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SHEPHERDSVILLE - As he posed for a picture with his former players, Joe B. Hall turned to the crowd.
To win with these guys, “maybe I was a better coach than I thought I was,” Hall said referring to his slightly older, slightly grayer and slightly heavier ball players.
But the joke was one of love...a love that filled the Shepherdsville City Hall on Friday as the former University of Kentucky basketball coach was honored.
Hall got his first coaching job at Shepherdsville High School in 1956. Of course, he also had the opportunity to coach football and baseball.
After three years in Shepherdsville, Hall would continue on a career that ultimately led him to coach the UK Wildcats to a national championship.
But, on Friday, it was all about a standing-room only audience honoring Hall.
“Wow,” Hall said of the reception. “That’s almost too much.”
Shepherdsville renamed Second Street to Joe B. Hall Avenue. It was on that street that the now-demolished Shepherdsville High School once stood.
“I can’t tell you what this means to me,” said the 81-year-old Hall.
As a young man, Hall said first impressions are so important. When he first came to Shepherdsville, he said the hospitality was wonderful.
And the players accepted his tough coaching tactics and those paddlings in the classroom.