Joe B. Hall, the legendary former University of Kentucky men’s head basketball coach, died Saturday at the age of 93.
Hall led the Wildcats to a national championship in 1978, on top of three other Final Four appearances. He was a player for the university in 1948 and 1949, when the team won the national title. Hall coached Kentucky for 13 seasons, succeeding basketball icon Adolph Rupp.
National Collegiate Basketball Hall of Fame inducted Hall in 2012, and he joined the UK Athletics Hall of Fame in 2005. To some, his exclusion from the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame during his lifetime was seen as a snub.
Current Kentucky coach John Calipari remembered Hall in posts on social media Saturday morning, calling him a friend, mentor and “an icon in our state and in our profession.”
Coach Hall is beloved by everyone. 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. pic.twitter.com/hm7apfFQBU
— John Calipari (@UKCoachCalipari) January 15, 2022
For years, Hall hosted a radio show with Denny Crum, the former head coach of the Wildcats’ rival University of Louisville men’s basketball team.
“I think it’s a demonstration that friendship goes beyond sports competition, that you don’t have to hate somebody just because you compete with them,” Hall said in 2013.
Hall was born in Cynthiana, Ky., in 1928.