From NKAA, Notable Kentucky African Americans Database (main entry)

Northington, Nathaniel "Nate"

(born: 1948) 

Nate Northington was born in Louisville, KY. In 1966 he was one of the first two African Americans who signed to play football at the University of Kentucky (UK), where he played under Coach Charlie Bradshaw. In 1967, Northington was the first African American to play in a Southeastern Conference football game. After the death of his roommate and teammate Greg Page, Northington transferred to Western Kentucky University.

For more see B. Reed, "Bradshaw's Style Didn't Change to Suit Times," Lexington Herald Leader, 6/4/1999, Sports section, p. C1; and M. Story, "They were our Jackie Robinsons - Hackett recalls days as trailblazer at UK of 1960s, a story for every county," Lexington Herald-Leader, 1/28/2007, Sports section, p. C2.

For more on the recruitment of Northington, see the "Ed T. Breathitt" interview transcript at Kentucky Historical Society Civil Rights Movement in Kentucky website. See also Still running: the autobiography of Nate Northington, the first African American football player in the Southeastern Conference, by N. Northington.

Item Relations

Cite This NKAA Entry:

“Northington, Nathaniel "Nate",” Notable Kentucky African Americans Database, accessed June 16, 2024,

Last modified: 2023-01-04 19:20:17