VAUGHT: Keightley can't stay mad at Wildcats

If there is anyone who knows more about University of Kentucky basketball than Bill Keightley, I have not met him.

He's a virtual walking encyclopedia of UK information — and not the kind of information you can find anywhere else because Keightley lives and breathes UK basketball 365 days a year and has under coaches Adolph Rupp, Joe Hall, Eddie Sutton, Rick Pitino and Tubby Smith.

That's why working on a magazine story on Mr. Wildcat is more like a history lesson than a writing task. It also has helped remind me why Kentucky basketball is so lucky to have him around daily.

"There are a few times he has been mad at us, but for the most part is he always happy," said Kentucky junior guard Joe Crawford. "I just think he loves Kentucky basketball and the players. He doesn't ever stay mad at you for very long. I don't think he could. It's just not in Mr. Keightley's personality."

Keightley laughed when he heard what Crawford said and immediately talked about all the players who have spent time in his office for "counseling" over the years.

"You can't stay mad at those players no matter what they did. I've always had an open door policy for all of them. You have to enjoy that," Keightley said. "How can you not enjoy something if you think you are helping people. That's another qualification you need to have for this job.

"You just can't stay mad. You have to love these kids and all they go through every day. They love you back, too. So how could you not love them?

No, the real question is how could you not love Mr. Wildcat?


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