J. Kelley Hall enters his second season at Cincinnati after leading the undermanned Bearcats to a 12-16 record in his first season at the helm. Hall's up-tempo style led to wins against crosstown rival Xavier and BIG EAST foes Georgetown, USF, and Providence. Hall earned his 300th career head-coaching victory in a 69-49 win against Georgetown on Jan. 8.
Hall became just the seventh head coach of the University of Cincinnati women's basketball program when he was introduced as the Bearcats' new mentor on April 4, 2007. The 49-year-old Hall is considered one of the top recruiters in the nation and brings with him a winning system which has been developed in some of the most competitive regions of America in women's college basketball.
Hall's national recruiting base was developed during coaching stops at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette, as head coach (2002-07), at Louisville, as associate head coach/recruiting coordinator (2000-02), and assistant coach/recruiting coordinator positions at Auburn (1996-2000), Cal State Fullerton (1994-96), Mississippi State (1992-94), the University of Alabama (1983-84) and Troy (1982-83).
Hall's career coaching highlights include guiding his teams to six NCAA Tournaments, one WNIT appearance, while coaching six all-Americans, 10 all-Southeastern Conference student-athletes, and one NCAA scoring champion. Hall's career record as a head coach stands at 302-134, a winning percentage of .692.
Hall comes to the Bearcats from the University of Louisiana-Lafayette where he coached five seasons, transforming the team from a struggling program to a power in the Sun Belt Conference. Hall took over at UL-Lafayette in 2002-03 and inherited a program with a 300+ RPI rating and built Louisiana's Ragin' Cajuns into a Top 60 RPI program in 2006-07. From 1990 to 2000, the Cajuns averaged four wins a season. In Hall's first two seasons the UL program was 21-34 but posted a mark of 65-28 in his final three seasons.
Hall's 2006-07 squad, which was picked to finish third in the Sun Belt Conference's West Division, finished 25-9, winning the regular season Sun Belt West Division title, and accepted a rare mid-major at-large berth to the NCAA Women's Basketball Tournament. It was the first-ever NCAA Tournament invitation in UL-Lafayette history. The 25 victories set a new school record for single-season wins, eclipsing the mark of 22 set by the 2004-05 team.
One of Hall's most impressive statistics as a coach has nothing to do with results on the court, but in the classroom. In five years, his recruited student-athletes at UL-Lafayette recorded a 100-percent graduation rate.
The 2005 Sun Belt Conference Coach of the Year, Hall is the all-time winningest coach in University of Louisiana at Lafayette women's basketball history. During his five seasons, Hall's Cajuns set eight individual and 12 team records, including most victories in a season (25, 2006-07), most home wins in a season (13, 2004-05), most consecutive home wins in a season (13, 2004-05), and most consecutive home wins, notching 22 consecutive wins from February 5, 2004 through January 5, 2006.
Under Hall's direction, the Ragin' Cajuns finished either first or second in their Sun Belt West Division in his last four seasons, including Sun Belt West Division titles in 2005 and 2007, and second-place finishes during the 2004 and 2006 seasons. Regarded as one of the finest defensive coaches in the women's college game, Hall is known for his aggressive match-up zone and tenacious presses and half court traps. Over the Cajuns' last 147 games, UL-Lafayette held the opposition to 58.7 ppg on 36.3 percent shooting.
During the 2006-07, season Louisiana's Ragin' Cajuns finished the season ranked eighth nationally in rebound margin (+9.3), 18th in field goal percentage defense (35.7), and 40th in win-loss percentage (.735).
During his five seasons Hall directed three 1,000-point scorers and coached one Sun Belt Conference Player of the Year, three Sun Belt Conference Newcomers of the Year, and three first-team all-Sun Belt performers.
Over his quarter century of coaching, Hall has been a proven winner, posting 19 winning seasons -- 13 of which included 20-plus victories.
Prior to his stint at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette, Hall spent two years as an associate head coach at BIG EAST foe University of Louisville. He served as the Cardinals' recruiting coordinator and a defensive specialist coach, as well as handling on-floor coaching duties and working with the post players. During his stint at U of L, Hall was key in signing the No. 2-ranked junior college player in the country, Amande Wolfe. He is also credited with organizing the first Lady Cardinals Elite Basketball Camp.
Prior to his success at Louisville, he spent four seasons as the recruiting coordinator at Auburn, bringing in some of the top players in the country, and producing nationally-ranked classes in each of his four seasons. Hall's first recruiting class ranked fourth in the nation by Blue Chip Magazine. The class included All-Americans Shana Askew, Tasha Hamilton and Conswella Sparrow. His second class was ranked fifth overall in the country and each were named an All-American by USA Today. His third and fourth classes also received national acclaim, including Top 10 by USA Today, Blue Star and All-Star recruiting services. His fourth recruiting class included Carol Smith, the Rawlings NJCAA National Player of the Year in 2000.
Hall spent two seasons (1994-96) at California State University Fullerton as an assistant and recruiting coordinator. While at Cal State Fullerton, he coached Koko Lahanas who averaged 26.8 ppg, leading the nation in scoring in 1994-95. He also served in the capacity of recruiting coordinator at Mississippi State from 1992-94.
Hall became head coach for the first time when he took over the reigns at Gordon Junior College in 1984-85. He guided the team to a 19-7 record and a third-place finish in the Georgia Junior College Athletic Association (GJCAA).
The Selma, Ala. native honed his X's and O's as a head coach in the highly competitive junior college ranks at Truett-McConnell Junior College from 1985-92. Hall averaged 26 wins per year during a seven-year stint as the head coach, capturing three state championships and four second-place finishes. In 1991 and 1992, he was named the GJCAA Coach of the Year and mentored five NJCAA All-Americans. Hall also got valuable experience as director of athletics, assistant dean of students, and was the chairman of the health and physical education department.
He began his coaching career at his alma mater, Troy (Ala.) University, serving as an assistant for one season in 1982. Following the 1982 campaign, Hall moved on to Tuscaloosa, Ala. where he was a volunteer assistant at the University of Alabama during the 1983-84 season.
Hall and his wife Meredith have two daughters, Brynley Michele and Jordyn Kelley, and one son, Aubrey Oneal. Meredith (formerly Sisson) Hall has served on her husband's staff, including four seasons as a volunteer assistant coach at UL-Lafayette, and the 2006-07 season as co-head coach of the Ragin' Cajuns. The former Virginia Commonwealth standout was a two-time team captain for the Rams, and later played briefly in the WNBA with the Washington Mystics.
Hall received his bachelor's degree in secondary education from Troy University in 1982.