Anybody familiar with Will Hall’s full-throttle approach to playing and coaching football shouldn’t be surprised by the lofty goal set by the University of West Alabama’s new head coach.
“We want to build a dynasty here,” said Hall, who was named Thursday by UWA to replace legendary NCAA Division II coach Bobby Wallace at the school in Livingston. Ala. “If a kid wants to play D2 football, we want him to think here.
“We want to be the school of choice for Alabama and Mississippi players.”
Hall, 30, has served the last three seasons as offensive coordinator for Wallace, who won three straight national championships at Gulf South Conference rival North Alabama (1995-98). The two directed UWA to the Division II playoffs in 2009, a first in 34 years for the program.
Wallace capped his final season with a 7-4 record and a 24-21 upset of No. 7-ranked Valdosta State.
“Working with Coach Wallace was an ideal job training situation for me,” Hall said. “He was a hands-off guy. He let me be in charge of the offense.”
Hall’s spread option attack was ranked No. 21 in Division II in 2009. This season, the Tigers were the GSC leader in pass efficiency with a 155.8 rating.
Hall, the son of Madison Central coach Bobby Hall, played quarterback for Amory High School, Northwest Mississippi Community College and North Alabama, where he won the Harlon Hill Trophy in 2003 as the nation’s best Division II player. He also played quarterback one season for the Tupelo FireAnts, a professional indoor team.
Bobby Hall, who coached Will in high school and with the FireAnts, said his son is all about “faith, family and football.”
“A lot of kids grow up playing with Tonka trucks and LEGOs … not Will, he grew up with grease pens and erasers,” Bobby Hall said, then chuckled. “From kindergarten through the seventh grade that school bus would drop him off at the field house. That’s where he grew up.”
Will Hall, an admitted football junkie, says he has wanted to coach since he was 4. His father, he said, has been his greatest influence in the sport.
“I grew up in an environment where you won every week you played, where you did things the right way, built things the right way,” Will Hall said. “I think my dad’s greatest attribute is his ability to turn an average player into a good player, and a good player into a great player.
“Hopefully, I got that from him.”
Bobby Hall’s not concerned the challenges of running a college program will be too much for a 30-year-old to handle.
“Will’s only 30 chronologically, but he’s more like 45 in the coaching realm,” he said. “I think he’s going to do fine at West Alabama.”
Hall came to UWA from Arkansas-Monticello, where he was offensive coordinator in 2007. The year before he served in the same role for Southwest Baptist. He’s also been an assistant at Presbyterian College and Henderson State.
Gene Phelps/NEMS Daily Journal