Wilbur Hackett, Jr.

Wilbur Hackett was a student-athlete at the University of Kentucky from 1967-70 and was a pioneer of integration in the Southeastern Conference in the sport of football.  Beginning his career with the UK freshman team, he became a three-year varsity starter, earning Sophomore All-SEC honors in 1968 and receiving the team’s “110 Percenter Award.”  He became the SEC’s first African-American team captain in any sport in 1969.  He was named UK’s Co-Most Valuable Player as a senior and served as a graduate assistant coach for two seasons. 

Hackett stayed active in athletics by becoming a football game official and baseball umpire.  He eventually earned a role with the SEC, spending more than two decades with the league on the field, as an officials’ evaluator and a replay official. He was named to the UK Athletics Hall of Fame in 2009 and was UK’s “SEC Legend” representative at the 2013 SEC Championship Game.  The contributions made by Hackett and fellow pioneers Nate Northington, Greg Page, and Houston Hogg were recognized with the construction of a statue located at Kroger Field in 2016.

Hackett works at Toyota Manufacturing in Georgetown and serves as a Community Advisory member for the University Athletics Committee.