Adolph Frederick Rupp (September 2, 1901 – December 10, 1977) was one of the most successful coaches in the history of American college basketball. Rupp is fourth (behind Bob Knight, Mike Krzyzewski and Dean Smith) in total victories by a men's NCAA Division I college coach, winning 876 games in 41 years of coaching. Rupp is also second among all coaches in all-time winning percentage (.822), trailing only Clair Bee. Adolph F. Rupp was enshrined in the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame on April 13, 1969.
Rupp was born outside Halstead, Kansas, to Mennonite German immigrants, the fourth of six children. He grew up on a 173-acre (0.70 km2) farm which his father Heinrich homesteaded. After his father's death in 1910, Rupp's oldest brother Otto took over farming responsibilities. As a youngster, Rupp worked on the farm and attended a school in a one-room school house in the country. He first became interested in the sport of basketball at the age of six when Halstead won the first of two consecutive Kansas state high school titles. According to interviews, he and his brothers stuffed rags into a gunnysack which his mother sewed up to use as a basketball on the family farm. Later, after growing to a sturdy 6-foot-2, Rupp was a star on his Halstead High School team, averaging over 19 points a game in both his junior and senior years. Rupp also served as team captain and unofficial coach.
After high school, Rupp attended the University of Kansas from 1919–1923. He worked part-time at the student Jayhawk Cafe to help pay his college expenses. He was a reserve on the basketball team under legendary coach Forrest "Phog" Allen from 1919 to 1923. Assisting Allen during that time was his former coach and inventor of the game of basketball, James Naismith, who Rupp also got to know well during his time in Lawrence.