Loyola's Brant Hall prepares for final Turkey Bowl as head coach

Posted at 6:31 PM, Nov 18, 2016
and last updated 2016-11-18 18:34:25-05

In 1995 on Thanksgiving Day, Loyola sophomore quarterback Brant Hall stepped onto the field at Memorial Stadium and lined up under center in his first Turkey Bowl as a starter. 

Coach Brune called a regular hitch play, but Hall had another plan in mind with senior receiver Art Price. 

"We had a little signal, you know 'Brant if I tap the hip that means I'm going long,'" Hall said. "And he tapped the hip and I hit him for about 47 yards. It took us right down to about the 3 yard line."

Loyola would go on to win that game 21-0, extending their win streak over Calvert Hall to seven. Hall would win all four of his Turkey Bowls at Loyola. 

After playing quarterback at Lehigh University, Hall returned to Loyola has an assistant coach. He's coached at Loyola for the past 14 years, the last five as head coach.

RELATED: Loyola Blakefield head football coach stepping down after five seasons

Hall has either played, coached or attended Turkey Bowl every year since 1993. He said he just loves being a part of the rivalry. 

"Being a part of it, of the history and tradition, it's a great rivalry and that means a lot to me, especially having played in it, having coached in it. It's something that I'll always treasure," he said.

His fifth season at the helm will also be his final and Thanksgiving Day his last Turkey Bowl as a coach.

"It's bittersweet," Hall said. "We've got a great group of senior kids that I've really built a strong bond with."

This year's senior class was the first group that Hall coached from their first year through their last as head coach. He said he knew he wanted to go out with them.

"I knew I wanted to leave with them. I haven't really thought about it being over yet and how I'm going to react to all that, but it's been a pleasure being out there and coaching the guys and I certainly look forward to Thanksgiving Day," Hall said. 

Though Thanksgiving Day will be his final Turkey Bowl as head coach, Hall is staying in the Loyola community. In additional to head football coach, he's also the assistant athletic director and hopes to expand on that role after hanging up the whistle.

"I owe a lot to this community. I love Loyola and everything it's done for me," he said. I'm not in a rush to leave."

One thing's for sure, coach won't ever been far from the blue and gold and he'll likely find a way to be on the sideline when the Dons take on the Cardinals Thanksgiving Day.

Turkey Bowl kicks off at 10 a.m. Thanksgiving Day from M&T Bank Stadium. Watch the game on ABC2 or live stream.

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