Sunday, December 17, 2017

Birth Dates of Notable Kentuckians: December 17, 1926 – Bill Keightley


Image from

From The Kentucky Wildcats Official Athletic Site -

Affectionately known as "Mr. Wildcat," Bill Keightley had been associated with the Wildcats basketball program since 1962 before passing in 2008.

Keightley, who maned [sic] the "Bill Keightley Equipment Room" in Memorial Coliseum, was as much a fixture around UK basketball as the eight national championship trophies on display in the Joe Craft Center.

In his 46 seasons on the UK sidelines, the Wildcats' recorded over 1,000 wins.  During his tenure, he served under six UK head coaches -- Adolph Rupp, Joe B. Hall, Eddie Sutton, Rick Pitino. Orlando "Tubby" Smith and Billy Gillispie.

In 1997, UK honored Keightley with a retired jersey in his honor. He joins veteran broadcaster Cawood Ledford as the only non-player or coach to have a jersey retired at UK.

Keightley graduated from Kavanaugh High School in Lawrenceburg and was a retired U.S. Postal Service carrier and veteran of the Marine Corps in WWII.

He was survived by the former Hazel Robinson of Lawrenceburg. The Keightleys have one daughter, Karen, who works in the athletic department.

Selected Source from UK Libraries:

Interviews with William B. Keightley (from Louis B. Nunn Center for Oral History):

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