'He was a legend': Friends remember Coach Jack Hall

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FLEMING-NEON, Ky. (WYMT) - Many in the mountains of Pike and Letcher Counties are remembering a football coaching legend.

Jack Hall died on Sunday evening. He is considered an icon and legend in the region.

There is an old quote that reads "legends do not plan on becoming legendary." There is no better embodiment of that quote than Jack Hall.

"You always knew you was around a man's man when you were around Jack Hall," said Dr. Sam Quillen, a close friend of Hall.

"He was a great football teacher, he knew how to run and offense, he knew how to run the defense," said Raymond Isaacs, a lifelong friend.

"But he was also one of these coaches that cared about you," added Ben McCray, who was coached by Hall.

From a humble beginning as a Fleming-Neon boy, it did not take Hall long to make a mark on his community.

He was the star quarterback for the Fleming-Neon Pirates during his time in high school, from 1948-52.

"Jack and I have been friends from the first day we met," said Isaacs. "But I loved him and I still do."

Isaacs is just a couple years younger than Hall, the two were like brothers on the gridiron back during the 50s.

"He was the kind of man that could get a five-foot-nothing, hundred nothing pound kid and convince him that he could flip over a coal truck," said McCray.

It is not hard to see the kind of man Hall was.

"He was a superhuman being. I mean I just can't say enough about him," said Paul Hunt, who played on Hall's state championship team at Elkhorn City.

Hall was a decorated man while playing. He won various awards - not just in football but baseball. The same goes for his years in college, and especially as his time as a coach.

"Everywhere Jack Hall went, success followed him. and he was a special guy, there's a lot of people that knows X's and O's but there's not a lot of people like coach Ben said that can get their kids to do anything you ask of them and a little bit more," said Quillen.

Hall started coaching at Fleming-Neon, then Elkhorn City and Betsy Layne. While at Elkhorn City, he brought home a state title for the school. The whole time, Hall did not let success get to his head.

"You want the truth? He was Coach Hall. Same person he was when he won it as before he won it," added Hunt.

"He was there and that's what a coach is. It's not just someone that puts W's on the board," said McCray. "He'll be missed."

"And Jack, I love you meet you in heaven, brother," said Isaacs.

Hall just loved football. He never set out to be a legend, yet more than a half-century later, he will forever be remembered as one.