3 Adrian Back

Adrian Back
Hometown (Last School)
Hodgenville, KY (High)
September 29, 1923

Adrian Back was born Adrian Griffeth Back, Jr. on September 23, 1923, in Drakesboro in Muhlenberg County, Kentucky to Ida Ursa Funk and Dr. Adrian Griffeth Back, Sr.  His father was a dentist in Hodgenville and in the Army during World War I.  Sometime between 1935 and 1940, Back and his family moved to Hodgenville, Kentucky where he attended Buffalo High School.

He graduated from Buffalo High School in 1940 and enrolled at the University of Kentucky on a basketball scholarship. He played on the freshman team his first year.

As a sophomore at the age of 18, Back was the youngest player on the 1941-42 squad.  That team advanced to the 1942 NCAA Final Four.

His life took a drastic change with the outbreak of World War II.  Prior to the start of his junior season at Kentucky, Back joined the Navy, accepting an appointment to the Naval Academy in September of 1942.

He joined the basketball team at the Naval Academy, but also became involved in lacrosse. He lettered in lacrosse for three years and was part of the national championship team in 1945.

The Navy lacrosse team played the Army team and ended in an 8-8 tie after overtime. Both teams were named champions that year.

Back also benefited from a rule change that was made during the war that allowed him to play five years of basketball in college, rather than the original limit of four.

Back was named to the Helms All-American basketball first team in 1945, and he was inducted into the Navy Hall of Fame for basketball in 1946.

Back graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy on June 6, 1945.

He married Linda Lee Ferril on October 14, 1949, in Hodgenville, Kentucky.

Back was named an associate professor of naval science in the Naval ROTC program at the University of Louisville in 1951.

Back served in the Navy through the Korean War before leaving the Navy in 1953. “I qualified for flight training after graduating and was a carrier pilot,” A.G. Back Jr. said. “I was looking to make a career out of the Navy and had made a lieutenant senior grade, but I married my wife (Linda Ferrill) and came back home to Hodgenville in 1953.”

He was appointed to the Lincoln National Bank board in 1964 and he worked his way up from there. He retired in 1995 but returned as CEO in 2004.

Back also enjoys golfing, having had two holes-in-one in his lifetime. His first was at the Naval Air Station in Jacksonville, Fla., in 1950, and his second was at LaRue County Golf Club in 2005.

On October 14, 2008, Back was recognized as a Distinguished Alumnus by the LaRue County Board of Education.