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Seasoned Canes: Paul "Uh-Huh" Buchanan

by David Villavicencio

CHARLOTTE, N.C. – When Paul Buchanan is at the ballpark, you often hear him before you see him.

“WELCOME TO CORAL GABLES, UH-HUH!”

Fans inside Truist Field in Charlotte, N.C., will certainly know Paul is in the house when they hear him yell ‘Uh-Huh,’ the catchphrase that has made him a legend at ballparks throughout the Carolinas.

“I’ve been doing this since ’07, yelling and cheering for my team and hoping that the good guys win,” Buchanan said.

Buchanan has been a Hurricanes fan since the 1960s and actually went to school in Miami through the fifth grade while his father pastored a church in town before moving to the Carolinas.

“I go way back to George Mira, Buchanan said. “Back in I think about 1962 or 63, I went and saw Miami play Carolina in Chapel Hill, and unfortunately, the Canes did not come away a winner that day, but I’ve been a Hurricane fan ever since.”

But he was just another fan until he started doing his unmistakable cheer while at a minor league baseball game in 2007.

“The ‘Uh-Huh’ thing didn’t really start till ’07,” Buchanan said. “I was cheering for the Kannapolis Intimidators and I started going and when I’d yell because I was trying to get our team to win, for some reason I put the word ‘uh-huh’ on the end. The next thing I know, ‘uh-huh’ was being echoed all over the stadium. I guess it was unusual to hear that and I had one guy that would yell at me, ‘Shut up. Uh-Huh.’ I just try to pump up the crowd.”

The cheer caught on and the legend of “Uh-Huh” grew with every game he attended.

“I get the fans going,” Buchanan said. “Sometimes I’ll start yelling ‘Uh-Huh’ and the whole stadium just starts repeating ‘Uh-Huh.’ There have been times when I got the crowd pumped up and we pull out a win and that feels great. But there have been times when I thought I was getting the crowd pumped up and it didn’t turn out so good but majority of time it turned out pretty good and we won.”

A former school teacher and assistant principal for 38 years in the Charlotte-Mecklenberg area, fans are often surprised to learn what the energetic and enthusiastic Buchanan did for a living.

“People say, ‘I can’t imagine that you are a school teacher and assistant principal and you carry on like this.’  I just like to get the crowd pumped up, bring some excitement to the game and bring that swagger back to Miami in football, baseball, basketball, everything,” Buchanan said.

When Miami joined the ACC in 2005, it meant Buchanan’s beloved Hurricanes would be making a lot more trips near his home and that gave him plenty of opportunities to support his team over the years.

“I fell in love with the Hurricanes and the Hurricanes kind of fell in love with me, especially Jim Morris when he was here and Robert [McDaniel], the guy they call ‘GM,’” Buchanan said.

“I’ve been to Clemson, I’ve been to NC State, I’ve been to Duke, I’ve been to Wake Forest. I’ve been to a bunch of places,” Buchanan added. “I’ve been to 25 college baseball stadiums, but I don’t just like the Hurricanes in baseball. I go see them in football and basketball, too.”

Buchanan has caught plenty of foul balls over the years and he always gives them to nearby kids. The long-time former educator has wise words for young fans heading to watch a Miami game

“I tell kids to bring their gloves to the ballpark,” Buchanan said. “It’s like going to church; You don’t go to church without your Bible and you don’t go to the ballpark without your glove.”

Buchanan was in attendance for Thursday’s ACC tournament game between Miami and Duke and was heard loudly throughout the game supporting his Hurricanes. When asked if he was planning to come back Friday for a matchup against rival Florida State, Buchanan smiled and answered perfectly.

“Uh-Huh!”