Energy Hero: Coach John Calipari

Energy Hero: Coach John Calipari

December 21, 2022

Our first energy hero for 2022 is the University of Kentucky’s (UK) men’s basketball coach John Calipari. Coach Cal is known for his basketball coaching skills, but this year he went viral for highlighting a hard-working Kentucky coal miner who rushed to an exhibition game straight from work. 

The miner, can be seen with soot on his face and still in his mining uniform, was watching the game with his young son. Once Coach Cal saw the touching photo, he tweeted that he wanted to treat the miner and his family to a VIP experience at Rupp Arena in Lexington, KY.  

And that is precisely what happened. Once the miner had been identified as Michael McGuire, he and 13 family members received a VIP tour of Rupp Arena and seats behind the UK bench. Michael was also honored by being the “Y” when the UK cheer team spelled Kentucky, a great honor and UK basketball tradition. 

When Coach Cal was asked at a press conference about the situation, he said: 

“You’re bringing light to a good man. A hardworking Kentuckian. A coal miner who does everything he can to make time for his family and his son and his daughter. Come on. That’s what it ends up being. That’s the story…You got hotels calling, ‘we want to put him up.’ You got restaurants calling, ‘we wanna feed him dinner.’ Had a car dealership call to give him a car to drive. Think about this. And isn’t neat for someone like that, who’s a quiet, humble guy to know people appreciate you and appreciate what you stand for. And I appreciate it because it’s how my family got their start in this country. The American Dream started in a coal mine in Clarksburg, West Virginia. Backbreaking work? Yes.”

Kentuckians understand that coal keeps the lights on, and it is refreshing to see a prominent figure support and uplift the community. For his support of and generosity to coal miners, John Calipari is a PTF Energy Hero.