Interview with Coach Skip Hall

Skip Hall coached football at the University of Washington under the legendary Don James before becoming the head coach at Boise State University. After moving into the business arena to recruit, manage, and coach teams for AFLAC, Skip traveled the country speaking to business leaders. Skip and his wife Virginia have a son and daughter, 4 grandchildren, and now 1 great-grandchild.

What sports did you play growing up?

When I was young I played everything I could—when I got to high school it was football, basketball, and baseball.

When I got to college, it was football and baseball.

After college, I played some semi-pro fastpitch softball. I also played and managed a town team baseball program.

Why coaching?

I knew in high school that when my playing days were over—when they took the ball away— that I wanted to coach.

How many years did you coach? Where?

31 Years.

High School football and basketball head coach for 3 years—23-1 in football and 3 years district coach of the year at Henning High School in Henning, MN.

2 years as Graduate Assistant football coach at the University of Colorado in Boulder, CO.

4 years as an assistant football coach at Kent State University in Kent, Ohio under Don James—coached and coached with Nick Saban for 4 years.

12 years as an assistant coach at the University of Washington in Seattle under Don James—10 Bowl games including 3 Rose Bowls. I was the assistant head coach for the last 2 years.

6 years as the head football coach at Boise State—42–28–4 playoff games including the 1990 National Semi-Final game against Nevada-Reno which we lost in triple overtime.

4 years as an assistant football coach at the University of Missouri in Columbia, MO.—was the interim head coach in 1993.

Talk about a youth coach (grade school to high school) who had the greatest impact on you. What are one or two things he/she did to impact you?

My high school football and baseball coach, Charlie Basch, was my hero and my inspiration for going into coaching. He was always winsome, encouraging, and always smiling and Coaching Us Up and having fun—everyone loved him!…… I wanted to be like coach Charlie—I didn’t have a dad so coach Charlie and other coaches were my dads!…

Coach Charlie was a major inspiration for my book— Coach ‘Em Up—which you can order by going to

We are in a world of early specialization in youth sports. Good or Bad?

I agree with Jake Plummer that early youth players should have fun and enjoy all sports that they want. When they get to high school, they can become more specialized.

You have a wealth of experience in coaching young athletes. What is the same about mentoring young athletes today, and what is different?

Today’s athletes are basically the same as past athletes—they want to compete, win, and will work hard to be successful!

What is different today is there are so many distractions pulling at them and so many other directions they can go—some good and many not so good.

When you reflect back on your coaching career, what are you most proud of? Any regrets?

The things I’m most proud of are being able to coach, mentor, encourage and influence hundreds or thousands of young people to become the best version of themselves in their chosen sport, in their academics, and in their character development—academics and character matter.

Winning is important but it goes way beyond the scoreboard—I always wanted to help build young people for life!

The only regret I have is not being able to do more—help build more young people for life!

The coaching powers of influence and encouragement changes lives…..

Coach ‘Em Up!