Joe B. Hall, who coached Kentucky to 1978 NCAA title, dies at 93

AP photo by James Crisp / Former University of Kentucky men's basketball coach Joe B. Hall waves to the crowd during a home game against the University of Alabama at Birmingham on Nov. 29, 2019.

LEXINGTON, Ky. - Joe B. Hall took on the steep challenge of following a legend and created his own successful legacy.

Hall, who succeeded Adolph Rupp and guided the University of Kentucky men's basketball program to a national championship in 1978, has died. He was 93.

The program announced Hall's death in a social media post Saturday morning after the coach's family notified current Wildcats coach John Calipari. Hall and Calipari were close, and Hall was a a frequent presence at Kentucky practices and games. The retired coach would sometimes provide the "Y" when cheerleaders spelled out the state name during timeouts.

Calipari, who led Kentucky to the program's eighth national title in 2012, called Hall "my friend, my mentor and an icon in our state and in our profession" in a series of tweets.