Joe B Hall, who won college basketball in Kentucky as a player and coach, has died at the age of 93
Joe B Hall, who succeeded legendary Kentucky coach Adolf Robb and led the Wildcats to the NCAA men’s basketball tournament, has died at the age of 93.
Hall is one of only three men to play and coach the NCAA Championship team (1949, 1978) and is the only one to do so for the same school.
“It is with great sadness that we share the passing of the great Joe P. Hall, Kentucky Men’s Basketball Team chirp. “Our thoughts are with the Hall family. We love you, Joe B.”
We share with great sadness the passing of the great Joe P. Hall. Our hearts are with the Hall family.
We love you, Joe B. pic.twitter.com/SahjbGOexb
Kentucky Men’s Basketball Team (KentuckyMBB) January 15 2022
Current Wildcats coach John Calipari chirp That hall was “my friend, my mentor, and an icon in our state and in our profession.” He added that he met with Hall Thursday.
“He understood all that was said, and when I prayed for him, he pulled my hand.” Calipari books.
The coach hall is loved by all. What makes me happy on this very dreary day is that before he left this earth, he knew how much we all value and love him. I ask everyone to keep him and his family in your prayers. I love you coach. pic.twitter.com/hm7apfFQBU
– John Calipari (@UKCoachCalipari) January 15 2022
During his 13 years as a Kentucky State coach, from 1972 to 1985, Hall led the team to 297 victories. Most memorable was the 1978 NCAA title in which Hall led the Wildcats to their fifth championship. Hall followed in the footsteps of Rob, who won 876 games over 41 seasons in Kentucky.
The Wildcats went 30-2 at 1977-78 and won their first NCAA title in 20 years, defeating Duke 94-88 in St. Louis behind 41 points from Jack “Goose” Givens. It was Kentucky’s fifth and first championship in 20 years. Over 10,000 fans greeted the returning team at Blue Grass Airport.
Hall had trained in Central Missouri and Regis before Rob offered him a chance to come to Kentucky. Rupp initially offered Hall a job as his recruiter, but Hall turned it down, instead wanting to be a coach on the ground.
Later, when they were in the same clinic. He invited Rob Hall into his room and offered him a job as a coach assistant on the floor. This time, Hall accepted.
“Being back here as an assistant was a dream,” Hall said.
Only once did Hole leave Kentucky. Rob’s retirement was approaching, and Hall wasn’t getting the support he wanted to be the next coach. He took a head coach job in St. Louis, but Rob begged him to stay, Hall once told the Lexington Herald Leader.
Hall played under Rob and served as his assistant for seven years before being promoted to the top role—though Rob continued to make a big splash by maintaining an office on the block and his own television show in the state.
Nearly misses in the years after the 1978 title upset the fan base—a big lead for Georgetown in the 1984 national semi-final was big—as did the growing share of regional and national limelights by Denny Crumb in Louisville and Bob Knight in Indiana.
The 56-year-old Hall resigned from his position as Kentucky coach in March 1985, saying, “I don’t want to be an old coach.”
Hall was named National Coach of the Year in 1978 and SEC Coach of the Year four times. Hall’s record in Kentucky was 297-100, and it was 373-156 during his career. Seven of his players have won All-American Awards 11 times, and he coached 24 players recruited into the NBA, including five picks in the first round.
After retiring from coaching, Hall remained a beloved figure in the state. As recently as 2018, he attended about three Kentucky practice sessions per week and had a field game during the home games at Rupp Arena. A statue of the hall sits in front of the Wildcat Lodge, where the men’s basketball players live.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.