Final Four team member joins Power Five coaching staff


Photo Courtesy of Jeff Tuttle

Former Wichita State Shocker Carl Hall dunks.

After Carl Hall completed his eligibility at Wichita State, he went back and forth for several years with one of his former coaches, Chris Jans, every offseason about whether or not he would make the decision to take up coaching. 

Now, instead of grabbing rebounds and scoring the rock for the Shockers and professional teams overseas, Carl Hall is now a graduate assistant coach at Mississippi State. He was asked by Jans to join his staff at Mississippi. 

“It means the world [to] play for your mentor [and] now join his coaching staff,” Hall said. 

Hall was a part of the 2012-13 men’s Final Four team in Atlanta. To get there, they beat Pittsburgh, Gonzaga, La Salle and Ohio State. They lost to Louisville 72-68 in the Final Four. Louisville went on to win the national championship that season. It was the Shockers’ first trip to the Final Four since 1965. 

Hall received numerous accolades during his college basketball career including the Xavier McDaniel Rebounding Award after the 2012-13 season. That season, he pulled down 218 total rebounds and averaged 6.8 rebounds per game.

“We set a goal to kind of take things up a notch,” Hall said. “Just trying to make a name for ourselves.” 

After his college career, he played professional basketball for nine years overseas in Japan, Taiwan, Canada, France, Dominican Republic and Mexico. 

“I love having Carl on our coaching staff,” Jans said. “He brings a wealth of experience to our basketball program. He was a great player at Wichita State and has many winning experiences to draw upon.”

Hall also coached at his other former alma mater Northwest Florida State College with one of his other former college basketball coaches, Greg Heiar. While Hall was on staff, Northwest Florida State won the NJCAA Division I National Championship.  

“I’m sure that was really special for him to be able to not only play there but to come back and give back to the young men that he was afforded the opportunity to coach last year,” Jans said. 

While coaching with Jans, Hall said he’s come to the realization that it takes more preparation than he thought to be a coach at the NCAA Division I level. 

“The preparation of everything … the way he does it,” Hall said. “He holds these guys to a certain accountability. Life is similar to basketball. You gotta find a way out.”

Graduate assistants, as defined by the NCAA, are not allowed to coach in games but that hasn’t stopped Hall from mentoring players and giving out tips when he can.  

 “[I’m] just trying to help them get through their tough times and just being positive,” Hall said. 

Jans said that Hall has many stories about what it’s like to be a professional basketball player. 

“I’m not around Carl when he has the majority of his conversations with our student athletes, but I would imagine that they look at him like a big brother knowing that he’s been there and done that,” Jans said. 

Jans also said that having Hall on his staff is unique because usually graduate assistants are players that you hire right out of college. He said it’s been 10 years since he coached him at Wichita State. 

“I’m fortunate to have three former players on my staff from three different institutions that I’ve worked at previously,” Jans said. “I love having former players on my staff.” 

With Jans being in his first season as head coach at Mississippi State, Hall said it can be tough for a player to learn a new coach’s system. However, he said Mississippi State has a lot of potential to be a great team. The Bulldogs are 12-6 and 1-6 in conference. They’ve lost close games to conference opponents like Auburn and Georgia. 

“We still have a lot of games to play,” Hall said. “Sky is the limit for this team. It’s not how you start, it’s how you finish.”