Tom Hall

Inducted in 2003
High School: Fayetteville-Manlius
College: SUNY Cortland
Coaching Career: Fayetteville-Manlius 1964 -1999

A five-time national coach of the year and one of the architects of scholastic lacrosse in the United States.

There are numerous ways a lacrosse devotee can achieve championship status and Tom Hall has combined them all to earn induction in the Class of 2003. He’s been a player, a coach, an administrator and a promoter.

In 1999, Tom Hall was honored as he retired from teaching and coaching lacrosse at his high school alma mater, Fayetteville-Manlius High School. Over three hundred former players, family members and friends gathered at Drumlins to pay tribute to Tom while dozens more congratulated him with letters and telegrams from every corner of the country.

At F-M, Tom played football, basketball and baseball. There was no lacrosse at F-M back in the ‘fifties and it didn’t arrive until Tom Hall finished college at Cortland State and returned to teach and coach at his old high school. In 1964, it happened. Tom Hall started the lacrosse program at Fayetteville-Manlius, a program that has become a model for dozens of other schools throughout the Northeast. By the end of the decade, F-M was becoming a lacrosse power to be reckoned with. In 1969, Hall’s Hornets pulled a major sports upset by beating perennial lacrosse power LaFayette High School.

For decades, Hall’s program was a winner, even while Section III was dominated by West Genesee. But in 1972, Tom’s Hornets, led by Tom Rafferty (a 1998 Greater Syracuse Sports Hall of Fame inductee for college and pro football) took all the marbles. His teams won six conference, four sectional and two Upstate championships and twice finished as state runner-ups.

A co-founder of the Upstate Summer Lacrosse League in 1964, Hall is a charter member of the Upstate New York Chapter of the Lacrosse Foundation and has chaired its annual banquet since 1998.

Tom helped set up the State Tournament in 1977 and in 1983 helped get lacrosse added to the Empire State Games. Since 1986 he’s been the New York State Public High School Lacrosse Chairman. As Section III Chairman since 1976, Tom has set up playoff formats for A, B and C-size schools and persuaded dozens of regional athletic directors to add lacrosse to their sports programs.

Two landmark victories, both against archrival Baldwinsville, stand out for Tom: his 400th win in 1996 and his 450th victories in 1999. His lifetime coaching record is a sparkling 454-181-1. The fourth all-time most victorious lacrosse coach in New York State, he is one of seven in the U.S. with more than 400 career wins.

Elected the first president of the National Interscholastic Lacrosse Association, he served from 1978-1988. He also served on the first National Federation of High School Boy's Lacrosse Rules Committee from 1999-2002. He was president of the Central New York Lacrosse Association for 13 years.

Among the many honors presented to Tom Hall are Section III Coach of the Year five times, and Man of the Year three times. He was named Scholastic Man of the Year in 1987 and won the prestigious Jerry Carroll National Coach of the Year award in 1977.
In 1991 he received the Blind Men and Criers annual “John Arcaro Coaches Award” given to the high school coach who have been recognized for outstanding success in their sport. He was the National Federation of Interscholastic Coaches Association Boys Lacrosse Coach of the year in 2000. In 2006, Tom was inducted into the Cortland State "C Club" which is their school's sports Hall of Fame.

While Tom Hall has been showered with countless awards and coaching successes, his greatest source of pride is the fact that 350 of his former players have gone on to play college lacrosse and 25 have been named All-Americans.