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Count On Seeing Coach Cal At The Liquor Store

March 2, 2010 – By Huey Minkle

To make a broad generalization, Kentucky fans love two things: their basketball, and their whiskey.

And now that head coach John Calipari has re-popularized one, it stands to reason that he could only help with the other.

Maker’s Mark had the same idea.

The renouned whiskey producer has struck a deal with Coach Cal that will feature his image on a new line of collector’s bottles as a fundraising attempt to aid a music endeavor by Kentucky’s orchestra.

It will be fifth bottle of their UK series will and will retail for $49.

The idea for the bottles were drawn up by Maker’s Mark, the UK Symphony Orchestra and horse racing site Keeneland as a means to boost music the state’s elementary system. Proceeds will be donated to a program that will allow the UK School of Music and Symphony Orchestra to come to public schools and the surrounding communities.

“When they told me that it was for the school of music, for the children of our state, it’s kind of how you’ll say, I’ll do it,” Calipari told local news station WKYT.

Maker’s Mark is expecting a little under 25,000 bottles to be sold, totaling around $300,000, and the University is attempting to find grants to match. Kentucky is hoping to secure around $1.2 million in funding for the program to off-set travel, equipment and faculty costs.

The bottle will be available on Friday, April 2, the day of Keeneland’s Spring Meet, and Calipari will be on hand to sign the purchased alcohol a week later.

“It’s an honor to team with Maker’s Mark and the university in this unique fundraising opportunity to help benefit the UK Symphony Orchestra Outreach Program,” Calipari said on the program’s websit. “I’m not sure the world is ready for my face on a bottle, but if it helps the university, I’m all for it. I hope all our great fans will support this worthy effort.”

Calipari is 27-2 in his first season with Kentucky, and the third-ranked Wildcats are one of the favorites in NCAA Basketball Sportsbooks to win the National Championship. He has been a welcomed figure in Lexington, and the seeminly-innocent whiskey program will likely be met with warmth.

But it should be said school officials will have to tread carefully when dealing with it’s athletic figures and alcohol. After all, the program had issues before Calipari when his predecessor Bill Gillespie’s problems off the court were worse than the ones on. Gillespie was arrested last August on suspision of DUI, five months after stepping away from Kentucky. It was his third arrest for drunk driving.

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1 Response for “Count On Seeing Coach Cal At The Liquor Store”

  1. ROSEMARIE MOCERI-CALIPARI PYRA says:

    MY MOMS MADIAN NAME WAS CALIPARI I DO NOT KNOW IF JOHN CALIPARI AND I ARE RELATED BUT HE SURE LOOKS LIKE MY FAMILY, ANYWAY I WOULD LOVE TO BUY BOTTLE OF THIS MARKERS MARK WHISKEY WITH HIS IMAGE ON IT, AND I WOULD PAY MORE FOR A SIGNED ONE, DO YOU THINK THIS IS POSSIBLE? SO ANXIOUS TO HEAR FROMYOU. PHONE 716 240010 CELL 716 5668502. THANK YU SO MUCH FOR YOUR TIME.
    GOD BLESS
    ROSE MARIE PYRA

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