Kentucky Wildcats coaching legend Joe B. Hall died at the age of 93 Saturday just hours before the Cats tipped off a 107-79 win at Rupp Arena over No. 22 Tennessee.
Born in Cynthiana, Kentucky, Hall started his playing career at UK in 1948 before leaving to finish his career at Sewanee (now the University of the South).
After a five-year coaching stint at Regis College and a one-year stop at Central Missouri State, Hall became an assistant on Adolph Rupp’s Kentucky staff, and in 1972, became the team’s head coach after Rupp reached the then mandatory retirement age of 70 years old.
Hall would lead the Kentucky program for 13 seasons in which the Wildcats posted a 297-100 record. He led the Cats to the 1978 National Championship, three Final Four’s, eight SEC regular-season titles, and a 1984 SEC Tournament Championship.
Individually, Hall earned National Coach of the Year honors in 1978 and was named SEC Coach of the Year four times (1973, 1975, 1978 and 1983). He was inducted into the College Basketball Hall of Fame in 2012, and his name hangs in the Rupp Arena banners.
Hall ranks third in wins among UK coaches only behind Rupp (876) and current head coach and close friend John Calipari (305).
Tributes have poured in from former players, friends and Big Blue Nation to honor the late coach who remained close to the program until his death Saturday.
The staff at A Sea of Blue sends prayers to the Hall family.
Tweets of the Day
Coach Joe B. Hall – my friend, my mentor, and an icon in our state and in our profession – passed away this morning. Joe B. Hall took over a program and carried on the winning tradition and legacy of excellence of Kentucky basketball. pic.twitter.com/QirdXnAeMH— John Calipari (@UKCoachCalipari) January 15, 2022
Forever a Wildcat pic.twitter.com/3M0b2f2U7z— Kentucky Men’s Basketball (@KentuckyMBB) January 15, 2022
Joe B was born in '28.— Adam Griggs (@businessraptor) January 15, 2022
Kentucky beat UT by 28 today.
‘I was dreading this day.’ Joe B. Hall remembered by his Kentucky Wildcats family. - Lexington Herald-Leader: Awesome perspective here.
Yes, Joe B. Hall was keeper of the flame, but he deserves credit for much more - Lexington Herald-Leader: As always, Jon Clay nails it.
Joe B. Hall proved you can become a legend while following a legend - WDRB: Hall filled Rupp’s shoes as well as anyone could have ever imagine.
Calipari pays tribute to mentor Joe B. Hall with 1-3-1 - Cats Pause: A very thoughtful tribute.
Joe B. Hall, John Calipari and the friendship that made Kentucky fans appreciate a legend - The Athletic: One of the BBN’s favorite friendships.
Kentucky honors former coach Joe B. Hall with a near-perfect game in demolition of rival Tennessee - CBS Sports: With heavy hearts, Kentucky went out and dominated Tennessee.