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Monday, May 2, 2011
Miners celebrate success with John Calipari

By Diamond Leung

Kentucky coach John Calipari spent his Friday visiting with miners in the Eastern part of the state and tweeted, "It means so much to me & my family that I'm able to share time w/all these hard-working folks."

Calipari's appearance in fact was meant as a reward for the miners who had completed 400 days without a significant workplace injury, Alliance Coal CEO Joe Craft told WKYT-TV.
"Three hundred sixty-five days without a lost-time accident is very significant in our business. And we were there talking about their success and celebrating and having a good time. Everyone said, 'Well, what are you going to do at 400? You think you can get Cal to come up here?'"

So Calipari, whose grandfather was a miner, took the time to speak to the miners, sign autographs and bring good cheer. He posed for pictures in front of a banner reading, "Coal. Cats. Cal."

Calipari was able to bring his celebrity power to a segment of the fan base that is so important to the state's industry and also apparently works efficiently as a team.

"I get a feel for what my relatives did during their time in the mines," Calipari tweeted. "You want to talk about salt-of-the-earth folks? These are them."