Rupp, Adolph (1901-1977)

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Rupp, Adolph (1901-1977)

Known as the "Baron of the Bluegrass," Adolph Rupp led the University of Kentucky basketball team to 18 Southeastern Conference championships, a National Invitational Tournament championship, and four NCAA national championships (1948, 1949, 1951, 1958) while compiling a record of 876-190 in his 41 years as head coach. In 1951, three of his star players admitted to taking money to shave points in a 1949 game. The NCAA suspended the team for the 1952-53 season and publicly reprimanded Rupp. Rupp's all-white Wildcats squared off against the all-black Texas Western University in the 1966 National Championship game and lost, prompting Rupp to make some disparaging racist comments after the game. Soon after that season, all southern schools began to lift the unspoken ban on recruiting black athletes.

—Jay Parrent

Further Reading:

Laudeman, Tev. The Rupp Years—The University of Kentucky's Golden Era of Basketball. Louisville, Kentucky, The Courier Journal and The Louisville Times, 1972.

Rice, Russell. Kentucky Basketball's Big Blue Machine. Huntsville, Alabama, Strode Publishers, 1976.