Owensboro’s Hogg, who helped integrate SEC football, to be honored locally in March

February 25, 2024 | 12:13 am

Updated February 24, 2024 | 9:22 pm

File photo by Taylor West

The late Houston Hogg, a former Daviess County High School football player who helped desegregate football in the Southeastern Conference, will be honored with an event in Owensboro next month. The celebration of his life will include the screening of a documentary about him and 3 teammates breaking the color line at the University of Kentucky.

Southeastern Conference Football pioneer Houston Hogg will be honored for desegregating football at the University of Kentucky and the SEC at a celebration of life at the RiverPark Center this March.

The free ceremony will be held on March 8 at the RiverPark Center. A reception will begin at 6 p.m. with the documentary screening at 7. Paul Martin will also speak on Hogg’s legacy.

Hogg was born in Hazard, Kentucky, and was recruited to finish his high school football career at Daviess County. He was named All-State as a senior, helping lead DC to a 10-0 season.

In 1967, Hogg joined three other men in Lexington to become the first Black athletes in the SEC playing for the Wildcats. He lettered for the team in 1969 and 1970. Playing running back and defensive back, he completed his college career with 245 rushing yards and 2 touchdowns.

Their trailblazing story was chronicled in a documentary, “Black in Blue,” released in February 2020. The film, which has a run time of 1 hour and 13 minutes, premiered on Kentucky Educational Television (KET) in April 2020.

KET’s description of the documentary reads: “The film tells the story of four African American football players at the University of Kentucky who broke the color line in the Southeastern Conference in the 1960s. Nate Northington, Greg Page, Wilbur Hackett, and Houston Hogg endured racism and hardship, but ultimately, their courage and the bonds of team loyalty would ensure the success of integration at UK.”

A statue of Hogg and his peers was erected in 2016 outside UK’s Joe Craft Football Training Facility, adjacent to Kroger Field in Lexington, to memorialize their efforts.

After college, Hogg returned to Owensboro, where he met his wife Deborah. They raised their own six children — who have given the couple 19 grandchildren — and also opened their home to more than 200 children through foster care over 25 years.

For both his legacy in SEC football and his dedication to helping local children, Hogg’s DCHS classmates pushed for him to be inducted into the Owensboro Walk of Fame.

Hogg was inducted into that Walk of Fame in July 2018, and his plaque is placed near the judicial center on the south side of 2nd Street.

The Wildcats’ 2019 season opener against Toledo was designated Houston Hogg Day and he served as honorary team captain.

Hogg died on January 2, 2020.

February 25, 2024 | 12:13 am

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