Big Blue Nation remembers the legacy of Joe B. Hall
LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) - Joe B. Hall’s statue sits solemn and solitary beside the Wildcat Coal Lodge, holding a rolled-up program in one hand as his figure peers out across a parking lot to one of the places he called home as head coach of the Kentucky Wildcats - Memorial Coliseum.
But over the course of the day Saturday, Joe B. Hall’s bronze embodiment had quite a few visitors.
People came up to take pictures, to leave tributes and to just take a moment to remember the late great coach, who died Saturday at the age of 93.
Saturday’s rivalry game against Tennessee took on a special meaning for many Kentucky fans as a result.
“It’s a great day when you can put a shellacking on Tennessee any day but especially when Joe B. Hall just passed away this morning, it’s a great tribute to him,” said UK fan Cody Brumett.
Brumett and Big Blue Nation got to see the Cats pay tribute to Hall with an emphatic victory.
The fans felt sure that Joe B. Hall was looking down on Rupp Arena with a big smile today, and they hope this crew of Cats can bring home some hardware this year in his honor.
“There’s nothing that we love more than tradition, and so it was nice to see it firsthand and I think it was an emotional game for everybody,” said Lesley Laws, a student at UK.
It was a game some fans said they wouldn’t miss for anything in the world, and a game that Brumett drove over 2.5 hours to see.
“We follow our Cats wherever they go, love Kentucky Basketball with a passion”
Not one bad word was said when I mentioned Hall’s name.
“In one word…classy,” said Brett McDaniel.
“To follow up a legend like Rupp and do it successfully is absolutely incredible,” Brumett said.
For some, words didn’t do justice.
“I don’t think you can put into words what he’s done for this program,” said Tim Embry.
But beyond the honorifics, fans were simply proud to call Joe B. Hall one of their own.
“To know that he was not bigger than the people of Kentucky, that he was one of us,” said Brumett. “He led us with respect, dignity. The man is just a walking legend.”
We’re told Hall’s funeral service will be private due to COVID-19.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to Crestwood Christian Church, 1882 Bellefonte Dr., Lexington, KY 40503, the Lexington Humane Society or Bluegrass Care Navigators.
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