Groundbreakers: A Monument to UK Football Civil Rights Pioneers

Submitted by J Brett Grill


Client: University of Kentucky

Location: Lexington, KY, United States

Completion date: 2016

Artwork budget: $360,000

Project Team


J Brett Grill

JBG Sculpture


John Cline

Casting Arts and Technology


University of Kentucky Athletic Department

University of Kentucky


This project honors Nate Northington, Greg Page, Wilbur Hackett, and Houston Hogg, the first four black athletes in the Southeastern Conference. The four men played on scholarship for the University of Kentucky in the late 1960s. They are depicted over life-size in bronze, taking the field in unison.


The commissioned artwork accompanied the opening of a new football practice facility in 2016 and stands as a reminder of the triumphs of African American student-athletes on campus and across the nation.