UK unveils Joe B. Hall statue outside Wildcat Coal Lodge

UK head coach John Calipari and former head coach Joe B. Hall talk behind the state of hall dedicated outside the Wildcat Coal Lodge on Tuesday, Sept. 18, 2012.

By Becca Clemons

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On a rainy morning Tuesday, UK officials unveiled a new statue of a familiar face in front of the Wildcat Coal Lodge.

The sculpture is of former men’s basketball coach Joe B. Hall, who was head coach at UK from 1972 to 1985. A plaque also will hang outside the building.

Hall accepted the dedication with appreciation and humor.

“No one has a specific speech for an unveiling of a statue,” he said. “The pigeons will appreciate it.”

Current head coach John Calipari said Hall was among a number of coaches who have followed legends in their time, having followed Adolph Rupp. But, Calipari said, Hall made it to three Final Fours and won a national championship in his own time.

“The achievements I had at Kentucky were guaranteed by the tradition, the legacy,” Hall said.

Hall thanked fans for the “unbelievable support” a coach gets from them.

After the unveiling, Hall posed for pictures with UK officials and continued cracking jokes.

“I’ll be right here every day,” he said.