Adolph Rupp

Adolph Rupp (1901-1977)

Teams coached: Kentucky Wildcats
Kentucky record: 876-190 (.822)
Overall record: 876-190 (.822)

Career Accomplishments:


Coaching Career (head coach, unless noted):

1930-1972 Kentucky

Adolph Rupp Facts

  • Adolph Frederick Rupp
  • Born September 2, 1901
  • Died December 10, 1977
  • Hometown: Halstead, Kansas
  • Alma Mater: University of Kansas (BS, 1923) / Columbia University (MA, 1926)
  • Star basketball player at Halstead HS and then played for legendary head coach Phog Allen at Kansas from 1919-1923
  • Became head coach at Freeport HS in Freeport, IL in 1926, where he was also a teacher
  • Took over as head coach at Kentucky in 1930, a position he would hold for 41 seasons
    • At Kentucky, Rupp won 27 SEC titles, went to the Final Four six times and won four NCAA National Championships
      • Kentucky was forced to miss the 1952-53 due to a point shaving scandal involving four Wildcats players and a 1949 NIT game vs Loyola (IL); the players were arrested for their roles in 1951
      • The sanctions are sometimes considered to be the first so-called “death penalty” ever handed down by the NCAA
    • Retired in March 1972 at the age of 70; at the time all University of Kentucky employees were required to retire at 70
  • Rupp is the fourth winningest coach in Division I history and is one of just three coaches to have won at least four NCAA titles
  • In addition to the Naismith and College Basketball HOF inductions listed above, Rupp is in the Kentucky Athletic Hall of Fame and the University named the basketball stadium – Rupp Arena – after him when it opened in 1976

Adolph Rupp Coaching Tree

  • Bob Brannum (Brandeis, Kenyon, Norwich)
  • Gale Catlett (West Virginia, Cincinnati)
  • Alex Groza (San Diego Conquistadors, Kentucky Colonels, Bellarmine)
  • Joe B. Hall (Kentucky)
  • Cliff Hagan (Dallas Chaparrals)
  • Dan Issel (Denver Nuggets)
  • Ellis T. Johnson (Marshall, Morehead State)
  • Paul McBrayer (Eastern Kentucky)
  • T. L. Plain (Utah State)
  • Mike Pratt (Charlotte)
  • Frank Ramsay (Kentucky Colonels)
  • Pat Riley (Miami Heat, New York Knicks, Los Angeles Lakers)
  • Larry Steele (Portland)
  • Guy Strong (Oklahoma State, Eastern Kentucky, Kentucky Wesleyan)
  • Bob Tallent (George Washington)