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The WUKY SportsPage

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It's time to turn to the WUKY SportsPage with your host Keith Elkins... revealing conversations... and stories you thought you knew from prominent Kentucky sports figures. 

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    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.
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    COVID-related decisions, changes in technology, the introduction of new sports activities — that’s just a small sample of the endless variety of challenges Julian Tackett has faced in his 12-plus years as commissioner of the Kentucky High School Athletic Association and 39 years overall with the KHSAA. In this conversation with Keith Elkins, he talks about those issues, as well as his background, which was influenced by his work with sports figures such as former University of Kentucky football coach Jerry Claiborne, longtime UK sports information director Russell Rice, and former Transylvania basketball coach Don Lane, among many others.
  • On the eve of what many fans hope to be a successful football season, Keith talks with Tony Neely, assistant athletics director for athletics communications and public relations at the University of Kentucky. In this conversation, he talks about his relationships with coaches and players, the ever-changing environment in sports communications, and the occasional bad-news situations that every public relations official encounters. He also pays tribute to C.M. Newton, former UK athletics director and Vanderbilt basketball coach, who had an important role in his career. A breakfast meeting with Newton and former Alabama basketball coach Wimp Sanderson provided a memorable experience.
  • Jim Andrews was recently elected to the University of Kentucky Athletics Hall of Fame. He played basketball at UK from 1970-73. In three seasons -- freshmen were not eligible for varsity play at that time – he had 43 double-doubles, third in UK history behind Dan Issel and Cotton Nash. He averaged a double-double in each of his last two seasons – 21.5 ppg and 11.3 rpg as a junior, and 20.1 and 12.4 his senior year. The Wildcats won SEC championships in all three of his seasons, and he earned first team all-SEC honors in both his junior and senior years. In this conversation, he talks about his recruitment by UK (it included some help from a gas station attendant who was filling up assistant coach Joe B. Hall’s car on a recruiting trip), the transition from Adolph Rupp to Hall as head coach, the matchups with rival Tennessee at a time when only the conference champion made the NCAA tournament, and how the uncertainty and eventual demise of the ABA affected his professional career. He also covered his international experience in the professional ranks, and his relationships with UK teammates, including Tom Payne, the first African-American to play at Kentucky.
  • Alan Stein may be best known for bringing professional baseball back to Lexington in 2001 as the founder of the Lexington Legends, but he has a long list of interests and accomplishments. Keith Elkins catches up with the 'newly retired' businessman who appears to be busier than ever.
  • A first-team All-American defensive end at Kentucky, Art Still helped lead the 1977 Wildcats to a 10-1 record, including a 6-0 mark in the SEC. He was named first-team All-SEC in 1976 and 1977. He is a member of the University of Kentucky Athletics Hall of Fame and the College Football Hall of Fame. A first-round draft choice by the Kansas City Chiefs in 1978, and second overall pick in the draft, he played 12 seasons in the NFL and was a four-time Pro Bowl selection. He is a member of the Chiefs’ Hall of Honor and the Missouri Sports Hall of Fame. In this conversation, he recalls highlights from his college and professional career – including the great 1977 season at UK – and remembers some of the teammates and coaches that not only helped him achieve success on the field, but also helped him gain – and give – greater understanding about the different backgrounds that each brought to UK.
  • Mike Fields’ 45-year sportswriting career included 36 years covering high school sports for the Lexington Herald-Leader. Fans, coaches and players across the state looked for his stories throughout the year, especially in March, when the Sweet 16 basketball tournaments are in the spotlight. In this conversation, Mike shares his thoughts on a high school writer’s job, his working relationships with coaches, and his memories of the Sweet 16 and the great players he covered.
  • This week on the WUKY SportsPage Keith catches up with UK great Joe Federspiel. Joe was a star linebacker at Kentucky from 1969 through 1971, earning first team All-SEC honors as a senior. He was named to Kentucky’s All-Time Team by both the Lexington Herald-Leader and Louisville Courier-Journal, and to the SEC All-Decade Team for the 1970s by the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
  • Fran Curci was the head football coach at Kentucky from 1973-81. His nine-season run stood alone as the longest tenure for a Wildcat football coach until it was matched by Mark Stoops in 2021. Curci’s 1976 team won the Peach Bowl, and his 1977 team went 10-1, including a 6-0 mark in SEC play. In this conversation, he talks about his decision to come to UK after getting input from some very well-known coaches (Notre Dame’s Ara Parseghian had some reservations). He also covers the high and low points of his time at UK, as well as his playing days when he was an All-American quarterback at Miami and a pro with Coach Hank Stram’s Dallas Texans in the American Football League.
  • Oscar Tshiebwe scored 18 of his 23 points after halftime despite being in foul trouble, TyTy Washington Jr. added 14 points and both Wildcats keyed small…
  • Oscar Tshiebwe had 20 points and 16 rebounds, TyTy Washington Jr. added 15 points and No. 9 Kentucky quickly overwhelmed Central Michigan for a 85-57…
  • TyTy Washington scored 14 points to lead No. 10 Kentucky to an 86-52 win over North Florida on Friday night.Oscar Tshiebwe had 12 points and 15 rebounds…