For nearly his entire adult life, Tim Hall has lived and breathed soccer at Point Loma Nazarene University. But after more than 25 years with the school’s soccer programs, he’s stepping down after this season to move to a full-time teaching role on campus.
“This is one of those weird things that’s hard to put into words," said Hall, "of the balance between leaving something you love and going to do something you love.”
Hall first showed up to PLNU as a freshman in 1980, playing four years for the men’s soccer team and earning team MVP honors his senior season.
He returned to coach the men’s team in 1996, and in 2008, he took over coaching both the women’s and men’s programs. He coached both teams until 2012 when he stepped down as men’s coach to focus on the women full-time.
Coming into this final season, Hall has led the Sea Lion men and women to a combined 261 wins and 14 playoff appearances – by far the most in school history.
But if you ask any of his players, past or present, they’ll tell you it’s Hall’s influence off the field that has made the biggest impact.
“Soccer is super important, and obviously he wants us to do our best there,” said senior defender Morgan Pearce. “But he really cares about us in school and in our faith and just all aspects of life.”
Though Hall is hanging up his whistle, he’ll still be a fixture on Point Loma’s campus – as a psychology professor, and chaplain for the Athletic Department.
“It’s not like I’m leaving something worse for better,” said Hall. “I’m leaving something really dear and deep to my heart. Yet it’s right thing for me.”
Hall has already been teaching a freshman psychology class for the past several years – which focuses on personal development. Now he’ll be able to serve that role more fully.
“My heart is geared toward the themes of that class and integrating with students,” said Hall. “I love it.”
As Hall leads the team through his final season at the helm, the women say they have even more motivation to win.
“I want to do and give everything I have every time we’re out on the field,” said Sami Swanson, a senior forward, “for us seniors, and for him.”
“I’ve been married 32 years,” said Hall. “I’ve got a son who’s 27; I’ve got a daughter who’s 25. The only thing I’ve done longer than that is coach soccer at Point Loma.
“It’s one of the highlights of my life.”