camps open on campus in mid-August.
"This is a pretty unique deal. ... You've got people that have to get here and get moved, so it's got to happen rather quickly for us," Barnhart said after Tuesday's announcement of a five-year contract with baseball coach Gary Henderson. "We've got to get this wrapped up in the next seven-to-10 days in order to get somebody here by Aug. 1 and have a chance to get on board and going."
Whomever gets the job will have a new outdoor track, which is nearing completion.
"I'm excited about the pool of candidates. It's a job that has a lot of interest," Barnhart said. "You don't create $14 million of capital infrastructure in our league for track and field without getting somebody's attention."
Stands, lights, press box and storage facilities are complete at the new track, as is the asphalt oval.
The major task left is to pour the Beynon synthetic surface, a process that is expected to begin July 16.
The outdoor track is complemented by the indoor Nutter Field House and an upgraded Shively Sports Center.
Weber served on the UK staff for 34 years, the last 28 as head coach.
"I kind of see this as just passing the baton," he said when he retired. "I've carried the baton for a long, long time here. ... There are some significant possibilities here. And it just seemed like, where I was and the stage of my career, where the university is and where the athletics department is in terms of all the resources we have for track, now was the time to do it."
Barnhart appreciated the decision.
"One ... it takes an absolute class person like Don Weber to say, 'It's time to let the next guy run with this thing.' That doesn't happen very often in our business. I've been doing this a long time and I can honestly say I've never seen that happen before, so I thank Don for that," Barnhart said. "Two, I think that the person that walks into this job has an incredible opportunity to make a special mark on Kentucky track and field because of facilities, and Don and the foundation that he's put in place, and the depth of interest that he has for making sure this thing goes well for that person, in no way hindering what they try and do."
Weber's assistant coaches included Sammy Dabbs, Thomas Morgan, Althea Thomas, James Thomas, Cory Young, Ashley Trimble and Lavera Morris. Barnhart said a couple of those had applied, and "clearly we'll be respectful of those faces that have been in the program. But I'd be doing this program a disservice if I didn't open my eyes and look abroad, and see what we can find to bring somebody in here that can move the needle on our track and field program.
"It counts six times for us. It has six opportunities to score (cross country, indoor track and outdoor track — men and women) for the University of Kentucky, and it is the difference between us being 25-to-29 in the all-sports deal and being top 15, top 12 if you look at the math. Trust me, I've done it 100 times. It is absolutely a very, very critical piece to have those 80-to-100 athletes competing at a high level. ... The programs that are ahead of us, look at them. Look at who's good at track and field and understand why that's an important piece for Kentucky. It is."