Denny Crum turning 80, gets his own Makers Mark label

Denny Crum is turning 80 and still creating legacies at the University of Louisville. Creating UofL milestones in 1980 and 1986 with the school’s first two NCAA championships.

He was inducted into the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame in 1994, with the late John Wooden of UCLA fame as his presenter. Denny compiled  a 675–295 record over 30 years at UofL.

His latest legacy is the Denny Crum Scholarship Fund, which was established in 2001. More than $750,000 in scholarship money has been awarded to more than 350 students attending UofL — based on academics, community service and financial need.

Denny Crum had a 30-year tenure with Louisville basketball (Jim Reed photography).

Many of his fans and friends will be attending an 80th birthday bash for Denny on Wednesday, March 1 at the at the Ramada Plaza Louisville Hotel and Conference Center on Hurstbourne Lane, starting at 6 p.m., with a live auction. The event is also a fundraiser for the scholarship fund, intended to be a permanent offering at UofL.

Makers Mark has created a limited edition special label bottle, numbered from 1 to 80 to mark the occasion. Individual bottles are available at the auction, starting at $1,000 each. The No. 1 and No. 80 bottles are expected to be in major demand.  Denny wants No. 30  for his 30 years at the helm.

Tickets are $80 each. For  ticket info, contact at York Management or call 502-894-9768.

Maker’s Mark label for Tom Jurich, a step closer to Academic Center


Tom Jurich couldn’t be there, he’s attending the ACC Kickoff gathering in Greensboro, N.C. But the latest Maker’s Mark label was unveiled in his honor Tuesday on the University of Louisville campus.

Not surprising that Jurich would be at an ACC meeting, having engineered UofL entry into that prestigious conference. Nor that he would not be on hand for the unveiling of a special product honoring him for everything his athletic program has accomplished since 1997.

As Rick Pitino said during the press conference, “Tom once told me, ‘It’s all about the University, it’s not about me.'”

The label is the fourth in a series designed to help raise fund for the UofL Academic of Excellence, a $14 million center that will be built adjacent to Papa John’s Cardinal Stadium. The Maker’s Mark bottles have generated $2.8 million toward the project.

Mark Jurich, who is in charge of fundraising for the academic facility project, said the University has raised a total of $8.2 million for the building and expects to reach the $14 million goal by the end of the year, presumably breaking ground in 2015.

The bottles. 8,500 of them, have a suggested retail price of $50 each, according to Maker’s Mark Chief Operating Officer Rob Samuels, and will go on sale at local retail outlets this Friday.

A signing event will be held August 13, from 5 to 7 p.m. at the KFC Yum! Center where 700 bottles will be signed. Tickets for the signing event will go on sale for $1 each on July 30, starting at 10 a.m. at

Dig deep for Year of the Cardinal

Year-of-the-CardinalTake a good look at the graphic of the new Marker’s Mark Year of the Cardinal bottle because it may be the only one you get.

Only five hundred of the bottles will be available starting this Thursday by calling the Cardinal Athletic Fund at 852-8460, starting at 9 a.m. with your credit card in hand.

The cost — actually it’s a major investment — is $2,000, with all the proceeds going to benefit the UofL Academic Center for Excellence. UofL and Maker’s Mark are teaming up for raise $1 million. The estimated cost of the project is $14 million.

The bottles celebrate the Year of the Cardinal with an unprecedented four-part feat in college athletics: winning the Sugar Bowl, participating in the College World Series, advancing to the national championship game in women’s basketball, and winning the 2013 NCAA men’s basketball championship.

Pitino will sign more Maker’s Marks

Rick Pitino will sign 400 commemorative bottles of a premium brand featuring his image on Sunday, July 14 at 4 p.m. at a ticketed event at Molly Malone’s Irish Pub and Restaurant, 3900 Shelbyville Road.

Tickets may be picked up in advance at no charge with the purchase of food or drink during this week at the Molly Malone’s location, beginning after 5 p.m. on Monday, July 8. Each of the 400 tickets will allow the bearer to have one bottle signed on Sunday and only the 2013 commemorative bottles will be signed. Pitino is receiving no fee for the signing and there is no charge for the ticket.

Pitino bottles go quickly

Fifteen telephone calls to beverage stores before noon on Friday.

“Any Rick Pitino bottles?”

“Nope. Sold out.”Pitino bottle

Pretty safe to conclude that the special Maker’s Maker edition honoring the two-time NCAA winner and Hall of Fame coach is gone.

Not to worry, the observer, is sixth in line at 9 a.m. claiming one at Cox’s Smokers Outlet in Middletown. Unfortunately, while leaving the store, he has to walk past fellow University of Louisville fans in a long line who will be disappointed. The store had only 12 bottles available.

Twenty of them already listed on Craig’s List, ranging in price from $60 to $1,000 per bottle.

The next big challenge is getting them autographed by the coach, Tom Jurich, and the Maker’s Mark folks. Going to have to fight Internet traffic Monday at 3 p.m. to get the $1 autograph ticket at The signing event is at the KFC Yum! Center next Thursday, starting at 5 p.m.