UK Men's Basketball

Adolph ‘Herky’ Rupp, son of legendary UK coach, dies at 75

Herky Rupp was pictured with his father, Adolph Rupp, in this 1959 file photo.
Herky Rupp was pictured with his father, Adolph Rupp, in this 1959 file photo. Herald-Leader

Adolph “Herky” Rupp Jr., 75, died Wednesday. He was the son of legendary University of Kentucky basketball coach Adolph Rupp.

He grew up around UK basketball and played three varsity seasons for his dad, scoring 11 points in 14 career games from 1959 to 1962.

“He was a great supporter of not only our basketball program, but myself and my family,” UK Coach John Calipari tweeted Friday afternoon. “I loved being in his company. … He was immensely proud and honored that his father was one of the great coaches of all time. He’ll be missed.”

Joe B. Hall, an assistant to Adolph Rupp before taking over as head coach at Kentucky, remembers when Herky Rupp was a little kid.

“He would go to Louisville with the players on the bus; he loved being around the Fabulous Five,” Hall said. “He was very young, maybe just 7 or 8.”

Rupp’s love of basketball continued long after his father retired from coaching. For several years he coached high school basketball at Atherton, Lafayette and Shelby County.

Herky Rupp eventually gave up coaching for farming. “That’s what he stuck with the rest of his life,” Hall said.

Throughout his different careers, Rupp always cared about UK basketball.

“When I took over, Herky was very supportive and I appreciated that,” Hall said.

Rupp had been fighting cancer for about 10 years.

“He was a very likeable young man, mild tempered. He was a good father and husband,” Hall said.

Herky Rupp was survived by his wife, Linda Ethington Rupp, a son, Adolph Frederick “Chip” Rupp III and wife, Cathy; a daughter, Farren Rupp Shrensker and husband, Brian; and six grandchildren, all of Lexington.

Visitation will be from 4-7 p.m. June 29 at Milward funeral home on North Broadway in Lexington. Services will be at 11 a.m. June 30 at Centenary United Methodist Church, followed by his burial at Lexington Cemetery.

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