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Library Evenings Upstairs - Adolph Rupp and the Rise of College Basketball

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With James Duane Bolin, Professor Emeritus of History, Murray State University

At the end of his illustrious coaching career University of Kentucky basketball coach, Adolph Rupp retired as the winningest coach in college basketball. From 1930 until his forced retirement in 1972, Rupp won 876 college basketball games while losing only 190. His teams won four NCAA championships. Along the way, he survived his players' involvement in a point-shaving scandal in 1951. Rupp, along with his UK football counterpart, Paul "Bear" Bryant, was a pivotal figure in the growth of big-time college sports in America. Rupp pioneered in recruiting athletes, and he built his program by offering "scholarships" to talented athletes. For the first time Rupp scheduled games outside Kentucky and the South, taking his teams to Madison Square Garden in New York City. He changed sports in America, but the fame and fortune that he found in the Bluegrass also changed him.

James Duane Bolin is Professor Emeritus at Murray State University, where he has taught courses in American History, Kentucky History, and Sports History.

Bolin's book project, Adolph Rupp and the Rise of Kentucky Basketball is under contract with the University Press of Kentucky and forthcoming in March 2019. In 2016, Bolin's Home and Away: A Professor's Journal, a collection of 120 of his newspaper essays, was published with Acclaim Press. His chapter, "The Lady Who Helps Blind Children See: Linda Neville and Kentucky’s Crusade Against Blindness in the Twentieth Century," was published in the book Kentucky Women: Their Lives and Times (Athens and London: University of Georgia Press, 2015).

Library Evenings Upstairs - Adolph Rupp and the Rise of College Basketball

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