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Coach Hall: My Life On and Off the Court

by Joe B. Hall with Marianne Walker foreword by Rick Bozich

Availablecloth$26.95 978-0-8131-7856-1
248 pages  Pubdate: 11/19/2019  6 x 9  62 b&w photos

Until I was nine or ten, everyone called me Joe or Joe Hall. Then one day, my grandmother, for reasons known only to her, pulled me aside, telling me my name was “too short and too plain.” She said, “Let’s add your middle initial to make it more interesting. From now on, you say your name is Joe B., not just Joe. It’s Joe B. Hall.”

Joe B. Hall is one of only three men to both play on an NCAA championship team (1949, Kentucky) and coach an NCAA championship team (1978, Kentucky), and the only one to do so for the same school. In this riveting memoir, Hall presents intimate details about his remarkable life on and off the court. He reveals never-before-heard stories about memorable players, coaches, and friends and expresses the joys and fulfillments of his rewarding life and career. During his thirteen years as head coach at the University of Kentucky, from 1972 to 1985, Joe B. Hall led the team to 297 victories. The most memorable of these is the 1978 NCAA Men’s Division Basketball Championship. This legendary coach followed in the colossal footsteps of Adolph Rupp to chart his own path to success and become one of college basketball’s all-time greats and winningest coaches.

Joe B. Hall was the head basketball coach at the University of Kentucky from 1972 to 1985. He had previously coached at Central Missouri State University and Regis University before coming to UK in 1965 to serve as an assistant coach under Adolph Rupp. In the 1978 NCAA Tournament, he coached the Wildcats to their fifth NCAA Men's Division I Basketball Championship. He was named National Coach of the Year in 1978 and Southeastern Conference Coach of the Year on four different occasions. His record at UK was 297–100, and 373–156 over his career.

Marianne Walker is a retired professor of English and philosophy at Henderson Community College. She is the author of Margaret Mitchell and John Marsh: The Love Story Behind Gone With the Wind and The Graves County Boys: A Tale of Kentucky Basketball, Perseverance, and the Unlikely Championship of the Cuba Cubs.

The conversational tone of this book evokes the sense that Coach Hall is sitting right across the table from you, telling his life story for the very first time. -- Doug Brunk, author of Forty Minutes to Glory: Inside the Kentucky Wildcats' 1978 Championship Season

Joe B. Hall is the best friend a "rival" ever had. His book is one every Kentuckian should read! -- Denny Crum, former head coach, University of Louisville men's basketball

I've long said that few coaches in our game have ever had as difficult of a task as what Coach Hall faced at Kentucky. To follow a legend like Coach Rupp is incredibly tough. Coach Hall not only continued the tradition of winning and excellence, he did it with grace and humility. I am happy that now there's a book that looks back on all that Coach Hall did for this state and this university and examines how he did it. He's been a mentor and friend to me, and I'm thrilled our fans will be able to read about him. -- John Calipari, head coach, University of Kentucky men's basketball

From being a Kentucky basketball fan as a boy, then a Wildcat player himself, and ultimately the head coach at the University of Kentucky, Joe B. Hall knows Kentucky basketball like no other. Add in his legendary storytelling ability, and you have a great read! Here for the first time ever, Joe B. has put his countless memories on paper. -- Kyle Macy, assistant coach, Transylvania University men's basketball