Hall to step down

Cit­ing fam­ily rea­sons, Loy­ola Blake­field foot­ball coach will leave after season

Baltimore Sun - - SPORTS - By Kather­ine Dunn kather­ine.dunn@balt­sun.com twit­ter.com/ kdunnsun

Loy­ola Blake­field foot­ball coach Brant Hall had been feel­ing the pull of his fam­ily away from the Dons foot­ball pro­gram for a few years, and after this season he will step down as coach.

Hall de­cided he needs to spend more time with his wife and two sons, ages 8 and 5.

“It’s been eat­ing at me for the last two or three sea­sons, just hav­ing to leave the house and leave my sons here when they want to spend a lot of time with me. I ask my­self, ‘Do I want to do ev­ery­thing that a head foot­ball coach needs to do to be suc­cess­ful?’ So it’s been eat­ing at me, and I think the time is right. I’m sure of it. But it was a very tough de­ci­sion.”

Hall, a Loy­ola grad­u­ate, will stay at the school as as­sis­tant ath­letic di­rec­tor and as the sev­enth-grade lacrosse coach. He plans to be­gin study­ing for a mas­ter’s de­gree in ed­u­ca­tional lead­er­ship, but he will re­main in­volved with Dons foot­ball re­cruit­ing, es­pe­cially in the tran­si­tion to a new coach. A search will be­gin in De­cem­ber for his suc­ces­sor.

Hall, 36, has been in­volved in foot­ball for 29 years, in­clud­ing as a player at Loy­ola, where he was the All-Metro Player of the Year his se­nior year, 1997. He is in his fifth season as head coach after nine years as the Dons’ of­fen­sive co­or­di­na­tor.

“I’m ex­tremely thank­ful for the Loy­ola com­mu­nity and all the sup­port they’ve shown me over the years. That school changed my life,” Hall said.

Although there’s a lot of foot­ball to be played first, Hall would like noth­ing more than to go out with a Turkey Bowl win Thanks­giv­ing Day. The Dons won in 2013, but Calvert Hall was vic­to­ri­ous in Hall’s other three meet­ings.

Calvert Hall coach Don­ald Davis said he has en­joyed every bat­tle with Hall’s teams in the Turkey Bowl — all of which have been de­cided by a touch­down or less.

“It’s been tremen­dous be­cause every game has re­ally come down to the fi­nal play or down to the wire. … You’re talk­ing sin­gle-digit games four years in a row. In any ri­valry, that’s tremen­dous,” Davis said.

“It’s been, and will be this year, an honor stand­ing across the field from Brant Hall. I have tremen­dous re­spect for Brant, his staff and the kids. He’s a great guy and a tremen­dous ed­u­ca­tor. That’s a huge loss for Loy­ola foot­ball.” In his fi­nal season, Hall’s team is off to a 3-0 start.

State poll up­date: McDonogh’s loss to DeMatha on Fri­day night cost the Ea­gles three spots in this week’s Mary­land High School Foot­ball Me­dia State Poll, but they re­main the high­est-ranked team from the Bal­ti­more area.

The Ea­gles (3-1) dropped to No. 5 be­hind No. 1 DeMatha, No. 2 Good Coun­sel, No. 3 Da­m­as­cus and No. 4 Wise after fall­ing to the na­tion­ally ranked Stags, 49-28. Three other Mary­land In­ter­scholas­tic Ath­letic As­so­ci­a­tion A Con­fer­ence teams are ranked in the top 10, as Arch­bishop Spald­ing (2-1) moved up one spot to No. 6, Mount Saint Joseph (2-1) moved up one to No. 8 and St. Frances (3-1) jumped four spots to No. 9.

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