Sun Valley hires Hall to coach football
Sun Valley High's football team now knows who will be leading the squad onto the field in 2013 with the announcement of Paul Hall as the new head coach.
Hall comes from Winston-Salem Reynolds, where he spent three seasons and finished 4-7 in 2012. He was head coach of Midway High in Dunn, N.C.
Hall takes over for former head coach Scott Stein, who led the Spartans to a 9-4 record in 2012 including a berth in the 4A state quarterfinals.
"Obviously I'm going into a program that is already pretty solid and has a lot of good things going," Hall told The Enquirer-Journal by telephone on Wednesday. "Basically you're excited about the opportunity that has been laid in your hands. You try to continue the good things they've been doing and try to improve on the things that can be corrected.
"They've been solid for the past few years and I'm excited. I think they have a good crop of athletes. I think they have a good mentality down there that they love their football. I'm just excited to be apart of it."
Hall will get his first interaction with his new team today. He will meet with the players for the first time at 12:30. Even though he hasn't been there yet he has been working to get everything set for the summer.
"That's going to be exciting to shake some hands and get some names," Hall said. "We have to get the summer schedule together. I've been communicating with the coaches there to try to get things set up with scrimmages and seven on sevens."
Hall has a star tailback to build the offense around.
Rising junior running back Albert Funderburk rushed for 2,042 yards and 24 touchdowns in 2012.
Hall doesn't anticipate changing much about the Spartans' spread offense, and plans to get the ball in the hands of Funderburk often.
"I've seen a film or two or 12," Hall said. "He's in luck. He has a coach that likes to run the football some. There's no reinventing the wheel.
"They've been in more of a spread attack type offense. We will continue to do a lot of what they've learned dealing with the time frame. Going down there and flat out starting new can some times be a good thing if you haven't been very good.
"When you've been pretty good then don't fix it if it's not broken. I'm going to put in a few things that I think would benefit from the perspective of having a pretty good running game. They did lose the quarterback and a couple of receivers but it looks like they still have some receivers to throw the football to. ... Obviously we're going to look for some ways to get the ball into Mr. Funderburk's hands a little bit."
Hall knows the expectations will be high for the Spartans, who are dropping down to play in the 3A classification for the first time since 2008.
"I think the caliber of football will stay the same," he said. "I know there are high expectations for Sun Valley and that excites me. I'd rather go somewhere where they expect to do some good things and I think that's the mentality there. I want to continue that."
The Spartans will be behind teams that have retained their head coaches, but Hall expects to have a championship team right away.
"With the caliber of football team they seem to have coming back I would say that is a realistic goal," Hall said of a conference title. "Obviously the non-conference isn't quite as tough as last year. They played some pretty heavy hitters at the beginning in Mallard Creek and Richmond County. You set the goals realistic, you don't tell the kids they can't do that. They have been successful why not continue to be that and even more. You talk about winning the games in your county, in conference and getting in the playoffs. Stay healthy and see how deep you can go."
Hall was a defensive coordinator before becoming a head coach. He served one season on Johnny Sowell's staff at Monroe High.
The defense for the Spartans should look similar with defensive coordinator Rocky Richar still on staff.
"They've done some good things," Hall said. "The biggest thing is everybody would like to have an attack-mode type defense, but obviously you want to have a solid defense. Coach (Rocky) Richar has been the coordinator there the past couple of years and has done a good job. I expect him to be a big part of that on the defensive side of the ball."