'Jerry Claiborne Way' to be dedicated Saturday

Ceremonies will also honor donors of new football offices

Dedication ceremonies for "The Jerry Claiborne Way" and the new Paul Orberson Football Office Complex will be held Saturday at the Nutter Training Facility.

The Claiborne Way dedication, which is the renaming of the street formerly known as Sports Center Drive, is set to begin at 4:45 p.m. in the lobby of Nutter Training Facility.  Speaking at the event will be Terry Mobley, Acting UK Director of Athletics; Ted Bates, past national president of the UK Alumni Association; and a representative of the Claiborne family.  Family members expected to attend include Jerry's brother, George Claiborne; nephews George Claiborne, Jr., and Brent Claiborne; Jerry's sister, Clarice Massey; and niece Diane Massey.

The acceptance speech will be followed by the unveiling of the new street sign at the intersection of Complex Drive and Claiborne Way.

The process began in December 2001, when the UK Alumni Association recommended to the UK Board of Trustees that Sports Center Drive be renamed The Jerry Claiborne Way.  The recommendation was approved by the Board of Trustees.  The street originates in the parking lot of the UK baseball field, runs in front of the Nutter Training Facility, crosses Cooper Drive, and ends at the Nutter Field House.

Claiborne was a letterman at UK in 1946, 1948, and 1949 and still holds the UK single-season record for interceptions with nine.  He was an assistant coach with UK in 1952-53 and was head coach of the Wildcats from 1982-89.  He led the Cats to two bowl games and was known for his dedication to integrity and academic success.  Claiborne's overall record in 28 seasons as a collegiate head coach was 179-122-8.  He was elected to the College Football Hall of Fame in 1999.  Claiborne passed away in September of 2000.

After the Claiborne Way dedication there will be a ceremony for the new Paul Orberson Football Office Complex, which is an expansion of the Nutter Training Facility.  Expected to speak are Mobley, Coach Guy Morriss, Orberson, and UK President Dr. Lee Todd.

Fundraising for the project began in Jan. 1999 when Orberson made the founding pledge of $1.6 million to add football offices to the Nutter Training Facility.  Construction began in 2000.  The building was completed in Feb. 2002 and the coaches moved from Commonwealth Stadium to their new offices before spring practice.

In addition to the new offices, the Orberson Complex features group meeting rooms for the coaching staff, a much-needed expansion of space for the UK video operation, and state-of-the-art technology for coaches' film evaluation.  The new office location also makes it more convenient for the players to visit the coaches when needed.

The generosity of Orberson made the new complex possible.  An entrepreneur from Kentucky, Orberson had enormous success with Excel Communications.  Recently, he began a new enterprise, Fortune Hi-Tech Marketing, Inc.

In addition to Orberson's gift, the Nutter family also made a donation toward the construction of the facility.  The Nutter family has been the major benefactor for two UK football buildings, the Nutter Training Facility (completed 1987) and the Nutter Field House (completed 1993).  Mr. and Mrs. Bob Nutter, Mr. and Mrs. Ken Nutter, and Zoe Nutter are expected to attend Saturday's event.

AllWildcats Top Stories