UK Athletics is mourning the loss of Ben Jordan, the former Kentucky Baseball player and basketball walk-on who passed away on Monday at the age of 22. This morning, Nick Mingione, John Calipari, and Mitch Barnhart released statements on Jordan’s passing.
Nick Mingione, University of Kentucky Head Baseball Coach
“We are devastated to learn of Ben Jordan’s tragic passing last night. There are no words to express the shock and heartache our team is feeling with the loss of Ben. He was an absolute joy to coach and be around. His coaches, teammates and brothers loved him dearly. His smile, his sense of humor and love for this university will never be forgotten. He will be missed beyond measure. Our thoughts and prayers are with Ben’s family and we will support them in any way we can during this extremely difficult time. We are all hurting and will find a way carry Ben’s legacy forward and keep him in our heart always.”
Mitch Barnhart, University of Kentucky Director of Athletics
“It is with profound grief that we learn of the loss of Ben Jordan. Ben loved and cherished being a Wildcat. He had a servant’s heart and answered the call whenever asked, including putting his promising baseball career on hold to help the basketball team when it needed him. I remember meeting Ben on his official visit to our campus and being so impressed with his passion for this state and the University of Kentucky. He will be missed immensely. Our prayers and condolences are with Ben’s family and friends.”
John Calipari, University of Kentucky Head Basketball Coach
“Our hearts are broken today. We learned early this morning that we have lost Ben Jordan. It is difficult for me to express and to put into words what a tragedy it is to lose a young person too early. Ben impacted our team last season in so many ways with his kind heart, his big smile and his wonderful personality. He cared so deeply about this place and it meant so much to him to be a part of this team. We are grieving today over the loss of a teammate and a brother, but Ben will not be forgotten. We ask that everyone keep Ben and his family in their thoughts and prayers during this time as we try to find a way forward. Ben, may you rest in peace.”
Jordan, a right-handed pitcher, appeared in 10 games during the 2019 baseball season, pitching 8.2 total innings and allowing eight hits and seven runs while striking out eight. He redshirted his freshman season in 2018. In October 2019, he agreed to walk on the basketball team and appeared in two games, taking just one shot against Eastern Kentucky. This past summer, he decided to return to baseball on a full-time basis.
Jordan was a two-sport star at West Carter High School in Olive Hill, Kentucky, finishing as the team’s all-time leading rebounder and shot blocker and eighth in school history in career points. As a senior, he won Eastern Kentucky Conference Defensive Player of the Year and was named to the EKC First Team. He was an Under Armour All-American in 2016, Rawlings-Perfect Game Second Team All-American in 2017, and considered the No. 97 overall baseball prospect and No. 33 right-handed pitcher in the class of 2017.
Rest In Peace, Ben.