After 18 seasons, Hall still loves being Colts’ skipper

Dale Hall, the head baseball coach for the North Marion Colts, poses for a photo on the field at North Marion High School in Sparr, Fla. on Monday, July 12, 2021. [Bruce Ackerman/Ocala Gazette] 2021.

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Posted July 13, 2021 | By Joel Bronson,

Dale Hall, the head baseball coach for the North Marion Colts, poses for a photo on July 12, 2021. [Bruce Ackerman/Ocala Gazette]

As he enters his 19th season as North Marion’s head baseball coach, Dale Hall reflects on a long career that has rewarded him with more than just wins and losses.

“I still enjoy the process,” Hall said. “I still get nervous and excited for game night!”

Hall played his high school baseball at North Marion before playing collegiately at the College of Central Florida in Ocala and Florida A&M University in Tallahassee. After college, Hall’s coach at North Marion, Steve Simmons, offered him an assistant coaching position with the Colts.

He planned to come back and coach for a “year or so” before exploring other jobs in baseball, possibly at the professional level.

During that offseason, North Marion brass called with a different position in mind. They offered the head coaching position to Hall, and he accepted.

At 23 years old, Hall began his career as a head coach.

Over the next 18 years as head coach, Hall amassed 278 career wins. He has also coached dozens of college prospects and spent some time as an associate scout for the Texas Rangers organization.

But nothing compares to leading the Colts baseball program.

“It’s all about relationships,” Hall said. “We have a great administration that supports all of our athletic programs. Principal (Danielle) Livengood is great to work for.”

In 2018, Hall got the opportunity to become the school’s athletic director. The support of the administration and his love of athletics made accepting the position an easy one.

“I just love athletics,” Hall said.

Hall attributes the program’s success, and his longevity as head coach, to having great assistants and the support of his family.

“We wouldn’t be able to do what we do here without our assistant coaches,” Hall said. “Coaches Rodriguez, Torino, Long, Hudson, both Garrison and Evan Vandeventer, they keep the process going strong.”

Hall’s wife, Becky, and sons, Grady and Parker, have always been behind him.

“My wife and sons have been extremely supportive of our mission,” he said.

Hall said he and his coaching staff believe in teaching the fundamentals of baseball to all players, even the seniors who have been with the program for four years.

“We constantly teach the fundamentals,” Hall said.

Hall has sent several North Marion graduates to play in college. From 2019-21, Hall and his staff have sent 14 players to colleges to play baseball.

“We work hard here. Our goal is to teach our players to be young men. Their experience here prepares them well for college.”

A 2021 state title run encourages Hall, as the team returns all but one of its underclass players, a group that knows what it takes to play postseason baseball.

“Our young guys learned from the seniors last year,” Hall said. “That state title run was priceless.”

Hall hopes to be at North Marion for a long time. Other opportunities may arise, but he’s already got his dream job.

“You can’t put any amount of money on being here at North Marion,” Hall said.

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