LEXINGTON, Ky. – Three University of Kentucky football greats, Wilbur Hackett, Warren Bryant and Dean Wells, were honored during Governor’s Cup activities Tuesday night at the Derby Museum and Wednesday at the Hurstbourne Country Club in Louisville.
Hackett was a three-year starting linebacker at Kentucky, earning Sophomore All-Southeastern Conference 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. 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 and was UK’s 2013 SEC Legend.
Bryant, who lettered from 1974-76 as an offensive tackle for UK, was a first-team All-American by the Walter Camp and American Football Coaches Association in 1976. The star offensive lineman, whose jersey is retired at UK, was also winner of the Jacobs Trophy in 1976, which honors the SEC’s most outstanding blocker. Bryant was a three-time All-SEC selection and was named to the Lakeland (Fla.) Ledger 25-year (1961-1985) All-SEC team. A first-round draft choice by the Atlanta Falcons in 1976, Bryant played in 104 career games in the NFL with the Falcons and the Los Angeles Raiders until his NFL career ended in 1984.
Wells was a four-year letterwinner at Kentucky from 1989-1992 playing outside linebacker, end and tackle. The native of Louisville, Ky., played in 43 career games for UK with 28 starts, totaling 206 tackles, 17 sacks and nine tackles for loss. Wells, who earned his undergraduate degree in the spring of 1992 and played the fall of 1992 as a graduate student, was only the second player in UK history to be named to the Academic All-SEC Honor Roll four seasons and was a member of the College Football Association Scholar-Athlete Team in 1992. His senior season, Wells posted five sacks in UK’s victory over Indiana, which still stands as the most quarterbacks sacks in a game in program history. Wells had 10 sacks overall in 1992, which ranks third most in a single season in program history. Wells was drafted by the Seattle Seahawks in the fourth round of the 1993 NFL Draft and played in 129 career games with the Seahawks and Carolina Panthers, making 77 starts, in his nine-year pro career.