PDA

View Full Version : Mr. Wildcat, Bill Keightly passes away



druwhall
03-31-2008, 09:41 PM
Please pray for his family tonight.

He fell getting of a bus going to the game today and suffered internal injuries. :(

The Wildcat and Reds family lost a great one today :(

UKFlounder
03-31-2008, 09:45 PM
On the day we honored Nuxie, we lose another legend as UK's equipment manager for the past 47 years fell off a bus at GAB and passed away during surgery.

An absolute tragedy for UK fans. Just incredibly sad.

http://www.wkyt.com/home/headlines/17170861.html

WMR
03-31-2008, 09:54 PM
OH NO!!!!!!!! :( :( :( :( :(

Oh no :cry:

adampad
03-31-2008, 09:59 PM
Here is a link: http://www.kentucky.com/254/story/362648.html

So sad to hear.

jmac
03-31-2008, 10:00 PM
Just seen it on the UK board as well.
Sad !
Thoughts and prayers with the family !

WVRed
03-31-2008, 10:12 PM
I always said that Mr. Keightley could sell his memoirs and make a ton of money. I wouldn't care if it was $200, I would buy it. The man has seen more games than anyone associated with the program and to pick his brain, especially on this season, would certainly have been interesting.

My thoughts and prayers are with the family of Mr. Wildcat.

corkedbat
03-31-2008, 10:33 PM
I always said that Mr. Keightley could sell his memoirs and make a ton of money. I wouldn't care if it was $200, I would buy it. The man has seen more games than anyone associated with the program and to pick his brain, especially on this season, would certainly have been interesting.

My thoughts and prayers are with the family of Mr. Wildcat.

They are now reporting that it wasn't a fall, but that he began bleeding from an un-diagnosed tumor on his spine while at the Reds game. Doctors at University Hospital in Cincy were unable to stop the internal bleeding.

WMR
03-31-2008, 10:41 PM
Gillispie comments:

"This is one of the saddest days of my life," head coach Billy Gillispie said from Cincinnati Monday night. "I commented earlier today that at the age of 81, he's become one of my very best friends, and the person I was talking to said 'that's what makes him so great, because everyone feels he's their best friend'." And that's because he was so genuine and so caring about others.

"He influenced each of us on a daily basis, and he was a great example of someone who loved his University more than anything. Obviously, he's in a better place, but the void he leaves for all of us, and especially his family, is going to be a difficult situation. Our hearts go out to his family and the millions of Wildcats fans who he loved so much."

LouisvilleCARDS
04-01-2008, 12:36 AM
I'm a U of L fan, but I'll give my condolenses to the UK fanbase. It is always horrible when an icon passes away.

Blue
04-01-2008, 01:20 AM
Through coaching changes, probation, and national championships in my lifetime, Bill Keightley has been the one thing unchanged through it all. I sure am going to miss seeing him at that familiar spot on the bench.

cumberlandreds
04-01-2008, 08:12 AM
Very sad day for all of us that are UK fans. He spanned the ages from Rupp to Gillispie. I have never heard a bad thing said about him and that is the ultimate tribute to any person. Very similar to Joe Nuxhall in that respect. Also very ironic that he would die on the day that the Reds were honoring Nuxhall. I feel like I have lost two grandfathers in the past few months even though I never met either one. Mr. Keightley has been on the bench all my days as UK fan and it's not going to be the same not seeing him over there come next season. RIP Mr. Keightley.

cumberlandreds
04-01-2008, 08:15 AM
I always said that Mr. Keightley could sell his memoirs and make a ton of money. I wouldn't care if it was $200, I would buy it. The man has seen more games than anyone associated with the program and to pick his brain, especially on this season, would certainly have been interesting.

My thoughts and prayers are with the family of Mr. Wildcat.

Same here. I had wondered the last few years if he would ever do some type of book. I know he would never do a tell all book but he could have told some great stories from seasons past.

dabvu2498
04-01-2008, 08:43 AM
Rest in peace, Mr. Keightly. A true gentleman, a real Reds fan, and a man who saw 57% of the mens basketball games played in the history of the University of Kentucky from the best seat in the house.

Blimpie
04-01-2008, 10:11 AM
I am utterly speechless right now. This one hits me much harder than even Nuxie did.

Wow.

durl
04-01-2008, 11:52 AM
wow. I've got no words.

You will be missed, Mr. Keightly.

dabvu2498
04-01-2008, 05:03 PM
Gillispie, players reflect on Bill Keightley
By Jerry Tipton
jtipton@herald-leader.com
Being new to the scene, first-year Kentucky Coach Billy Gillispie wondered why Lexington banker Luther Deaton spent time with equipment manager Bill Keightley.

“There was a big age difference,” Gillispie said on Tuesday. “I was wondering why they were together so much.”

It didn’t take long for Gillispie to solve the mystery. Keightley was a fun, uplifting person to be around.

“I wanted to spend all my time around Mr. Keightley,” Gillispie said. “He’s gone. But his spirit is going to live forever.”

Keightley died on Monday while making his annual trip to Cincinnati to watch the Reds play their opening game of the baseball season.

He fell, which required a trip to the University of Cincinnati hospital. Internal bleeding resulting from a previously undiagnosed tumor caused his death.

Gillispie recalled Keightley at a hastily called news conference Tuesday morning. More than 30 UK Athletic Association personnel, including seven players and several managers, came to hear Gillispie speak.

“Many others are more deserving to have the honor of speaking of Bill Keightley because of longevity of so many great times they spent with him,” said Gillispie, who called his association with Keightley “one of the most joyous times of my life.”

Gillispie recalled Keightley’s reaction after Kentucky’s gallant attempt to win at Tennessee without freshman star Patrick Patterson. The Wildcats came up three points short.

“He was crying like a baby because he was so proud of his Wildcats,” Gillispie said.

Gillispie described Keightley as a one-man injection of enthusiasm and a wise counselor.

Of the latter, Gillispie said that Keightley advised him to attend this year’s Sweet 16 State high school basketball tournament.

UK was not sure how to honor Keightley next season. Black patch on the uniform? Seat kept empty on the bench?

The school has retired a jersey in his honor, making Keightley one of only two non-players or non-coaches to be so recognized (the late radio play-by-play man Cawood Ledford is the other).

“But that’s not nearly enough,” Gillispie said. “The right people will recover their emotions and make great decisions.”

UK player Ramel Bradley noted how he had to share his nickname “Smooth” with Keightley.

The man known as “Mr. Wildcat” was also known as “Big Smooth” to Bradley’s “Little Smooth.”

In speaking of their relationship, Bradley said, “He made me feel I was his favorite. The thing about it is he made everybody feel that way.”

Fellow senior Joe Crawford said that Keightley did not act his age.

“You wouldn’t think younger players would want to be around him,” Crawford said, “but we wanted to be around him.”

Zach Murphy, a senior manager from Peoria, Ill., sniffled back tears through much of the 20-minute news conference.

He said that Keightley taught the managers, or “his boys,” as he called them, lessons about work ethic, respect for others and the proper way to act.

Another manager, Dustin Marr, said that Keightley gave him advice on his love life. When learning that the manager was dating another UKAA staffer, Keightley said “I needed to go ahead and make sure that sticks,” Marr said.

Marr, a native of Macon County, Tenn., said he plans to follow that advice once he finishes school.



http://www.kentucky.com/254/story/363129.html

WildcatRick
04-01-2008, 07:51 PM
Very sad day for all of us that are UK fans. He spanned the ages from Rupp to Gillispie. I have never heard a bad thing said about him and that is the ultimate tribute to any person. Very similar to Joe Nuxhall in that respect. Also very ironic that he would die on the day that the Reds were honoring Nuxhall. I feel like I have lost two grandfathers in the past few months even though I never met either one. Mr. Keightley has been on the bench all my days as UK fan and it's not going to be the same not seeing him over there come next season. RIP Mr. Keightley.

Well said my friend!!

Blimpie
04-01-2008, 09:18 PM
With former UK player Marvin Stone also dropping dead today in Israel, this has been a completely bizarre last couple of days for Cats sports fans.