Young loses ‘right hand’ to WBHS

Published 10:29 pm Saturday, May 17, 2014

Head basketball coach Ed Young has had a strong right-hand man from the day he took the reins of Nansemond River High School’s program 10 years ago. Now that right hand man is getting some reins of his own.

Former Warriors assistant coach Paul Hall was recently named head basketball coach at Western Branch High School.



“At some point in your life, you want to be challenged more,” Hall said.


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The Western Branch position became vacant when Chris Fuhrmann left to take over as coach at Hampton Roads Academy.

Hall, 43, was interested, and said he thought, “If I don’t do this now, when will the opportunity come again?”

He liked that Western Branch’s team would feature mostly returning players this year. The school was one of the few for which he said he would have considered being a head coach.

“I wanted to be at a place where I thought I could be successful, have an immediate impact,” he said, noting he was not interested in a salvage operation.

He has come from a long history of success. In Hall’s time assisting Young, the Warriors have gone 200-50. At the same time, Hall was the junior varsity boys’ head coach, leading that team to a 151-38 record.

Hall logged experience as a head varsity boys’ coach from 1997-2001 at Windsor High School, leading its then-Group A team to a winning record, a TriRivers District tournament championship and two regional appearances.

“After you’ve been a head coach, you kind of always have that itch to get your own program again,” he said.

But he enjoyed coaching at Nansemond River, staying there, in part, for the opportunity to coach his son, Paul Hall Jr., through his JV years. Last year, Hall Jr. played varsity and will be staying put at the school.

“He bleeds red and black,” the elder Hall said. “I wouldn’t even ask him to come to Western Branch, because he wouldn’t do it.”

Hall trusts Young with the development of his son’s talent. It is the hallmark of a friendship between the coaches that Hall said goes beyond basketball and made this parting difficult.

“I really enjoyed my time working with Coach Young,” he said, having vacated the Lady Warriors’ head coaching position days after receiving it to have a chance to work with Young upon his arrival.

Of Hall, Young stated in an email, “He will be a tremendous loss for us, as he was actively involved in all aspects of our program.”

Young hailed Hall as perhaps the best assistant coach in Hampton Roads, going so far as labeling him associate head coach because of his tremendous time investment, attending all varsity practices in addition to JV practices and contributing scouting work.

“Western Branch hit a grand slam, scored a monster dunk and threw the winning touchdown on his hiring,” Young stated. “I can’t thank him enough for his value to our program and his friendship toward me.”