A nonprofit publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

UK’s Barnhart named chair of NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Committee for 2020-21 season

One of the most influential leaders in college athletics, Mitch Barnhart will soon step into one of his most high-profile roles yet. The University of Kentucky athletics director has been named the chair of the NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Committee for the 2020-21 season, the NCAA announced on Friday. “Being asked to serve in this role by my wonderful colleagues on this committee...

Kentucky’s Mitch Barnhart honored with AD of the Year award by Sports Business Journal

By Keith Taylor Kentucky Today Mitch Barnhart was in the spotlight in the Big Apple this week. The University of Kentucky Athletics Director was named AD of the Year by the Sports Business Journal on Wednesday night. Barnhart was among five finalists for the award during a ceremony by the organization in New York. Mitch Barnhart and Mark Stoops celebrate after the Wildcats defeated South Carolina last...

Partnership with Maker’s Mark, Keeneland makes impact for CATS, UK student-athletes’ success

The Center for Academic Tutorial Services (CATS) is the first center of its kind in America. Now in its fifth and final year, the partnership that has helped CATS ensure University of Kentucky student-athletes have the resources necessary for success in the classroom continues to make an impact. “Education is at the heart of everything we do as an athletics department,” UK athletics director Mitch...

Kentucky to take on Penn State in Citrus Bowl Jan. 1 in Orlando in ‘huge, huge deal’ for program

By Keith Taylor Kentucky Today Terry Wilson was elated when he heard about Kentucky’s bowl destination on his Twitter account on Sunday. “I was excited,” he said. “This is a huge, huge deal for this program and we’ve worked so hard to get to this situation that we’re in right now. Like Mr. (Mitch) Barnhart said we’re going to be thankful and we’re going to be grateful and we’re deserving...

UK coach Stoops not worried about team’s mentality following perfect start

Kentucky football coach Mark Stoops isn’t worried about his team’s mental approach following a 28-7 win over Mississippi State last week that gave the No. 17 Wildcats their first ranking in more than a decade. (Kentucky Today/Bill Thiry) By Keith Taylor Kentucky Today Mark Stoops isn’t worried about where his team is ranked. The Kentucky coach is more concerned about the Wildcats staying...

Former Kentucky Athletics Director C.M. Newton dies at age 88

By Keith Taylor Kentucky Today The University of Kentucky athletics department lost an icon Monday night when former Athletics Director C.M. Newton died at age 88 following a long illness. Newton coached at Transylvania, then went to Alabama and closed out his collegiate coaching career at Vanderbilt. Following his stint with the Commodores, took over the helm of the athletics department at Kentucky,...

Calipari, Barnhart saddened by passing of former SEC commissioner Mike Slive

By Keith Taylor Kentucky Today When Kentucky coach John Calipari counted former Southeastern Conference Commissioner Mike Slive as one of his closest friends and said he was largely responsible for his hiring at Kentucky in 2009. “Obviously, Dr. Lee Todd and Mitch Barnhart made the decision to hire me, but my friend, guardian, and mentor Mike Slive was instrumental in me becoming the coach at Kentucky...

UK student-athletes break, tie records for graduation success rate in annual NCAA report

University of Kentucky student-athletes broke one school record for graduation rate and tied another in the annual report issued this week by the National Collegiate Athletic Association. The NCAA Graduation Success Rate (GSR), a four-year composite statistic for the freshman classes of 2007-08 through 2010-11, was 85 percent. That broke last year’s school record of 82 percent and continued UK’s...

Kentucky Cares Classic features UK, Morehead State in exhibition benefiting disaster relief effort

In light of recent disasters around the country, UK Athletics will play a small part in helping those affected by adding a third men’s basketball exhibition game to Kentucky’s 2017-18 schedule. The NCAA has granted a special waiver for the Wildcats to host Morehead State. UK will host the Eagles – coached by former Kentucky staff member Preston Spradlin – for the inaugural “Kentucky Cares...

Kroger Field awarded LEED silver certification for environmental performance, sustainable design

Kroger Field, the home of the University of Kentucky football team, has been awarded LEED silver certification for its environmental performance and sustainable design. The LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) rating system, developed by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC), is the foremost program for buildings, homes and communities that are designed, constructed, maintained and...

With new basketball season on the horizon, UK deputy AD Peevy prepares for calm before storm

By Amy Jones-Timoney and Kody Kiser Special to KyForward As the University of Kentucky men’s basketball team prepares to kick off its regular season with Big Blue Madness, UK Deputy Director of Athletics DeWayne Peevy prepares for the calm before the storm. Since he oversees the men’s basketball program as part of his role with UK Athletics, the next few months will keep the Birmingham,...

Updated signage at stadium just one example of UK athletics’ new partnership with Kroger

With the countdown to the 2017 season approaching its final month, exterior Kroger Field signage at the newly renamed home of Kentucky football has been installed. Signage includes a large “Welcome to Kroger Field” sign facing Nicholasville Road and backlit Kroger Field signs outside the North and South sides of the stadium. Additional signage will be installed leading up to UK’s home opener...

Hall of Famer Jerry Bird, member of UK’s 1954 undefeated basketball team, passes away at age 83

Jerry Bird, a former Kentucky men’s basketball player and member of the UK Athletics Hall of Fame, died Sunday morning of natural causes in his hometown of Corbin, Kentucky. He was 83. Bird, a Kentucky men’s basketball player from 1954-56, helped Kentucky to two Southeastern Conference titles in 1954 and 1955 and was a member of the 1954 team that went 25-0 and was crowned national champions by...

UK officially opens 10,000-foot Sports Medicine Research Institute at Nutter Training Center

By Laura Dawahare Special to KyForward The opening of University of Kentucky’s Sports Medicine Research Institute (SMRI), spearheaded by the UK College of Health Sciences and supported in part by a grant from the U.S. Department of Defense, was marked in a special ceremony Thursday. The 10,000-square-foot facility, part of the UK Nutter Training Facility on campus, will conduct research into...

Wildcats’ 1996 National Championship team commemorated on newest Maker’s Mark label

With a growing number of student-athletes from 22 varsity sports teams now spending most of their time on the south side of the University of Kentucky’s campus where their practice facilities are located, the Center for Academic and Tutorial Services (CATS) – the first-of-its-kind support program in the nation – has successfully expanded to serve them. The CATS expansion last fall within the...

UK announces two-year contract extensions, pay increases for both Calipari and Stoops

Kentucky men’s basketball head coach John Calipari and football head coach Mark Stoops have each agreed to two-year extensions to their respective contracts, Athletics Director Mitch Barnhart announced on Wednesday. The amendment to Calipari’s contract extends his deal from March 30, 2022 to March 30, 2024. Calipari’s total guaranteed compensation – including base salary, media/endorsement...

Lexington Center, UK agree on new lease to keep Wildcats playing in Rupp Arena through 2033

The Lexington Center Corporation (LCC) and the University of Kentucky have agreed in principle to a new 15-year lease at Rupp Arena on Thursday. The new lease will begin at the expiration of the existing lease at the end of the 2018 season. The agreement, outlined in a letter of intent signed this week by LCC and UK officials, will ensure that the Kentucky Wildcats men’s basketball team plays at...

University of Kentucky athletics, Central Bank announce new $18.1 million contract extension

Central Bank, in collaboration with JMI Sports, has announced that the bank will extend its contract as the Official Bank of University of Kentucky Athletics. This expanded commitment to UK Athletics comes in the form of a contract extension until 2030 and will total $18.1 million. In addition to this designation, Central Bank has expanded its enduring relationships with the University, including...

Billy Reed: Feast on this cornucopia of delicious (but no fattening) predictions in our world of sports

At Thanksgiving time, a cornucopia of delicious predictions… * Louisville Catholic powers Trinity and St. Xavier meet again, this time in the semifinals of the KHSAA 6-A Playoffs on Friday night in Papa John’s Cardinal Stadium. The Shamrocks handily won the regular-season meeting 35-13 to continue their dominance in what once was known as “The Rivalry,” but now is “The Shamrock Showcase.”...

Billy Reed: Visiting Governors facing long odds when they challenge Stoops, Wildcats Saturday

The University of Kentucky football team began the 1950 season with an 83-0 victory over South Dakota at old Stoll Field, establishing the losers as the worst team to play the Wildcats in Lexington since, oh, The Jazz Age. But now South Dakota is in danger of being, ah, dethroned, for lacking of a better word. On Saturday, the 2016 Wildcats will close out their home schedule against the Governors of...