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Central Kentucky once housed Cincinnati Bengals training camp

Dhani Jones
Posted at 5:27 PM, Feb 09, 2022

GEORGETOWN, Ky. (LEX 18) — We are just days away from the Super Bowl, which you'll be able to watch on LEX 18.

The matchup is between the Los Angeles Rams and the Cincinnati Bengals.

Bengals Country stretches across parts of Kentucky, especially the Ohio River counties.

But for 15 years, Cincinnati's pro team had a direct connection with a college in central Kentucky.

From the late 1990s until 2011, the Bengals held training camp at Georgetown College.

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Then-Cincinnati Bengals Head Coach Marvin Lewis answering questions during a press conference at Georgetown College

"It was a way for us to get on the news. Every day. And it was positive," said Brian Evans, VP for Athletics at Georgetown College.

Former number one pick Carson Palmer spent many training camps in central Kentucky throwing to his favorite target, Chad Johnson. Johnson, who later changed his last name to Ochocinco, was a fan favorite. Hall of Fame wide receiver Terrell Owens also called Georgetown home for a summer.

Chad Ochocinco, Terrell Owens
Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver Chad Ochocinco (85) and wide receiver Terrell Owens (81) in action during football training camp during practice Tuesday, Aug. 3, 2010, at the NFL football team's training camp in Georgetown, Ky. (AP Photo/Al Behrman)

Brian Evans worked in the athletic department for the last few years the Bengals called Georgetown their summer home.

He remembers the throngs of fans descending on campus during those years. He also recalls the impression of having a pro team in town left on the Georgetown College Tigers, who won at a high level during that era.

"Our coaches really embraced it. It was a good opportunity for our coaches to get our young men here to watch professionals work, to instill what kind of work ethic you had to have to try to get to this level," said Evans.

There may not be a sign or banner at Georgetown's stadium, but Evans says the construction of the athletic complex can be traced back to a meeting between then-Georgetown College President Bill Crouch, and Bengals owner Mike Brown.

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Georgetown College VP of Athletics says the agreement to host the Bengals' training camp between former president Bill Crouch and Bengals owner Mike Brown helped spur the construction of the stadium, conference center, and surrounding buildings. This served as the pro team's summer home for 15 years, and is still used by Georgetown College.

"Told him (Brown) that he had a vision that he could build this facility and this training camp, and Mike Brown bought into it," said Evans.

Evans now occupies the summer office of former head coach Marvin Lewis, which has the same carpet from the Bengals era. Evans is also holding onto a little Bengal statue that belonged to Coach Lewis, and hopes that one day, the coach will sign it.

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Brian Evans now occupies the office once held by Bengals HC Marvin Lewis. Evans says the carpet and table remain from the Lewis era, as does the Bengal statue that he is holding. Evans says he hopes to get Lewis to sign the Bengal one day.

Even though the Bengals left Kentucky a decade ago, Evans says the college will be cheering on their former residents in the Super Bowl.

There are at least three players from the last Bengals team to train in Georgetown who will be playing in Super Bowl LVI.

Clark Harris and punter Kevin Huber remain on the Bengals. Andrew Whitworth, who spent more than a decade on the Bengals, will be suiting up this Sunday for the LA Rams.