Director of Athletics
Midway of his third year as director of athletics at the University of Kentucky, Cliff Hagan stands at the threshold of what must rank as one of the greatest—if not the greatest—eras in the history of Wildcat athletics.
While following one of his primary aims of upgrading the UK athletics facilities, Hagan has also presided over an overall program that has seen UK teams draw national attention and win championships on various fronts.
The Wildcat basketball team, entering the season as one of the top contenders for national honors, finished the 1976-77 season with a glistening 26-4 record, was co-champion of the Southeastern Conference and finished second in the NCAA East Regional. That fine record followed on the heels of an NIT championship in 1976 and a move into the spacious 23,000-seat Rupp Arena a year ago.
Meanwhile, the rejuvenated Wildcat football team finished with a 7-4 record, its best in 25 years, in 1976, won the Peach Bowl, and then climbed into Top Ten ranking in the season just ended.
Every game in Commonwealth Stadium (capacity 57,914) last year was sold out, as were all games in Rupp Arena and two games in Louisville.
The Wildcat wrestling team won its second consecutive conference championship and finished 10th in the nation. Other sports teams have shown marked improvement under Hagan's leadership.
In addition to having two of the finest facilities in the nation in which to display its football and basketball teams, the Athletics Association has concentrated on improving all its existing facilities. Recent improvements include a new baseball pressbox, new basketball house, completion of a 110-yard Astro-Turf practice field in the Shively Sports Center complex, installation of open-air type lockers in the dressing rooms and many other improvements.