List of University of Kentucky alumni

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This is a list of encyclopedic people associated with the University of Kentucky in the United States of America.

Notable alumni (non-sports)[edit]

Name Degree / Years attended Notable for
Sam Abell National Geographic photographer
Scotty Baesler Former U.S. Representative from Kentucky
Percival Baker Member of the Legislative Assembly of Alberta in 1921
Mark Berger Economist
Wendell Berry Poet, essayist and farmer
George Billman Ph.D. (1980) Professor of physiology at The Ohio State University
Sarah Gibson Blanding First female president of Vassar College
Robert A. Bryan M.A., PhD President of the University of Florida, University of Central Florida, and University of South Florida
Albert B. "Ben" Chandler Former U.S. Representative from Kentucky's Sixth Congressional District
Albert B. "Happy" Chandler Governor of Kentucky, U.S. Senator from Kentucky, Commissioner of Major League Baseball responsible for integration and was inducted in the Baseball Hall of Fame
Elizabeth Gould Davis M. in Librarianship author, librarian
Brady J. Deaton Chancellor of the University of Missouri
David Dick B.A., M.A. in English literature CBS News correspondent; Kentucky author and publisher; UK journalism faculty member, 1985-1996
James Patrick Dunne Songwriter, recording artist, composer, film and television producer, and entrepreneur
Leonard S. Echols Represented West Virginia in the United States House of Representatives
Edward A. Eckenhoff M.A. in Education Founder and president of the National Rehabilitation Hospital in Washington, D.C.
Mark P. Finlay Architect
Ernie Fletcher Former Governor of Kentucky
Carol Martin "Bill" Gatton Businessman and major contributor to the university; namesake of College of Business and Economics
Betty Jane Gorin-Smith B.A. and M.A. Historian
Sara Beth Gregory B.A. (2003) and Law (2007) Current member of the Kentucky State Senate, former state representative; lawyer in Monticello
Tom Hammond Sportscaster
Elizabeth Hardwick Writer
M. E. Hart Played "MC Double Def DP" in the Software Publishers Association video Don't Copy That Floppy
Gordon Henderson Director of the UCLA Bruin Marching Band
David Winfield Huddleston Christian author and minister
Andy Jackson University of Florida men's tennis coach
Ashley Judd Actress; celebrity fan of the Wildcats (men's) basketball team
Kim Yong-ik M.A. Author
William English Kirwan Chancellor of the University System of Maryland; son of former university president A. D. Kirwan
Glenn Kotche A percussionist and composer, best known as drummer for Chicago rock band Wilco; named the 41st greatest drummer of all time by Gigwise in 2008
John E. Leland Director of the University of Dayton Research Institute
William Lipscomb 1976 winner of the Nobel Prize in Chemistry
Ken Lucas Former U.S. representative from Kentucky's fourth congressional district
Jerry Lundergan Member of the Kentucky House of Representatives, chairman of the Kentucky Democratic Party[1]
Mitch McConnell U.S. Senator from Kentucky, current Senate Majority Leader
Rodney McMullen CEO of The Kroger Company
Hugh M. Milton II United States Under Secretary of the Army from 1958 to 1961
Miss Elizabeth B.A. in Communications WWF and WCW professional wrestling valet, wife of Randy Savage
Russ Mobley Former state representative from Taylor and Adair counties
Read Morgan 1950–1952 Actor (The Deputy); Wildcats basketball player
Thomas Hunt Morgan Natural scientist and winner of the 1933 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine
Thomas Volney Munson graduated 1870 Horticulturalist
Story Musgrave Astronaut
Paul E. Patton Two-term governor of Kentucky
Beverly Perdue Former governor of North Carolina
Timothy N. Philpot B.S. (1974), J.D. (1977) Two-term State Senator of Kentucky (1991–1998), Family court circuit judge (2004–present)
Jean Ritchie Folk musician, singer, and songwriter who plays the Appalachian dulcimer
Elizabeth Madox Roberts Kentucky poet and novelist
Don Rosa Eisner Award winning writer and artist of Donald Duck and Uncle Scrooge comic books
John T. Scopes Defendant in the Scopes Trial
Louise Slaughter B.S. in Microbiology and Masters of Public Health U.S. Representative from New York, only female chair and current ranking member of the House Rules Committee
Elvis Jacob Stahr Jr. 1932–36 Secretary of the Army under President John F. Kennedy, President of Indiana University and West Virginia University, and President of The National Audubon Society
Harry Dean Stanton Actor known for playing Roman Grant on Big Love
Ted Strickland Former Governor of Ohio
Chris T. Sullivan Founder of Outback Steakhouse
Kristine Sutherland Actress, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Honey, I Shrunk the Kids
Tom Jefferson Terral Governor of Arkansas from 1925 to 1927
Lee T. Todd Jr. Former president of the University of Kentucky; inventor; entrepreneur
Rudy Vaughn Musician, singer-songwriter
Frank Vogel Current head coach for the Orlando Magic
Edwin O. Ware, Sr. Baptist clergyman and principal founder of Louisiana College in Pineville, Louisiana
Ed Whitfield U.S. Representative from Kentucky's First Congressional District
Yang Sung-chul 1970 (Ph.D.) Political scientist, South Korean ambassador to the United States (2000–2003)[2]
Michael York Pulitzer Prize for Investigative Reporting
Sullivan Canaday White Theater producer, director, and educator

Sports alumni[edit]


Derek Anderson 1994–97[b 1] Former NBA player (2005–06 NBA champion)
Kelenna Azubuike 2002–05 Former NBA Golden State Warriors player
Edrice Adebayo 2016-17 14th pick in the 2017 NBA Draft, NBA player for the Miami Heat
Eric Bledsoe 2009–10 One of five first-round picks from UK in the 2010 NBA draft and current player for the Phoenix Suns
Keith Bogans 1999–2003 NBA Boston Celtics player
Devin Booker 2014–15 NBA player for the Phoenix Suns
Sam Bowie 1979–84[b 2] 2nd pick in 1984 NBA draft (ahead of Michael Jordan)
Isaiah Briscoe 2015-2017 Current NBA player
Ramel Bradley 2004–2008 Playing for Hapoel Holon in the Israeli Super League[3]
Dwane Casey Former Minnesota Timberwolves; current head coach for the Toronto Raptors
Rex Chapman 1986–88 Former NBA player and first-ever draft choice in Charlotte Hornets franchise history
DeMarcus Cousins 2009–10 One of five first-round picks from UK in the 2010 NBA draft and current player for the New Orleans Pelicans[4]
Joe Crawford 2004–2008 NBA New York Knicks player; 2nd round draft; 58th pick overall in the 2008 NBA draft by the Los Angeles Lakers
Erik Daniels 2000–04 NBDL Fayetteville Patriots player
Anthony Davis 2011–12 Consensus men's college player of the year in 2011–12; now in the NBA with the New Orleans Pelicans
Tony Delk 1992–96 NBA Detroit Pistons player
Victoria Dunlap 2007–11 WNBA player with the Washington Mystics
Fabulous Five N/A 1948 Olympic basketball gold medalists
Richie Farmer 1988–92 Never played professional basketball; former Kentucky Commissioner of Agriculture, 2003–2011; spent two years in federal prison for crimes committed while Commissioner of Agriculture
Gerald Fitch 2000–04 TBL Galatasaray Cafe Crown player
Travis Ford 1990–94[b 3] Oklahoma State University men's basketball head coach
Taylor Fowler 1948–1957 NBA Miami Heat player
De'Aaron Fox 2016-17 3rd overall pick in the 2017 NBA Draft, NBA player for the Sacramento Kings
Anthony Epps Former NCAA basketball champion
Jack Givens 1974–78 1978 NCAA Basketball Tournament Most Outstanding Player
Kevin Grevey 1972–75 Former NBA player
Josh Harrellson 2008–11 NBA player for the Detroit Pistons
Chuck Hayes 2001–05 NBA player with the Toronto Raptors
Dan Issel 1966–70 All-time leading men's scorer and former Denver Nuggets head coach
Terrence Jones 2010–12 18th overall pick in the 2012 NBA draft and current player for the Milwaukee Bucks
Enes Kanter 2010–11[b 4] 3rd pick in the 2011 NBA draft and current player for the Oklahoma City Thunder
Michael Kidd-Gilchrist 2011–12 2nd pick in the 2012 NBA draft and current player for the Charlotte Hornets
Doron Lamb 2010–12 NBA player for the Orlando Magic
Brandon Knight 2010–11 8th pick in the 2011 NBA draft and current player for the Phoenix Suns
Trey Lyles 2014–15 NBA player for the Utah Jazz
Skal Labissiere 2015-16 NBA player for the Sacramento Kings.
Kyle Macy 1976–79[b 5] Former Morehead State University men's basketball head coach
Jamaal Magloire 1996–2000 NBA Toronto Raptors player
Jamal Mashburn 1990–93 Former NBA All-Star; current ESPN basketball analyst
Steve Masiello 1996–2000 Current head coach at Manhattan College
Walter McCarty 1992–96[b 6] Former NBA player; current assistant coach at the University of Louisville
Ron Mercer 1995–97 Current NBA free agent who has played with 7 different teams
Malik Monk 2016-17 11th overall pick in the 2017 NBA Draft, NBA player for the Charlotte Hornets
Darius Miller 2008–12 Former NBA player; currently playing in Germany with Brose Baskets
Dirk Minniefield 1979–83 Former NBA player
Nazr Mohammed 1995–98 NBA Chicago Bulls player; member of the 2004–05 NBA champion San Antonio Spurs
Randolph Morris 2004–07 Former NBA player
Jamal Murray 2015–2016 7th pick in the 2016 NBA draft for the Denver Nuggets
Cotton Nash 1961–64 Former NBA player and MLB outfielder
Nerlens Noel 2012–13 6th pick in the 2013 NBA Draft and current player for the Dallas Mavericks
Daniel Orton 2009–10 One of five first-round picks from UK in the 2010 NBA Draft
Scott Padgett 1994–99[b 7] Former NBA and ACB player; current head coach at Samford University
Patrick Patterson 2007–10 One of five first-round picks from UK in the 2010 NBA Draft and current player for the Toronto Raptors
Alex Poythress 2012-2016 NBA player for the Philadelphia 76ers
John Pelphrey 1988–92 Current assistant at the University of Florida; former head coach at the University of Arkansas
Mark Pope 1993–96[b 8] Former NBA player; current head coach at Utah Valley University
Tayshaun Prince 1998–2002 NBA Memphis Grizzlies player; member of the 2003–04 NBA champion Detroit Pistons
Frank Ramsey 1950–54 Seven-time NBA champion
Julius Randle 2013–14 NBA player for the Los Angeles Lakers
Pat Riley 1963–67 NBA Miami Heat former coach, and current team president; coached the 2005–06 NBA champion Miami Heat
Rajon Rondo 2004–06 NBA Chicago Bulls player; member of the 2007–08 NBA champion Boston Celtics
Jeff Sheppard 1993–98[b 9] 1998 NCAA Basketball Tournament Most Outstanding Player
Valerie Still 1979–83 Leading scorer in UK basketball history, male or female; played professionally in Europe and the ABL before briefly playing for the Washington Mystics in the WNBA; younger sister of UK football great Art Still
Marquis Teague 2011–12 NBA player for the Brooklyn Nets
Karl-Anthony Towns 2014–15 1st pick of the 2015 NBA draft; current player for the Minnesota Timberwolves
Wayne Turner 1995–99 ANBL New Zealand Breakers player; ended his UK career as the all-time NCAA leader in games played (record since surpassed)
Tyler Ulis 2014–16 Current NBA player for the Phoenix Suns
Antoine Walker 1994–96 Retired NBA player with several teams (2005–06 NBA champion with the Miami Heat)
Kenny Walker 1982–86 1985–86 All-American and 5th pick in the 1986 NBA Draft
John Wall 2009–10 1st pick of the 2010 NBA draft; current player for the Washington Wizards
Bobby Watson Former NBA player
Derek Willis 2013-2017 Current NBA player
Sean Woods 1988–92 Former head coach at Morehead State University


  • For players who enrolled from 1954 through 1971, their actual playing career did not start until a year after they first attended. At that time, freshmen were ineligible to play at varsity level.
  1. ^ Did not play until 1995State]].
  2. ^ Did not play in the 1981–82 or 1982–83 seasons due to injury.
  3. ^ Did not play until 1991, as he had to sit out the 1990–91 season after transferring from Missouri.
  4. ^ Although Kanter enrolled at Kentucky, he never played because he was declared ineligible by the NCAA due to financial benefits he had received from his former Turkish club team of Fenerbahçe Ülker.
  5. ^ Did not play until 1977, as he had to sit out the 1976–77 season after transferring from Purdue.
  6. ^ Did not play in the 1992–93 season for academic reasons.
  7. ^ Did not play in 1995–96 or the first half of the 1996–97 season for academic reasons.
  8. ^ Did not play until 1994, as he had to sit out the 1993–94 season after transferring from Washington.
  9. ^ Did not play in the 1996–97 season due to injury.


Name Years attended Notable for
Derek Abney NFL, former Chicago Bears wide receiver
George Blanda American Football League MVP, 1961, two-time AFL champ, and member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame
Shane Boyd Former Arizona Cardinals quarterback
Chuck Bradley Gridiron football offensive tackle
Neal Brown Former offensive coordinator at Troy University, Texas Tech, and UK; current head coach at Troy
Vincent "Sweet Pea" Burns Former NFL Indianapolis Colts defensive end
Jerry Claiborne 1946–1950 Former head football coach
Randall Cobb 2008–2016[6] Current wide receiver and return specialist with the Green Bay Packers; first person born in the 1990s to play in the NFL
Tim Couch 1996–1999 Former Cleveland Browns and Jacksonville Jaguars quarterback
Dermontti Dawson Former NFL offensive lineman for the Pittsburgh Steelers; inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2012
David De La Peralle Former CFL offensive lineman
Mark Higgs Former NFL running back
Glenn Holt NFL Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver
Christian Johnson Arena Football League player
Dennis Johnson Former San Francisco 49ers defensive end; currently with the Lexington Horsemen
Don King Former NFL defensive tackle
Kelly Kirchbaum Professional football player
Jared Lorenzen Former New York Giants quarterback
Ricky Lumpkin NFL player
Tim Masthay Current punter for the Green Bay Packers
Marlon McCree Former San Diego Chargers, current Denver Broncos safety
Rick Nuzum Former NFL center
Babe Parilli Three-time American Football League all-star and 1968 Super Bowl champ
Joe "Joker" Phillips 1981–85 Former wide receiver for the Washington Redskins and the CFL's Toronto Argonauts; former UK head coach
Artose Pinner Former Minnesota Vikings running back
Derrick Ramsey 1974–78 Former tight end for three NFL teams; athletic director at Coppin State University, 2008–2015; Kentucky Secretary of Labor, 2015–present
Dewayne Robertson Former New York Jets, former Denver Broncos defensive tackle
Howard Schnellenberger Retired football coach, most recently with Florida Atlantic; former head coach of the NFL's Baltimore Colts, and of Miami, Louisville, and Oklahoma in the college ranks
Art Still Former Kansas City Chiefs player and 4-time Pro Bowler; older brother of Valerie Still (see basketball alumni)
Jeff Van Note Former Atlanta Falcons offensive lineman and 6-time Pro Bowler
Moe Williams Former Minnesota Vikings running back
Ken Willis Former Dallas Cowboys kicker
Earl Wilson NFL and CFL player
Craig Yeast 1995–1998 Former Cincinnati Bengals receiver


Name Years attended Notable for
Joe Blanton Major League Baseball pitcher with the Pittsburgh Pirates; member of the 2008 World Series Champion Philadelphia Phillies, winner of Game 4 of the 2008 World Series
Collin Cowgill Outfielder with the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim
Andy Green Currently with the New York Mets, former player of the Arizona Diamondbacks
Jason Kipnis Second baseman for the Cleveland Indians
Jim Leyritz Former Major League Baseball player, most notably for the New York Yankees
Luke Maile Current catcher for the Tampa Bay Rays
A. J. Reed 2011–2014 Current Minor League Baseball player in the Houston Astros organization; consensus NCAA Division I player of the year in 2014
Brandon Webb Pitcher for the Arizona Diamondbacks, 2006 National League Cy Young Award winner



  • Jenny Hansen, 13-time All-American gymnast, who continues to hold every individual gymnastics record in UK school history; selected as the "NCAA 25th Anniversary Most Outstanding Gymnast"



  1. ^ Gerth, Joseph (September 22, 2013). "Ky. Senate candidate's dad brings connections, baggage". USA Today. The Courier-Journal. Retrieved November 13, 2014. 
  2. ^ Bak, In-gyu (2007-12-27). "고려대 국제대학원 양성철 교수" [Korea University professor Yang Sung-chul]. Pressian. Retrieved 2013-10-17. 
  3. ^ [1]
  4. ^ "DeMarcus Amir Cousins". Basketball-Reference.Com. Retrieved November 10, 2012. 
  5. ^ Goodbread, Chase (May 9, 2016). "Aaron Rodgers attends Randall Cobb's graduation ceremony". College Football 24/7. Retrieved May 11, 2016. 
  6. ^ Left full-time study at UK for the NFL in 2011; received degree in 2016.[5]
  7. ^ [2]