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Viral Coal Miner Gets VIP Experience, Shares 1 Sentence That Sums Up What Being a Dad Is All About

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“Just doing what I always do,” Michael McGuire responded when asked whether he was a super-dad.

You might have seen the viral photo of McGuire, covered in coal dust and wearing coal miner’s clothing, sitting with his young son at a University of Kentucky men’s basketball scrimmage in Pikeville, Kentucky, on Oct. 22.

Wildcats head basketball coach John Calipari had tweeted the picture, saying it reminded him of his own beginnings in a West Virginia coal mining family.

At the time not knowing McGuire’s name, Calipari lauded him.

“From what I’ve been told, after his shift, he raced to be with his son & watch our team,” the coach said on Twitter, adding that he had arranged for tickets and VIP treatment for the man in the photo and his family.

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McGuire’s wife, Mollie, responded to identify her husband and their son, Easton.

“My amazing husband started his day at 4:45 a.m. that morning and worked all day,” she said. “Then drove straight to the arena to meet us and enjoy the day with our son! We are truly blessed with such an amazing man, and beyond thankful! We love our coal miner!

On Friday, McGuire and his family got the full VIP treatment at Rupp Arena in Lexington, as promised.

WHAS-TV reporter Travis Breese shared a photo of the McGuires sitting courtside in Kentucky gear for the team’s game against Duquesne, which the Wildcats won 77-52.

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They also were honored on the court.

In a news conference, Mollie McGuire said she and Michael were amazed that the viral photo of her husband drew responses from all over the world.

“I think the most shocking part is when we were notified that it had reached other countries,” she said.

“We’ve had a couple of people from Germany and Italy, Sweden, the Netherlands,” McGuire continued. “We’ve had a couple people from very far away reach out.

“And that’s when it’s like, you know, we’re just a small Eastern Kentucky family. Just to see how it’s touched everyone has been very touching for us and for Michael to see what it means just because he’s a good dad.

“And we reassure him that he’s appreciated all the time, but just all the kindness of everyone else has been very touching for us.”

Michael McGuire was asked by a reporter whether taking his son to the scrimmage as he did meant he was a super-dad or was the kind of thing he always does.

“Just doing what I always do,” he responded. “Pretty much part of it. I’ve shown up at countless Pee Wee baseball games like that.”



McGuire said he had no idea of his fame until after coming up from an underground mine and being told by a foreman. Upon reaching a cellphone signal on his way home, he said, “My phone just started blowing up.”

Appearing in public covered in coal dust might seem extreme, but Michael McGuire knows the importance of being a father.

And there are millions of men around the country who do similar things. They come to their children’s events in their bus driver uniforms, three-piece suits and medical scrubs.

Whatever he wears or whatever he does, a man plays a critical role when he is just being there as a dad.

This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.

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