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Mitch Barnhart on “Wah Wah” Jones

The most accomplished athlete in the history of the University of Kentucky passed away yesterday when Wallace “Wah Wah” Jones died at the age of 88 in Lexington. Today, UK athletic director Mitch Barnhart released a statement about the beloved Wildcat:

“The word ‘legend’ is used frequently in our society but it is truly fitting when considering Wah Wah Jones. Wah Wah holds a legendary place in the athletic history of our state as a three-sport star at Harlan High School and the University of Kentucky. Wah Wah was a central figure during a golden era of Wildcat athletics, noted for his outstanding performances and his versatility. Our condolences and prayers go out to his family and he will be remembered fondly by the Big Blue Nation.”

I’ll have more on Wah Wah’s legacy later tonight. Feel free to share your favorite Wah Wah stories below.

Article written by Drew Franklin

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

5 Comments for Mitch Barnhart on “Wah Wah” Jones



  1. Ridge Runner
    1:50 pm July 28, 2014 Permalink

    I think the fact he played for both Bear Bryant & Rupp along with his nickname deriving from a younger sister who couldn’t pronounce his name jumps out to me when I first heard or hear his name. Heck, so many accomplishments thought and of course his character was second to none. True Blue indeed!

    Never met or saw him to really get a true memory but that is something that enters my mind. Again condolences to the family.



  2. Nancy Cooper Rollins
    1:56 pm July 28, 2014 Permalink

    I Remeber you five “boys” as the fab five I had a big crush on Ralph Beard but loved you all. I was a young cheerleader from Paintsviile, Ky you were all our heros.



  3. GoBigBlue
    3:00 pm July 28, 2014 Permalink

    Back in 2007 I was working in Lexington and ate at Suggin’s on Romany Rd quite often. Wah Wah would come in on a regular basis, at least once a week, and the entire place would light up. Everyone wanted to shake his hand and be near him. We got to speak on a few occasions when he was able to actually settle in for a bit. He was a gentleman and full of great stories. I was only 28 at the time, but considered him a friend. He will certainly be missed.



  4. Kenneth Hornback
    8:11 pm July 28, 2014 Permalink

    In 1997 my wife and I met Wah Wah at the Pep Rally for the Championship game. He was kind enough to let us sit at his table. He was wearing a Blue coat and a UK hat. Fast forward 3 years and we were at the SEC Tourney in New Orleans. We were standing outside the Dome, and my wife(who had a few beers) saw an older gentleman wearing a blue coat and a UK hat. She said there is Wah Wah. She grabbed her best friend and each of them got on his arm and was telling everyone to take a picture. The entire time the gentleman was saying Im not Wah Wah, I’m not Wah Wah. Everytime we saw the real Wah Wah or heard his name we always smiled and had a good laugh. Yesterday when I heard his name it saddened me.



  5. 4catsfansNKY
    9:20 pm July 29, 2014 Permalink

    I never had the opportunity to meet him but the impact he had on my daughters life from stories. She would sit on my lap and ask me to read the same book over and over. It was about all the great Cats over the years but Wah Wah was who she would warn to hear about. At age 3 you could ask her who her favorite player was and she would say Wah Wah every time. People would laugh but it brought a smile to my face. She is 13 now and cried of hearing the news. Wah Wah, you are a true legend and condolences to his family.