Former Wildcat Wilbur Hackett Named SEC Legend

Sep 20, 2013

LEXINGTON, Ky. – Former UK linebacker Wilbur Hackett, who played from 1968-70, has been named a 2013 Southeastern Conference Legend for excelling on the gridiron and helping write the rich history of SEC football.

New SEC Legend Wilbur Hackett receives a warm reception from fans at Commonwealth Stadium
New SEC Legend Wilbur Hackett receives a warm reception from fans at Commonwealth Stadium
Credit UK Athletics

Hackett was a three-year starting linebacker at Kentucky, earning Sophomore All-SEC honors in 1968, honorable mention All-SEC as a junior and was Kentucky’s Co-Most Valuable Player as a senior. 

One of the pioneers of integration in the SEC, in 1969 he became the first African-American team captain in any sport in SEC history. 

"It's not the kind of thing you politic for," Hackett told WUKY in a 2009 interview.  "I always played hard and felt like I always gave 100%.  I wasn't a very vocal person, I was just very active on the field and in practice.  I was just one of those guys who just worked hard all the time."

Hackett stayed close to athletics by becoming a baseball umpire and football game official, retiring recently after 15 seasons as an SEC football official.  His officiating highlights included three SEC Championship Games, two Rose Bowls and a Fiesta Bowl.  He is a member of the University of Kentucky Athletics Hall of Fame and the Kentucky Athletic Hall of Fame.

Joining Hackett in the 2013 class are Marty Lyons (Alabama), Wayne Martin (Arkansas), Frank Sanders (Auburn), Wes Chandler (Florida), Tim Worley (Georgia), Kevin Faulk (LSU), Jeff Jerrod (Ole Miss), Glen Collins (Mississippi State ), Phil Bradley (Missouri), Max Runager (South Carolina), Inky Johnson (Tennessee), Dat Nguyen (Texas A&M), and Jimmy Williams (Vanderbilt).

This year’s class includes All-Americans, All-SEC selections and Academic All-Americans as well as NCAA and SEC record holders. The group represents teams that won National and SEC Championships and are represented in state, school and college football halls of fame.

The class will be honored at the 2013 SEC Football “Weekend of Champions” Dec. 6-7 in Atlanta, Ga.  The annual SEC Legends Dinner presented by AT&T will be held Dec. 6 at the Hyatt Regency in Atlanta and the group will also be recognized prior to the SEC Football Championship Game, which will be held at the Georgia Dome on Sat., Dec. 7.