SKCTC business professor retires after 33 years, will further sports writing career

Published 10:37 am Monday, May 20, 2024

Longtime educator Jamie Vaught understands the importance of timing. Following a career that spans three decades, the professor, sportswriter, and photographer will retire from Southeast Kentucky Community and Technical College this summer. The end of one chapter, however, marks the beginning of another.
“Ironically, by the time I was getting ready to retire from teaching, I was asked in late April by a representative of a publishing company if I’d be interested in writing another book about UK basketball,” said Vaught. “I’m honored. I guess you can say my retirement is good timing as I will have more time to write articles or maybe more books.”
Vaught’s dual roles in education and writing have long intertwined. While still a student at Somerset High school, Vaught developed a passion for sports writing. As an undergraduate at UK during the late 1970s, he served as a sportswriter and sports editor of Kentucky Kernel, the campus daily newspaper. He has covered the University of Kentucky’s basketball program since his early college days, including the team’s NCAA Final Four appearances in 2012 and 2015.
After earning a bachelor’s degree in accounting and an MBA from the University of Kentucky, Vaught worked in the banking industry and taught at a couple of colleges before arriving in Middlesboro in 1991 to teach at what was then Southeast Community College, part of the University of Kentucky Community College System. During those early years, Vaught and other instructors taught college classes in the Middlesboro Education building downtown until the present-day Middlesboro Campus was built in 1995.
At Southeast, Professor Vaught has served as business administration and accounting professor as well as Business Administration Program coordinator. He is a member of Lincoln Memorial University’s School of Business Executive Advisory Board, and he served on the statewide KCTCS Business Administration Curriculum Committee, representing Southeast, for several years.
Simultaneously, Vaught has been longtime credentialed sports columnist in Kentucky, whose articles over several decades have appeared in many outlets, including the Middlesboro News, Harlan Enterprise,,, Somerset’s Commonwealth Journal, and the Cats’ Pause magazine. He is also founder and editor of the growing Magazine.
To date, Vaught, who is also severely hard of hearing (or near deafness), has written six books about UK basketball, including Crazy about the Cats: From Rupp to Pitino. His latest book is titled, Forever Crazy About the Cats: An Improbable Journey of a Kentucky Sportswriter Overcoming Adversity. Over the years, Vaught’s books have been cited or mentioned in at least a dozen books about UK basketball.
In addition to devoting himself to more writing and covering more UK games, Vaught says he plans to spend more time on home projects that he has been putting off. He and his wife Deanna plan more visits to their grown children, as well. Daughter Janna, also a UK and SKCTC graduate, works as a flight attendant based in Cincinnati, and son Warren is a member of the US Air Force stationed in San Antonio, Texas.
Although he looks forward to his new adventures, Vaught admits that retirement is bittersweet.
“I will miss the people [at SKCTC]. We have great people here,” said Vaught. “We are here to serve the students, and that’s what we do best.”

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