Alma Mater (Year):
|297-100 (74.80%), 13 years
373-156 (70.5%), 19 years
Nov. 30, 1928
Joe B. Hall, who grew up just minutes north of the University of Kentucky campus in Cynthiana, had the unenviable task of following the legendary Adolph Rupp, who was forced to retire at age 70. But Hall, the former Rupp assistant, met the challenge head on, coaching three teams to the Final Four (1975, 78 and 84) and winning the 1978 NCAA Championship, the school’s fifth title and first in 12 seasons.
Hall began his association with Kentucky as a student–athlete during the Fabulous Five era. He played one year of junior varsity and one year of varsity basketball before transferring to the University of the South in Sewanee, Tenn., where he finished his eligibility and set a single-game scoring record. Following his college career, Hall toured Europe with the Harlem Globetrotters in 1951, but later returned to UK and completed his degree requirements.
His coaching career began at Shepherdsville (Ky.) High School in 1956. It continued on to Regis College in Denver, where he spent five years (57-50 record), and Central Missouri State, where he recorded a 19-6 mark in one season before returning to UK as an assistant to Rupp on July 1, 1965.
As the UK head coach, Hall won National Coach of the Year honors in 1978 and four SEC Coach of the Year awards. He had seven players win All-America honors 11 times and nine Wildcats were voted All-SEC on 15 occasions.
Halls squads recorded a 172-62 (73.5%) record vs. SEC competition during the regular season, winning eight SEC titles in 13 seasons and one league tournament championship in six tries.
While Coach Rupp witnessed 37 of his players drafted by the NBA, Hall saw 23 players drafted during his 13-year tenure, five in the first round. Retired, Hall still resides in Lexington.