Legendary Kentucky coach Joe B. Hall dies at 93
LEXINGTON, Ky. (WYMT/WKYT) - A Kentucky basketball legend is no longer with us.
According to UK, legendary head coach Joe B. Hall died Saturday morning.
Hall was coach of the Wildcats from 1972-85, replacing Adolph Rupp and leading them to 10 NCAA Tournament appearances. Hall’s crowning coaching achievement was the 1978 national championship, the school’s fifth title but the first in 20 seasons. He also guided the Wildcats to Final Fours in 1975 and 1984.
Hall won National Coach of the Year honors in 1978 and four Southeastern Conference Coach of the Year awards. He had seven players win All-America honors 11 times.
“Some people are larger than life. Others make life larger and better for all of us. In a life that knew the biggest of victories on the biggest of stages, Joe B. Hall did both,” University of Kentucky President Dr. Eli Capilouto said. “He helped coach some of the greatest figures in college sports, won championships and helped expand and enlarge the greatest tradition in college basketball. That’s the Joe B. Hall we all admired.”
Following his retirement from UK, Hall remained a staple in Lexington until his death.
Mayor Linda Gorton tweeted to honor Hall after hearing of his passing.
Current Kentucky head coach John Calipari posted a series of tweets commemorating Hall.
Calipari also tweeted that he saw Hall on Friday, even inviting him to be the ‘Y’ at the Tennessee game. He went on to say Hall told him he would be there if he could.
As Hall became a mentor to Calipari, Calipari returned the favor by making sure Hall was embraced by the program. Hall had an open invitation to practice, and he took Calipari up on the offer by routinely attending multiple practices a week.
Hall was a winner on the court, but his players best remember him by his impact in the community and his love for the state in the latter stages of his life.
Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell released a statement on the passing of coach Joe B. Hall.
“Today, Big Blue Nation and all of Kentucky remembers Coach Hall, a man who distinguished himself here and around the globe for his leadership, his passion, and his philanthropy,” said McConnell. “We send our deepest condolences to his children and family.”
We’re told Hall’s funeral service will be private due to COVID-19.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to Crestwood Christian Church, 1882 Bellefonte Dr., Lexington, KY 40503, the Lexington Humane Society or Bluegrass Care Navigators.
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