An Arkansas native and a graduate of Arkansas Tech, Don Hall made an impact at Ogden High School as a Junior ROTC instructor and coach of the Tigers’ track and field and cross country teams for nearly a quarter-century. His move to OHS followed a 21-year career of active duty with the U.S. Army, prior to his retirement as a lieutenant colonel.
Don held assistant coaching positions in football and baseball before taking over the Tigers’ track program. His teams won 11 state championships and posted 20 other top-four finishes. He’s credited with elevating the Tigers’ running program to the highest levels in the state, region and country. Don was known for recruiting the hallways of OHS, personally inviting students to try running. Stories are told of some students hustling into their classrooms to avoid his persuasive pitches, so he accomplished something in the process, regardless of whether he attracted more runners into his program. “Some coaches are of the attitude that if (students) want to do it they will come out, but running isn’t always easy, so I go to them,” Don once said. He also was known for his motivational speeches that tended to be lengthy, always ending with, “Hallelujah and Amen!”
Don has produced many Division I athletes and many families have had three or more athletes advance through his program. He believes that running teaches life lessons such as discipline, commitment and determination, and his runners have said Don’s military background helped him as a coach, holding his athletes to standards of consistency. In an interview with the Standard-Examiner when he was inducted into the Ogden High School Hall of Fame, Don said, “I was really blessed with an incredibly great group of athletes. Great athletes make great coaches.” Alydia Barton, who assisted him for 10 years, said Don’s influence went well beyond the track: “He took the time to make a difference in their lives.” In turn, Barton is one of many assistants and administrators whom he credits for contributing to the program’s success.
In Utah, Don was recognized as Coach of the Year in both boys and girls cross country. He also was a two-time West Sectional “Coach of the Year,” as honored by the National Federation of State High Schools Coaches Association.
Parents of three children, Don and his wife, Kristine, live in the Weber County town of Uintah.