|Title:||Class of 2008|
Most championship baseball teams have an outstanding closer. Someone they turn the ball over to in the ninth inning and expect them to secure the victory. Wrestling has a similar role. For decades in, the heavyweight bout would be last. The WPI wrestling program had its own premier closer --- Steve Hall.
"Steve was by far the best heavyweight to perform as a closer in dual meets in the history of WPI wrestling," noted Hall of Fame coach Phil Grebinar.
"As long as we were never down by more than pin points, we always had a chance to gain a victory with Steve in the final bout of the meet."
Steve made an impact on New England wrestling nearly immediately upon his arrival on Boynton Hill during the 1983-84 season. He tallied 14 wins in 17 decisions en route to a third-place finish at the New England College Conference Wrestling Association Championships, hosted at WPI.
His sophomore year proved to be a magical one, not only for himself but for the WPI wrestling program. He was a perfect 19-0 in dual meets, the second-most victories in school history, while the team capped its outstanding season with its first-ever NEWCCA championship (at which Steve placed third). After a junior season that saw him limited to just eight dual meet matches (6-2 record), Steve picked up another All-New England honor by finishing third at the NEWCCA meet.
During his final year, the Engineers and Hall both were simply amazing. Steve won all 15 of his dual meet bouts and, for the second time in three years, the Crimson and Gray won the New England championship.
He capped his outstanding career by placing second at the NEWCCAs and became one of just 15 wrestlers to boast four All-New England honors. For his success both on the mat and in the classroom, he was named an Academic All-American following the 1986-87 season.
It's hard to read the WPI record book and not come across the name Steve Hall. He totaled a career record of 54-4-2 (.902 winning percentage) and is tied for fourth in dual-meet wins. The 296 team points he amassed places him second all-time while his 22 career pins is good enough for seventh place. If you ever had somewhere to be after one of his bouts, chances are you got there on time-Steve shares the record for pins under 1:00 with six.
"Steve was one of very few heavyweights who could be successful in all aspects of wrestling positions, whether it be take-downs from the neutral position, pinning from the top position, or getting out from the bottom position," added Grebinar. "This is the primary reason Steve is among the leaders in all WPI individual wrestling records. Along with this wrestling ability, he went to the mat in every meet aggressive and relentless."
Steve graduated from WPI with a degree in mechanical engineering design. He served as an assistant coach at WPI from 1987 to 1991, and has remained active in various youth football, wrestling, and lacrosse organizations. He is currently president of EKRA America Inc. in Marlborough, and has received two U.S. patents in the area of electronics manufacturing automation and process. Steve and his wife, Michelle (WPI '85), reside in Sudbury with their two sons, Connor, 15, and Matthew, 13.