Vaught pens sixth book about UK athletics

Published 11:01 am Saturday, December 10, 2022


Veteran sportswriter Jamie H. Vaught has penned another entertaining book about University of Kentucky basketball.

The title of Vaught’s 408-page hardcover is “Forever Crazy About the Cats: An Improbable Journey of a Kentucky Sportswriter Overcoming Adversity.” The book is also part memoir about Vaught’s long, adventurous career of covering UK basketball and football, while overcoming personal adversity — a devastating hearing loss since birth.

Email newsletter signup

In addition to the author’s personal struggles and inspiring stories about his severe hearing impairment, the volume features fascinating and inside stories about the Wildcats. The featured individuals include Adolph Rupp, Joe B. Hall, Dan Issel, Cawood Ledford, Tubby Smith, John Calipari, Paul “Bear” Bryant, Ray Correll, Blanton Collier, Fran Curci, Jerry Claiborne, Mark Stoops, Maci Morris, Oscar Tshiebwe and his high school coach, Rick Mancino, among others.

Also featured is a former super recruit from Kentucky who almost played basketball for the Wildcats. In addition, the book includes an enjoyable chapter about Vaught’s childhood friend Roberto Clemente and the Pittsburgh Pirates.

“This new book actually was written outside of my comfort zone. It wasn’t an easy project to do in discussing my severe hearing impairment, but I was encouraged to do this type of book,” Vaught said. “It could be the best one that I have written, but I’ll let my faithful readers decide. One of the editors said he liked this book better than the last one I wrote even though Chasing the Cats book had very good reviews. I hope he’s right. We’ll see.”

Two well-known Kentucky personalities —  former Wildcat basketball star and current UK broadcaster Jack Givens, and retired Kentucky Supreme Court Justice and author Bill Cunningham — wrote blurbs for the hardcover.

This is Vaught’s sixth book about UK athletics, mostly basketball. Vaught, a two-time UK graduate who once wrote columns for The Cats’ Pause for 13 years, is a longtime professor of Southeast Kentucky Community and Technical College and has taught at the Middlesboro campus since 1991. He teaches accounting and business and serves as an advisor for the campus newspaper, The Southeasterner.

Several book signings are being planned for various locations throughout Kentucky. The first event is scheduled for 10 a.m.-noon on Dec. 17 at the Middlesboro-Bell County Public Library in Middlesboro.

The newly released book is available on Amazon and will be available in retail outlets throughout the state later this month.