Adolph F. Rupp

Dubbed “The Baron of the Bluegrass,” college basketball coach Adolph Rupp was legendary for developing local talent. In fact, 80 percent of his players hailed from the hills of Kentucky and Rupp turned local boys into heroes and champions. By winning 876 games in 41 years of coaching, Rupp set a remarkable standard of excellence. Part of his success was due to his intense desire to win and his ability to instill that drive into his players. He was a stern taskmaster, difficult to understand yet easy to like. He rarely spoke to his players off the court, but cared for each one of his boys just the same. He promoted a sticky man-to-man defense and a relentless fast break offense that battered opponents into defeat. His teams appeared in 20 NCAA Tournaments and captured 27 Southeastern Conference titles. Rupp demanded 100 percent from his players at all times, pushing them to impressive levels of success and building a legacy at the University of Kentucky unsurpassed in college basketball.