Coach Cal spoke to the media today in advance of the Cats’ game against Sean Woods’ Mississippi Valley State Delta Devils, and talked briefly about Coach Joe B. Hall, who’ll be the honored guest at a Rupp Arena celebration this weekend. Cal was very complimentary and appreciative of everything Coach Hall has done since he got to Lexington and obviously considers the coach of the 1978 National Champions in the highest regard…
– In regards to Saturday’s Joe B. Hall celebration in which 40 former players will be in attendance at Saturday’s game to celebrate the 25th anniversary of his retirement, Calipari spoke about the friendship he and Hall have formed:
“Coach Hall, he’s been a special friend,” Calipari said. “He’s been like a mentor. He was at practice yesterday. He comes to practice two, three days a week, starts diagramming stuff for me. A great day for me was last year when we introduced him at the Blue-White Scrimmage and I sat him on the bench. The response from our fans was like wow. Sometimes when you coach and when you’ve been away, I don’t know if he realized how people feel about him here. They truly love him.
“For 40 players to come back, for us to be a part of that and be around, and for me to be around him and him to be able to help us today – here’s a guy that coached in the 70s, won a national title and has nothing but good things for me. There’s no jealousy. There’s no, ‘Well, Cal had this. I had never had this and I had to do without this and my office was …’ All he is, is happy Kentucky is doing well. He wants to be a part of it and he wants to come to practice. He’s become a dear friend because of that.”
Celebrating the great career of Coach Hall is reason enough to want Saturday here even sooner, but knowing that tomorrow’s showdown will end the always painful week-with-no-game makes it even better.
Go Joe B. Go Big Blue.