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Image 9 of The Cats' Pause, August 25, 1990

Part of The Cats' Pause

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August 26, /C$0 (ja£&' &aus& Transition from coaching successful one for Claiborne Teaming up with Feamster, Mobley, Parsons Jerry Claiborne has been so busy raising money for the proposed new indoor practice facility at the University of Kentucky that he hasn't had time to miss football, a sport that he played and coached for most of his life. Russell Rice Cats' Pauie Columnist After stepping down as Wildcat coach on a winning note (6-5) last season, Claiborne moved into the William B. Sturgill Development Building, where his office is next to Dickie Parsons, former Wildcat baseball and basketball captain who also later was head baseball coach and then an assistant to basketball coach Joe B. Hall. Other familiar faces from the old Memorial Coliseum days are Terry Mobley, director of development, who lettered in basketball in 1962-63-64, and Sue Feamster, former assistant athletic director who, among other things, coined the name "Lady Kats" for UK women's teams. "No. I don't miss coaching right now, really," Claiborne said recently between back-to-back trips to Paducah and London—'one end of the state to the other in two days." "I always said to myself that I wasn't going to be a coach (Bear) Bryant," he said. "I wasn't going to coach until I was 70 years old. I had really set my target for 60 years old and to quit when I was 60; however. I didn't accomplish what I'd set out to do here at the Universety of Kentucky." Claiborne, who retired at age 61, will have a birthday later this month. WRONG WAY, TERRY Before leaving the development office, we mentioned to Mobley the 1962 Sugar Bowl game, when he hit a field goal with less that two minutes to go to tie Duke, 79-79, in the championship game. Then with 47 seconds to go and UK in possession, Rupp instructed Mobley to feed the ball to one of the big scorers. Mobley dribbled around the keyhole, failed to find an open man, and, in desperation, banked in the winning shot. "But what about the Tennessee game?" he asked, referring to an incident that occurred just after the second-half tipoff of the Feb. 27, 1965, UK-UT shootout on regional television in Memorial Coliseum. One hour before the game, Ray Mears brought his team onto the floor and claimed the basket on the Euclid Avenue end of the floor, which was at the end opposite where the Wildcats always sat. The Wildcats had always claimed that basket in the first half so they could be running in Rupp's direction on offense in the second half. In those days, the teams were seated at opposite ends of the floor, instead of on the side. On the tipoff for the second half, with UT leading 31-27, a Vol kicked the ball out under the UK basket. Mobley, hanging back near the center line, received a pass and started dribbling the wrong way. Yells from his teammates on the floor and the bench failed to stop him. He hit a crip shot and ran right into the arms of Rupp, who wailed, "Terrrry! You went the wrong way!" Mobley's goal did not count for UT. He had stepped back over the center line, which automatically awards the ball to the opposing team. Lou Bello, the flamboyant of-fical who made the call, said aside to Mobley, "I got you out of that one, didn't I?" Mobley scored seven legitimate points in that game, which the Wildcats won 61-60. The scored was tied 13 Former UK coach Jerry Claiborne says he's been so involved with other projects, like raising money for the new indoor practice facility (pictured on the previous page), that he hasn't missed coaching. times. The Wildcats led 17 times, the Vols 12 times. Rupp used only five players—Mobley and Louie Dam-pier at guard; John Adams at center; Pat Riley and Larry Conley at forward. Mears used six players, including All-American A.W. Davis, football punter Ron Widby and muscle man Howard Bayne. In addition to John Adams, now a distinguished jurist, almost getting into a fight with a Vol player in the closing minute of the game, I remember the UK cheerleaders recruiting a group of Wildcat football players to lead yells, sing and spoof the circus-type war-mup antics that Mears brought to Knoxville from Miami of Ohio. Dressed in orange skirts were burly linemen Calvin Withrow, Rick Kestner, Tom Chapala, Rich Tucci, Gerry Murphy and Billy Nutter. Halfback Jerry Davis, dressed like a mafioso soldier, was the master of ceremonies, backed by a choral group that included halfback Frank Antonini, who was built like a tank. Tackle Sam Ball was a standout in the warmup drill. JUST LET 'EM WALK, GEORGE Parsons, who was captain of the 1960-61 Wildcats, recalled a game in which Rupp was upset because he thought an opponent's big center had walked while scor- ing two or three baskets in a row. One of the officials was George Conley, who represented the Ashland area in the Kentucky State Legislature. Rupp called time out and told Parsons to tell Conley he wanted to talk to him. When Conley approached the UK bench, Rupp referred to a several million dollar road bill that Conley had proposed to benefit the people in his area. "We don't need the damn thing," Rupp said. "Why not?" Conley asked. "Just let them walk all over the state," Rupp said. ALL YOU GOTTA DO IS ACT NATURALLY One last Mobley story: The Wildcats were practicing an out-of-bounds play designed to get Mobley open for a shot. Rupp was describing each player's assignment, telling this guy to block and two other guys to set a screen. "Now Mobley," he said. "I want you to remain very nonchalant, appear to be very aloof, act like you don't know what's going on and then break behind the screen to get the ball for the shot." Then Rupp hesitated for a moment, looked at Mobley, and said, "Ah hell, just act natural and the play is bound to work."