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A Visit with Coach Bill Hall
February 23, 2010By James Frye of Pinecrest High School
This is the first of a monthly series where we interview former Pinecrest Patriots to find out where they are today and what they have been doing since graduating from Pinecrest.
This month our focus is on 1983 Pinecrest Patriot’s graduate Coach Bill Hall who starred in both football and baseball. Coach Hall is currently the head football coach of the Northwood Chargers in Pittsboro, North Carolina. Since being named the head coach at Northwood in the spring of 2000 he has amassed a career record of 78 -39 with his teams reaching post season play in each year after his first, the last 3 years his teams have reached the 3rd round of the playoffs and in 2009 and 2007 the Chargers were winners of 12 games .
I recently caught up with Coach Hall while he was in town attending a coach’s clinic held at Pinecrest by coach Chris Metzger; here is what Bill had to say.
Question from iHigh interviewer: Coach Hall tell the iHigh readers what was your favorite sport to play while you were here at Pinecrest.
Answer from Coach Hall: I really loved playing both sports while at Pinecrest but if I had to choose only one I guess it would have to be football.
Question from iHigh interviewer: Coach Hall, Talk a little about some of your favorite memories surrounding the teams you played on, teammates, coaches, particularly successful teams.
Answer from Coach Hall: I got to play for some really good teams and really great coaches. I started by playing freshman football for Coach John Williams. Coach Williams has and always will be a legend in these parts. I had known Coach Williams all my life and had already played American Legion baseball for him as an 8th grader so I knew what to expect. I then played freshmen baseball for another legend in this area, Coach Jeff Capel. Coach Capel was and is a great basketball coach. He worked hard in baseball and we had a great time. During the spring of my freshman year a coach came to Pinecrest that changed my life. This person was Coach Burgin Beale. Burgin was announced as the new head football coach at Pinecrest. Coach Beale is the reason I got into coaching. He turned the program around! He made football fun again at Pinecrest. I played football and baseball 4 years each at PC. My senior season in football, 1983, Clement Monroe and myself were elected captains. This was a huge honor for me. We started the season 7-0, including a win over defending state champion Terry Sanford. To this day, this is the highlight of my athletic career. The low of my career was a couple of weeks later when we lost to Hoke County on our homecoming. We finished the season 7-3. In baseball Wade Lee and I were elected captains, another huge honor. We had a great season and made the state playoffs. I played with some great football and baseball players. Several of us got to go on to play at the next level. Earnest Purnsley (current Pinecrest AD) played football at Wake Forrest. Barry Wilson played baseball at Campbell. I was lucky enough to walk on to play baseball at UNC-W. I think the only reason I made the team was because my brother was UNC-W's MVP for two seasons.
Question from iHigh interviewer: Once you left Pinecrest what college did you attend? Did you continue to play sports?
Answer from Coach Hall: I went to Sandhills CC for 1 year after Pinecrest and then was off to UNC-Wilmington to play baseball. I walked on to the baseball team and played one season. Never got on the field except for a bench clearing brawl vs Campbell one night.
Question from iHigh interviewer: After college how did you get started in coaching and in what year and where?
Answer from Coach Hall: 1987, I actually started coaching in college while student teaching. I helped coach the Roland Grise middle school baseball team in Wilmington. 1988 was my first year out of school and I taught at Pinecrest. It was a dream come true working under Coach Beale. I was the varsity defensive back coach and coached freshman baseball.
Question from iHigh interviewer: How long have you been at Northwood and how long as the head coach?
Answer from Coach Hall: When Pinecrest decided to go in another direction and remove Coach Beale as head football coach I came to Northwood with two other Pinecrest assistant coaches, Jim Pappas and Mike Ribet. I have been at Northwood since 1988. I was named head Coach in the spring of 2000.
Question from iHigh interviewer: What sports have you coached at Northwood?
Answer from Coach Hall: I have coached golf (now that's funny), JV baseball, was the head coach of women’s basketball and women’s softball and now football, also served as the AD for a time.
Question from iHigh interviewer: What season has been your most satisfying coaching wise?
Answer from Coach Hall: They all have been satisfying in their own way. My first year we were 5-6, struggled all season, did not make the playoffs. We have made the playoffs in each season since. In 2003 we won the first playoff game since 1973. The last 3 season's we have gone to the 3rd round of the playoffs.
Question from iHigh interviewer: I have heard you say in the past that Chatham County does not have middle school football teams, what type of problems does that present for you as the head coach?
Answer from Coach Hall: We have to start at ground 0 for everything. Most of our JV players have never played football or at very least not in the past two years. We are spending the first week working on 3 point stances and all the basic stuff. If we have 3 plays in for our first game I feel like we have done a good job.
Question from iHigh interviewer: What is the most rewarding thing about coaching high school sports?
Answer from Coach Hall: Getting kids a chance to go to college that would have not had a chance without football.
Question from iHigh interviewer: Who is the best pure athlete you ever coached?
Answer from Coach Hall: We have had so many...but I think Tobias Palmer is the best. Tobias will be playing for NC State this fall after 2 years at Georgia Military Academy. Walter Burnette is a close 2nd. Walter played at Alan Hancock Jr. College in California for 2 years then went to Mississippi Valley State for 2 years.
Question from iHigh interviewer: Do you have ex players who play at the college level now?
Answer from Coach Hall: We have had a great number of players make it to the next level: right now we have Kemory Mann at ECU, Barrett Powell at Wake Forrest, Josh Jurius at App. State, Jabre Green, Joaquin Green, Chase Green, and Marcus Crump at St. Aug, Josh Proctor at West Virginia Tech, Aaron Myrie at Greensboro College, Andrew Easterling at Lenoir-Rhyne, Shawn Badders and Simonye Craig at Methodist. I had 2 playing in Jr. College this past season that will be playing big time ball in the fall. Terrance Hackney played one season at Hargrave, he just signed with Ole Miss. Tobias Palmer played 2 seasons at Georgia Military and signed with NC State for the fall.
Question from iHigh interviewer: Do you have aspiration of coaching at the college level or are you happy just to stay at Northwood?
Answer from Coach Hall: I love Northwood so I'm not looking to move up, but once I get my 30 years in who knows?
Question from iHigh interviewer: OK Coach Hall, I will get you out of here on this one, what do you think it would be like should you be lucky enough to win a state championship someday?
Answer from Coach Hall: Well, that's all of our goals....my kids work hard every year with this in mind. I have the best Coaching staff in the state. I have to believe it will happen 1 day but if it doesn't I know it has been a blast. What would it feel like? I hope to let you know one day!
Coach Hall Thanks so much for your time and best of luck to you in the future.