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Keith Elkins

  • Derrick Ramsey had an outstanding career as an athlete, and has continued to make his mark in business, athletics administration, and government service at the state cabinet level. He is a member of the UK Athletics Hall of Fame, the Kentucky Pro Football Hall of Fame and the Kentucky Sports Hall of Fame. As the UK quarterback, he led the Wildcats to the Peach Bowl in 1976 and a 10-1 season in 1977. He went on to a nine-year career in the NFL, including a Super Bowl championship with the Oakland Raiders, and another Super Bowl appearance with the New England Patriots. He has served as Kentucky’s Secretary of the Labor Cabinet, Secretary of the Education and Workforce Development Cabinet and before that, Deputy Secretary of Commerce. He also has served on the UK Board of Trustees. He tells his story in a book titled “They Call Me Mr. Secretary” written with Dr. John Huang. Derrick’s start in the small town of Hastings, Florida, his UK and NFL careers, including his interactions with John Madden and Al Davis, are covered in this conversation, as are his longtime friendship with his high school and UK teammate Art Still, his relationship with coach Fran Curci and more.
  • Dave Kindred has been a columnist for the Louisville Courier-Journal, Washington Post, Atlanta Journal Constitution, National Sports Daily, Sporting News, and Golf Digest. He has won three of the sportswriting profession’s most prestigious honors: The Red Smith Award, the PEN America ESPN Lifetime Achievement Award for Literary Sports Writing, and the Dan Jenkins Medal for Excellence in Sports Writing. He won the Curt Gowdy Award presented for excellence in writing by the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame. He is a member of the National Sports Media Hall of Fame and the Kentucky Journalism Hall of Fame.He has covered Super Bowls, World Series, Olympic Games, the Masters, heavyweight championship fights, and many other major sporting events all over the world. During his time with the Courier-Journal, he got to know and cover Muhammad Ali, and continued to do so for 50 years. Now, after retiring from newspapers, he has found a new direction in his career that has turned into an important chapter of his personal life as well. He is back in his native central Illinois, writing about the games of a high school girls basketball team, the Morton High School Lady Potters. That started as a way to stay active in sports writing, but has gone far beyond that. His connection to the team and the community has been a great source of support for him during difficult personal times, including the loss of his wife, his mother and a grandson all within a few years. He talks about that in this podcast, and tells the story (also featured on CBS' 60 Minutes), in detail in his latest book, “My Home Team: A Sportswriter’s Life and the Redemptive Power of Small-Town Girls Basketball.”
  • Leroy Byrd, listed at five-feet-five, but as he says, “no more than five-three,” played basketball for the University of Kentucky and UNLV after finishing a high school career in which he earned state and regional honors while leading Bryan Station to the Sweet Sixteen. He later played professionally for the Harlem Magicians and in the World Basketball League. Known as “Baby Magic,” Byrd contributed to his team’s offense with scoring and assists and disrupted opponents with ball-hawking defense.In this interview, he talks about getting his start in basketball, his confidence and motivation to succeed, his high school and college coaches (Bobby Barlow at Bryan Station, Jerry Tarkanian at UNLV, Joe B. Hall and Eddie Sutton at Kentucky), and some of his keys to success in a tall player’s sport.Byrd will be inducted into the Lexington African-American Sports Hall of Fame September 23rd.
  • Dennis Johnson is a former All-American and all-SEC defensive end at Kentucky. He played in the NFL for the Arizona Cardinals and the San Francisco 49ers, and today is in his ninth season as head football coach at Woodford County High School, where his teams have a combined 24-3 record over the last two years. He was named Kentucky’s Mr. Football for 1997, and was also a star in basketball and track and field at Harrodsburg High School. He was the USA Today National High School Defensive Player of the Year in 1997. In this interview, he recalls his early start — a really early start — in football (he was on the high school varsity roster when he was in the second grade), his recruitment to UK, which had to beat out Notre Dame for his signature, playing defense on Kentucky teams coached by offensive-minded Hal Mumme, his NFL teammates with the Arizona Cardinals, and his success as a high school coach.
  • The Mountain Sports Hall of Fame recognizes athletes from eastern Kentucky – the 13th, 14th, 15th and 16th regions. It’s housed in the old Wayland High School gym in Wayland, Kentucky — the hometown of basketball legend King Kelly Coleman, whose career high school scoring record stood for 67 years. He was Kentucky’s first Mr. Basketball, earning that honor in 1956.Jerry Fultz, who played for Wayland in the 1960s and is now the mayor of Wayland, founded the Mountain Sports Hall of Fame, which was chartered in 2005.Among the stars supporting the Hall is 1998 Kentucky Mr. Basketball J.R. VanHoose of Paintsville, who serves on the board of directors. Both are featured in this podcast, almost all of which was recorded in Wayland.
  • Derek Anderson’s life experience goes well beyond his outstanding basketball career.
  • Chris McCarron is a Hall of Fame jockey and a two-time Kentucky Derby winner. He won six Triple Crown events in all. He won nine Breeders Cup races, including five Classics, and many other major races. He led North American jockeys in earnings four times, and led in wins three times. He won an Eclipse Award for Outstanding Apprentice Jockey in 1974 and another Eclipse for Outstanding Jockey in 1980. He was inducted into the National Museum of Racing Hall of Fame in 1989.He retired in 2002 with 7,141 wins – currently seventh all-time – and purse earnings of nearly 264 million dollars, a record at the time. He served as technical advisor, racing designer, and had an acting role as Hall of Fame jockey Charlie Kurtsinger in the 2003 film “Seabiscuit.” He also founded the North American Racing Academy to help develop the skills of young riders.
  • Jim Williams served as director of publicity/communications at Keeneland for 38 years (1971-2009). He worked with racing’s greatest jockeys and trainers as well as media members from around the world who covered racing at Keeneland. He was also involved in the preparations and activities for visits by dignitaries, including Queen Elizabeth II, who attended races at Keeneland on October 11, 1984. This conversation covers changes at Keeneland through the years, Jim’s memories of prominent people in the racing business and of course, the day the track hosted the Queen.
  • Cameron Mills was a member of two national championship teams at Kentucky. He began his college career as a walk-on, but became a key contributor with his outstanding shooting. He still holds the UK record for three-point field goal percentage for a season (53.2, 42-79 in 1996-97). As of this season, he realized a long-term goal in his broadcasting career, joining the UK Sports Network radio team on the basketball pregame show. This conversation covers his development as a player, which was guided early by his father, former Wildcat Terry Mills, as well as his experience at UK. Coach Rick Pitino delivered an unexpected type of motivational message in their first conversation after Cameron joined the team, but success and championships followed under Pitino and Tubby Smith. Mills’ faith has always been an important part of his life, and today he continues to bring that message to a wide range of audiences through Cameron Mills Ministries. His dedication to his broadcasting career — with many high school game broadcasts and a seven-year run for his own talk show to his credit before joining the UK Network — has assured his continued connection with the UK fan base and Wildcat history.
  • Michael Blowen is the founder of Old Friends, a retirement farm for thoroughbreds located in Scott County, Kentucky, north of Lexington. The stars in residence at Old Friends include 1997 Kentucky Derby and Preakness winner Silver Charm; Touch Gold, whose win in the 1997 Belmont Stakes denied Silver Charm the Triple Crown; two longshot winners of the Belmont, Sarava, who won at 70-1 in 2002, and Birdstone, a 36-1 winner in 2004; and several winners of Breeders Cup World Championship races. The big winners draw visitors from around the world, but Old Friends is also home to horses who had little success on the track. All are able to live out their later years in a peaceful setting in Central Kentucky. He speaks one on one with SportsPage host Keith Elkins.