Kentucky baseball coach Nick Mingione received the prestigious Kentucky Colonel honor in a surprise ceremony on Monday. The commission of Kentucky Colonel is the highest title of honor bestowed by the Governor of Kentucky.
Mingione, UK’s second-year head coach, and his father-in-law, Randy Reeves, were presented with the recognition by Brigadier General Les E. Beavers. Reeves is a retired Commander and Surface Warfare Officer in the United States Navy and currently serves as Executive Director of the Mississippi Veterans Affairs Board and President of the National Association of State Directors of Veterans Affairs. Beavers has an extensive record of serving the needs of veterans in the Commonwealth of Kentucky.
The honor of Kentucky Colonel is a recognition of an individual’s noteworthy accomplishments and outstanding service to our community, state and nation. The Kentucky Colonels is a voluntary philanthropic organization and Kentucky Colonels are unwavering in devotion to faith, family, commonwealth and country. Passionate about being compassionate. Proud leaders who are gentle but strong in will and commitment.
“What an honor,” Mingione said after being commissioned. “The fact that people notice, I’m just really proud of our student-athletes because they’re the ones serving our community. The most important thing I’ve done since I got here was hire good men. Without the players and coaches, obviously, I’d never be able to receive this award.”
A sitting Kentucky governor noted in a letter to the Kentucky Colonels that he commissioned individuals as Kentucky Colonels “as a Governor’s way of recognizing individuals for their service and accomplishments on behalf of others.”
The 2017 SEC Coach of the Year and Perfect Game/Rawlings National Coach of the Year, Mingione completed his first year as UK head coach in June, leading the Wildcats to their first-ever trip to Super Regionals. UK won 43 games overall in 2017 and 19 in SEC play – the second most in school history – after being picked in the bottom half of the league in the preseason. Those 43 wins are also the most for a first-year UK head coach.
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