Skip Hall is known for his coaching career with Boise State and motivational speaking to business leaders.
But those are not the two things he wants to talk about most.
Hall had a spiritual awakening after leading the Washington Huskies to a Rose Bowl game in 1979. The most memorable part was not winning, but what came after.
“Everybody in Seattle was telling us how great we were … giving us keys to the city,” says Hall. “But Virginia said to me, ‘You know, Skip, when you stand before the Lord on judgment day, he’s not going to ask you how many Rose Bowls you coached in … He is going to ask you what kind of a relationship you’ve had with him, and with me, your wife, and your children, and what’s been taught in the home.’”
Hall still coached football, but his coaching style changed to be focused on players, not on winning championships.
Hall strived to never tear down a player, but instead to always “coach ‘em up,” a phrase he would go on to use in his public speeches and business leadership trainings.
The phrase came to him in Missouri after a 30-something-year-old man knocked on Hall’s door.
“He came in, sat down, and started to tell me this story … I was one of the coaches, he was a walk-on player,” says Hall. “And he said one day at practice … he was stumbling and fumbling, bumbling, and the young coach that was working with him started yelling and screaming and cursing him.”
Hall went over, getting between the player and the young coach.
“He said I … faced the young coach and said five words that had such a tremendous impact on this player,” says Hall. “I was really interested now, because I couldn’t remember what those five words were. He said, you told him, ‘Coach ‘em up, not down.’”
Second to God is Hall’s family: his wife Virginia, his two children — a son and a daughter — and four grandchildren. Hall’s mother also holds a special place in the family, as it was her example as a single mother that inspired Hall’s sense of responsibility, of working hard.
Hall’s resume features speaking to various religious groups, including men’s fellowship groups and the Fellowship of Christian Athletes. Hall is also affiliated with the Boise Rescue Mission, the Idaho Youth Ranch, FCA of Idaho and the Boise Chamber of Commerce.
“No matter what he’s got going on his life,” says Suzie Hall, Skip Hall’s daughter, “with his notoriety, I’ve never seen him dismiss anyone who wanted to talk with him, or introduce themselves or have a conversation with him.”
Skip Hall coached college football for 30 years, starting with the University of Washington Huskies, then moving to Boise in 1987 to coach Boise State’s Broncos. Three Rose Bowls and an Orange Bowl highlight Hall’s athletic career. After retiring from coaching, Hall spent 20 years as a regional manager for Aflac and as the managing director for Principal Financial Group. Later, he started Hall and Associates with his son. He now offers public speaking to religious groups, youth groups and business leaders, and he hosts a radio show about faith and people.
Accepting Christ, becoming a Christian
Being inducted into the American Football Foundation Wall of Fame
Becoming a radio show host, hosting Game Plan For Life on 94.1 The Voice
50 years recruiting, coaching, mentoring, and building teams with integrity, respect and hard work
Editor’s note: This article has been updated to correctly reflect the radio station that broadcasts Game Plan for Life.