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Joe B. Hall, Former Kentucky National Champion MBB Head Coach, Dead At 93

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Former Kentucky men’s basketball head coach Joe B. Hall passed away Saturday at the age of 93, per multiple reports.

Hall coached the Wildcats for 13 seasons from 1972-85 and led the program to its fifth national championship in 1978.

“It is with great sadness we share the passing of the great Joe B. Hall,” the Kentucky men’s basketball team tweeted. “Our hearts are with the Hall family. We love you, Joe B.”

Tasked with succeeding and filling the shoes of legendary coach Adolph Rupp, who won 876 games and four national championships at Kentucky, the program didn’t miss a beat under Hall. Hall had a great admiration for Rupp, having played for him in 1948-49, winning a national championship.

Hall went 297-100, earning a birth to the NCAA Tournament in 10-of-13 seasons. Kentucky won the SEC Conference tournament championship once under Hall, in the 1983-84 season.

Current Kentucky head coach John Calipari penned a tribute to Hall on Twitter, calling him his greatest mentor.

“Coach Joe B. Hall – my friend, my mentor, and an icon in our state and in our profession – passed away this morning,” Calipari wrote. “Joe B. Hall took over a program and carried on the winning tradition and legacy of excellence of Kentucky basketball.”

Calipari continued, saying that he got the chance to see Hall two days ago and hold his hand.

“He understood everything that was said, and as I prayed for him, he squeezed my hand tight,” he wrote. “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.”

Before Kentucky, Hall coached at Regis (1959-64) and Central Missouri State (1964-1965). He retired from coaching at the age of 56 after the 1984-85 season, saying he didn’t want to be an “old coach”, per ESPN.

Hall stayed involved with Kentucky athletics throughout the years, often sitting courtside at games in Rupp Arena. A statue was erected in his honor and sits out front of Wildcat Lodge.


Follow Nick Geddes on Twitter @NickGeddesNews and on Instagram @nick.geddes. 

Written by Nick Geddes

Nick is a 2021 graduate of the University of Central Florida with a bachelor's degree in journalism and a minor in political science. Nick is a life-long sports fan who is proud to say he suffered through 15 years of Bucs futility to witness a Super Bowl victory in 2020. Nick has a passion for writing and is proud to represent OutKick. Follow me on Twitter @NickGeddesNews and on Instagram @nick.geddes.

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