Gary Hall has resigned as Herndon’s boys’ basketball coach after 23 years to take over the same position at Nacogdoches High in Texas. The move turns the page on one of the most successful coaching careers in Virginia, a tenure that featured a 393-172 record, eight district titles, one region championship and three state tournament appearances during two stints at the helm for the Hornets.
Hall’s next task will be an uphill battle, coaching a Nacogdoches team that won just one game last season in a town that claims to be the oldest and is also one of the poorest in Texas. But the opportunity to impact the lives of student-athletes and live in the same state as his two daughters was one that Hall could not pass up.
“Their program has had some tough times and it’s overwhelming to think about leaving a place I’ve called home for 55 years and moving across the country,” Hall said. “But this is a family decision, not a teaching or coaching decision. The prospect of staying at Herndon for my entire career was enticing, but the opportunity to have dinner with my daughters is priceless.”
Initially, Hall planned on making the upcoming basketball season his last at Herndon. But after being informed that he could retire now from Fairfax County with full benefits, he began “developing a network of friends in the Texas coaching community.” Once the Nacogdoches opening surfaced in May, Hall applied and was invited for an interview earlier this month. Last week brought an offer, which Hall accepted Wednesday night.
Along with his success at Herndon, which included leading two-time All-Met Scottie Reynolds and his 2005-06 team to the state final, Hall’s resume includes a 27-3 mark during one year at Middleburg Academy, three years assisting with the Briar Woods girls’ basketball team and 30 total years of coaching.
“Things are great here, and I’ve got a wonderful job and community, but things are on autopilot and an opportunity like this re-energizes me,” Hall said. “When you first start coaching, it’s all about wins and losses. But when you evolve as a coach, you realize it’s about the ability to have an impact on young people’s lives.”