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SERIES: Flowery Branch football coach Ben Hall fulfilled with his career, even though it wasn't his initial plan for life
Ben Hall
Flowery Branch football coach Ben Hall watches his team against Gainesville on Sept. 10, 2021 at City Park Stadium. Photo by Bill Murphy

Ben Hall knows being a football coach is a direct way to influence and impact lives. 

With that comes a deep sense of satisfaction and fulfillment. 

“I think I am supposed to be here,” Flowery Branch’s coach said with a smile. “When you coach, you have to be called to it. You have to be competitive. At the end of the day, you want to have an impact on kids. Regardless of what you do, you always want to have an influence and impact.”

Even though coaching football was not in the cards prior to his graduation from Furman University, where he played on the offensive line, Hall has thoroughly enjoyed his career. 

It’s a totally different path than his original calling.

“I had every intention to head to law school and possibly into law enforcement, but decided not to,” he said. “I was convinced that is what I wanted to do. But as I matured a little bit I realized that, I don’t know if that was necessarily me.”

These days, Hall is one of the more well established as a high school head coach in Northeast Georgia. 

The 45-year-old has been at Flowery Branch since 2017. 

His first head-coaching job was 2013-2016 at Jefferson High. 

Up next, Flowery Branch (5-3, 2-2 Region 8-4A) hosts Chestatee (3-5, 1-3) on Friday at Falcons Stadium. 

These days, Hall is grooming young men for success in football and life after graduation. 

While still playing college football, Hall thought he would join the FBI or GBI, or maybe continue on to law school.

However, Hall said, once he found out what he would make out of the academy and factored in the risks of working in law enforcement, he reconsidered his options. 

Late in his playing career for the Paladins, Hall was probed by his offensive line coach Clay Hendrix if the young lineman would follow in his father Bill’s footsteps and coach the high school game. 

After graduating in 1999, Hall was offered a position by Paladins head coach Bobby Johnson, which is where he stayed as an assistant coach for the next five seasons. 

Then, he took a detour and joined former teammates in a business venture in Tampa, Fla.

Even during the three years out of the game as a coach, Hall’s passion never waned. 

Hall said he would watch local games on TV on Friday night, even though he had no affiliation with any of the schools in Florida. 

However, that move away from the game was likely a way to solidify his love for football. 

“It was an opportunity for me to get out,” he said. “I was working with my friends. Once you’re a coach, you’re always a coach. You just love the game. I think being out of coaching rekindled the fire.”

Then, in 2008, Hall got a call that would change everything, maybe put his life back on its designed course. 

His phone rang with a call from then-Falcons coach Lee Shaw, asking Hall to join his Flowery Branch staff. He was connected to the school with former Flowery Branch principal, Mark Coleman, who had coached with Hall’s father. 

With the blessing of his wife, Dianne, Hall accepted the offer and was on Flowery Branch’s staff the season it played for the state championship.

Now, the couple have three children: Mason (13), Anna Claire (11) and Burton (8). 

Hall is very pleased with living life in the rapidly-changing and developing South Hall. 

That initial season coaching in Flowery Branch helped the growing family plant roots in the community, which didn’t change when he left the next eight years to work at Jefferson, the first four as an assistant. 

Hall has his own style, but acknowledges he pulled from his father’s old-school, hard-nosed style. 

Now five years into his time as Falcons head coach, Hall makes it clear players will be held accountable. 

“He is a great leader,” junior offensive lineman Shaun Shockley said. “He does get on to us some times, but it’s all love. He is a really great dude.” 

While Hall was somewhat reluctant, at first, about getting into the coaching profession, he has some advice for any young person looking to getting into coaching. 

“Don’t chase the money,” he said. “If you love coaching, just grind every day. When you’re young, you don’t know what it’s like to have money. If you want to coach, keep your nose to the grindstone. It may take five years, it may take 10 but good things will happen if you’re truly passionate about it.”

Friday’s games

North Hall vs. Cherokee Bluff

Flowery Branch vs. Chestatee

Gainesville vs. Denmark

West Hall vs. Johnson

Lakeview Academy at St. Francis

Riverside Military at Elbert County

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