Massillon has become synonymous with success in high school football — with national titles, state titles and among the most wins in the history of the game for a program that dates back to the late 1800s.
That high standard often makes for unreasonable expectations, despite the fact that the school hasn’t won a state crown in 44 years.
A 7-4 record and a blowout loss in the postseason — that included this 99-yard fumble return — were enough to cost seventh-year coach Jason Hall his job as head football coach. He and the school agreed that he would no longer be the football coach, although a contract extension he signed as an administrator could keep him with the school for two more years.
“The great things about Massillon — from fans base, alumni, tradition, support for the football program and all of that — are second to none. It is a special place,” Hall told Chris Easterling, the sports editor of The Independent in Massillon. “For me to sit here and tell you that it’s not a hard place to coach, and sometimes people aren’t realistic and all those things, that’s part of Massillon. It’s been 44 years since Massillon won a state championship.”
Hall met with his players Monday morning and now must decide on his next move. He says he is not going to rush into another position — the security of his contract means he doesn’t have to. He could remain as an administrator and coach at another school or in college or take a year off.
“I’m not mad or bitter; I’m a person that looks ahead,” Hall said. “I have a great family; a great wife, two beautiful kids. I’m very successful and I’m educated. That was the message that I sent to our kids today is that in any rough situation, the one thing I have and that we preach to them about every day is that education will help you handle rough times and present opportunities to you.”
Hall finished with a record of 57-26 in his seven seasons at the school and his teams made the playoffs in six seasons. He also touted the progress the program has made academically and the number of players who went on to college. “The naysayers and dreamers can’t take those things away,” he said.
Goodright said a small committee will be assembled to select Hall’s successor.