Coach Spotlight | David Hall

By Molly Ballenger '19
Learn more about head varsity rowing coach David Hall.
Coach David Hall grew up in Chattanooga, attending Grace Baptist Academy and then graduating from UTC in 2015 with a degree in exercise science. He started his training at the local rowing club, Chattanooga Junior Rowing, and then began his coaching career in college at the same place, helping his high school club team get stronger and faster.

In 2015, he spent a year coaching at Nashville Rowing, one of the most prominent clubs in the region, before deciding to return to his hometown to coach for GPS in the spring of 2017. After one season as assistant coach, he rose to the varsity head coach position the following fall and has been leading the girls rowing team at GPS ever since.

During his time as coach, Hall has brought a GPS boat to Head of the Charles in Boston for the first time in four years, entered GPS in several other significant regattas around the country, and maintained GPS’s dominance in the annual race against Baylor, the Carney Cup.

He has brought an attitude of organization and support to the team that has benefited every girl involved and strengthened the program’s relationship with the GPS Athletics department. Coach Hall is well known for his catchphrase, “Quick and efficient, ladies,” thanks to his neverending desire to get things done in a timely manner. In a sport that always hinges on weather, he constantly urges the rowing team to be adaptable in order to succeed in any situation.

Hall says that he has enjoyed being a part of the GPS community. His favorite part of coaching at GPS is “the ability to empower young women. Being at an all-girls school creates an opportunity to cater training and build an atmosphere to specifically benefit the girls of GPS.”

When asked about the difference between coaching girls and boys, Hall says, “Girls are a little more purposeful, wanting to know a bit more about the why of the work, not just the what. They want to understand the overall process, not just the single step they're on. But at the same time, there is not much difference. Girls are just as focused, tough, and capable. They can be pushed for more and reach the same goals. Girls are resilient and will put in the same work as boys.”

Outside of rowing, Hall enjoys most outdoor activities; he has run the last three Chattanooga half-marathons,  most recently placing sixth in his age group. He also works as the school gardener to assist the environmental science classes and as a Middle School study hall proctor. Hall says, “My work in study hall is a way to continue building my relationships with the athletes I coach. The benefits of being on the main campus for the majority of the day allow the work we do at the boathouse each afternoon to be more deliberate and focused.”

His favorite memory at GPS is “any morning practice on the water where we can enjoy the hard work of one crew working together with the quiet sunrise in the background,” Hall says. “If GPS girls learn just one thing from me, I hope it would be that they are capable of accomplishing anything. When you commit to the hard work, especially alongside those with a common goal, you can find success.”