Basketball Joe B. Hall, successor to Adolph Rupp at Kentucky, dies at 93

Basketball Joe B. Hall, successor to Adolph Rupp at Kentucky, dies at 93


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Joe B. Hall, who played one season of college basketball at Kentucky and later succeeded the legendary Adolph Rupp as head coach, died Saturday. He was 93.

The university announced his passing on the basketball program’s Twitter account. No cause of death was announced.

“It is with great sadness we share the passing of the great Joe B. Hall. Our hearts are with the Hall family,” the tweet read. “We love you, Joe B.”

Hall played at Kentucky on the 1948-49 team, continued his playing career at the University of the South in Sewanee, Tenn., then toured with the Harlem Globetrotters. But as a child of Cynthiana, Ky., he grew up a Wildcats fan and returned to campus to finish his degree in 1955.

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He began his college coaching career as the head coach at Regis in Denver in 1959 and moved on to what then was known as Central Missouri State in 1964. After one season there, he was back in Lexington as an assistant coach to Rupp and succeeded him in 1972 upon his retirement.

Hall spent 13 seasons in the job compiling a 297-100 record. He took the Wildcats to 10 NCAA tournaments, making the Final Four three times and winning the 1978 national championship. Kentucky also won the NIT in 1976.

He was named National Coach of the Year in 1978 and Southeastern Conference Coach of the Year four times. Upon his retirement at age 56, he stayed near college basketball, even hosting a radio show with former Louisville coach and rival Denny Crum.

After John Calipari took the head coaching job in 2009, he brought Hall back into the heart of the program and considered him a mentor. Calipari paid tribute to him on Twitter, sharing that the two had a final visit two days ago.

“Coach Hall is beloved by everyone,” Calipari tweeted. “What makes me happy on this extremely somber day is that before he left this earth, he knew how much all of us appreciated and loved him. I would ask that everyone keep him and his family in your prayers. I love you, Coach.”

–Field Level Media

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