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‘This picture hits home’: Kentucky coach offers coal miner VIP treatment

‘My family’s American dream started in a Clarksburg, WV coal mine, so this picture hits home,’ John Calipari tweeted

A coal miner seen in a viral photo wearing work clothes while sitting next to his son at a University of Kentucky basketball game has been offered free tickets and star treatment by the team’s head coach.

The photo shows Micheal McGuire in coal miner clothes and coal residue sitting next to his son at a scrimmage game on Saturday.

“My family’s American dream started in a Clarksburg, WV coal mine, so this picture hits home,” head coach John Calipari tweeted. “From what I’ve been told, after his shift, he raced to be with his son & watch our team. Don’t know who this is, but I have tickets for him & his family at Rupp to be treated as VIPs!!”

“This is my Husband Micheal McGuire with our son Easton!” Mollie McGuire tweeted in response.

She told ESPN.com she was “stunned” when Calipari called her personally to offer her tickets for an upcoming game on campus.

ESPN reported:

McGuire said her husband left the mines and immediately drove to the game to be with his wife and their 3-year-old son, Easton. Although he was tired after a long shift, Kentucky’s scrimmage was the first live basketball game their son had attended, and he didn’t want to miss it.

McGuire said her husband was unaware of the buzz about the photo because he’d been in the mines all day.

“Calipari had arranged the scrimmage at Appalachian Wireless Arena to raise money for communities in Eastern Kentucky that had been ravaged by flooding over the summer,” the news outlet reported.

“Mollie McGuire said her family avoided the devastation other families endured during flooding that killed 39 people in that part of the state in August,” ESPN reported. “Her family — they also have a 1-year-old daughter — packed up bags of clothing and gave them to family members and friends who’d lost everything.”

MORE: Loyola’s 102-year-old nun on hand for March Madness

IMAGE: John Calipari/Twitter

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About the Author
Associate Editor
Matt has previously worked at Students for Life of America, Students for Life Action and Turning Point USA. While in college, he wrote for The College Fix as well as his college newspaper, The Loyola Phoenix. He holds a B.A. from Loyola University-Chicago and an M.A. from the University of Nebraska-Omaha. He lives in northwest Indiana with his family.