UK Athletics will officially honor 14 teams across six programs during the 2017-18 athletics season, as selected by a newly formed reunion committee UK has established to honor elite teams of the past.
Over the course of the 2017-18 season, the 2006-08 Kentucky football teams, the 1978 men’s basketball team, Adolph Rupp’s men’s basketball national championship teams (1948, ’49, ’51 and ’58), the 1998 baseball team, the 1987 and ‘88 volleyball teams, the 1988 men’s tennis team, and the 1986 and ‘88 women’s golf teams will be honored.
UK Athletics recently established a reunion committee as a way to honor great Kentucky teams of the past. The committee was formed to define official parameters of recognition, identify and select deserving teams, and coordinate dates and arrangements with the specific programs. Input from current head coaches and administrators was taken into account when setting the criteria.
Standards for selecting teams each year will include but is not limited to final records, conference championships and postseason finishes. The committee will place emphasis on honoring teams that coincide with yearly markers (for example, a 25th anniversary of a team’s championship), although other factors will be taken into consideration. Special attention was placed this year on teams that would typically fall outside the committee’s reunion windows moving forward.
Dates for each group reunion are to be determined. Due to roster crossover and shared accomplishments, several teams will be honored together. Those groups include:
· 1978 men’s basketball team – Captured UK’s fifth men’s basketball national championship as well as the SEC regular-season title
· Adolph Rupp’s national championship teams (1948, ’49, ’51, ‘58) – Kentucky’s first four men’s basketball national champions also combined for four regular-season SEC championships and two SEC Tournament crowns
· 2006-08 football teams – Won three straight bowl games for the first time in school history
· 1988 baseball team – Came within one win of becoming the only team in school history to advance to the College World Series
· 1987 and ’88 volleyball teams – Captured the program’s two most recent SEC regular-season and tournament titles
· 1988 men’s tennis team – Advanced to the quarterfinals of the NCAA Championships, tied for the best finish in school history
· 1986 and 1988 women’s golf teams – Finished fifth at the NCAA Championships in 1986, the best finish in school history, and 10th in 1988