Legendary Coach Brent Hall Dead At 83
Brent Hall, the legendary high school football coach who taught his champion-winning ways to two generations of Marion County boys, died last week. He was 83.
Hall, who gained acclaim after coaching Forest High to back-to-back state championships in 1974 and 1975, had a storied coaching career across Florida. He also coached Jefferson High School (Monticello) to a state championship in 1966 — a team that included future NFL Hall of Famer Jack Youngblood.
“You hope to have a couple people in your life who make a difference,” said Trinity Catholic head football coach John Brantley, who quarterbacked Hall’s ’74 Forest championship team. “He definitely made a difference in a lot of young men’s lives in our community.”
Hall died June 18, 2022, from prostate cancer. Born January 3, 1939, in Morgan County, Ohio, he was raised in Millersburg, Ohio, where he played high school football.
He is survived by his wife of 52 years, Jean Needham Hall; a brother, Royal Hall; children Tina Hall, Kyle Hall, Brent S. Hall, Kimberly Woodridge (Dean), William “Billy” Campbell (Greta), and Melissa Mosher (Brad); and by grandchildren William Hall, Dodie Hamrik, Dean Woodridge, Dean Paddock and Sean Campbell. He was preceded in death by his brother, Gary Hall, a daughter Lori C. Paddock and a grandson Benjamin Paddock.
Hall had a career record of 149 wins, 98 losses and 2 ties. In addition to coaching at Forest, he was head coach at Jefferson County (Monticello), Suwannee High (Live Oak), Spruce Creek (Port Orange) and Belleview High School. His final stint was at Belleview, where he led the Rattlers to four consecutive postseason appearances. He retired from coaching following the 2000 season.
Hall was inducted into the Florida High School Athletic Association Hall of Fame (FHSAA) in 2001 and the Florida Athletic Coaches Association Hall of Fame (FACA) in 2003. In addition to winning a trio of state championships, Hall was named the FACA coach of the year four times – 1966, 1974, 1975 and 2000. In 2015, Belleview High named is football field “Brent Hall Field at the Strike Zone.”
Those who played and worked for Hall remember a no-nonsense leader who expected hard work and results.
“He knew what he was doing and knew how to get you to do your best and how to play your best,” said fellow Hall of Fame coach Dwight Thomas, though Hall was never “a rah-rah kind of coach.”
“He made kids believe. He made coaches believe. As a coach or a player, you were to do your job. That was what was expected. And we did it.”
David Lancaster, a former Forest player and later an assistant coach under Hall, said “love of country” and its history were evident in the late coach’s approach on the football field. Hall was a history teacher and school administrator throughout his career. Lancaster remembers a conversation he had with Hall about Gen. George Patton.
“He coached his team in a lot of ways like Gen. Patton coached his men,” Lancaster said.
Brantley also remembered Hall’s weaving history into his coaching.
“He taught history,” Brantley said. “His Friday night speeches were built around battles and wars, and how we were going to win the war.”
Hall coached more than 1,500 young men in a career that spanned four decades. In a 2015 interview with the Ocala Star-Banner, it wasn’t the championships or the hall of fame inductions that he wanted to talk about, though. Rather, he wanted to talk about the players and coaches who had gone on to be successful in their lives and their communities.
“When you embark on a coaching career, you have high hopes,” Hall said. “I just believe in working day to day and staying true to yourself and the people around you. That’s the key to success in life. Anything that comes after that is just gravy.”
Brantley said that was Hall every day.
“He was hard, but he was fair. He just wanted to bring out the best in every player he came in touch with. He sold the word ‘team.’ We didn’t have any individuals on our team at Forest.”
A memorial service for Brent Hall will be held at 11 a.m. on Friday, July 1, at the First Presbyterian Church of Ocala.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests a donation be made in Hall’s name to one of the following: the Marion County Youth Football League, the Forest High School Football Booster Club, or the Belleview High School Football Booster Club.
Edwin (Edd) J. Norris
Edd Norris, 77, of Ocala, FL passed away June 18, 2022, at Estelle’s Hospice House, Ocala, Florida. He was the husband of Annie Norris for the past 3 years.
He was born in Anderson, CA and was the son of the late Leon Norris and Alice Tolen. He proudly served our country in the U.S. Navy serving over 30 years, retiring as a Chief Warrant Officer 4. He also taught in colleges. He enjoyed playing golf twice per week.
Edd is survived by his wife, Annie Norris and sons, Robert Norris and his wife, Bianca of Ocala, FL, Eddie John Otto and his wife Amber of Maryville, MO and daughter, Lisa Norris and her fiancé Chris Pipkins of Gig Harbor, WA. He is also survived by sons Bob Davis and Tommy Davis and daughter Anna Davis Shupp, all of Pennsylvania and 17 grandchildren and 2 great grandchildren.
He was preceded in death by his parents and late wife, Patricia Ann Norris
The family will receive friends at Silver Springs Shores Presbyterian Church, 674 Silver Road, Ocala, FL 34472 on Friday, June 24, 2022, from 9:30 AM until the Funeral Service at 11:00 AM. Interment will be at Florida National Cemetery at a later date. Arrangements entrusted to Hiers-Baxley Funeral Services 5946 SE Robinson Road, Belleview, FL 34420. Condolences may be left at Hiers-Baxley.com.
Elizabeth “Beth” Rank
Born March 31, 1950 in Minneapolis, MN to Mary Hayes Rank and Chester S. Rank. Passed to the nearer presence of our Lord unexpectedly on Monday June 6, 2022 at home with her husband by her side. Survived by her cherished husband Gerald“Gerry” Beauchamp. Their wedding Day January 17, 1998 was her happiest day.
Beth is a 1968 graduate of Derham Hall High School, St. Paul, MN; and a 1969 graduate of Katharine Gibbs Secretarial School, Boston, MA. She worked at MIT until enrolling at the College of St. Catherine , St. Paul, MN where she graduated in 1976 with a degree in Business Communications. in 1982 she completed her MBA from Rivier College, Nashua, NH.
Living in New Hampshire, Beth put her heart and soul into her career as VP at NH Banking Association, VP of Marketing for Peterborough Savings Bank, and as President of the Sharon Arts Center. After moving with Gerry to Lady Lake, FL, she was Administrator of St. Theresa’s Catholic Church, Belleview, FL.
Survived by husband Gerry; step-children Sherry Beauchamp Gauthier, Beau (Leslie) Beauchamp, and Mickey Beauchamp; the adored grandchildren Anthony, Sawyer, Duncan, Gerald, and Lorelei; and siblings Teresa Rank,Thomas (Sandra) Rank, and Julie Rank. Preceded in death by her parents Chet and Mary Rank; brother Jim Rank; and son-in-law Ross Gauthier.
Memorial Mass will be Friday, July 1, 2022 8:30 AM at St. Timothy Catholic Church, 1351 Paige Place, Lady Lake, FL 32159. The Family recommends memorial contributions be given to St. Theresa Food Pantry, Belleview, FL (https://mystcc.org/food-pantry-3/). Arrangements entrusted with BALDWIN BROTHERS Funeral & Cremation Society-Spanish Springs, 352-480-5959. Sentiments maybe located at www.baldwincremation.com.