Will Hall named 22nd Southern Miss head football coach

When Tulane capped off its first winning season since 2013 in Saturday’s win over Memphis, the Gatorade bath didn’t go to Head Coach Willie Fritz. Instead, the ice down went to Offensive Coordinator Will Hall, now Southern Miss Head Football Coach, Will Hall who has a proven track record of mutual respect and winning everywhere he goes.

“He is a guy that gets it done, and I couldn’t be more excited for him to be a part of our family. So at this point, I want to introduce to you our 22nd head football coach at The University of Southern Mississippi, Will Hall.” Exactly three months to the day following Jay Hopson’s resignation back on September 7th, Southern Miss Director of Athletics Jeremy McClain says there’s only one name that never left his list of potential replacements and it’s the man holding up the jersey. “Will Hall definitely checked the box when it comes to ‘it’ factor. You guys are going to understand that very quickly. There’s an old saying, winners win. And everywhere Will Hall has ever been, he has won.”

Coach Hall said, “We are fixing to build this program back. You need to poke your chest out, you need to get your black and gold gear back on, because we’re fixing to get this thing back to winning, and I’m talking about winning on and off the field.”

Although Hall won’t actually coach during USM’s regular season finale against Florida Atlantic on Thursday he still represents the program’s 22nd head football coach, and already the fourth in just one season unlike any other.

The Golden Eagles are just 2-7 overall, having lost two other games due to COVID-19 and even more key players due to opt outs and transfers. “We’ve got to get this thing back together. We’ve got the resources to do it and be back where we’re supposed to be and everybody knows where we’re supposed to be. We’re supposed to be the top football playing school in the Group of 5. We were Boise State before Boise State. We can be back to that again, but we’ve got to all jump on this thing, quit making excuses, quit being negative. Let’s get on this train and all push it together, and how great could we be?”

The answer to that $800,000 question, Hall’s reported annual salary over four years, according to Fear the Wave blog, will greatly depend on his ability to recruit the state he knows so well. “I know what it means to grow up in Bassfield, Mississippi. I know what it means to grow up in Bay Springs. I could name last names from all these little towns right now – I can’t do it because it would be breaking an NCAA rule – but I can tell you, if your last name is this and you’re from Calhoun City, you can play, alright? And not only can you, but your uncle and your aunts and all them can, too.”

Back in 1998, Hall won the 3A state championship at Amory High School under the guidance of the Magnolia state’s second all-time winningest coach Bobby Hall, who just so happens to be his father. “Got dropped off at the field house when I was five-years-old, and I’ve gone every day since then.”

“And what you don’t understand, he’s been doing it for 15 years but he’s been hanging out with me since he was five until he started playing in the seventh grade. So, I tell people all the time, he’s 40-years-old. But he’s really more like dog years, he’s about 70 actually.”

Prior head coaching experience includes a 56-20 overall record at division II West Alabama and West Georgia followed by assistant jobs at Memphis and Louisiana before his most recent two year run as offensive coordinator at Tulane where the 40-year-old Hall enjoyed two wins over USM during that time.

All part of chasing a dream that came true in the final hour with the Black and Gold. “The significance of this opportunity for me is everything. I was dreaming about this since I was five-years-old. My mom had a thing when I was seven years old that I turned in in school that said I wanted to be a Division I head coach by the time I was 40, and that was when I was seven-years-old. And I thought I wasn’t going to make it, but I did.”

Hall says his favorite Southern Miss player to watch growing up was Reggie Collier.

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