Bethlehem Press

Wednesday, October 16, 2019

Hall to coach Liberty

Thursday, September 26, 2019 by Peter Car pcar@tnonline.com in Sports

Brandon Hall doesn’t see his new coaching gig as much pressure, more so as an honor.

After sitting out last season on the sidelines, it didn’t take long to lure the 43-year old South Mountain social studies teacher back to the wrestling room.

Hall was approved by the Bethlehem Area School District Monday night to become the fifth head coach in Liberty wrestling history. He takes over for the legendary Jody Karam, who resigned this summer after a 26-year stint as LHS boss, walking away as the winningest coach in program history with a 362-150-1 record.

Those are big shoes to fill for a program that was routinely one of the best coached wrestling teams in PA.

It may even be an odd feeling returning to the mats at first, as Hall was an assistant at Freedom for eight years, and then eventually took over for Jeff Karam when he left for Bethlehem Catholic. Hall was the head coach at Freedom for eight years before the school decided to go into a different direction at the end of the 2018 season.

After enjoying a year away from the day-to-day rigors of coaching, the Liberty position was too good to pass up for the Bethlehem resident.

“This was a great opportunity and this is in my community,” Hall said. “That’s important to me. It’s really exciting given the history of the program. To only have four coaches in program history and then I get to be the fifth. It’s an honor.”

Hall was 112-78 during his time at Freedom, coaching five district champions, four state medalists and two regional champions. In 2015, FHS had its best year, going 24-0 in the regular season before finishing 25-2.

Hall plans to speak with Jody Karam at some point about all things Liberty, but he’ll focus his attention on putting together a staff and meeting the wrestlers on Thursday.

“There’s a phenomenal sense of community at Liberty and there’s great support here by the administration,” said Hall. “I spent a lot of time thinking about how things ended at Freedom and I’ve always focused on how I can be better each day. I just want to continue the great tradition of Liberty wrestling. They do things differently here with how they train that isn’t replicated in many places. This is important to a lot of people in the community and I’m excited about that.”