🏀 Die Hard Jayhawk Fans Kristin and Kirk Barrios' Everlasting Love
My cutout story is sad, but I’d still like to tell it.
I met my wife, Kristin Hoppa in 2012. The first thing we bonded over was our love for Kansas basketball. She graduated in 2008, so she experienced the best year in Kansas sports history.
I didn’t go to KU, I grew up in Illinois and my neighbors were KU graduates, so I was indoctrinated into loving this basketball team, starting with the 1997 Jayhawks. I ended up moving to Lawrence and thats when I met my wife Kristin. I have never seen someone get so loud, ecstatic, upset, angry, jubilant, etc., depending on how we were doing. She was just like me – she lived and died with the outcome of our games.
We watched so many ridiculous comebacks together, like the Elijah Johnson overtime dunk game against ISU, or the West Virginia games in 2017, our final four run in 2018 – and heartbreaking losses like the Michigan game in 2013. Anyway, we got married at the Oread and spent so much time in Lawrence with friends at family. We named our Basset Hound “Wilt Chamberlain” and our English Bulldog “Buike”.
Kristin passed away unexpectedly in September 2020. She was pregnant with our first child, and we had printed out cards to send to our families that we would be “welcoming a new Jayhawk into the nest.” My dear wife passed away of heart failure three days after we printed out those cards. I think about her every second of every day, so getting these cardboard cutouts of us was my way of putting her in Allen Fieldhouse where she was most happiest. I am so grateful that I was able to do this for her, so I want to thank everybody in the athletic department.