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Must-Listen: Jim Host talks UK tells untold stories with Oscar Combs

The fifth episode of Oscar Combs’ new podcast, Conversations with Oscar Combs, is out and it’s a must-hear show for the people of Big Blue Nation.

In this edition, Oscar chats with Jim Host, sports marketing pioneer and founder of Host Communications, about several “closed doors” stories from Kentucky basketball and football past.

For instance, Host tells the tale of when he talked to Arizona’s Lute Olsen at the 1985 Final Four about his interest in the Kentucky job. Olsen was close to replacing Coach Hall and went as far to meet the players in Wildcat Lodge, but returned to Tuscon when Arizona came through with a significant pay raise.

Then Host shares the story of Rick Pitino’s money guy driving up Pitino’s price to leave New York in one phone conversation, which Host scrambled to come up with via Pitino’s media deal. You’ll never believe this, but Pitino skipped out on some of his call-in shows in his early years in Lexington.

More quick teasers to hold you over:

Billy Donovan was all set to replace Rick Pitino, but Donovan wanted Pitino’s blessing and never received it.

— Kentucky was close to joining the ACC and all of the conference’s schools approved the moved. So, what happened?

— Host tells the story of how Fran Curci came to Kentucky from Alabama.

— He said John Calipari is “the greatest hire” of all time. He called him the single best marketer in the history of college basketball.

Listen below:

Article written by Drew Franklin

I can recite every line from Forrest Gump, blindfolded. Follow me on Twitter: @DrewFranklinKSR

4 Comments for Must-Listen: Jim Host talks UK tells untold stories with Oscar Combs



  1. Sentient Third Eye
    11:02 am November 10, 2016 Permalink

    This is the coolest thing to appear on KSR in a year. Awesome interview full of great stories!



  2. ClutchCargo
    1:44 pm November 10, 2016 Permalink

    What did Host have to say about that sweetheart deal with U of L when he was chairman of the Louisville Arena Authority?



  3. Rsn2GoBlu
    4:22 pm November 10, 2016 Permalink

    Considering a 30-story Omni hotel at a cost of $300 million is being built on the old Water Company block, I would say everything worked out fine for the city.