Longtime Lisbon High School track and field coach Dean Hall announced Tuesday he is retiring after 43 years with the programs. Sun Journal file photo

LISBON — Dean Hall was ready. 

Ready to start a new chapter in his life. Ready to step down from the Lisbon track and field programs he oversaw for more than four decades.

“In 2020, I wanted to have one more year with my grandson (Corbin) for his senior year, then fade away after coaching in five decades,” said Hall, a Durham native. “Things changed and I came back for one more season, but this is it.”

Hall, 69, announced Tuesday he is retiring after coaching the Lisbon track and field teams for 43 years. The decision comes after his Lisbon girls squad won the Class C state title this spring, the first in program history.

“Our co-op Lisbon/Oak Hill has a great group of competitors, it was just perfect to go out on that note,” he said. 

Hall transformed the Lisbon track and field programs into annual conference and state contenders. His boys track and field teams won 25 Mountain Valley Conference championships and the 2014 Class C state title. His girls teams won 12 conference crowns. The girls and boys won MVC titles from 2006-2013. The boys team won 13 straight conference titles from 2006-2018.

He took over the Lisbon boys program in 1979, a year after he began his teaching career at the school. The track and field programs were reorganized in 1991, allowing Hall to take control of both teams. 

Hall, who retired from teaching at Lisbon High in 2018, coached his sons Eric and David, as well as his grandsons, Bryant and Corbin. Eric Hall is now the Lisbon athletic director.

“Those were some special moments,” Hall said. “Watching athletes develop into true competitors, great role models, and wonderful instructors of their event to others, that will be a special memory forever.”

Hall also made an impact on his colleagues.

“I learned so much from him, he always did things the right way,” said Lisbon assistant track coach Doug Sautter, who has been with the program since 1997. “He is the master at getting the most out of his kids. It’s truly one of his best qualities.”

Sautter, who coached the boys basketball team in the early 2000s and the girls team in 2018, says he picked up certain coaching tactics from watching Hall for 23 seasons.

“He showed me how to demand the best out of the kids, the best work ethic, he demanded a certain quality and they responded,” Sautter said. “He made me a better coach, whether it was in track or basketball, I’m a better coach from working with (Dean) Hall.”

After graduating from Lisbon High School in 1970 and then from the University of Maine in 1974, Hall took a teaching job at Durham Elementary School.

“My first principal encouraged me to see that teaching is far beyond the classroom,” said Hall. “She encouraged me to get involved in some aspect with their daily lives.”

Hall added that he will miss the relationships he formed with fellow coaches across the state, but is looking forward to some down time.

“Track and field coaches mingle and talk about their sport, their teams and whatever else comes up,” he said. “Some of these coaches I have known for decades so I will miss those moments. … I plan to enjoy my life with my wife Marie of 47 years, travel, relax, and find new daily adventures,” he said. 

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