With his team off to its best start in his five year tenure as head football coach, Loyola Blakefield has announced that Brant Hall will step down as the head of the program at the conclusion of the 2016 season.
The timing of the announcement, which came in a late Tuesday evening press release, was curious as the Dons, 3-0 and ranked No. 11 in the latest VSN Football Top 20, prepare for a home contest on Friday against Archbishop Curley.
According to the release, Hall will stay on as the school’s Assistant Director of Athletics and remain active in recruiting.
In the release, Hall’s quotes indicate the move is about spending more time with his family.
“Football is a great game that I love very much and I’m honored to coach at Loyola,” said Hall. “My two boys are getting older and my wife and I have our own hopes and dreams to pursue together as a family.”
Hall replaced Brian Abbott in 2012 and has not yet had a winning season, going 16-28 over his first four years. Abbott was 78-30 in 10 seasons with four MIAA A Conference championships and an 11-0 season in 2008.
Since Abbott’s departure, however, the school changed some of its admission procedures and Loyola has not been able to attract the same caliber of athletes it once did, while recruiting across the rest of the A Conference has escalated.
Hall remains highly regarded at Blakefield. He was three-year starter at quarterback as a player with the Dons and was the 1997 Baltimore Sun Player of the Year, before going onto great success at Lehigh University, winning four Patriot League titles. He then returned to Loyola as a teacher and an assistant football coach under Abbott.
“Brant is an inspiring ambassador for our Ignatian principles,” said Loyola athletic director Mike Keeney. “He embodies the mission of the school in a way that sets an outstanding example for our Dons.”
The school has announced that it will conduct a search for a new coach in December. Until then, Hall is focused on the remainder of 2016.
“We still have a lot of season left and our goal is to continue to work hard for the win each week,” said Hall. “I might not be coaching these boys in football going forward, but I’m not stepping out of their lives. I want to be there for them and have the opportunity to help them grow.”