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UK Athletics complex named after Mitch Barnhart and family

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The UK Athletic Director gets his name on a campus sports complex.

NCAA Football: Mississippi State at Kentucky Mark Zerof-USA TODAY Sports

The UK Athletics complex that features Kentucky Wildcats baseball, softball, and soccer, now has its new name.

Tuesday, the UK Board of Trustees approved the complex name to be the Barnhart Family Athletics Complex, named after Athletic Director Mitch Barnhart and family.

UK boosters Vickie and Wendy Bell requested that the name be in honor of Mitch and his family. The Bell’s are prominent UK boosters and UK’s soccer complex has been named the Wendy and Vickie Bell Soccer Complex since 2014.

This would normally not be permitted under university policy, unless it was an extreme case. But, the university advisory committee felt that this case was an “extreme case,” according to UK’s press release.

President Eli Capilouto weighed in on the decision as well:

“Vickie and Wendell Bell root for all UK sports. But they also became deeply devoted to sports that often aren’t played in the limelight, in front of thousands of fans or on national TV. Mitch and Connie Barnhart’s passion for all of our sports — and all of our student athletes — has inspired the Bells’ giving in this way. That is extraordinary. And, in my judgment, meets the definition of extraordinary asked for in our regulations regarding these kinds of gifts.”