University of Kentucky coach Tubby Smith and members of the “Comeback Cats” 1998 team and their championship trophy were there along with Rob Samuels of Maker’s Mark and Bill Thomason of Keeneland.
Bottle signers included Smith, Cameron Mills, Jeff Sheppard, Wayne Turner, Mike Bradley, Saul Smith, Ryann Hogan, Scott Padgett, Allen Edwards and Steve Masiello.
This was the first time Keeneland had fans sign up through e-ticketing for the annual bottle signing. The bottle went on sale on April 6 and fans lined up around liquor stores to get one. Tickets for the signing were snapped up in less than two hours and fans began lining up Thursday night with more coming out before dawn on Friday.
This is the fourth bottle in the UK championship series; the first three honored UK’s first six national championships under coaches Adolph Rupp, Joe B. Hall and Rick Pitino.
Proceeds from sales of the bottle benefit the UK Athletics Association’s Center for Academic and Tutorial Services, which serves student-athletes from all 22 UK varsity sports teams.
Next year’s bottle will honor the 2012 team coached by John Calipari.