Interview with Russ Pear, April 12, 2018

Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, University of Kentucky Libraries

 

Transcript
Toggle Index/Transcript View Switch.
Index
Search this Index
X
00:00:00 - Current title at University of Kentucky athletics

Play segment

Partial Transcript: Well I'm Dennis Emery and I'm here with Russ Pear, and Russ, what exactly is your title right now at UK athletics?

Segment Synopsis: Pear describes his current position as Senior Associate Athletic Director. He talks about his responsibilities and what his position in the athletic program is.

Keywords: Capital projects; Facilities; Mitch Barnhart; Senior associate athletic directors

Subjects: Employment--Kentucky; University of Kentucky

00:01:14 - First coming to the University of Kentucky

Play segment

Partial Transcript: --(laughs)--Well, I know that you, when you first came to the university, you were in with the recreation department, so what year, what year did you come and join the rec department?

Segment Synopsis: Pear offers a brief overview of his career and the positions he has held at the University of Kentucky since 1978. He notes the transition from coming in as Director for Intramural Sports to becoming the Director of Facilities.

Keywords: C.M. Newton; Director for Intramural Sports; Director of Facilities; Director of Intramurals

Subjects: Employment--Kentucky; University of Kentucky

GPS: University of Kentucky Athletics Department (Lexington, Ky.)
Map Coordinates: 38.039719, -84.500297
00:03:42 - Nutter Field House

Play segment

Partial Transcript: So your first project coming in kind of was taking over the Nutter Field House and the construction part of that.

Segment Synopsis: Pear talks about the creation of the Nutter Field House. He describes the various sports and activities that the building is used for. He notes how the building overturned the expectations that C.M. Newton placed on the initial project. He also talks about the inspiration for the architecture of the Nutter Field House.

Keywords: Athletic fields--Design and construction.; Athletic fields--United States--Design and construction.; Athletic fields.; Campus recreation; Field houses--Design and construction.; Physical education facilities--United States.; Physical education facilities.; Sports facilities--Economic aspects--United States.; Sports facilities.

Subjects: Field houses; Sports facilities--Design and construction.

GPS: Nutter Field House (Lexington, Ky.)
Map Coordinates: 38.021948, -84.503287
00:11:06 - Impressions of University of Kentucky football coaches

Play segment

Partial Transcript: Well, you know, it's a good time to kind of break this facilities stuff up a little bit in that because you are in the position you've been in, and you've been there for a long time, you've dealt with a lot of our football coaches.

Segment Synopsis: Pear talks about the different personalities of the various football coaches he has worked with over the years. He talks about his individual relationship with each coach. Pear also considers which coach he was closest to, opting to note that the individual relationships were unique in their own right.

Keywords: Attitudes; Bill Curry; Coaches; Facilities; Friendships; Guy Morriss; Hal Mumme; Jerry Claiborne; Joker Phillips; Nutter Training Center; Offices; Personalities; Relationships; Rich Brooks; Tennis

Subjects: College sports--Coaching; College sports--Kentucky; Football.; University of Kentucky--Football

00:23:47 - Tennis facility

Play segment

Partial Transcript: Well, let's, let's move out of the football and into something that, uh--I saw how directly it--you impacted, which is our tennis facility.

Segment Synopsis: Pear describes the building of the outdoor tennis facility. Pear notes the importance of relationships in building a satisfactory facility to be able to meet the needs and specifications of the coaches and the students. He places the building of the tennis building in the context of his other responsibilities related to programming. Emery interjects to talk about his own experience with the design of the tennis facility and his initial dissatisfaction with the designs.

Keywords: Campus recreation; Physical education facilities--United States.; Physical education facilities.; Sports facilities--Economic aspects--United States.; Sports facilities.; Tennis courts--Design and construction.; Tennis courts--United States--Design and construction.; Tennis courts--United States--Management.

Subjects: Sports facilities--Design and construction.; Tennis courts

00:30:08 - Cliff Hagan Stadium renovations

Play segment

Partial Transcript: Di--were you involved in any of the baseball renovations of, of Cliff Hagan? With Keith Madison?

Segment Synopsis: Pear talks about the challenges with the Cliff Hagan Baseball Stadium as a building, noting its inconveniences as a playable space. He then describes the renovations he helped get put in place at the stadium and the complications of getting it done during the baseball season. Pear also describes some plans that were not able to get finished. He also talks about working with John Cohen as a coach.

Keywords: Athletic fields--Design and construction.; Athletic fields--United States--Design and construction.; Athletic fields.; Campus recreation; Physical education facilities--United States.; Physical education facilities.; Sports facilities--Economic aspects--United States.; Sports facilities.; Stadiums.

Subjects: Sports facilities--Design and construction.

GPS: Cliff Hagan Stadium (Lexington, Ky.)
Map Coordinates: 38.028107, -84.498969
00:35:00 - New track & field track

Play segment

Partial Transcript: We're gonna get, you know, we're gonna get to the new baseball, but, but before we do that, um, talk to me about, um--

Segment Synopsis: Pear describes the construction of a new track and field facility. He notes the state of outdoor facilities for the track team at the time. Pear talks about the individuals and coaches that helped inspire him in creating the new facilities and what he learned through the construction process.

Keywords: Athletic fields--Design and construction.; Athletic fields--United States--Design and construction.; Athletic fields.; Campus recreation; Field houses--Design and construction.; Physical education facilities--United States.; Physical education facilities.; Sports facilities--Economic aspects--United States.; Sports facilities.

Subjects: Sports facilities--Design and construction.; Tracks (Athletics); Tracks (Athletics)--Design and construction

00:39:39 - Construction issues with the new track

Play segment

Partial Transcript: A lot of neat things over there, I know the neighbors complained at one point because it was too bright, uh, too loud, too bright, correct?

Segment Synopsis: Pear describes the issues with the local neighborhood during construction of the track. He notes the complaints that neighbors had. Pear also describes the philosophy on how to respond to these complaints and what steps the University took to make the final product of the track field more amenable to the neighborhood surrounding the field.

Keywords: Athletic fields--Design and construction.; Athletic fields--United States--Design and construction.; Athletic fields.; Campus recreation; Field houses--Design and construction.; Physical education facilities--United States.; Physical education facilities.; Sports facilities--Economic aspects--United States.; Sports facilities.; Stadiums.

Subjects: Sports facilities--Design and construction.; Tracks (Athletics); Tracks (Athletics)--Design and construction

00:45:02 - Impact on the Craft Center

Play segment

Partial Transcript: Before we kind of go over, into, to more of, the, the football stuff, uh, uh, how, how--what was your impact on, like, the Craft Center?

Segment Synopsis: Pear talks about the creation of the Craft Basketball Center. Emery interjects about his experience with the construction of the Craft Center, noting a story about a large hole present in the side of the building. Pear also mentions several important individuals in getting the building finished.

Keywords: Campus recreation; Craft Basketball Center; Physical education facilities--United States.; Physical education facilities.; Sports facilities--Economic aspects--United States.; Sports facilities.

Subjects: Basketball courts; Sports facilities--Design and construction.

GPS: Joe Craft Center (Lexington, Ky.)
Map Coordinates: 38.039831, -84.499780
00:53:14 - Soccer and softball stadium projects

Play segment

Partial Transcript: I want to, I want to go, just before we go to football, let's, let's talk about sof--soccer/softball.

Segment Synopsis: Pear talks about the creation of the Cropp softball and Bell soccer stadiums. He describes the formation of the projects. He also notes their cost and the breakdown of how much these projects ended up totaling.

Keywords: Athletic fields--Design and construction.; Athletic fields--United States--Design and construction.; Athletic fields.; Campus recreation; Physical education facilities--United States.; Physical education facilities.; Sports facilities--Economic aspects--United States.; Sports facilities.; Stadiums.

Subjects: Soccer fields; Sports facilities--Design and construction.

GPS: John Cropp Stadium (Lexington, Ky.)
Map Coordinates: 38.017368, -84.499995
00:59:07 - Funding the Kroger Stadium renovation and Craft Center

Play segment

Partial Transcript: Well, uh, we are going to, uh, move onto the, uh, you know, what I would think would be your crowning achievements.

Segment Synopsis: Pear talks about the process of getting the renovations to Kroger Stadium (then Commonwealth Stadium) and the complications with getting it funded. He talks about the use of bonded money and having to work through the state legislature to get the project completed.

Keywords: Athletic fields--Design and construction.; Athletic fields--United States--Design and construction.; Athletic fields.; Campus recreation; Physical education facilities--United States.; Physical education facilities.; Sports facilities--Economic aspects--United States.; Sports facilities.; Stadiums.

Subjects: Sports facilities--Design and construction.

GPS: Kroger Field (Lexington, Ky.)
Map Coordinates: 38.022768, -84.505409
01:05:23 - Importance of the football stadium

Play segment

Partial Transcript: Well, the, the football thing, um--the football stadium, seemed to me to like change everybody's outlook on Kentucky football, basically Kentucky sports in general.

Segment Synopsis: Pear discusses the importance of the football stadium to the University of Kentucky's outlook on football. He talks about the renovations and improving the stadium's appearance with suites and newer equipment. He also describes the cost of updating the stadium.

Keywords: Athletic fields--Design and construction.; Athletic fields--United States--Design and construction.; Athletic fields.; Campus recreation; Physical education facilities--United States.; Physical education facilities.; Sports facilities--Economic aspects--United States.; Sports facilities.; Stadiums.

Subjects: Sports facilities--Design and construction.

GPS: Kroger Field (Lexington, Ky.)
Map Coordinates: 38.022768, -84.505409
01:11:35 - Influence on the mezzanine architecture

Play segment

Partial Transcript: Um, kind of--what were your, what were your thoughts when you were doing the mezzanine and the new suites?

Segment Synopsis: Pear discusses the aesthetic inspiration behind the mezzanine level of the football stadium. He talks about the process of coming up with what was needed for the floor, as well as the reception in the Woodford Reserve room.

Keywords: Athletic fields--Design and construction.; Athletic fields--United States--Design and construction.; Athletic fields.; Campus recreation; Physical education facilities--United States.; Physical education facilities.; Sports facilities--Economic aspects--United States.; Sports facilities.; Stadiums.

Subjects: Sports facilities--Design and construction.

GPS: Kroger Field (Lexington, Ky.)
Map Coordinates: 38.022768, -84.505409
01:15:24 - Craft Football Center construction

Play segment

Partial Transcript: Well, let's, let's finish up with, again, what has to be the second part of your crowning achievement of your forty years at the University, which is the Craft Football Center.

Segment Synopsis: Pear discusses the creation of the Craft Football Center. He talks about forming the architectural design team. He also talks about the involvement of Joe Craft in the design.

Keywords: Athletic fields--Design and construction.; Athletic fields--United States--Design and construction.; Athletic fields.; Campus recreation; Physical education facilities--United States.; Physical education facilities.; Sports facilities--Economic aspects--United States.; Sports facilities.; Stadiums.

Subjects: Sports facilities--Design and construction.

GPS: Joe Craft Center (Lexington, Ky.)
Map Coordinates: 38.039815, -84.499813
01:21:05 - Mitch Barnhart

Play segment

Partial Transcript: Well, what, what I want to do is, is, just finish up here with, uh--you, you've spoken a lot--just get your thoughts on the A.D.s that you've worked with.

Segment Synopsis: Pear offers his impressions of Mitch Barnhart as an athletics director. He talks about the importance of the athletics directors. He also talks about the increased role that Barnhart took into the position in making sure that the student athletes were taken care of, as well as keeping the facilities financially solvent.

Keywords: "Do the right thing"; Athletics directors; Attitudes; Changes; Energy; Impressions; Mitch Barnhart; Personality; Student athletes

Subjects: College sports--Kentucky; University of Kentucky; University of Kentucky--Sports--History

01:25:19 - C.M. Newton

Play segment

Partial Transcript: Last guy, you know, because I think he's one of the most interesting people in UK athletics, uh, was C.M. Newton.

Segment Synopsis: Pear talks about his impression of C.M. Newton. He notes the importance of Newton as a coach and as an administrator. He notes Newton's role in incorporating more diversity in athletics in hopes for greater equality. He talks about Newton's personality.

Keywords: "Last piece of the puzzle"; Athletics directors; Attitudes; C. M. Newton; C.M. Newton; Changes; Color barrier; Equality; Impressions; Integration; Johnson Center; Personality; Segregation; Student athletes

Subjects: College sports--Kentucky; University of Kentucky; University of Kentucky--Sports--History