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July 22nd, 2018

Four UK Head Coaches Get Substantial Pay Raises

Photo by UK Athletics

Mitch Barnhart has cultivated a winning atmosphere across all of Kentucky athletics, not just in basketball and football. Last week, he took steps to make sure several other programs would have continued success into the future.

Chief among these is UK softball, where head coach Rachel Lawson will be getting an $80,000 per year pay raise. In her eyes, this just demonstrates UK’s commitment to her program:

“I love Lexington and this new contract gives me the opportunity to continue to grow Kentucky softball into a national champion,” Lawson said. “This provides stability for the program and sends the message to recruits that we are confident in our ability to win the national championship at Kentucky.”

The other coaches to see raises? Volleyball’s Craig Skinner, swimming and diving’s Lars Jorgensen, and the rifle team’s Harry Mullins. We are all pretty accustomed to hearing about the rifle team’s almost yearly national titles at this point, but volleyball and the swim team are two up and coming programs on campus, ones that Mitch Barnhart clearly sees value in.

“I continue to believe that our group of head coaches is the best in America,” UK Athletics Director Mitch Barnhart said in a release announcing the contracts. “Ensuring that Harry, Craig, Rachel and Lars will stay at Kentucky for years to come is vital to the success of both the teams they lead and our department as a whole. I’m excited to continue working with them and all of our outstanding coaches.”

[Lexington Herald-Leader]

Hooray for winning!

@JayWinkKSR


E:60’s Feature on Jared Lorenzen: The Hefty Lefty

This morning the highly anticipated E:60 profile on Kentucky football legend, Jared Lorenzen, finally aired. Before the feature, Lorenzen tweeted that he was nervous to share his story with the rest of the world, as anyone would be, but Lorenzen had the courage to share his story with the world, and that’s certainly no small feat.

ESPN chronicled the career and life of our beloved quarterback, starting from birth, where Jared was the largest baby they had ever seen at the hospital. Jared was born at 13 lbs 3 ounces.

Jared said from his earliest memories of sports he hated running; he said his first sport was soccer and he hated it because it involved so much running. “I would just sit at midfield and cry,” said Lorenzen, “so let’s try football there’s not a lot of running there I can do that…but when they would run laps I would cry.”

ESPN would then show his time as a star at Highlands Kentucky, where Jared would win Mr. Football and commit to playing under Hal Mumme at UK and redshirt as a freshman. That’s when the problems would start to show for Jared. After gaining 40 pounds as a redshirt freshman, Lorenzen said, “Freshman 15, I kicked that thing’s butt.”

Then came Guy Morris. According to this morning’s profile, Guy Morris gave Lorenzen an ultimatum to play quarterback; he had to drop the 40 pounds he had gained as a freshman and had to make a weight of 268.

Lorenzen would make weight, as we all know but the way he did it was interesting in itself. Lorenzen said “I would wake up in the morning and play racquetball, then I’d come back and swim at night. We’re also melting stationary bikes in the summer, all along I was taking the ephedrine deal. You’re supposed to take two to four a day…I was taking 12.”

Going into the senior season, Jared gave birth to his first child, Taylor, in 2003. Jared said the obvious reaction was to get your ass in shape and make it to the NFL, but he was so overwhelmed that he couldn’t think. To make matters worse, Lorenzen would be playing for his third coach in four years under beloved head coach, Rich Brooks.

Brooks told Lorenzen, bluntly that he’s too big to play in the NFL, so Rich Brooks decided to diet with Jared Lorenzen which resulted in Lorenzen shedding 40 pounds. Unfortunately, he would gain it back by fall camp. Lorenzen said self-discipline was his biggest problem.

Going undrafted in 2004, the New York Giants would give him a call to attend training camp, but Lorenzen declined because he didn’t want to be a failure. Lorenzen said if I didn’t do it that eliminated the possibility of failing. But the Giants were persistent, inviting him again the following season, this time Lorenzen would attend and make the Giants roster with an ultimatum of weighing under 290 lbs. He would go on to win a Superbowl, but after his third season, he would get cut. His struggles would get worse.

In 2014 he played for the Northen Kentucky River Monsters, playing for 200 dollars a game, but his time would be cut short as he suffered a knee injury in the 2nd game of the season. That was the last time he would play football. His home life wasn’t going well either when Jared and his wife got a divorce. That’s when things went from bad to worse for Jared, ” Then I could do whatever I want…I was getting bigger, and bigger, and bigger, and I actually noticed it.”

In 2017 Lorenzen went to the doctor, and for the first time since the NFL, Jared checked his weight. He was over 500 lbs. Jared said, “I started thinking, I’m in so freaking deep, that I don’t know what to do. Where do you start?” But Jared would find his start.

Today, Jared is working out and has fixed his diet. The Jared Lorenzen project is in full gear. Jared has been working out three to five days a week for the last ten months, and this month he was able to run a block. Lorenzen was 560 lbs at his heaviest, in the E:60 he was seen down to 477, more than 80 pounds!

Jared’s story is one that has captivated the BBN, and we’re all with him on this journey to weight loss. There’s no doubt in my mind he can do this and his father, Joe, even said, “There has been no other time in his life, he has been this committed.”

It’s truly an inspiring story from our beloved QB and friend, in hopes that can inspire others as well. The BBN and many others are excited to be on Jared’s journey to weight loss and are rooting for him, as evident by these tweets.

If you want to keep up with Jared’s progress, you can follow the Jared Lorenzen project on Facebook, and if you missed this morning’s feature, you can watch it again today at 1:00 pm on ESPN2 or 5:00 pm on ESPNNEWS.

Keep up the good work, Jared!


Be Prepared for a Wild Finish at the Barbasol Championship

It doesn’t have to be Masters Sunday for a golf tournament to have a heated conclusion. With a 4-way tie for the lead heading into this dreary Sunday, we could see some late July fireworks out on the links.

The obvious draw for those who still plan to make their way out to Nicholasville is Hunter Mahan, former Ryder Cup selection and the co-leader with the most PGA Tour wins at 6. Winning the Barbasol would be a stepping stone for Mahan to catapult himself back into the conversation of elite American golfers, and perhaps would help motivate him toward major contention once again.

Then there are two co-leaders looking to double their number of PGA Tour wins: Robert Strebb and Troy Merritt. Streb is coming up on four years without a win, while Merritt is approaching three. Both are relatively young (Streb is 31 and Merritt is 32), but that doesn’t mean they have an unlimited number of opportunities like this left. These two will be looking to capitalize on a rain-soaked field.

Then there’s 25 year old up and comer Tom Lovelady, who is seeking his first PGA Tour victory. Lovelady is still getting a feel for the professional ranks, having joined the Web.com Tour last year and the PGA Tour just this year. But he is quickly developing the mentality needed to succeed on a stressful Sunday on the course:

“Just treat each shot for what it’s worth, and if you hit a bad shot just go get up and down,” he said. “I think that that’s the mindset that I’ve had this week. It’s just been really good for me. “Past few weeks I’ve struggled. Just been tired and I’ve kind of let that get me. I just got fed up with it. Mentally this is one of the better weeks that I’ve had and it’s shown, and looking forward to tomorrow.”

[PGATour.com]

Don’t sleep on the kid with nothing to lose and everything to gain. It should be a fun Sunday at Keene Trace.

@JayWinkKSR


Today on KSR: Tiger Back on the Prowl

TIGER IS BACKKKKKKKKK!!

Strap in folks. It might just be one of those memorable days in sports. After Tiger Woods needed to shoot something in the 65-67 range on Saturday to even have a chance in the Open Championship, he did just that with an electric 66.

Yes, it has been 10 years since Tiger Woods won his last major championship, but he is at 5-under par right now and only four strokes away from the leader.

It’s been awhile since the sports world felt this, but there is just something downright magical about a Sunday in golf where Tiger is squarely in contention for another major as he wears his legendary red Nike polo.

Let me be clear on this: I will be rooting incredibly hard for Tiger today. We are talking about a 42-year old man who has been broken physically, mentally, and emotionally over his career.

Has he made mistakes? Of course, and we all know about them. But he has spent the last decade trying to atone for his past as the world of golf has patiently waited on his return to the top of the sport.

We are talking about one of the most dominant athletes in the history of sports trying to make one of the biggest career comebacks we have ever seen.

How can you not root for that? Think whatever you will about his mistakes. He deserves the criticism. However, root for this man to win the Open today. Root for what would be one amazing story.

Jared Lorenzen’s E:60 Special Aired This Morning

Getty Images

The former UK quarterback steps back into the spotlight today as he gets his own E:60 documentary titled “The Hefty Lefty.”

We all know Lorenzen is one of the most fascinating figures in the history of UK football, and it’s awesome that his story is continuing to be shared on a national stage.

The documentary covers his entire career from UK to his time with the River Monsters. We will also be given an in-depth look at his struggles with weight loss.

Similar to how I will be feeling towards Tiger today, I am rooting extremely hard for Lorenzen and his battle to stay healthy. Please, watch this special and support a good man who has shown continued support towards KSR.

Here is a preview for the documentary:

If you miss the first airing of E:60 this morning, the show will air multiple times throughout the day.

10:00 am ET- ESPNNEWS

11:00 am ET- ESPN2

1:00 pm ET- ESPN2

5:00 pm ET- ESPNNEWS

Terry Wilson Makes Appearance on Netflix Show “Last Chance U”

In episode three of the third season of “Last Chance U” on Netflix, UK quarterback Terry Wilson is heavily featured as the quarterback for his former team Garden City who plays the featured team Independence Community College.

During his time at Garden City, Wilson threw for 2,113 yards with 26 touchdown passes and 11 interceptions. He also averaged 47 rushing yards per game and had five rushing touchdowns. Wilson is currently competing with Gunnar Hoak for Kentucky’s starting quarterback spot.

If you aren’t interested in watching the entire new season, I personally urge BBN to watch the last half of episode three as Wilson’s talent is on full display.

He shows great quickness running the ball, but more importantly he showcases some impressive arm strength as he attempts to lead his team to a huge fourth-quarter comeback. Even though his team doesn’t come out on top, he still looks very impressive.

However, be aware that this show is rated TV-MA. The featured coach for Independence is incredibly passionate and he literally has no filter. If you don’t care for a literal boatload of abrasive cursing, just fast forward to the last 20 minutes of this episode to watch Wilson.


REMINDER: Jared Lorenzen’s E:60 Airs at 9:00 AM ET

Getty Images

While most of you are getting ready for Sunday service, your Sunday brunch, or just sleeping in, we must remind you to jet up and set your DVRs for this morning’s E:60 feature on UK football legend and friend of KSR, Jared Lorenzen.

The feature will air at 9:00 am ET on ESPN or streaming on the WatchESPN app which can be streamed from your laptop mobile device or smart TV.

This morning’s E:60 will chronicle Lorenzen’s career at the University of Kentucky, the New York Giants, life after football, and his journey to weight-loss.

Here are a few previews of this morning’s feature:

If you miss the first airing of E:60, the show will air multiple times throughout the day.

10:00 am ET- ESPNNEWS

11:00 am ET- ESPN2

1:00 pm ET- ESPN2

5:00 pm ET- ESPNNEWS

You have the support of the BBN, Jared. I believe I speak for all of us when I say we’re all excited to be a part of your journey.


July 21st, 2018

Kentucky Offensive Lineman “Can’t Wait” to Play in SEC Championship Game

USATSI

Swagger is not in short supply this summer at the Joe Craft Football Training Center.

Kentucky made a splash at SEC Media Days with a few bold statements, most notably Benny Snell’s third person assertion that Benny Snell is the best running back in the SEC.  Snell’s confidence is apparently infectious.

While making a pitstop in Atlanta, reserve offensive lineman E.J. Price was feeling froggy.  The USC transfer has not played a snap for UK, but he believes the Wildcats will be in Atlanta for the SEC Championship at the end of the 2018 season.

1. I like the confidence.  Most fans probably wish the Cats would just keep quiet, but I love it and I want more of it.  You can only achieve something great if you believe that you can do it.  That’s been a problem for Kentucky in the past, but that will not be the case this year.

2. The SEC Championship Game is actually on December 1. Somebody forgot to double check their calendar before they Tweeted.

3. Price is doing the right things.  E.J. Price is best known by Kentucky fans for a social media saga this spring that led many to wonder if he’ll remain on the team.  Since then, he’s done everything the right way.  A joy off the field and an excellent representative of the university during community service events, if Price can remain consistent and avoid another meltdown, his future is bight at UK.

4. Mercedes-Benz Stadium is Ready for the BBN.

The falcon statue outside of Mercedes-Benz Stadium during SEC Media Days


Kentucky Football Save the Dates

Before the Kentucky football season kicks off on September 1 against Central Michigan, there are quite a few activities to help you prepare for the 2018 season.  Add these dates and events to your calendars ASAP.

July 25 — Louisville Alumni Kickoff Luncheon

Mark Stoops, Eddie Gran and Matt House will be at the Downtown Marriot to preview the Cats’ 2018 season.  Doors open at 11:30 and tickets are $60 to the general public, $55 for UK Alumni Association members.

July 26 — Lexington UK Football Kickoff Banquet

If you can’t make it to the lunch in Louisville, you can attend a similar setting the following day at Kroger Field’s Woodford Reserve Club for just $40.

July 28 — UK Football Women’s Clinic

Spend the day learning the game with Kentucky coaches and players at Kroger Field.  The coaches will run ladies through drills, teach them a few football schemes and serve lunch.  Registration begins at 7:30 in the Woodford Reserve Club and costs $75.

August 4 — Fan Day

The doors of the indoor facility will open at 9:00 a.m. for player autographs.  Two hours later the gates to the practice field will be open for fans to see how the Cats are preparing for the 2018 football season.


#KSR120 Signs are Sweeping Across the Commonwealth

@warren_noe

For most of its existence, Kentucky Sports Radio’s footprint has remained entirely online.  Now you can feel KSR’s presence across the Commonwealth.

Our four fearless KSR college interns — Payton, Courtney, Donovan and Chris — have already made their way to different corners of the state.  The goal is to have three #KSR120 signs in each Kentucky county.  Even though the project is not yet complete, many of y’all have already spotted the signs.

Tweet us using the #KSR120 hashtag and you might find yourself on the site.  For more on the #KSR120 project, let Matt explain.

Nolan is a young fan from Whitesburg (@KenzieSmith4).

@DavisMyers13 already found two in McCracken County.

Brittni is repping the Big Blue in Inez (@bmccoy10).

Of course #KSR120 is in Maysville, the home of Darius Miller (@KatieBlakefield).

(more…)


CBS Sports puts Mark Stoops on the Hot Seat

Last year Mark Stoops led Kentucky to its second consecutive bowl berth and a .500 record in the SEC.  Despite the successes of the 2016 and ’17 seasons, CBS Sports has put Mark Stoops on the hot seat.

Dennis Dodd ranked every FBS coach on a scale of 0-to-5.  Zero is described as “untouchable,” with No. 5 as “win or be fired.”  Entering his fifth season at Kentucky, Stoops’ seat is getting warm at No. 4, described as “start improving now.”  CBS moved Stoops up one from last year’s “pressure is mounting” phase.

In the 2018 edition of CBS’ hot seat rankings, there are six coaches in “win or be fired” territory, while Stoops joins nine others with a No. 4 rating.

From a practical standpoint, this ranking is silly.  Posting consecutive seven-win regular seasons at Kentucky is something that’s only happened once since 1976-77.  Stoops’ contract has locked him until 2023, and after every seven-win season his contract is extended by one more year.

Within a historical context, Kentucky football is in a great place, but it would be dishonest to say the entire fanbase is satisfied with Stoops after five seasons.  The loss to Florida last year weighs heavily on many, and how it happened makes them ask, “Is Stoops the right guy for the job?”

With 18 returning starters, Stoops has all of the talent to prove the haters wrong.  He’s done it before.  In September of 2016, CBS put Stoops in the “Win or Get Fired” category.  I think we all remember what happened next.

[CBS Sports Hot Seat Rankings]