POWERED BY

POWERED BY

| Account Profile

HomeSportsScott FootballScott High names former quarterback Billy Hall its new football coach

Scott High names former quarterback Billy Hall its new football coach

HUNTSVILLE  |  A no-brainer.

That’s how Scott High School Principal Jeremy Hamby summed up the hire of Billy Hall as the school’s new head football coach.

Hall was introduced Tuesday as the 14th head coach in Highlander history, and Hamby said it was an easy decision.

“We had good applicants and all of that, but when we decided it was time to look in another direction for a football coach, I sat back and watched,” he said. “And when you observe where the energy is going, you can find out who the leader is. It was a no-brainer to me. Aside from personal connections with Billy, he’s the guy. That’s where our (players) were looking. That’s where our current staff members were looking. I had personal conversations with some of our staff. They’d come in and say, ‘I’m with Billy; I just wanted to say that.’

“If you fancy yourself a leader and you turn around and nobody is behind you, you’re just taking a walk. You’re not a leader,” Hamby added. “But when kids and grown men are saying, ‘I want to follow this guy,’ that makes my decision easy.”

Billy Hall speaks at an introductory press conference on Tuesday, Jan. 23, 2024 | Ben Garrett/IH

Hall is a former quarterback at Scott High who was part of some of the best teams in Highlander history. After graduating in 2017, he played collegiately at Rinehardt University in Walleska, Ga., where he was a four-year captain and won five conference championships while setting a number of school records.

The 25-year-old Hall has spent his entire life around the Scott High football program. His father, Scott County Director of Schools Bill Hall, was a Highlander quarterback under Jack Diggs who was coaching the school when his son was born in 1999. Later, the elder Hall served as Scott High’s principal, as did Billy Hall’s sister, Melissa Rector.

- Advertisement -

“I wouldn’t want to be anywhere else,” Hall said. “I’ve been here at Scott High since I was born. My dad coached here, my sister was principal here. I ran around here as a kid in the summers. I am engrained in Scott High, and I will give Scott High everything I possibly have.”

Hall pursued a career in the NFL and the Canadian Football League after college, and signed briefly with the CFL’s Winnipeg franchise last year. Ultimately, it didn’t work out, and he said that was a humbling experience.

“I knew God had a plan,” he said. “Thankfully I was asked to come and work here as an assistant. I realized maybe that’s what God wants me to do in this world, is coach football here at Scott High.”

Hall was on the staff of Chris Harris, whom the Highlanders parted ways with earlier this month, the past two seasons. When Harris was forced to miss some time after undergoing surgery amid the 2023 season, Hall was named the team’s interim coach. He coached the team to a 31-7 win over Eagleton in Week 2, which snapped a losing streak that dated back three seasons.

“I am just so excited for this,” Hall said. “I think this is where I’m supposed to be. It’s where I want to be. I don’t want to go anywhere else. My goal here is to not just make the kids better football players but to make them better young men, so that when they leave here they’re ready to take on the world.”

Hall inherits a tough task. The Highlanders have not made the playoffs since he left the program as a player in 2016. They’ve lost 27 of their past 29 games, dating back to 2020. Participation has waned, and the team has struggled to field as many as 40 players for the past several seasons.

But Hall said it is a challenge that he is excited to embrace, and added that it starts with building up the program’s numbers. To that end, he said his message to students at Scott High would be that time is precious.

- Advertisement -

“It’s four years you never get back, ever,” he said. “If you sit there and you have a thought in your mind that you need to be playing, you need to play. The worst thing you can do is say, ‘I’m not going to play,’ and then you get out of high school and you’re an old man and you say, ‘Man, I wish I had played.’ You only get four years, and once it’s gone, it’s gone.”

Targeting players early is another goal. Scott County will reduce its number of middle school football programs to two beginning with the 2024 season, with players playing for either Burchfield or Huntsville. Director Bill Hall previously said that the high school football coach would have input into who was hired to coach the middle school programs and the systems they run, and he reiterated that point Tuesday.

Scott High football players look on as their new coach, Billy Hall, speaks at a press conference on Tuesday, Jan. 23, 2024 | Ben Garrett/IH

“It starts for here (Scott High) when they’re in sixth grade, no matter which middle school they’re at,” Billy Hall said. “You’ve got to get them bought into Scott High when they’re in sixth grade. A lot of times if you leave it up to doubt, it’s untelling if they’re going to go up the road or here. We need every single one of them here. Because they should be.”

Hall plans to continue to play professional football during the off-season. He played for the Las Vegas Night Hawks of the Indoor Football League last year, and recently signed with the IFL’s Sioux Falls franchise in North Dakota. The IFL season begins in March and runs through late July. That means Hall will miss all of spring practice and summer passing camps. He said Tuesday that he can balance the two, and will have assistants who will coach the team when he is away.

Hall plans to serve as his own offensive play-caller, and said that he will run a pistol-based run-pass option offense. Defensively, he plans to implement a 4-2-5 scheme. He said that he is working on completing a staff that will include coaches who “have played a lot of football.” 

It is anticipated that several of the assistant coaches from last year’s staff, all of whom were on hand for Tuesday’s press conference, will return to Hall’s staff.

The announcement of Hall as head coach was met with immediate support and enthusiasm. 

Robert Wright, succeeded Jack Diggs as the school’s fifth football coach, and whose son, Jake Wright, currently coaches girls basketball at the school, said it is a “great day for Scott High School, but it’s (also) a great day for Scott County.”

“Here’s a guy who played at Burchfield, played here. I like to put him with the Winfield Warrior, Mike Marlar,” Wright said. “Most of you know Mike Marlar. He played the game (as a race car driver) and made money. (Hall) played the game as a young guy and made money. We don’t have a lot of those here in Scott County. So what an opportunity for these young guys to be around.” 

Keith Shannon, who is the second-winningest coach in Scott High’s history, said he was “excited” for the school, Hall, and for the players who “will get to benefit for what Billy Hall brings to the table and for what he brings to this program.”

Huntsville Mayor Dennis Jeffers, who was also on hand for the press conference, said he was happy to “have a coach that has blood, swet and tears on that field. That’s what we have been needing.” 

Several members of the Scott County Board of Education were on hand for Tuesday’s press conference, including 5thDistrict representative Angela King, who complimented Hall for his work with middle school players the past two seasons.

“I’ve seen him at the middle school games, out on the field with the players, patting them on the back,” she said. “That shows a lot of concern.”

A number of improvements are planned for the Scott High football facilities, some of which are already underway. Work has already gone into overhauling the field house, and an engineering firm is being hired to conduct a study into the feasibility of artificial turf for the football field.

Scott High will open the 2024 season on Friday, Aug. 16, against Cumberland County in Crossville.

- Advertisement -

Popular

- Advertisement -

Share post:

HUNTSVILLE  |  A no-brainer.

That’s how Scott High School Principal Jeremy Hamby summed up the hire of Billy Hall as the school’s new head football coach.

Hall was introduced Tuesday as the 14th head coach in Highlander history, and Hamby said it was an easy decision.

“We had good applicants and all of that, but when we decided it was time to look in another direction for a football coach, I sat back and watched,” he said. “And when you observe where the energy is going, you can find out who the leader is. It was a no-brainer to me. Aside from personal connections with Billy, he’s the guy. That’s where our (players) were looking. That’s where our current staff members were looking. I had personal conversations with some of our staff. They’d come in and say, ‘I’m with Billy; I just wanted to say that.’

“If you fancy yourself a leader and you turn around and nobody is behind you, you’re just taking a walk. You’re not a leader,” Hamby added. “But when kids and grown men are saying, ‘I want to follow this guy,’ that makes my decision easy.”

- Advertisement -
Billy Hall speaks at an introductory press conference on Tuesday, Jan. 23, 2024 | Ben Garrett/IH

Hall is a former quarterback at Scott High who was part of some of the best teams in Highlander history. After graduating in 2017, he played collegiately at Rinehardt University in Walleska, Ga., where he was a four-year captain and won five conference championships while setting a number of school records.

The 25-year-old Hall has spent his entire life around the Scott High football program. His father, Scott County Director of Schools Bill Hall, was a Highlander quarterback under Jack Diggs who was coaching the school when his son was born in 1999. Later, the elder Hall served as Scott High’s principal, as did Billy Hall’s sister, Melissa Rector.

“I wouldn’t want to be anywhere else,” Hall said. “I’ve been here at Scott High since I was born. My dad coached here, my sister was principal here. I ran around here as a kid in the summers. I am engrained in Scott High, and I will give Scott High everything I possibly have.”

Hall pursued a career in the NFL and the Canadian Football League after college, and signed briefly with the CFL’s Winnipeg franchise last year. Ultimately, it didn’t work out, and he said that was a humbling experience.

“I knew God had a plan,” he said. “Thankfully I was asked to come and work here as an assistant. I realized maybe that’s what God wants me to do in this world, is coach football here at Scott High.”

- Advertisement -

Hall was on the staff of Chris Harris, whom the Highlanders parted ways with earlier this month, the past two seasons. When Harris was forced to miss some time after undergoing surgery amid the 2023 season, Hall was named the team’s interim coach. He coached the team to a 31-7 win over Eagleton in Week 2, which snapped a losing streak that dated back three seasons.

“I am just so excited for this,” Hall said. “I think this is where I’m supposed to be. It’s where I want to be. I don’t want to go anywhere else. My goal here is to not just make the kids better football players but to make them better young men, so that when they leave here they’re ready to take on the world.”

Hall inherits a tough task. The Highlanders have not made the playoffs since he left the program as a player in 2016. They’ve lost 27 of their past 29 games, dating back to 2020. Participation has waned, and the team has struggled to field as many as 40 players for the past several seasons.

But Hall said it is a challenge that he is excited to embrace, and added that it starts with building up the program’s numbers. To that end, he said his message to students at Scott High would be that time is precious.

“It’s four years you never get back, ever,” he said. “If you sit there and you have a thought in your mind that you need to be playing, you need to play. The worst thing you can do is say, ‘I’m not going to play,’ and then you get out of high school and you’re an old man and you say, ‘Man, I wish I had played.’ You only get four years, and once it’s gone, it’s gone.”

- Advertisement -

Targeting players early is another goal. Scott County will reduce its number of middle school football programs to two beginning with the 2024 season, with players playing for either Burchfield or Huntsville. Director Bill Hall previously said that the high school football coach would have input into who was hired to coach the middle school programs and the systems they run, and he reiterated that point Tuesday.

Scott High football players look on as their new coach, Billy Hall, speaks at a press conference on Tuesday, Jan. 23, 2024 | Ben Garrett/IH

“It starts for here (Scott High) when they’re in sixth grade, no matter which middle school they’re at,” Billy Hall said. “You’ve got to get them bought into Scott High when they’re in sixth grade. A lot of times if you leave it up to doubt, it’s untelling if they’re going to go up the road or here. We need every single one of them here. Because they should be.”

Hall plans to continue to play professional football during the off-season. He played for the Las Vegas Night Hawks of the Indoor Football League last year, and recently signed with the IFL’s Sioux Falls franchise in North Dakota. The IFL season begins in March and runs through late July. That means Hall will miss all of spring practice and summer passing camps. He said Tuesday that he can balance the two, and will have assistants who will coach the team when he is away.

Hall plans to serve as his own offensive play-caller, and said that he will run a pistol-based run-pass option offense. Defensively, he plans to implement a 4-2-5 scheme. He said that he is working on completing a staff that will include coaches who “have played a lot of football.” 

It is anticipated that several of the assistant coaches from last year’s staff, all of whom were on hand for Tuesday’s press conference, will return to Hall’s staff.

The announcement of Hall as head coach was met with immediate support and enthusiasm. 

Robert Wright, succeeded Jack Diggs as the school’s fifth football coach, and whose son, Jake Wright, currently coaches girls basketball at the school, said it is a “great day for Scott High School, but it’s (also) a great day for Scott County.”

“Here’s a guy who played at Burchfield, played here. I like to put him with the Winfield Warrior, Mike Marlar,” Wright said. “Most of you know Mike Marlar. He played the game (as a race car driver) and made money. (Hall) played the game as a young guy and made money. We don’t have a lot of those here in Scott County. So what an opportunity for these young guys to be around.” 

Keith Shannon, who is the second-winningest coach in Scott High’s history, said he was “excited” for the school, Hall, and for the players who “will get to benefit for what Billy Hall brings to the table and for what he brings to this program.”

Huntsville Mayor Dennis Jeffers, who was also on hand for the press conference, said he was happy to “have a coach that has blood, swet and tears on that field. That’s what we have been needing.” 

Several members of the Scott County Board of Education were on hand for Tuesday’s press conference, including 5thDistrict representative Angela King, who complimented Hall for his work with middle school players the past two seasons.

“I’ve seen him at the middle school games, out on the field with the players, patting them on the back,” she said. “That shows a lot of concern.”

A number of improvements are planned for the Scott High football facilities, some of which are already underway. Work has already gone into overhauling the field house, and an engineering firm is being hired to conduct a study into the feasibility of artificial turf for the football field.

Scott High will open the 2024 season on Friday, Aug. 16, against Cumberland County in Crossville.

- Advertisement -
IH Sports Network
IH Sports Network
The Independent Herald Sports Network offers broadcasts for the Oneida Indians and Scott Highlanders.
- Advertisement -

Popular

Sign up for our mailing list

Sign up to receive our daily emails!

We will never sell or spam your email address!
- Advertisement -

More like this
Related

Commissioners recognize Parker for Eagle Scout achievement

HUNTSVILLE  |  Cameron Parker was recognized by Scott County...

Pay raise for county employees nears reality

A pay raise for law enforcement officers and other county employees is a priority as the next fiscal year budget is finalized. The question is how much.

Kazee Hollifield plans softball clinic at Bear Creek

ONEIDA  |  Retired Carson-Newman University softball coach Vickee Kazee...

Photos: McDonald’s raises $5,000 for schools through ‘McTeacher’s Night’

ONEIDA  |  McDonald's of Oneida raised more than $5,000...
- Advertisement -