BOISE, Idaho — During the COVID-19 pandemic, many chose to take up new hobbies and activities, from baking to woodworking. However, one local legend chose to take up writing by authoring a book documenting his career.
Merle "Skip" Hall was the head coach of the Boise State University Football team from 1987-1992, recording 42 wins and 28 losses throughout his time on the Blue.
Hall's story is much more than a college football coaching story; it's one of mentoring young men, one of family, faith and perseverance during difficult times.
Hall was an inspiration to some of college football's biggest names, such as Nick Saban and Chris Petersen.
The book entitled Coach 'Em Up: The Skip Hall Story details some of the monumental moments of Hall's career, as well as his personal life.
On this edition of Viewpoint, Hall sat down with KTVB's Mark Johnson to discuss his impact on the Broncos and to give a sneak peek of his new book:
Mark Johnson: What was the impetus for you to write a book, and what was the message you set out to give by doing it?
Skip Hall: Well, for about 20 years [a publisher] of Aloha Publishing, had been asking me about putting this down on paper [and] writing a book. I just didn't feel like I had the time to devote to it. But when the pandemic hit, it was perfect timing. The story is about the power of influence and how the power of influence and encouragement changes lives. It's about building people up.
Mark Johnson: You and your brother grew up without a dad. He was a sometimes abusive alcoholic whom your mother divorced when you were young. She remarried and that didn't end well, either. How did you become the four-sport star athlete you were in high school without that encouragement and support from a father that so many successful athletes had?
Skip Hall: Without a father in the home, athletics was really my ticket and coaches were my father. So it was a good fit for me. I learned a lot from many coaches, played all the sports I could. But one coach, in particular, made a huge impression on me and that was my high school football coach, coach Charlie Bash. He came out for the first game when I was a coach at Boise State. You know, the influence of a coach is just massive. A coach has more influence in a year than the average person will have in a lifetime. [Bash] was really the inspiration for me to get into coaching.
Hall also discussed marrying his high school sweetheart, playing football in Minnesota during college, and his years coaching for the Boise State Broncos.
Hall's book is available for purchase here.
Viewpoint airs every Sunday at 9 a.m. right after Meet the Press.
Watch More 'Viewpoint':
See every episode in our YouTube playlist: