LEXINGTON, Ky. – Few people can truly understand what it’s like to be the head coach of the Kentucky men’s basketball program.
In an exclusive 60-minute interview produced by the UK Sports Network, in conjunction with WKYT, fans will get an intimate view into what it’s like to roam the Kentucky basketball sidelines – everything from the pride it means to carry the UK torch, the weight of responsibility the position holds and the pressures of the job – as the current head coach, John Calipari, interviews UK Athletics and College Basketball Hall of Famer and former coach Joe B. Hall.
The 60-minute special, titled “Legend to Legend” presented by UK Healthcare, will take a look back at Hall’s life and career in his own words, as told to Calipari.
The candid discussion will debut in Lexington on Saturday at 7 p.m. on WKYT with additional opportunities to on UK Sports Network affiliates:
Lexington on WKYT – March 14 at 7 p.m.
Louisville on WHAS – March 14 at 7 p.m. and March 28 at 5 p.m.
Hazard on WKYMT – March 14 at 7:30 p.m., March 15 at 9 p.m., March 16 at 6 p.m. and March 17 at 10 a.m.
Bowling Green on WBKO – March 15 at 11:30 a.m.
Paducah on WPSD – March 21 at 6:30 a.m. (leads into BBN TV)
Regionally on Fox Sports South – March 15 at 9 p.m., March 16 at 6 p.m. and March 17 at 10 a.m.
Filmed from Calipari’s office at the Joe Craft Center in Lexington, executive producers TJ Beisner (UK Sports Network), Dick Gabriel (WKYT) and Steve Moss (WKYT) capture a meeting of the minds between two of the most celebrated figures in Kentucky basketball history.
Interviewed by Calipari – who just recently passed Hall for the second-most games coached at UK – the 91-year-old Hall reflects on his life and career. The 2012 College Basketball Hall of Fame inductee opens up about his lifelong relationship with the program, taking over for the winningest coach in the history of the program, Adolph Rupp, his upbringing in Cynthiana, Kentucky, and the truth behind the recruitments of basketball stars Ralph Sampson, Moses Malone and Daryl Dawkins.
Hall, who grew up just 20 minutes north of the University of Kentucky campus in Cynthiana, had the unenviable task of following the legendary Rupp. But Hall, the former Rupp assistant, met the challenge head on, coaching three teams to the Final Four (1975, ‘78 and ‘84) and winning the 1978 NCAA championship, the school’s fifth title and first in 20 seasons.
Hall began his association with Kentucky as a student-athlete during the “Fabulous Five era.” He played one year of junior varsity and one year of varsity basketball before transferring to the University of the South in Sewanee, Tenseness, where he finished his eligibility and set a single-game scoring record. Following his college career, Hall toured Europe with the Harlem Globetrotters in 1951, but later returned to UK and completed his degree requirements.
His coaching career began at Shepherdsville (Ky.) High School in 1956. It continued on to Regis College in Denver, where he spent five years (57-50 record), and Central Missouri State, where he recorded a 19-6 mark in one season before returning to UK as an assistant to Rupp on July 1, 1965.
As the UK head coach, Hall won National Coach of the Year honors in 1978 and four SEC Coach of the Year awards. He had seven players win All-America honors 11 time.
Hall’s squads recorded a 172-62 (73.5%) record vs. SEC competition during the regular season, winning eight SEC titles in 13 seasons and one league tournament championship in seven tries.
While Coach Rupp witnessed 44 of his players drafted by the NBA, Hall saw 24 players drafted during his 13-year tenure, six in the first round.
Calipari has just completed his 11th season at Kentucky, leading the Wildcats to their sixth SEC regular-season title under his watch. A “players-first” coach with a penchant for helping people reach their dreams, the 2015 Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Famer inductee has guided six teams to the Final Four, led one to a national championship and helped 49 players earn selection in the NBA Draft during his now-28-year college coaching career.
Calipari guided Kentucky to its eighth national championship and his first national title in 2012. In becoming only the second coach in NCAA history to lead three different schools to the Final Four, he has racked up nearly 800 on-court victories, 20 NCAA Tournament on-court appearances and numerous national coach of the year honors.
From UMass to Memphis and now Kentucky, Calipari’s career has been successful throughout, but his most recent run in Lexington has been the best stretch of his career. During Calipari's first 10 seasons at UK, he led all coaches in total wins (305), NCAA Tournament wins (31), Final Fours (four), Elite Eights (seven) and Sweet 16s (eight).