In what’s turning into a very special season for the Kentucky Wildcats, head coach John Calipari continues to move up the school’s all-time wins list.
On Tuesday, Calipari and his Wildcats notched a 66-58 win over the Missouri Tigers, his 297th win at Kentucky, putting him in a tie with Joe B. Hall for the second-most wins ever at the school.
On Saturday, the Wildcats thrashed the Auburn Tigers en route to an 80-53 win, putting him all alone in second place behind only Adolph Rupp, who finished with an 876-190 record during his time in Lexington.
Calipari is now 298-68 in 10 seasons with the Wildcats, while Hall compiled a 297-100 record in 13 seasons and led the Wildcats to a national championship in 1978.
However, Calipari continues to give all the credit to Hall for what he did during his time in Lexington. After all, Hall was the coach who replaced Rupp, who to this day is still one of basketball’s all-time greats, whether it be college or the pros.
Calipari also joked that Hall should ask the NCAA to vacate some wins to keep Hall back in second place, something the NCAA has already done to Cal during his days at Memphis and UMass.
“Coach Hall just asked me to vacate any games that go by him,” said Cal following Kentucky’s win over Auburn. “I said, ‘they’ve already vacated some of my games.’ Maybe they’ll just vacate some more, and at the end of the day, I’ll be one less than him (Hall).
“I know I’ll get a call (from the NCAA). ‘Are you asking us to vacate your games? We’d like to do that if we can.’”
Calipari added “I am so happy that he (Hall) is getting the respect he deserves,” as he should. Replacing Rupp was one of the hardest job any coach has ever taken at UK, and it dwarfs Calipari having to take over Billy Gillespie’s mess.
“What Coach Hall did for Kentucky, following an absolute legend, maybe one of the greatest to ever coach this game,” Cal said after Tuesday’s win over Missouri. “He had to walk in and follow Adolph Rupp. Then get to Final Fours, win a national title. I mean, what he did here, how he did it, and then he’s become my mentor and my friend.”
The love those two have for each other is what it’s all about.