Captain Woody’s the right place for Kentucky fans on Hilton Head Island

Tracy Wilson is proud of her UK roots and also the Derby party hosted by Captain Woody’s. (Larry Vaught Photo)

By LARRY VAUGHT

Finding a terrific spot to eat on Hilton Head Island is really not that hard. There are way more restaurants on the island than anyone can possibly visit during a routine vacation. I’m not even sure how long it would take a year-round Hilton Head Island resident to get to all the spots.

We always look for something a little different on our trips. It can be the menu. It can be the location. It can be the atmosphere.

Hal Mumme vs. Mark Stoops: Interesting Similarities

Mark Stoops (Vicky Graff Photo)

By KEITH PEEL, Contributing Writer

It was December 1996. The Kentucky Wildcats basketball team, under coach Rick Pitino, was beginning to pick up steam heading towards a showdown with Arizona in the National Championship game in March  of 1997. UK would finish in second place that year much to the dismay of many Big Blue fans.

But that was not the only big news for UK fans in December of 1996. Then athletic director CM Newton had hired a new football coach to replace the recently fired Bill Curry. His name was Hal Mumme, a little known Division II coach from Valdosta State, who ran an unusual passing offense called “the Air Raid”. It became the precursor of the offense we know today as “the spread”.

Championship on the Line In Kentucky’s Trip to Gainesville

LEXINGTON, Ky. The Southeastern Conference has crowned a baseball regular season champion in 82 seasons since the league was founded in 1933. Only once has that champion been the Kentucky Wildcats.

But the 2017 Kentucky baseball team has a chance to change that, and to make program history in the process. With one SEC regular season series remaining, Kentucky currently sits one game behind league-leading Florida and is tied with SEC West leader LSU.The good news for the No. 6 Wildcats (37-16, 18-9 SEC) is that they control their own destiny, because Kentucky’s final regular season opponent is none other than league-leading and fifth-ranked Florida (38-14, 19-8).

UK Concludes NCAA Regional in Seventh; Misses Playoff for NCAA Berth by One Shot

BATON ROUGE, La. – Despite a valiant effort from all five players, the Kentucky men’s golf team’s bid for an NCAA Championships berth fell just short in Wednesday’s final round at The University Club in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. The Cats were a mere stroke off the pace of a two-team tie for a playoff for the coveted fifth spot and a bid into the NCAA Championships next week.

Three players earned top-20 individual finishes to highlight the week for the Cats, who fended off numerous averse situations to put themselves in a position to make a run.

Storm Wilson Named to SEC Community Service Team

Storm Wilson. (Photo by Elliott Hess | UK Athletics)

LEXINGTON, Ky. – The Southeastern Conference announced that Kentucky baseball senior Storm Wilson was named to the 2017 SEC Community Service Team, the league announced Wednesday.

In addition to participating in the Community Restoration Project and Louisiana Flood Relief Drive, Wilson volunteered with Goodwill, Backpack Program, and the Wounded Warrior Project. The three-time SEC Academic Honor Roll member also was a Breakfast with Santa and Team Impact volunteer at the UK Children’s hospital. Wilson, who hails from Science Hill, Ky., also has taken part in Walk-a-Child to School Day, Miracle League, the UK Blanket Project, and a mission trip to the Bahamas in December of 2016.

Stoops has mixed thoughts on early signing period

Mark Stoops (Vicky Graff Photo)

By LARRY VAUGHT

What does Mark Stoops think about the new early football signing period in December that starts this year?

“I think like anything, there’ll be some good and some bad in anything new. We’ll take some time to make an educated decision on that. Right now we’ll play with the cards that were dealt to us. I think, like I said, there’s good and bad. If you look through the years it certainly could have benefitted us in certain ways,” said the Kentucky caoch.

Laura Rutledge new host of SEC Nation

Laura Rutledge on the set of SEC Now
(Photo by Travis Bell / ESPN Images)

SEC Network rising star Laura Rutledge has been tabbed as the new host of the national network’s traveling pre-game show SEC Nation, featuring Tim Tebow, Marcus Spears and Paul Finebaum. Rutledge was a reporter on SEC Nation last season and hosted the network’s studio show SEC Now year-round. She will replace the show’s previous host Maria Taylor.

“Laura’s work ethic and energy will be great for the show,” said Tom McCollum, senior coordinating producer. “She has excellent chemistry with the SEC Nation team and a track record of success in the hosting chair. We anticipate a seamless transition this fall.”

UK fortunate to have Barnhart to make sure all moving pieces work together at UK

Mark Stoops and Mitch Barnhart walk off after the win over Mississippi State. (Wade Upchurch Photo)

Vaught’s note: This is the final part of a three-part series on the impact athletics director Mitch Barnhart has had at Kentucky.

By KEITH PEEL, Contributing Writer

 
Leadership is a funny thing. Most people believe that the best leader has the most followers. That isn’t necessarily true. The best leader is the one that can teach other people how to lead in the same way so that his influence is multiplied exponentially. 
This quote from Tom Peters, well known business author, explains the concept a little better. He said “Leaders don’t create followers, they create more leaders.”
That is exactly what Mitch Barnhart is doing within the ranks of the University of Kentucky Athletics Department and across the entire athletic community within the U.S.
As some of you know Mitch is and has been heavily involved in various NCAA Committees during his time at UK. He has participated as a member on the NCAA Division I Management Council, Chair of the NCAA Basketball Competition Oversight Committee, the 10-member NCAA Men’s Division I Basketball Committee and many others. He was also named Athletic Director of the year in 2015 by the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics (NACDA). 
Those national level leadership activities within the NCAA have helped raise the awareness of UK Athletics on a national level but have also allowed Mitch to help shape the landscape of college athletics as we move forward into areas of uncharted waters. 
Those opportunities at UK and the NCAA have also prepared him to create more leaders. Analysts and sports media experts tend to look at coaches and talk about their “coaching tree”. Part of the measure of a successful coach is the legacy they leave behind through other coaches they have developed. It is the same with athletic directors. During Mitch’s tenure at UK he has created many leaders. Current athletic directors Scott Strickland at Florida, Greg Byrne at Alabama, Rob Mullens at Oregon and Mark Coyle at Minnesota all came from the Mitch Barnhart athletic director’s tree.
Mitch is also creating and supporting leaders at the University of Kentucky. Sandy Bell, Executive Associate AD, said  “The thing that immediately struck me about Mitch – and maybe a lot of people in public haven’t picked up on it yet – is that he’s very unassuming, willing to recognize that all of us have areas of expertise. He leans on all of us when he needs to and lets us lean on him when we need to,” says Bell.
 
The mark of a great leader is to be humble enough to listen to others ideas while being confident enough of your own ideas to make the decisions necessary to move the activity forward. Servant leadership is rare these days but you can see it displayed throughout the UK Athletics Department. Football players go on mission trips to Africa each summer, basketball players visit hospitals, nursing homes, work as volunteers for community events, other athletic teams also do the same. Why do they do it? They see it demonstrated at the top from leaders like Mitch Barnhart and coaches like John Calipari. 
 
The bottom line is that an athletics department the size of UK’s comes with many moving parts. They have to all work together to be successful. A great leader is needed to make sure that each area functions as it should – with integrity, fiscal responsibility and competitiveness – while training the next generation of leaders to carry the torch. UK is fortunate to have just such a leader. 

Kentucky Completes Perfect Non-Conference Home Schedule

Conner Heady (Chet White/UK Athletics Photo)

LEXINGTON, Ky. – Kentucky capped a perfect non-conference home schedule for just the second time since 1979, dismantling Northern Kentucky 10-1 on a warm, summer-like night at Cliff Hagan Stadium. The No. 6 Wildcats’ 37 victories on the season are the most since the 2014 team also won 37 games.

Spot starter Brad Schaenzer allowed just one run in 5.2 innings, striking out five and yielding just three hits along the way to move to 5-0 on the season. The junior lefty was relieved by freshman left-hander Zack Thompson, who struck out all four batters he faced and erased the Norse’s only real threat of the night.

Courtney Love Named to Lott Trophy Watch List

Courtney Love (51)

LEXINGTON, Ky. – – Kentucky linebacker Courtney Love was one of 42 players named to the 2017 Lott IMPACT Trophy Watch List.

Named after Pro Football Hall of Fame member, Ronnie Lott, The Lott IMPACT Trophy is awarded to college football’s Defensive IMPACT Player of the Year. Founded in 2004 by The Pacific Club IMPACT Foundation, The Lott Trophy is the first and only college football award to equally recognize athletic performance and the personal character attributes of the player. The Lott Trophy is given to the player who exhibits the same characteristics Lott embodied during his distinguished career: Integrity, Maturity, Performance, Academics, Community and Tenacity.

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