Kentucky Professional Sports, League, College and High School Sports
Kentucky is the home of several sports teams such as Minor League Baseball's Triple-A Louisville Bats and Class A Lexington Legends and the Class A Bowling Green Hot
Rods. They are also home to the Frontier Leagues Florence Freedom and several teams in the MCFL. The Lexington Horsemen and Louisville Fire of the now-defunct af2 had
been interested in making a move up to the "major league" Arena Football League, but nothing has come of those plans.
The northern part of the state lies across the Ohio River from Cincinnati, which is home to a National Football League team, the Bengals, and a Major League Baseball
team, the Reds. It is not uncommon for fans to park in the city of Newport and use the Newport Southbank Pedestrian Bridge, locally known as the "Purple People Bridge",
to walk to these games in Cincinnati. Also, Georgetown College in Georgetown was the location for the Bengals' summer training camp, until it was announced in 2012 that
the Bengals would no longer use the facilities.
As in many states, especially those without major league professional sport teams, college athletics are prominent.
The Kentucky Wildcats are the men's and women's athletic teams representing the University of Kentucky (UK),a founding member of the Southeastern Conference. At one time, women's teams and athletes were called "Lady Kats", but the women's programs adopted the "Wildcats" nickname in the early 1990s. Teams sponsored by the UK athletic program include football, men's & women's basketball with 43 SEC titles, women's volleyball, baseball, softball, men's & women's cross country, men's & women's swimming/diving, women's gymnastics (known as the GymKats), men's & women's soccer, men's & women's track & field (indoor & outdoor), men's & women's golf, men's & women's tennis, and the coeducational sport of rifle. The men's soccer team competes in Conference USA because the SEC does not sponsor that sport for men (four schools are required; South Carolina is the other school that offers men's soccer, and they also play in Conference USA). The men's hockey team competes at club level and plays in the American Collegiate Hockey Association's Division 2. The rifle team competes in the Great American Rifle Conference.
The nickname "Wildcats" became synonymous with UK shortly after a 6-2 football road victory over Illinois on October 9, 1909. Commandant Philip W. Corbusier, then head of the military department at old State University, told a group of students in a chapel service following the game that the Kentucky football team had "fought like Wildcats." Later the name Wildcats became more and more popular among UK followers as well as with members of the media. As a result, the nickname was adopted by the University.
The university adopted blue and white as its official colors in 1892. Originally, however, UK students had decided on blue and light yellow prior to the Kentucky-Centre College football game on December 19, 1891. The shade of blue, which is close to a royal blue, was chosen when a student asked the question, "What color blue?" At the time, Richard C. Stoll (who lettered in football at UK in 1889-94) pulled off his necktie and held it up. The students then adopted that particular shade of blue. A year later, UK students officially dropped the light yellow color for white. Black is now used as a third color.
The Kentucky Men's Basketball team became the first NCAA Division I team to reach 2000 wins on December 20, 2009.
High School Sports
Kentucky Sports Fan Gear