He made a shot to beat Duke. His bigger UK legacy lives on behind the scenes.

Terry B. Mobley – whose association with the University of Kentucky as a famed basketball player and groundbreaking leader of its fundraising efforts spanned more than five decades – passed away early Monday morning after a long illness.

Mobley, 74, was surrounded by family members and loved ones at his passing. He is survived by his loving wife of 40 years, Becky; son, Steve Stone (spouse, Leslie; children: Greer, Caroline and Lindsey Stone); daughter, Mary Beth (child: Hannah Richard); brother Tony Mobley (Betty) and nephew, Derek. He was preceded in his passing by his son, Christopher (spouse Barbara; children Jack and Reese and their mother Mindy).

Former UK basketball player, longtime administrator Terry Mobley dies at age 74

The Harrodsburg, Kentucky, native first earned renown as a member of the University of Kentucky Wildcats under Adolph Rupp from 1962-1965. The three-year starter garnered national attention when his 15-footer with four seconds left propelled No. 2 UK to an 81-79 win over rival Duke University during the Sugar Bowl Classic in New Orleans.

Terry Mobley, former Rupp player and UK leader, dies

Lexington Herald-Leader columnist Mark Story proclaimed the pressure-packed shot as one of the 25 greatest clutch baskets in UK’s storied basketball history.

The funeral services are being handled by Milward on Broadway in Lexington. Services, the times of which have not been determined yet, will be at Calvary Baptist Church, where Mobley was a member. 

But the self-effacing Mobley didn’t talk much about his exploits on the hardwood, preferring brevity, quick wittedness and homespun humor, along with a devotion to his family and his faith.

Mobley has been associated with UK for more than five decades, from a three-year starter coached by Adolph Rupp to “a groundbreaking leader” of UK fundraising efforts, according to UKPR.

Kentucky legend Terry Mobley passes away at 74

“I served with Terry on the Board of Trustees for some time before I ever knew he was one of Rupp’s players, and I never heard about it from Terry,” said UK President Eli Capilouto. “His focus was on service to the University, to his community, to his faith and to his family. His wise, quiet and private counsel was a source of great comfort and help to me in my first years at UK. He always put the institution and its needs first, and I knew that when he spoke publicly, which was rare, that it was coming from a place of considerable reflection, thought and years of knowledge about the University and the Commonwealth.”

Former Kentucky Basketball Player Terry Mobley Passes Away

After graduation, Mobley – who earned a bachelor’s degree in history – worked several years for IBM before joining UK in its fledgling development office. In 1977, he was named the University’s chief development officer.

Following his graduation, Mobley worked for IBM before joining the UK development office. He was named UK’s chief development officer in 1977, the first of many roles he served over 33 years. Mobley also served UK as the interim athletic director, vice president for development and vice president for institutional advancement. In 2010, Mobley was named as an alumni trustee to the UK Board of Trustees, serving for six years in that role.

In a little more than 20 years, annual cash gifts to UK increased from $3.1 million to nearly $61 million. Mobley also oversaw the University’s first capital campaign, which ultimately raised a little more than $1 billion. UK was the first public university to raise more than $1 billion in its first-ever capital campaign and the 31st overall to raise that amount of money.

MORE FROM WAVE3.COM+ Popular crooner Vic Damone dies in Florida at 89+ Restored Corvette unveiled on anniversary of Museum Sinkhole+ Ford to increase vehicle production, invest $25M at Kentucky Truck Plant

“Terry Mobley is the consummate gentleman and a true Kentuckian, who dedicated his adult life with passion and purpose to the University of Kentucky,” said Jim Stuckert, a former UK trustee, classmate and close friend of Mobley’s. “For more than 40 years, he represented UK and our state with honesty, credibility and integrity – traits that have always been his calling card. He will be missed by all who have the had the honor to have crossed his path.”

The Department of Natural Resources and the Indiana Department of Environmental Management are investigating after a New Albany family found more than 100 fish dead in a southern Indiana pond.

“Terry has been part of the UK family – and my life – since the 1960s,” said Myra Tobin, a former UK trustee and longtime friend. “Everyone knows him for his devotion to UK, to the community, and to the Commonwealth. All of those things are true. For so many people, he symbolized what it means to be part of the University of Kentucky. For me, I will remember him for being like the brother I never had.”

The Harrodsburg native was a member of the UK Wildcats under Adolph Rupp from 1962-1965. He garnered national attention when his 15-footer with four seconds left propelled No. 2 UK to an 81-79 win over rival Duke University during the Sugar Bowl Classic in New Orleans.

During his tenure at UK, Mobley also was called on to play a number of other important administrative roles when his University needed him. In 33 years, Mobley served as director of development and chief development officer, interim athletic director, vice president for development and vice president for institutional advancement, overseeing various external affairs units for the university.

WTVQ.com supports children’s privacy rights. All persons under the age of 13 MUST have parental permission to use this website and direct parental supervision is strongly recommended

“As a still new president, Terry stepped in to serve as my interim AD during some very trying days. His high moral character, steady hand and always strong leadership solidified the department,” said Lee T. Todd Jr., UK’s 11th president. “When we embarked upon our first-ever $1 billion capital campaign, Terry led that successful initiative, which changed the culture of the University. It made us believe not only in our mission to be one of America’s leading universities, but in our role as a leader for the Commonwealth in addressing its most compelling challenges. Terry was through and through UK and will be sorely missed.”

“There isn’t a part of UK athletics that Terry didn’t touch — student-athlete, athletics director, fundraiser, trustee,” said UK Athletics Director Mitch Barnhart. “Terry spent his entire adult life helping UK Athletics and the University that he loved so much. As a man dedicated to his family and his faith, he epitomized what we mean when we talk about the idea of servant leadership. We offer our condolences to Terry’s family.”

LEXINGTON, Ky. (WTVQ) – The University of Kentucky announced the death of Terry Mobley Monday.

At UK, Mobley also served on the board of the Business Partnership Foundation, Gluck Equine Research Foundation, Center on Aging Foundation, Mining Engineering Foundation, and the UK Development Council.

In 2005, the Terry B. Mobley Philanthropy Awards were established. The annual awards are designed to recognize staff who have demonstrated outstanding performance and professional achievement in the philanthropy profession at UK.

Todd also went on to state how Mobley’s hand in the capital campaign changed how Kentucky operated. Prior to him joining a role with the school, the university actually struggled to get money from outside investors and alumni.

“Terry Mobley’s gifts and talents greatly influenced the culture and outreach of the University of Kentucky for nearly 40 years,” said Mike Richey, UK’s vice president for philanthropy. “His legacy of leadership, vision and service will continue to influence and impact the institution and our state for generations.”

For the uninitiated, Mobley is likely most famous for his clutch 15-footer against Duke in the 1963 Sugar Bowl Classic. The basket came with only four seconds left, helping the Wildcats put down the Blue Devils, 81-79.

As a devoted alum, Mobley served on the UK National Alumni Board for more than 30 years, beginning in 1977, and was a recipient of the UK Alumni Distinguished Service Award.

A member of the Board of Trustees, Mobley helped to oversee the university’s first $1 billion capital campaign. Furthermore, he even served as interim athletics director after a series of scandals.

Mobley was named to the UK Board of Trustees in 2010 as an alumni trustee, serving six years. During his tenure on the board, he served as chair of the Human Resources and University Relations committee and a member of the Executive, Finance, and University Athletics committees.

“No one was more respected or listened to more closely as a leader and board member than Terry Mobley,” said UK Board Chair Britt Brockman. “When Terry spoke, we knew he was choosing his words carefully and thoughtfully. We knew that they came from a place of considerable experience and understanding of UK. And we knew that he always – always – was placing the University of Kentucky first as he knew better than most the institution’s singular importance to the Commonwealth.”

Terry Mobley, a University of Kentucky basketball player under Coach Adolph Rupp who went on to build the university’s fledgling fundraising efforts into a multimillion-dollar philanthropy system, died early Monday morning. He was 74.

Mobley found early fame as a 6’3” basketball player from Harrodsburg, who signed with Rupp in 1961. He was best known for a thrilling, 15-foot basket in the last four seconds of the 1963 Sugar Bowl Classic in New Orleans, propelling UK to a 81-79 over its nemesis Duke University. Herald-Leader columnist Mark Story declared it one of the 25 greatest clutch shots in UK history.

Mobley later served in a number of different roles for the school, including director of development and chief development officer, interim athletic director, vice president for development and vice president for institutional advancement.

But he also became one of UK’s administrative mainstays and a member of the Board of Trustees, who oversaw its first $1 billion capital campaign and even served as interim athletics director after a series of scandals.

After he graduated from UK in 1965, Mobley worked for IBM in Lexington. After several years, he returned to the school to work in UK’s fledgling fundraising apparatus, which took in about $3 million annually. He was named UK’s chief development officer in 1977. With his athletic connections and easy-going personality, Mobley grew the department in less than 20 years to almost $61 million a year.

Terry Mobley during a UK Board of Trustees meeting in 2011. Pablo Alcala Staff File Photo

In 2002, he became interim athletics director after then-director Larry Ivy resigned amidst a scathing athletics review commissioned by new UK President Lee Todd that found a culture that used tickets and booster groups as a patronage system under Ivy’s control. Earlier, the NCAA had put the UK football team on probation for recruiting violations and a lack of institutional control. Mobley oversaw numerous changes to the department, including tighter controls from the Board of Trustees, but did not apply for the permanent job, which went to current director Mitch Barnhart.

“As a still new president, Terry stepped in to serve as my interim AD during some very trying days,” former UK President Lee Todd said in a statement. “His high moral character, steady hand and always strong leadership solidified the department.”

Todd said the first $1 billion capital campaign overseen by Mobley “changed the culture of the University. It made us believe not only in our mission to be one of America’s leading universities, but in our role as a leader for the Commonwealth in addressing its most compelling challenges. Terry was through and through UK and will be sorely missed.”

Mobley also served on the board of the Business Partnership Foundation, Gluck Equine Research Foundation, Center on Aging Foundation, Mining Engineering Foundation, and the UK Development Council. In 2005, the Terry B. Mobley Philanthropy Awards were established. The annual awards are designed to recognize staff who have demonstrated outstanding performance and professional achievement in the philanthropy profession at UK.

Mobley was still on the Board of Trustees when President Eli Capilouto was hired in 2011.

“His focus was on service to the university, to his community, to his faith and to his family,” Capilouto said. “His wise, quiet and private counsel was a source of great comfort and help to me in my first years at UK. He always put the institution and its needs first, and I knew that when he spoke publicly, which was rare, that it was coming from a place of considerable reflection, thought and years of knowledge about the university and the Commonwealth.”

Mobley is survived by his wife, Becky; a son, Steve, and daughter, Mary Beth. He was preceded in death by his son, Christopher. Funeral arrangements are still pending at Milward Funeral Directors on Broadway.


Posted in Lexington