LEXINGTON, Ky, (KT) — Mitch Barnhart was in the spotlight in the Big Apple this week.
The University of Kentucky Athletics Director was named AD of the Year by the Sports Business Journal on Wednesday night. Barnhart was among five finalists for the award during a ceremony by the organization in New York.
“I am honored and thankful to represent the University of Kentucky in receiving this award,” Barnhart said. “It’s truly a testament to the incredible work our student-athletes, coaches and staff have done to build a program to make the Big Blue Nation and the Commonwealth proud. I also want to say a special thank you to my wife, Connie, and my entire family for taking this journey with me. We have much work ahead of us though, and we can’t wait to do it.”
Other finalists for the award included Ray Anderson (Arizona State), Jennifer Cohen (Washington), Blake James (Miami), and Jamie Pollard (Iowa State).
Barnhart is in his 17th year at Kentucky and the school has invested and made several capital improvements during his tenure. The school has invested $300 million into capital projects including a new baseball stadium. Kentucky Proud Park opened its doors this past spring. A renovation project is in the works for Memorial Coliseum.
“During Mitch Barnhart’s tenure … we have reached unprecedented levels of academic and competitive accomplishment,” said UK President Eli Capilouto. “This award recognizes his deep and compelling commitment to students and their personal success, and to the academic mission of the institution. You see that commitment in the program’s strong graduation rate and grade point average.
“Several teams have competed for and won conference and national championships, along with individual titles and recognitions in virtually every sport. And UK Athletics’ financial investment in academic and need-based scholarships and in our instructional facilities is unmatched. At each step of the way, he built upon this momentum with respect and integrity. I know I speak for the entire UK family when I offer him our heartfelt congratulations on this well-deserved honor.”
CALIPARI ADDS FATHER-DAUGHTER CAMP
John Calipari has added a new camp to his summer schedule.
The inaugural Father-Daughter Camp is set for 9 a.m.-4 p.m. on June 22 at the Joe Craft Center. The cost is $198 for father and daughter and $99 per person and includes lunch, camp t-shirt, two sessions of instruction and competition and photo and autograph opportunities with Kentucky staff and players. The camp is for players ages 6-17.
In addition, Calipari and the Wildcats will make 10 stops throughout the state as part of his satellite camp next month.
The camp, for children ages 7-17, will make stops at North Laurel High School (June 4), Harrison County High School (June 5), Elizabethtown High School (June 6), Thomas Nelson High School (June 9), Meade County High School (June 9), South Oldham High School (June 10), Fleming County High School (June 12), The Corbin Arena (June 11), Pulaski County High School (June 13) and the Christian Academy of Louisville (June 21).
KROGER FIELD FACELIFT
Kroger Field is getting a facelift.
Bench-back seats are currently being installed in the North Level of the stadium and will bring more comfortable seating to all seats in sections 201-2003 and 209-211. Nearly 5,000 seats will be affected by the new seating.
Season and single-game pricing won’t change with the addition of the new seats.
Ticket sales for the upcoming season are under way and 90 percent of last year’s season ticket holders have renewed, while 3,000 new season tickets have been sold. Tickets for Kentucky’s away games at Mississippi State ($65), South Carolina ($60), Georgia ($80) and Vanderbilt ($55) are now on sale. Single-game tickets for the team’s home games will be available for purchase this summer.
Keith Taylor is sports editor for Kentucky Today. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org or twitter @keithtaylor21.