Year round coach

Dominic Capperella

A man of many jobs, Rick Hall coaches three sports at Bellefonte Area High School: Two as an assistant varsity coach and one as the head coach. However, Bellefonte definitely is not where Coach Hall began his coaching journey, which took place in 1984, not too far from here in Curwensville, PA. This year coach Hall will be a three sport coach at Bellefonte but let’s go back to the beginning of his sports journey and find out how he came here in 2017.

Coach Hall grew up less than an hour from here. In high school, he played the three sports he now coaches, football, basketball and baseball.  

I played quarterback and strong safety in football, point guard in basketball, and third base and shortstop in baseball,” Coach Hall mentioned.

Having played three sports in high school, Coach Hall had the opportunity to play baseball at Gannon University, lettering in two seasons. After playing at Gannon, he enrolled at Indiana University of Pennsylvania, also known as IUP, and earned a degree in Health and Physical Education.

“I started my coaching career at Curwensville Area High School in 1984. I was asked by my former basketball coach when I was 22 years old if I would take over the girls basketball team. Bobby Knight was a coaching inspiration for me and he was the athletic Director at the time,” Hall stated. 

Having graduated from Curwensville it seemed only fitting Hall begin his coaching career at his alma mater. He would go on to coach the girls basketball team for four years before moving onto his next endeavor. His next stop was his other alma mater IUP at which he coached women’s basketball for three years as an assistant. Then he coached girls basketball and softball at Pocono Mountain high school for six years compiling a 90-42 record while winning three conference championships as well as winning the first ever state playoff game in Monroe County.

In 1996 Hall decided that it was time to move on from Pocono Mountain and begin coaching at Nazareth High School. After just two short seasons, Hall took a job at Lehigh University for the women’s basketball team. He coached at Lehigh for three years, acting as the recruiting coordinator and post coach.

Three years later Hall got the call of a lifetime. The call was from Penn State women’s basketball head coach, Rene Portland, asking if he would join her staff in State College. Hall agreed and began at Penn State in 2001 as the recruiting coordinator and low-post coach. Hall would stay at Penn State for three years and those three years were successful with a Big Ten title and an appearance in the NCAA tournament occurring during his time as a coach.  

After three years at Penn State it was time to move on and return to his roots as a coach and teacher.  He decided not to move out of State College and began teaching at Park Forest middle school, coaching both at Park Forest and State College High School.  

State College schools would be Hall’s longest tenure thus far where he would be involved in four separate sports. During his whole tenure at State College he was an assistant coach with the football team.  He spent six years as the head softball coach, then four years as an assistant coach for the baseball team. In the winter during his time at State College, he coached junior high boys basketball.

 “I came to Bellefonte 4 years ago to be Coach Clark’s assistant with varsity baseball.  I first chose Bellefonte because of the relationship I have with Coach Clark, since then I have wanted to coach all sports here at Bellefonte because of the players,” Coach Hall said. 

  Coach Hall came to Bellefonte in 2017 to coach baseball along with coach John Clark, a history teacher at Bellefonte Area Middle School, but since then he has taken on the role as the head basketball coach in fall 2020 for the winter season. This year in 2021, he assumed the role of assistant coach for the football team acting as the defensive coordinator and wide receivers coach.

Coach Hall began coaching almost forty years ago because his high school basketball coach asked him to come home and coach.  Since then he has gone on a journey around Pennsylvania coaching multiple different sports at both the high school and collegiate levels, he has had a multitude of success from district championships to conference titles sending his team to national tournaments. Bellefonte has tons of experience with Hall coaching year round, and he says he has never been happier.  

“I would rather be here than coaching anywhere else,”  Coach Hall said.