On This Date In UK History
Special Thanks To Big Blue Booyah
former University of Kentucky wide receiver Jeff Piecoro was named the new analyst for the UK football radio network, replacing Jeff Van Note. Piecoro began his broadcasting career with Lexington's WTVQ fresh out of college in 1985. From 1992-95, he was the weekend sports anchor for WLEX. Jeff is currently the play-by-play voice for the University of Cincinnati men's basketball team. As is that wasn't enough he handles the pre and post game shows for the Cincinnati Bengals and Cincinnati Reds. To top it off, he has a morning sports talk radio show on the Homer and does play-by-play for the AFL's Columbus Destroyers. Jeff currently lives in Villa Hills, KY, with his wife and three children. The duo of Tom Leach and Jeff Piecoro are two of the best in the business and paint a great image for Big Blue Nation on the radio.
Kentucky head coach Rich Brooks was born in Forest, California. The path to 2009 wasn't the easiest a coach has ever been though as Tom Leach notes in the book above. Rich's time in Lexington has been anything but rosy. But we have to remember Rich Brooks came to us when no one else would....in the midst of an NCAA death penalty. I'll be the first to admit I was ready to part ways multiple times during PaPaw's first few years. And I'll be the first to admit I was wrong. At the end of the day it's still all about wins and losses, and Brooks still totes a 39-47 record in Lexington. But any Big Blue Nation member who has been around the program in the last three years can vouch for this program being in arguably the best shape in their lifetime. Rich Brooks has simply changed the culture in Lexington. And while many people may not like to hear it, Mitch Barnhart deserves as much credit for sticking with Brooks as he does blame for the other mess. Rich Brooks has succeeded and done what few others could do at Kentucky: make Big Blue Nation Believe.
even though Louisville native Derek Anderson had decided to transfer from Ohio State, it was anything but a given he would be going to Kentucky. The Wildcats didn't have any scholarships to offer Anderson anyway. Even the assistant-SID was quoted as saying, "There's not going to be an association between Kentucky and him." Anderson said he would not walk-on and since there were no scholarships available, he would need to move on. Enter Scott Padgett's bad grades. Suddenly, the big blue frowns turned upside down. The decision is reversed and D.A. comes to Lexington. Padgett's loss was Derek's gain. Anderson would be able to be an active member on the greatest team ever. The '96ers.
Kentucky coach HYPERLINK "http://cache.gawker.com/assets/stills/pitinoscandal_deadspin.flv.jpg" Rick Pitino was ejected from an exhibition game in Italy while touring with the greatest team ever. It was a game the Cats would eventually lose, 123-115, to Montecatini. The loss was the first on the Exhibition Tour of Italy. The HYPERLINK "http://www.geekalerts.com/u/mario-luigi-costumes.jpg" Italian referees whistled your University of Kentucky Wildcats for 42 fouls, Montecatini for 33. After falling behind 100-77, the Cats made a huge comeback, only to fall short at the end. Making only 38 of 100 shots didn't help anything either. I'm guessing the extra practice didn't hurt when molding the greatest college basketball team ever assembled. Years later, that same coach would continue his "strange-acting ways" in some of Louisville's finest eateries.
the University of Kentucky Athletics Department HYPERLINK "http://www.ukathletics.com/sports/m-baskbl/spec-rel/081706aaa.html" received its largest donation in history as Joe Craft donated a cool $6 million toward a new basketball practice facility. In return, he would receive naming rights to the state-of-the-art building. Craft, a native of Hazard, KY, graduated from the University with a degree in accounting in 1972 and a law degree in 1976. He is President and CEO of Alliance Resource Partners, L.P., a diversified coal producer and marketer. The facility houses both men's and women's basketball teams along with administrative and UK Athletics staff offices. It officially opened in January 2007. To this day, it is the standard to which all other basketball facilities are measured. Chalk another one up for World Domination.
Kentucky standout Tayshaun Prince helped the Americans destroy Spain, HYPERLINK "http://www.nbcolympics.com/basketball/resultsandschedules/rsc=BKM400B12/index.html" 119-82, in the Beijing Olympics. This would end up being a preview of the gold medal match that would take place eight days later. While most believe Prince was added to the roster as a defensive specialist, the games were such blowouts everyone got into the offensive mix. The Compton native clocked just over 13 minutes and tallied 10 points for the eventual gold medal winners. For the entire Olympics, Tayshaun averaged 7.3 PPG - 5.1 RPG (2nd on team) in nearly 18 MPG. And as any member of Big Blue Nation would have done, HYPERLINK "http://blog.kentuckysportsradio.com/?p=7177" he refused to give Coach K his gold medal.
Kentucky superfan Ashley Judd made Big Blue Nation proud by staying true to her colors. In an interview with the Lexington Herald-Leader, Judd spoke of an encounter on the set of a recent movie with a North Carolina fan. When offered a North Carolina jacket on a cold night of filming, Judd said she would. "just as soon freeze to death." I love you.
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