LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WHAS11) -- He is a man who will be remembered for success on the court and off. Longtime Central High School basketball Coach Robert Graves passed away yesterday, according to Central High School Athletic Department.
"Every big time accolade that the central basketball program has had a lot to do with him," said Doug Bibby, Central's current coach.
Robert Graves was first a player at Central in the 1950's.
"While he was here won two national championships and a state championship as a player as part of the Kentucky High School Athletic League and the National High School Athletic League," said Ryan Bringhurst, Central High School Athletic Director.
Then, Graves returned to Central as coach in the 1960's during a tumultuous time in the country--- coaching the team to 2 state championships, providing guidance on and off the court.
"Obviously leading central through such a difficult period in our history and the history of this city he was a very important figure not just to athletics, but to this community as a leader through that time of busing and segregation," said Bringhurst.
Bringhurst says Coach Graves holds a special place in the school’s history. It’s a legacy current Coach Doug Bibby calls an inspiration.
"I hope to achieve half of the things that coach graves has achieved," said Bibby.
Coach Graves was inducted into the Kentucky High School athletic association hall of fame in 2001. Coach Bibby says his love for coaching and Central High School never ended, Graves still came to games last season.
"When he came into the locker room I mean he didn't just come in to say hello he gave us some skills, gave us some education on basketball and things we needed to do as a program on the floor, things he wanted us to do off the floor so it was just great to have him around," said Bibby, "I know he is gone now body wise, but his spirit will always live at central high school and central high school athletics, definitely lives in me."
We're told there will be a tribute to Coach Graves at a home game this season, those details are still being worked out.