Bobcats hire new cycling head coach
by Staff Reports
BANNER ELK -- Tim Hall has been named the new director of cycling and head cycling coach at Lees-McRae College, athletic director Craig McPhail said Monday.
"We spent a great deal of time looking for someone with the character, experience and credibility to elevate our cycling program to the level we all expect it to be," McPhail said. "Our location and tradition are true drawing points to have us regarded as one of the best collegiate cycling programs in the country. With Tim, we have someone who can map out our future with great promise. I have watched his teams at Cumberland ride with great heart and talent. His professionalism and care for those young people were items that stuck with me over time."
Hall comes to the Bobcats from Cumberland University in Lebanon, Tenn., where he served as the head cycling coach since the fall of 2005. During his tenure, Hall transformed the Cumberland cycling program in a national powerhouse at the Division II level of USA Cycling, culminating in a final national team ranking of second in 2012.
Hall thanked Lees-McCrae president Barry Buxton and McPhail for the chance to coach the Bobcats.
"I am honored to have this opportunity at Lees-McRae," Hall said. "I was drawn to the strong commitment from Dr. Buxton and Craig McPhail, tremendous community support, and the overall enthusiasm for cycling in Banner Elk. It will take a lot of work for us to hit our stride, but we have all the right ingredients to win national championships."
He has led Cumberland to several strong performances on the national stage, finishing fourth at track in 2010 following by a third place showing in 2011. Cumberland also did well at cyclocross and road, finishing second at cyclocross nationals in 2012 and fourth at road nationals that same season.
"Cumberland University will always hold a special place in my heart," Hall said. "I am proud of our accomplishments during my eight years there as coach, but the opportunity at Lees-McRae was one I simply could not pass up."
Hall also brings a tremendous background in business, having launched NashvilleCyclist.com in 2004, which is an online bicycling resource for the city of Nashville and the Southeast region. As part of that initiative, Hall started a regional elite cycling team in 2006, a squad which grew to 30 riders of all abilities by 2012.
Additionally, Hall has been involved in the community throughout his career, spearheading community service projects in the Nashville area such as Ride for Reading and the Wounded Warrior Project while at Cumberland.
"Tim Hall gives us a person who can leave a lasting impression on our young people, draw new talented riders and will chart a very bright future for our cycling program and community," McPhail said. "I am excited to watch him work and work with him to build the program to a point where it is mentioned regularly by anyone in the US as the best collegiate cycling program."
Hall holds both a Bachelor of Science and a Masters of Business Administration from Cumberland, where he played baseball and earned NAIA All-American honors.
He was drafted out of Cumberland in the 31st round of the 1991 First-Year Player Draft by the San Diego Padres. He spent two years in the Padres system as a catcher for their Single-A affiliates in Spokane, Wash. and Charleston, S.C.
Hall also played for the Corpus Christi Barracudas in the summer of 1994, batting .307 with eight home runs and 37 runs batted in.
"For me personally, this is the chance of a lifetime," Hall said. "I get to coach talented athletes, enjoy university and community support, and live and ride in the mountains. What more could a coach ask for? To be honest, I cannot wipe the smile off my face."