I wanna say something. I'm gonna put it out there; if you like it, you can take it, if you don't, send it right
I'm a big fan of Kieran Hall.
I like the kid. Always have. Liked him as a player, like him as a person, and I was hoping to like him as coach Hall of
the Durango High School boys soccer program.
Alas, that union was not to be.
After a three-month search for a new varsity coach at the high school, principal Diane Lashinsky and athletic director
Sheldon Keresey have recommended Kenneth Wood for hire, subject to the approval of the Durango School District 9-R
board, according to Thursday's latest news release.
Don't get me wrong: I have nothing against Wood - never met him - and Hall has assured me Wood will do an excellent
job, and the former is just happy the Demons have found a coach. That's just the kinda guy Hall is.
Wood was selected from a pool of four candidates who interviewed for the position and participated in a
parent/community forum in February. He is a substitute teacher in the 9-R district and seasonal employee at Durango
Wood played at Deer Valley High School and Yavapai and Glendale Community College in Arizona, then was a redshirt
freshman at Fort Lewis College in 2005, when Hall was a sophomore and earning a national championship for the
Hall had a goal and an assist in the Final Four that year.
Hall, from Blackburn, England, finished his four-year career at FLC in 2007 with 70 points, fourth all-time in the
Skyhawks' record books. The center midfielder, or forward depending on the team's needs, had 24 goals and 22 assists,then was drafted in the third round by the Houston Dynamo of Major League Soccer.
Hall, who does have a few British national appearances on his résumé, never dressed for the Dynamo, but instead
returned to FLC to coach the 2008 side.
He now works at the college.
This was a hobby job" for Hall, a passion job.
Many of the upperclassmen Hall would have coached next fall at the high school, he has coached through the Durango
Youth Soccer Association since they were 13 years old.
In fact, when I reached Hall on Saturday afternoon, he was in Albuquerque with his DYSA U18 team. Hall preferred to
remain off the record, only saying he had nothing but the utmost respect for Keresey and the interview process, and
that he was happy for his fellow DYSA cohort, Wood. No hard feelings, never were.
(Keresey was unavailable to comment for this column.)
Best, best, best of luck to Wood; I'm sure it will all work out, and I look forward to meeting our new coach as soon as
the ink dries.
I'm just saying
Another record I think speaks volumes of Hall's character: He is tied with a number of classmates atop FLC history with
86 men's soccer appearances.
And he loved every one of 'em, too.
Remember the Cal State-Dominguez Hills national quarterfinal in 2005 at Dirks Field on the FLC campus?
Of course, the streaker was hard to forget, but so was the game.
FLC held on for a tight 3-2 win to keep its undefeated season alive, a trip to the Final Four in Wichita Falls, Texas,a reality, and I found Hall alone beneath the south goalpost, slowly removing his shinguards and shoes with a serene
smile on his face while the 2,500 faithful circled the pitch around him waving their flags high.
I have never played for a team as special as this," Hall said that day. It's not just the squad and the program, it's
the community. There's nowhere else that I'd rather be than Durango. It's the most amazing place I've ever been."
I just hope we didn't miss our chance.