HENDERSON, Ky. (WEHT) — Kentucky fans mourn the loss of former University of Kentucky head basketball coach Joe B. Hall. Coach Hall is one of only three men to win a national championship both as a player and coach.
“I had the opportunity to meet him and shake his hand and thank him for what he brought to Kentucky,” Tom Davis, a Kentucky fan said.
It was announced on social media early Saturday morning by current Kentucky head basketball coach John Calipari that coach Hall had passed away at the age of 93.
Susan Chastin, a lifelong sports fan of the university, says she was shocked by his passing but thankful for what he did for the program.
“He kind of made us who we are,” Chastain said. “We look back at him and he hired the first black coach to help him. He made the divide such a uniting thing and he just showed his class and his presence throughout all the years.”
Even after retiring from coaching, coach Hall continued helping the next generation in any way he could.
“They said that he had over 30 years after his retirement that he still lived until 93, that he kept giving back to the University of Kentucky,” Davis said. “The state of Kentucky, Lexington and all his former players. So that tells you what kind of man he was.”
For Chastain, she says she will always have love and respect for the coach she watched while growing up as a young fan of the program.
“He’s just one of those that made you love and you felt it and I think we all felt it today,” Chastain said. “All of us. I will always be a fan of his.”