Tuesday morning, Coach John Calipari introduced Coach Joe B. Hall and his 400-pound bronze counterpart in front of Wildcat Coal Lodge. Coach Hall offered his sincere thanks to the attendees along with his usual good natured humor.
“The pigeons will appreciate it,” Hall joked during his speech.
Coach Calipari gave credit to Coach Hall for moving the program forward after succeeding the legendary Coach Adolph Rupp who won 4 NCAA Championships during his time at the University of Kentucky. He pointed out that many coaches that followed the likes of legendary coaches such as John Wooden, Paul “Bear” Bryant, and Vince Lombardi had difficulty measuring up to their success.
That is except for Joe Hall, Coach Calipari pointed out.
Coach Hall won 297 games during his tenure which includes the 1978 NCAA Championship against Duke University. That ’78 championship team included Jack “Goose” Givens, Rick Robey, Kyle Macy, and James Lee; players that are still celebrated to this day.
The statue took 8 months to create by sculptor J. Brett Grill of Columbia, Missouri. It was sculpted based off photos of Hall over the course of his head coaching tenure with the Wildcats. The statue depicts him sitting on a row of folding chairs and clasping a rolled up program. The two empty seats beside him will undoubtedly be filled by Big Blue faithful posing for photos for years to come.
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