Kentucky Wildcats coach John Calipari shares a photo of the coal miner who ran home from work for his son’s first game and invites the family to Lexington for a game.


A Kentucky coal miner who took his family straight from work to a Kentucky Wildcats practice game is on the list for father of the year and heaped praise on legendary coach John Calipari, sharing a photo of him and expressing his admiration. hard work and dedication to his son.

The photo, which has now gone viral, shows Michael McGuire and his son sitting in the stands during Saturday’s Blue-White Game in Pikeville, eastern Kentucky.

McGuire is still wearing his work uniform and heavy boots and his face and arms are covered in black coal dust.

Kentucky fan Sue Kinneer snapped the photo and posted it on several Wildcats Facebook pages in hopes that someone on the coaching staff would see it and send the little boy an autograph.

The plan worked better than expected and Calipari shared the photo on social media.

“My family’s American dream began in a coal mine in Clarksburg, WV, so this photo hits home. I’m told that after his shift, he raced to be with his son and watch our team. I don’t know who this is, but I have tickets for him and his family at Rupp’s to be treated like VIPs!!”, Calipari. he tweeted. (Rupp Arena is home to the University of Kentucky basketball team.)

McGuire had not yet been identified at the time, but Kentucky fans were quick to find him and connect the coach with the family.

McGuire told CNN affiliate WKYT that he was working underground while all of this was going on and that nothing was happening.

“When I got out and got service on the way home, it went crazy…I couldn’t believe it was real,” she told WKYT.

McGuire told the station that when he left work Saturday he only had about 45 minutes to get to the game and didn’t want to miss out on his son Easton’s basketball experience.

“It was either go straight there or lose half the game, go home and take a shower and that’s it,” he told the affiliate.

Easton said they had a great time and are now looking forward to their home game at Rupp Arena in Lexington.

“He had a great time. He was dancing and every time they hit him, he went crazy,” McGuire told WKYT.

And McGuire, a Kentucky fan, spoke with Calipari on Monday night.

“It was awesome, he was really down to earth,” McGuire told WKYT.

Calipari told reporters Tuesday that he spoke to McGuire’s wife, Mollie, first because her husband was at work.

“And Mollie’s comment to me is, ‘My husband is humble. He’s a hard worker. It’s hard work, but he does enough just to be there so I don’t have to work. And he’s a great dad. He’s done that a lot,'” she said. said Calipari.

The coach said he hopes McGuire is a lesson for his players.

“I talked to my guys about it. It’s just a great lesson, and yesterday I showed them a picture of Michael and his son, and I talked about how hard work is honorable work, but he makes time for his son, even though he knows he can’t shower. . He didn’t care what he looked like, he wanted to be with his son,” Calipari said.

The McGuires haven’t decided which games they’ll go to, but Calipari said hotels, restaurants and other local businesses are tripping over them when they come to town to do something cool.

“Isn’t it nice for someone like that, who’s a quiet, humble guy, to know that people appreciate you, and we appreciate what you stand for,” Calipari told reporters. “And I’m grateful because it started how my family started in this country.”

Kentucky held the Blue-White Game in Pikeville to raise money for flood relief in eastern Kentucky.