By Heather Goetter
Coach ‘Em Up is the story of Merle “Skip” Hall, a boy who grew up without a father in a time when most boys had fathers. Though he didn’t have the advantage of a father, he was a leader from a young age, especially as a quarterback in junior high, senior high, and college football. Thankfully, God brought father-type mentors into Skip’s life starting when he was a teenager. He was able to watch and emulate these godly men who encouraged him in his sports, character, and academics.
After having amazing opportunities as a young high school and college coach, Skip went on to become a renowned NCAA Division I coach, first at the University of Washington under legendary coach Don James, then as head coach here at Boise State, and finally at the University of Missouri.
A turning point came in Coach Skip Hall’s life when the University of Washington Huskies won the Rose Bowl for the first time in 17 years. Coach Hall realized (with the help of his amazing wife, Virginia) that winning was not worth anything without an eternal perspective. Skip knew that at the end of his life, God would not care how many Bowl rings he had. God would only care about the relationships he had fostered with his friends, family, and God.
That revelation changed Coach Hall’s entire life. With that perspective, he started treating people differently, making lifelong connections and deep friendships with not only his fellow coaches, but also his players. He learned how to mentor from the coaches in his life and eventually mentored college football players, assistant coaches, and business and community leaders. By the grace of God, Skip Hall has had a dramatic impact on countless men and women from all walks of life.
Attaining excellence through encouragement has been the focus of Skip’s life, not only as a coach, but as a friend, associate, and business leader. He encourages others with his words and actions, inspiring them to do and be their best selves. This true story of Coach Skip Hall shows the impact that one man can have on a nation when he chooses to break the pattern of parental abandonment and step out in the calling that God has placed on his life.
Coach ‘Em Up ends with resources for coaches and business leaders, including material to be used for pre-game speeches, coach meetings, and professional leadership development and recruitment.