The Kentucky football program has lost a legend.
Houston Hogg, one of four Wildcats who broke the SEC football color barrier in the 1960s, died Thursday. He was 71.
Born in Hazard, Hogg finished his high school football career in Owensboro at Daviess County High School before teaming up with Greg Page, Nate Northington and Wilbur Hackett Jr. at the University of Kentucky. Following Page’s tragic death, Northington transferred to Western Kentucky, passing the torch to Hackett and Hogg who carried it admirably.
The four pioneers were immortalized with a statue outside of the Joe Craft Football Training Facility in 2016. Their story was detailed in a documentary released last year titled, “Black in Blue.”
Hogg played running back for the Cats. In three years he gained 245 yards and two touchdowns and caught 20 passes for 135 yards. One third down run by Hogg against Mississippi in 1969 set Kentucky up for a game-winning touchdown over Archie Manning and the eighth-ranked Rebels.
“Houston’s contributions to our football program, our university and the SEC go well beyond the football field,” said Mitch Barnhart, UK Director of Athletics. “His pioneering legacy will live on for generations to come through the young people for whom he paved the way and the dozens of foster children for whom he gave exceptional care. We are so proud he was a Wildcat and send our heartfelt condolences to his family and all those whose lives he touched.”
The SEC honored Hogg and his three teammates with Michael L. Slive Distinguished Service Award in 2017. This year Hogg served as Kentucky’s honorary captain for the 38-24 win over Toledo.