Category Archive: UK Baseball

Construction on New Baseball Stadium Set to Begin in February

LEXINGTON, Ky. – The University of Kentucky Athletics Department will begin construction on a new baseball stadium in February, Athletics Director Mitch Barnhart announced at a press conference on Monday. Construction is expected to take 18-20 months, meaning the stadium will open in late fall 2018 in time for the 2019 UK baseball season.

“This is another step toward making the vision we have for our facilities a reality,” Barnhart said. “We are excited to begin construction on the baseball stadium we’ve long worked to build and even more excited to give our program an incredible new facility as we pursue our goal of competing at the highest level in the strongest conference in America.”

UK football, basketball without Oscar Combs will not be the same

Oscar Combs

Oscar Combs has been my friend and mentor for 40 years.


A fixture for Kentucky football and basketball for 40 years is going to be missing this season. Oscar Combs announced on Twitter today that he would not be part of the pregame football and basketball shows on the UK Radio Network.

Combs came to Lexington from  Hazard where he ran the Hazard Herald to start The Cats’ Pause weekly magazine in 1976. It was Twitter before there was social media and his column especially became a must read weekly for UK fans.

“Hats for Tim” wonderful way to honor Gary Moyers’ friend



Tim McKinney was my friend.

Tim lost an arm from the elbow down at a young age, yet still played Little League and Babe Ruth baseball. He was amazing to watch, tucking his glove under what remained of his arm while he threw, then quickly slipping his hand back into the glove to field. He even pitched some, but never gave in to his disability. No, he just played, and loved playing.

That wasn’t why he was my friend, however.

UK Faces Challenging Nonconference Schedule in 2016-17


-1LEXINGTON, Ky. – The Kentucky men’s basketball team plays one of the premier nonconference schedules in the country on an annual basis, but the Wildcats’ 2016-17 slate appears to have taken a typically difficult schedule of games and cranked it up another notch.

UK’s 13-game nonconference schedule, which was released Monday, features eight teams that made it to a postseason tournament in 2015-16, five teams who finished the year with a top 50 RPI ranking and a number of battles with college basketball’s blueblood programs. Three of KenPom’s top five teams from last season (North Carolina, Kansas and Michigan State) are among the heavyweights Kentucky will face in 2016-17.

Saturday’s Ohio UK Convention is always special

WKYT-TV anchor Jennifer Palumbo and former UK assistant football coach Chuck Smith joined me at the 2012 Ohio UK Convention.
WKYT-TV anchor Jennifer Palumbo and former UK assistant football coach Chuck Smith joined me at the 2012 Ohio UK Convention.

WKYT-TV anchor Jennifer Palumbo and former UK assistant football coach Chuck Smith joined me at the 2012 Ohio UK Convention.


The third Saturday in July is always one of my favorite days of the year because that’s the annual date for the Ohio UK Convention at Eastview Baptist Church in Franklin, Ohio.

Long-time UK fan Jim Porter is the Ohio UK Convention guru and annually puts together a terrific list of guest speakers for UK fans who come from Ohio, Kentucky and even as far away as South Carolina some year.

Commissioners announce changes for how much time students play sports

 (July 7, 2016)  The commissioners of the five autonomy conferences today announced an agreement in concept on changes they will propose that are intended to give students who play sports more time off.  The purpose of the changes is to rebalance the student experience between athletics and campus life, providing students with more time to focus on other college interests, including academics, work experience, travel, and additional rest.The first area of change, Flex 21, will provide students, in many cases, with at least an additional 21 days in which they are free of required athletic activities during the academic year. These 21 days are in addition to the current rules related to time off.

Recognizing that every sport has different needs, the proposal includes flexibility so coaches, students and athletic directors can come up with a plan that best suits each sport.  The proposed changes are the result of in-person meetings and survey feedback from students, head coaches, faculty and athletics administrators.

Todd Guilliams joins Kentucky baseball staff


Todd Guilliams

LEXINGTON, Ky. – Todd Guilliams, who has an extensive history of coaching outstanding hitters during his career, has joined the Kentucky baseball staff, head coach Nick Mingione announced Wednesday.

“Coach Guilliams has coached at the collegiate level for 28 seasons and has been a part of every facet of baseball – coaching catchers, infielders, outfielders, hitters and calling pitches,” Mingione said. “His overall wealth of knowledge will be invaluable.

“I’ve known Coach Guilliams since he began recruiting me in 1995. He’s a faithful man, a family man. He’s been a winner everywhere he’s been, he’s a developer of players and, even more important, a developer of men.

UK Has 91 Student-Athletes on SEC First-Year Academic Honor Roll

LEXINGTON, Ky. – Student-athletes at the University of Kentucky combined to earn a total of 91 spots on the Southeastern Conference First-Year Academic Honor Roll, the league announced Thursday

Kentucky was second overall for having the most student-athletes on the list. UK had the most honorees in the sports of women’s basketball (five) and men’s swimming (11) while tying for the most in the league in men’s basketball (four) and softball (seven).

The 2015-16 First-Year Academic Honor Roll is based on grades form the 2015 summer and fall terms, along with the 2016 spring term. A student-athlete must have a 3.0 grade-point average to earn a place on the honor roll. 

Belanger Named Kentucky Pitching Coach

Jim Belanger (University of Maryland Photo)
Jim Belanger (University of Maryland Photo)

Jim Belanger (University of Maryland Photo)

LEXINGTON, Ky. – Jim Belanger, who has developed record-setting pitchers and 10 major-league draft picks over the last four years at Maryland, will guide the Kentucky pitching staff, head coach Nick Mingione announced Monday.

“I wanted Coach Belanger at Kentucky for numerous reasons,” Mingione said. “What stood out to me was how much family means to him, the fact he’s won everywhere he’s been and his track record of player development.

“Nothing but joy” for Kyle Wiltjer despite not being drafted

Kyle Wiltjer and family celebrating NBA signing. (Twitter Photo)
Kyle Wiltjer and family celebrating NBA signing. (Twitter Photo)

Kyle Wiltjer and family celebrating NBA signing. (Twitter Photo)


One of the better stories from NBA Draft night to me was the way former Kentucky Wildcat Kyle Wiltjer handled not being drafted.

He transferred from UK to Gonzaga after his sophomore season but remains popular in the Bluegrass as shown by the way fans reacted to him last spring when he returned to Kentucky for two weeks.

And Wiltjer quickly signed a three-year contract with the Houston Rockets after the draft ended that will get him in the summer league and training camp. He could make the roster, end up in the developmental league or possibly play overseas.

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