Since the day he walked away from a one-year contract with the Washington Redskins in the prime of a six-year NFL career, Cory Hall has wanted to coach college football.
After a six-year stopover in Fresno, Hall will resume pursuit of that goal.
Clovis North High announced Tuesday that Hall has stepped down as director of football/head varsity coach in order to move to Southern California and seek a job on an NCAA Division I staff.
Hall led the Broncos to a 32-8 record in three seasons with a Central Section Division II title in 2011 (the school's first in football), a D-I title and CIF Southern California Regional Bowl appearance in 2012 and a section D-I runner-up finish this year.
The former Fresno State defensive back spent one season each as coach of the Broncos' junior varsity and freshmen, and a season at Bullard elementary feeder Fig Garden before taking over for Tim Simons at Clovis North.
"It's time to move on to a different challenge," said Hall, who will complete his MBA in August. "I want to try and have the same success collegiately."
Hall, 37, does not have a job lined up already. He said he would go on some interviews in January and hoped to have a position secured by March.
"I'm just going to stay positive," Hall said. "I believe I'll end up somewhere."
Hall initially returned to the central San Joaquin Valley -- he played high school at Stockdale and South in Bakersfield before becoming a Bulldog -- with the hope of coaching for Pat Hill at Fresno State.
But a job on Hill's defensive staff never materialized and the former Bulldogs coach connected Hall with Simons, who had just left Fresno State to launch Clovis North's program.
"I've always stated I never moved to Fresno to coach high school," Hall said. "I moved here to coach at Fresno State. But when that didn't happen, I was blessed to be sent over to Clovis North. I enjoyed it. I developed some great relationships and got to know a lot of families on a personal level. It was a real treat."
Coaching has been Hall's calling since he started playing flag football for Dan Pokett in the fourth grade at Panama Elementary in Bakersfield.
He mentioned many other coaches he's had in his life -- including Hill, Jim Sweeney, former Fresno State defensive backs coach Kenny Green and veteran NFL coaches such as Dick LeBeau and Dan Reeves -- for further developing that passion.
"Coaching is all I've ever wanted to do, and it's all I'll ever do," Hall said. "I've had great coaches help me along the way, and it's my responsibility to give back."
Clovis North athletic director Eric Swain said the position will be advertised in the next couple of days, with the intent of making a hire in time for the new coach to prepare for spring practice.
Swain added that Hall and Simons will both be involved in the hiring process as Clovis North joins Clovis West in search of a new football coach. Mike Parsons resigned earlier this month after four seasons with the Golden Eagles.
"I think the biggest thing is for me to do my homework and see who's the best fit for our program," Swain said. "I know Clovis West has started its search. That's two high-profile jobs. It will be a lot of fun to see who's out there."
With five of the six schools in the Tri-River Athletic Conference changing coaches over the past two years, Clovis' Rich Hammond is the dean of the league as he heads toward his sixth season. Central's Justin Garza and Clovis East's Jim O'Brien will be in their third seasons next year, and Buchanan's Mike Jacot in his second.