HATTIESBURG, Miss. (WDAM) - A name that was mentioned from the start of Southern Miss athletic director Jeremy McClain’s head football coaching search was Will Hall.
Hall was officially named USM’s 22nd head football coach on Wednesday.
Sports Illustrated reported Hall will take over as the Golden Eagles head coach after Tulane’s regular season finale on Saturday.
The 40-year-old, with 15 seasons of college play-calling experience, will replace Jay Hopson, who stepped down one game into his fifth season following USM’s Sept. 3 loss to South Alabama.
Hall comes to Hattiesburg after two seasons as Tulane’s offensive coordinator, helping set a program record for rushing yards (3,162) in 2019.
His stint at Tulane also includes two wins over the Golden Eagles – the latter victory came on September 26 at “The Rock” when the Green Wave rolled up 569 yards of total offense (427 on the ground) and scored a stadium-record 66 points.
The Amory native’s passion for football began at the earliest of ages, sitting in on his father Bobby’s practices at Amory High School.
Having the state’s second all-time winningest coach and a six-time champion as a father isn’t a terrible way to be introduced to sport. Bobby remembers setting up four televisions every Saturday so he and Will could maximize their college football consumption.
“Will Hall is three things: He’s faith, family and football,” Bobby said. “He has no hobbies. He don’t hunt. He don’t fish. He don’t golf. All he does is football. He’s a football junkie.”
Will quarterbacked Amory to the 1998 state championship under his father before playing college ball and graduating from Northwest Mississippi Community College and North Alabama.
Hall’s 3,531 yards passing and 30 touchdowns in 2003 earned him the Harlan Hill Trophy, given to the nation’s top player in NCAA Division II.
Prior to his time in New Orleans, Hall held assistant jobs at Memphis and Louisiana-Lafayette. He has head coaching experience on the DII level at West Alabama (2011-13) and West Georgia (2014-16) of the Gulf South Conference.
A high school football coach in the Magnolia State for over 30 years, Bobby believes Mississippi-born Will is the perfect fit for Southern Miss.
“All these Mississippi boys that’s been leaving this state to go to Tulane and South Alabama and all that kinda stuff, that’s about to end,” Bobby said. “They hired a guy that wants to be the head football coach at Southern Miss. When you have passion for something, it makes you a little bit better at it.”