High school football coaching changes rarely take place in late July. But as the calendar sits less than one week before official practice begins, that is exactly what is happening at Bellmont High School.
Nick Hall is officially the new head coach at Bellmont, he confirmed to Outside the Huddle on Tuesday. Hall takes over from Eric Davis, who went 0-10 in his lone season leading the Braves. Davis has left the program and school to work closer to his home in Logansport. Davis announced his departure to the team on Monday night.
Hall is no stranger to Bellmont now or in the long term. He has been part of the coaching staff for six seasons under Davis, Marty Ballard and Larry Getts, works at Bellmont in the ACCES program and was one of the stars of the 2008 Class 3A State Champion Braves football team.
“I played in the program, I grew up watching the program, I went to every game when I younger,” Hall said. “It is something, once I graduated college, I knew I wanted to come back and coach at Bellmont. It came a little sooner than I thought it was going to.”
Hall says that he was offered the position by Bellmont athletic director Dale Manis on Thursday of last week after Davis’ resignation on Wednesday. Hall accepted the job the same day of the offer. Last season, Hall had shifted down to being the head middle school coach; he expected to be in the same position this season until just last week.
In 2015, Bellmont went 10-3, marking the last time that the Braves program broke double digit wins or had a winning record; they also won a Sectional title that season. Bellmont has gone just 7-36 since that time, though did advance to the Sectional title game against Bishop Luers in 2018 despite an 0-9 regular season. Hall has been around to see each of those seasons both good and bad.
One area coach told Outside the Huddle on Tuesday that he thought that Hall’s hiring is “what that program needs.”
“I just expect them to play hard every play, get better every day and every week. We have a long way to go, we have a lot of work to do but just get better every day,” Hall said of what his message will be Wednesday when the team practices under him for the first time.
“That is all you can ask for as a coach for any program: play hard every week, playing every down like it is your last down. That is how I always played.”
Hall graduated from Bellmont in 2010 after playing football and baseball for the school. In 2008’s Class 3A state title game at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis, he ran for all four Bellmont touchdowns in leading the Braves to a title. His ascension through the coaching ranks now gives the Braves a hometown hero of sorts to rally around as they look to rebuild their program.
“My brothers played. I’ve had cousins that have played. All my buddies that played, we all still live in Decatur,” Hall said. “We are Decatur guys. We are Bellmont guys. That is what I consider myself: a Bellmont guy. Hopefully it can benefit me.”
After leaving Bellmont in 2010, Hall went to Oakland University in Michigan where he played baseball for one season before transferring to Indiana University. While going to school at IU, he worked as an intern of sorts for the football program. Right after college, he returned to Bellmont and was immediately brought on by Getts. Now, in full turn, Hall will be the Braves’ fifth different head coach since he helped lead them to a state title in 2008.
Davis left Bellmont 27-85 overall and 0-10 in just that one season leading the Braves. Bellmont is schedule to open their season at Adams Central on August 21.
“I’ve been there for the lowest of lows and the highest of highs. I have been around it all,” Hall said. “I just think I can show kids ‘we started like this, but look how we finished.’ It is just going to take them buying into what we are going to do. It just goes back to getting better every day, getting better every week.”