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Public Notices

April 16, 2014

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Former UT Kicker Jeff Hall Calls It A Career

Originally published:
Last modified: 2009-08-03 17:05:06

JOHNSON CITY - When you think about UT football, it's usually the names of coaches or quarterbacks that first come to mind. Kicker Jeff Hall should be somewhere at the top of the list.

Hall was a captain on the national championship winning team his senior year. He set the SEC all-time scoring record with 371 points while at Tennessee. He is the conference career leader in extra points made and extra point attempts.

All in all, not a bad career for a man who recently hung up his cleats. Hall was drafted into the NFL, but a career just never panned out for him.

"Actually, I've been thinking about it for about two months, and last week I called my agent and told him I'm done," said Hall, who was here Tuesday evening as the keynote speaker at the FCA Fall Banquet held at Adelphia Center at The Millennium. "I'm through with it. I don't want to fool with it anymore."

Hall lives in Knoxville and is "helping people make good decisions with their money," he said.

It's unfortunate that Hall didn't break into the NFL. His most recent stint was at New Orleans. Breaking into the pro kicking game is probably difficult because kickers tend to have long careers. Hall said he put everything into making a career of football, but is now comfortable with his decision to give it up.

"You can talk to anybody, and if they're honest with you, they'll say it's timing," Hall said. "Some people will get in at the right time, and some people, it just won't happen for them. I don't necessarily subscribe to the fact that of the kickers out there one is better than the other. I just think a lot of it is timing. I don't believe that that's my calling. I have a chance to serve at my church, and that's what is most important to me right now. I have a chance to build my business in Knoxville and be noble in everything I do."

But one thing is for sure, the time Hall did spend in the game was more then enough to forge a lifetime of memories. As a youngster growing up in Winchester, Tenn., Hall said he knew he wanted to play for the Vols. One of the last things he ever did for UT was help raise the national championship trophy after the Vols' win over Florida State in the Fiesta Bowl, and he said it just didn't get any better than that.

"That was kind of the peak," Hall said. "I was a captain on that team. To be from Tennessee, growing up wanting to play for Tennessee, that is just something that every little kid dreams about. I guess it turned out better than what I ever expected."

Hall's career at Tennessee obviously ended with a wave of good feelings. His UT start was a little less fun-filled, although he obviously got over it.

"I can remember on the first kickoff in 1995 against East Carolina, I was a redshirt freshman, I remember taking my steps back and looking up at the crowd and going 'Oh God, I'm here. Please help me.' but after that I never thought about the crowd again," Hall said. "I knew I had a responsibility, I was about to be thrown in the fire. I had to do it. It is kind of overwhelming."

Following the nervy start, Hall calmed down and turned into one of the most prolific kickers in college football. He said a good performance against Georgia in his second game settled his nerves and reassured him he could play at that level. Although he said people tend to forget about them, it was Hall's two fourth quarter field goals that provided Tennessee's margin of victory over Ohio State in the Citrus Bowl later that same season.

Hall's biggest kick didn't come in a bowl game. In back-to-back games to start the national championship campaign, it was Hall who saved the day. He hit a field goal at Syracuse to steal a 34-33 win. Vol fans won't soon forget the 20-17 overtime win over Florida at Neyland Stadium. Hall split the uprights, Florida's kicker missed his chance to tie it up, and then the goal posts came down.

His football career now in the books, Hall said with a look back he couldn't have asked for anything more.

"When you set any kind of career records, it shows that you maintained your job but you probably played with some incredible players," Hall said. "That was the case with me. I was fortunate enough to maintain my job, and I played with some of the best players to ever play the game of football. With that in mind, it is something you do take pride in."
For more information and stories, see The Greeneville Sun.

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