Jen Smith on UK Football

How exactly does Kentucky decide on its uniform combination each week?

Kentucky’s players will be breaking out these chrome helmets again for the Florida game on Saturday night, Coach Mark Stoops confirmed on Thursday. The players have been practicing in them all week.
Kentucky’s players will be breaking out these chrome helmets again for the Florida game on Saturday night, Coach Mark Stoops confirmed on Thursday. The players have been practicing in them all week. cbertram@herald-leader.com

It’s unlikely fans will find out about whatever fancy uniform combination Kentucky plans to pull out of the closet for the Florida game until Saturday, but Coach Mark Stoops confirmed that whatever it is will be topped with some shiny bling.

“A night game, we thought the chrome would look nice,” the head coach said of the shimmering helmets the players have been practicing in all week in preparation for the Gators.

So how do the Cats choose their uniforms for the week? Well, it depends on the week.

Often, Stoops and staff run ideas by a committee of 15 team leaders, who make the determination, and sometimes it works the other way around.

“The players wanted to wear all white last week, so we wore all white,” he said of the monochromatic look at South Carolina. “Sometimes we give them that option, yeah. I don’t put a whole heck of a lot of thought into it, to be honest with you.”

The person who does appear to put a lot of thought into it is Dan Berezowitz, UK’s director of recruiting operations.

“Brez brings me options,” Stoops said, then added smiling: ”Usually Brez thinks he’s the general manager as well so he usually comes and shows me a nice photo and says ‘What do you think?’ I either give him a thumbs up or thumbs down.”

Once the decisions are made, they’re passed along to Tom Kalinowski, who is in his 40th season as Kentucky’s equipment manager.

In interviews for a story about his extended tenure with UK, Kalinowski said he doesn’t mind the outrageous combinations that sometimes diverge from straight blue and white.

“I kind of like the wild stuff to be honest,” he said with a grin. “I’m going with the times. Change is good. I’m an old stickler on some things, but I really like the variations.”

The only issue for Kalinowski is where to store the multitude of options.

“That’s the tough part of it right now,” he said. “It gets things discombobulated. But it’s kind of a neat thing to see different combinations and whatnot.”

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