Saugus Basketball Coach Steps Down
Hallman steps away from coaching
The face of Saugus High boy’s basketball for the last 14 years has stepped down. Jeff Hallman stepped aside as Head Coach of the Saugus High School basketball team on Tuesday afternoon. Hallman cited the want to pursue other opportunities in life as his main reason.
“After 21 years of coaching at Saugus, I felt it was time to step down and pursue other opportunities,” Hallman said. “It’s time to spend some quality time with my wife and daughter.”
Hallman will continue to work at Saugus as a teacher, and refused to use the word retire. “The Hallman’s still have to eat,” Hallman joked.
Among the opportunities presented toward Hallman is a chance to travel to North Dakota in the summer to run a basketball camp on an Indian reservation as part of a church mission. Hallman said the plan is to spend two weeks at the camp, the first building the court and the second teaching the kids.
Principal Bill Bolde said the loss to the program hurt’s most in the development of the kids. “Jeff dedicated his life to the advancement of kids,” Bolde said. “He made in impact on student athletes. The entire community will miss him. Jeff was not only a teacher of sports to the athletes; he was a teacher of life.”
Hallman has been a coach at Saugus for 21 years, including stints as the JV Head Coach and as an assistant on the Varsity squad. Hallman earned his 200th career win in a defeat of West Ranch on January 29th, when senior Mario Wright banked a 3-pointer at the buzzer from half court to win 54-51. Hallman finished with 203 wins at Saugus.
The word around the Saugus campus is assistant Derek Ballard could be the front runner to take over the program. Principal Bolde has already had preliminary talks with Ballard about the opening.
When asked if Hallman was hanging up his coaching shoes for good, Jeff responded “I’m a basketball coach. It’s one of the few things in life I’m good at. I won’t completely walk away.”
A graduate of both Hart High and the Masters College, Hallman has been involved in basketball for over 30 years.
The Centurions are coming off their most successful season under Hallman, finishing 22-6 and just missing a tie with Valencia for the Foothill League Championship, something that has eluded the school since 1983. The Centurions were eliminated by Division IIAA Champion Bishop Montgomery in the second round of the playoffs on February 19th.