Providence, RI -- Former WPI wrestler and head coach Steve Hall was inducted Sunday into the New England Wrestling Association (NEWA) Hall of Fame. The induction took place during the NEWA Dual Meet Championships hosted by Johnson & Wales at the Rhode Island Convention Center in Providence.
Hall, who began coaching as an assistant coach under fellow Hall of Fame member Phil Grebinar, concluded an eight-year run as head coach last winter and is back on the WPI bench as an assistant under Matt Oney.
The Class of 2019 induction class also includes Bryan Lendhardt (wrestler - Johnson & Wales), Jerome Owens (wrestler - Johnson & Wales), Elliott Smith (wrestler - Springfield), and Josh King (athletic trainer - Roger Williams).
Hall has been involved in New England college wrestling for 35 years as a competitor, coach, and contributor. An upstate New York native, Hall wrestled for Hall of Fame coach Dan Wickham at tiny Unatego High School and was a state placer for a team that was the 1983 all division Section 4 champions and finished seventh in the state. A member of WPI's Hall of Fame, Hall was a standout wrestler in the mid 1980's. A four-time All-New England wrestler, his name appears in multiple categories within WPI's all-time record book. He was also a key part of WPI's first two New England championship teams in 1985 and 1987, and was named an Academic All-Scholar following the 1986-87 season.
After graduation, Hall served as an assistant coach under Grebinar for four years and contributed to WPI winning two additional New England championships. He then remained connected to the sport at the youth and high school level while coordinating the WPI Wrestling alumni group for over 25 years. He graduated from WPI with a degree in mechanical engineering design and had a successful professional career focusing on electronics manufacturing automation. During his career he became known globally as an expert in surface mount technology process development. He is the owner of two US patents, was President of the international association for SMT equipment development, and finished his technology career as the President of EKRA America, Inc.
Hall returned to WPI for the 2010-2011 season as the head coach and restored the program's competitiveness. He amassed 83 victories in his eight years as head coach, including double digit win totals in each of his last five seasons at the helm. The 2017-2018 campaign was his most successful one as he was named the New England Wrestling Association and the National Wrestling Coaches Association Northeast Region Coach of the Year. The Crimson and Gray posted an 18-4 dual meet record, the third most wins in a season in program history, and the most since the 1993-94 season. Bolstered by seven regional place winners, WPI collected a second place finish at the 2018 NCAA Northeast regional tournament and a program-best third place showing at the NEWA Dual Meet Championships. Tyler Marsh (2018), Zach Hartzell (2013), and Brian Amato (2015 All-American) were national tournament participants during the Hall era.
During his eight seasons as head coach, WPI boasted 28 regional tournament place-winners at the national qualifying tournament. Hall's wrestlers also enjoyed success in the classroom during his tenure as his squads were consistently in the top three in the NEWA and top 20 nationally in team GPA. In all, the WPI Wrestling program earned 60 All-NEWA Academic honors and boasted 14 Scholar All-Americans.
Due to the winter storm that hit New England this weekend, WPI did not participate in the New England Wrestling Association (NEWA) Dual Meet Championships. The Engineers are back on the mat Saturday, hosting Brockport and Southern Maine in a home super quad that also included Johnson & Wales and NYU.