Kentucky is going through its first basketball coaching search since 2009, when it hired one of the best coaches in the country to take over and revitalize the program.

Today, Kentucky finds itself in a similar spot. As John Calipari said on Tuesday in his parting message to Big Blue Nation, the Wildcats are in need of a new voice to help the program return to the Final Four.

That voice will not be Baylor head coach Scott Drew.

Multiple reports on Thursday indicated Drew had entertained an offer from Kentucky to be the school’s next coach but has ultimately decided to remain at Baylor. Drew was courted first by Louisville and then by Kentucky this offseason and, in a statement Thursday afternoon, he reaffirmed his commitment to the Bears.

“In our program, we strive to put Jesus first, then others, then ourselves. We truly believe God has called my family and I to continue our work here at Baylor, surrounded by the best people and community anyone could be blessed to have,” Drew said. “We are grateful for the support of Mack Rhoades, President Livingstone, and the entire Baylor Family, and we look forward to working together to bring more championships to Waco.”

Baylor, a Baptist university, has been Drew’s home since 2003. He won a national championship with the Bears in 2021 and helped bring the program out of the gutter and make it a consistent force in college basketball’s toughest conference. He was said to be among Kentucky’s top candidates to replace Calipari.

According to CBS Sports’ Matt Norlander, Dan Hurley is also a firm no. A source told Norlander there is a “0% chance” Hurley leaves UConn to take the Kentucky job and there’s no amount of money Kentucky could offer that would change Hurley’s mind.

Hurley, fresh off a second consecutive national championship with the Huskies, always felt like a longshot in Lexington but many wondered if Kentucky could flex its muscles as an undisputed blue blood and make an offer that would force him to consider.

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KSR’s Matt Jones has reported that Drew, Hurley, and Chicago Bulls head coach Billy Donovan comprise the top tier of candidates for Kentucky athletic director Mitch Barnhart. Jones also reported that Hurley turned down a “massive” offer from the school.

Both Nate Oats and Jay Wright have publicly denied interest in the job as well. If the attention is truly shifting to Donovan, Kentucky could find itself in a holding pattern.

Donovan’s Bulls are locked into the 9-10 game in the NBA’s play-in tournament on April 17. Should Chicago win, it would play again on April 19 with a spot in the Playoffs on the line. The first round of the NBA Playoffs begins on April 20.

If Chicago were to make the postseason, Donovan might not even be theoretically available until May.

Donovan won consecutive titles with Florida in the mid-2000s and he was an assistant on Rick Pitino’s Kentucky staff in the early 90s. He has been at the NBA level since 2015 and signed a multi-year extension with the Bulls before the start of the 2022-23 season. It’s unclear what Chicago intends to do once this season season ends — the franchise has won just 1 playoff game during his tenure — but Donovan might also fetch interest from other NBA organizations if the Bulls decide to move on.

Kentucky was paying Calipari in excess of $8 million a year to coach the Wildcats. Donovan’s initial deal with Chicago was for $24 million over 4 years. If Kentucky wanted to price him out of the Windy City, it presumably could, with The Athletic’s Darnell Mayberry recently writing the organization “won’t get in a bidding war” for the coach.

Whoever does inherit the Kentucky job will have their work cut out for them.

Kentucky hasn’t won an SEC title — regular-season or conference tourney — since the 2019-20 season. The Wildcats have just a single NCAA Tournament win since advancing to the Elite Eight in 2018-19. And it has been 10 years since Kentucky made a Final Four.

Calipari’s belief that a dissolution of this partnership might be mutually beneficial has been shared by many since news broke of his move to Arkansas. He sent players to the NBA, but Kentucky expects to contend for national championships and that wasn’t happening.

The next coach, whoever it is, will have to be someone who can change that immediately.