University Of Kentucky Coach John Calipari Offers Free Basketball Tickets To Coal Miner Who Brought Son To Scrimmage

Coal miner at a basketball game

Coal keeps the lights on.

I grew up in southern West Virginia, deep in the heart of coal country. Seeing dads, grandpas or uncles coming home from work in the evening covered in coal was just a way of life. And we didn’t have anything too “fancy” in my hometown, but I never even gave a second thought to seeing somebody out and about at a restaurant or a store or their kid’s baseball game while still in their work clothes with coal dust on their face.

Coal miners are some of the hardest working (and most underappreciated) men and women you’ll ever find.

And University of Kentucky basketball coach John Calipari wants to reward one of these hardworking dads.

Calipari’s Wildcats hosted their annual Blue-White scrimmage game in Pikeville, Kentucky this past weekend. And one fan in particular caught Calipari’s attention: A coal miner, still wearing his work clothes and covered in coal dust, sitting in the stands with his young son to watch the game.

The coach, whose grandfather was a coal miner in West Virginia, shared a picture of the man and his son to social media, asking for help identifying the dad who rushed from work to spend time with his son at a basketball game, and offered the family a VIP experience during a UK game at Rupp Arena:

“My family’s American dream started in a Clarksburg, WV coal mine, so this picture hits home.

From what I’ve been told, after his shift, he raced to be with his son & watch our team. Don’t know who this is, but I have tickets for him & his family at Rupp to be treated as VIPs!!”

The internet came together to use its powers for good, and eventually the dad was identified as Michael McGuire with his son, Easton.

According to McGuire’s wife Mollie, dad had been up since 4:45 AM before rushing home from work to go to the basketball game with his family.

Good for this dad for putting his family first, and good for Calipari for recognizing some of the unsung heroes who – to borrow a line from Alabama – work a 40-hour week for a living to keep this country running.

Now, time to get that family to Rupp Arena.

A beer bottle on a dock



A beer bottle on a dock