First black UK Homecoming King reflects on campus’ support


First Lady Patsy Todd greets 2005 Homecoming King and UK cornerback Antoine Huffman at halftime.

Lexington Souers

October 29, 2005 was a special day for UK Alumnus Antoine Huffman.

“When you look at how everything evolved and happened with the history of the university, that’s what made it so shocking,” Huffman said.

The former UK cornerback was crowned the first African American homecoming king in his senior year, and the Cats went on to take the first SEC win of the 2005 season.

“When I ran back into the locker room, I guess Coach Brooks found out. He was the first person to give me a big hug,” Huffman said.

The Atlanta native said he was drawn to UK because of the sense of community and the motivation from peers, administrators and professors to see students succeed.

“My first week here, it was one of the best decisions I made,” Huffman said.

Huffman has an identical twin brother, and the pair had always hoped to play collegiate football together. The two didn’t end up playing together at UK, but Huffman said it has made them closer.

Huffman graduated with a degree in telecommunications, but left to work with a medical company before completing his master’s in mass communication.

“The consistency, just the fan-base here is bar none than anything else,” Huffman said. “I truly believe, and I maybe biased, but we have more football fans than we have basketball fans.”

Aside from following UK athletics, Huffman remains involved with the UK community through the Alumni Association. 

“I try to live by the notion of wanting to leave a positive impact on everyone I come in contact with, but especially for the younger generation,” Huffman said.

Huffman is involved with various service organizations, and said he always tells them to leave a positive mark on everyone they meet.

“There’s so much negativity in the world today. That’s the catchy thing to do … It’s the small things that we could do individually, that could possible impact wholistically the world,” Huffman said. “It’s not catchy, it’s not flashy, it’s not a revenue generator, so someone has to do it.”

Huffman said UK’s community has “something” that drew him in when he was deciding to attend UK and he saw the university as a place he could grow and succeed.

“To this day, I bleed blue — just because of the relationships I have here, the connections I have here,” Huffman said.

Huffman said living learning programs are great student resources and are ways to build the UK community.

“I think, no matter if you’re an athlete, or just a general student government, it’s whatever platform you have, using that to be successful … using that to impact people in a positive way,” Huffman said. “No matter where you start from, it’s how you use that platform. I think that’s the common theme that we all need to figure out.”