Cory Hall takes over for Gary Andersen less than midway through the season in Corvallis, but little-to-nothing is known about the Beavers’ new interim coach here in Boulder. Here’s five things to know about Hall ahead of his first game as a college head coach.
He’s never held a prior head coaching position in the college ranks
Hall was head coach at Clovis North HS (Fresno, CA) from 2008-11, but the current stint with Oregon State is the highest level of his career. He started as a graduate assistant in 2006 at Washington State before winning three division titles at Clovis North. He took that experience and became an assistant with Wisconsin (2011-13) and Weber State (2014-15), before landing at OSU in 2016. During his time under Andersen, Hall coached the secondary and recruited in Southern California & Georgia.
He’s a product of the NFL and played six seasons at defensive back
One of Hall’s career highlights out of Fresno State was being drafted in the third round (65th overall) by the Cincinnati Bengals. He finished his six-year career playing for the Atlanta Falcons (2003-04), with a total of 193 tackles (six sacks), seven pass deflections, three interceptions and two forced fumbles.
He envisioned himself as a coach from a young age
According to The Oregonian, Hall’s passion for coaching runs deeper than people can see on the surface. He describes his coaching style as “a quiet storm” and said in a 2016 interview that, "I have wanted to coach since the sixth grade.”
Hall went on to say, "I had a sixth-grade English teacher, his name was Dan Pokett, he really took to me and encouraged me as far as being a competitor and playing football. He always was one of the few people that would tell me how great I was, that someday I was gonna be big things."
Hall’s background would suggest he’ll have an immediate impact with the Beavers players from dealing with them first-hand. “I never wanted to be belittled," Hall said in same interview. "I always wanted to be coached hard, and I always wanted to be coached from experience."
He’s fairly new to the Beavers’ football program
With less than two solid seasons on the job, Hall served as a general assistant for the Beavers very briefly in 2015 and returned later in January of 2016. He’s still trying to become acclimated in Corvallis. Hall has the opportunity to show another university he’s ready to become a full-time head coach or with a very good show of progress potentially have AD Scott Barnes remove the interim tag. Either way you look at it it’s a huge promotion for Hall.
He’s a defensive minded coach like his predecessor
Hall and Andersen have similar styles when it comes to being a “defense first” type coaches. Hall’s approach to the Beavers players will be an aggressive, physical, typical “smash-mouth” style of football. Whether the right personnel is leftover from a mix of Mike Riley’s recruits and Andersen’s departure remains to be scene. Hall will have to remove what’s wrong with Oregon State and return the program back into a Pac-12 competitor.