Red is not the ideal color to wear when you’re the leader of Big Blue Nation. Though, Kentucky head coach John Calipari is willing to put the rivalry with Louisville aside for at least a game or so in honor of the late Richard J. Corman.
Corman was the owner of the R.J. Corman Railroad Group, and on Aug. 23, Corman unfortunately lost his longstanding battle with cancer. As Calipari explained through his personal website, the R.J. Corman Railroad Group’s main color is red, and Corman was the only person Coach Cal allowed to wear a red shirt while watching Kentucky practices.
When Calipari accepted the UK job in 2009, it was Corman who sent a plane to pick up Calipari and his wife and bring them to Lexington for the introductory press conference. The two remained close, so much so Calipari referred to him as a brother.
On Monday, Calipari announced his decision to honor his friend this season:
I always said I would never wear red, but in honor of my friend, I’m going to wear a Rick Corman red jacket to one or more games this season. It’s the second color I said I would never wear but ended up doing (brown was the other), but I promise I will never wear orange. Oh, and it won’t be for the Louisville game either.
John Calipari has done a lot for the Kentucky faithful, and this touching gesture for a close friend gives him a pass to wear a little red, even if it is inside Rupp Arena.