55 Thad Jaracz

Name
Position
Center-Forward
Class
SR
Hometown (Last School)
Lexington, KY (Lafayette)
Ht
6'5"
Wt
230
Seasons
1965-66, 1966-67, 1967-68
Birthday
December 15, 1946

Jaracz came to Kentucky from Lexington’s  High School. A 6’5″ center, Jaracz anchored the middle as a sophomore for Adolph Rupp’s undersized “Rupp’s Runts” in 1965–66. Jaracz was the team’s third-leading scorer, averaging 13.2 points per game as the Wildcats made it to the 1966 championship game, where they famously lost to the  Western Miners.  At the close of the season, Jaracz joined teammates  and  on the Associated Press  team, earning third team honors.

Following the close of his college career in 1968, Jaracz was drafted both by the of the National Basketball Association and the Kentucky Colonels of the American Basketball Association. However, he never played in either league.  In 1969, Jaracz was drafted by the US Army.  Being a few hours short of his political science degree, he enlisted as an officer and completed his degree at Fort Knox.  Later, he earned a master’s degree from West University.  For the next 18 years, Jaracz served the armed forces in a career that took him around the world.  He returned to Kentucky in 1985, but ended up in Louisville where he taught at U of L and assisted with the ROTC program.  Jaracz remained at U of L until 1988.  He retired from the Army in 1990.

He is currently the Senior Director of Corporate Services for Vitas Healthcare Corporation.

From the 1968 University of Kentucky Basketball Media Guide:

A native Lexingtonian, Jaracz is the only returning player who started every game last season . . . Led the team in rebounding with 215 grabs (8.3 per game), eighth in the Conference . . . Third in team scoring with 293 points . . . Named most valuable player in the 1966 UK IT . . . As a soph in 1965-66 he was honored by the Associated Press on its third team All-America selections (only soph among 15 honorees) and chosen as “Sophomore of the Year” in the Southeastern Conference . . . Proved to be one of key in Kentucky’s surprising surge to No. 1 position in the national polls and close in its bid for a fifth championship that season . . . Operated at both center and forward last season, but probably will shift to forward this season as taller sophomores battle for the pivot position . . . Played high school ball at Lexington Lafayette . . . His father played football at UK in 1941-42 . . . Much of the team’s success will depend on leadership generated by Jaracz.

Per Game
Season G GS MP FG FGA FG% FT FTA FT% TRB AST STL BLK TOV PF PTS   SOS
1965-66 29   29.0 5.7 11.3 .500 1.9 3.2 .598 7.5 0.6       3.2 13.2   3.26
1966-67 26   34.5 4.8 10.0 .477 1.7 2.7 .643 8.3 0.9       3.0 11.3   3.26
1967-68 27   28.4 5.0 10.7 .465 1.4 2.3 .603 7.1 1.0       2.9 11.3   6.09
Career 82   30.5 5.1 10.7 .482 1.7 2.7 .613 7.6 0.8       3.0 12.0   4.20
 
Totals Table
Season G GS MP FG FGA FG% FT FTA FT% TRB AST STL BLK TOV PF PTS
1965-66 29   840 164 328 .500 55 92 .598 218 17       92 383
1966-67 26   897 124 260 .477 45 70 .643 215 23       79 293
1967-68 27   766 134 288 .465 38 63 .603 193 28       79 306
Career 82   2503 422 876 .482 138 225 .613 626 68       250 982