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Rick Pitino’s post-game radio interviews, 1990

Posted on January 27, 2019 | in Uncategorized | by

Rick Pitino, right, University of Kentucky basketball coach, drew a record 11,000 fans to his postgame interview with Cawood Ledford after a Jan. 27, 1990 win over Mississippi. Previously, UK coaches conducted their post-game shows from the locker room, or some hallway in the bowels of Rupp Arena. Listeners on the UK radio network could enjoy the show, but fans in the arena missed it. Then, beginning with the Mississippi State game Dec. 4, the first-year coach decided to move his show out into the arena, where everybody could see it. For good measure, he had the audio piped into the arena sound system so that any fans who wanted to could hang around after the game and listen. And hang around they did. A few hundred fans stayed for the first show. But once the word got out, things just took off. About 8,000 fans stayed to hear Pitino after the Cats’ victory over Tennessee on Jan. 20, a record until after their 98-79 win over the Rebels. Even Pitino, who dreamed the whole thing up, is amazed by it all. “I had seen a couple of pro teams, Phoenix and maybe Indiana, do it,” he said. “So I said, look, maybe some of the players’ family members will stick around after the game, and they won’t be able to hear the post-game show. So, if we got maybe 100 people it would be worthwhile to pipe in the show and let them hear it. But I never expected anything like this. And today we had about 11,000, which really shocked me.” Ledford said Coach Adolph Rupp also did post-game shows in front of the fans. But they never caught on the way Pitino’s have. “The thing is, Rick really does a great job with the fans; he knows how to play to the crowd,” Ledford said. During this show Pitino broke away from a discussion of Kentucky’s full-court press to announce that he would henceforth call it the “mother-in-law press” because it caused “total pressure and harassment.” The crowd broke out in laughter. Click here to see more images from our archives or Rick Pitino and here to see images of Cawood Ledford.  Photo by Frank Anderson | staff

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