After five years coaching the boys at Southern and six years overall with the Spartans, Kendrick Hall announced on Tuesday that he was resigning.
Hall said he was pursuing other coaching opportunities and was thankful for the opportunity to coach at Southern.
The Spartans won two boys' conference tournament titles and a regular-season championship under Hall. They also qualified for the state playoffs in five of his six seasons, missing only in his first year coaching the boys.
"It made me a better a coach to have the opportunity to coach at Southern," Hall said.
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Hall first coached the girls' team at Southern in 2011-12, leading the Spartans to a 22-5 record and a third-place regular-season finish in the PAC-6 the school was in Class 4-A. They reached the third round of the 4-A playoffs before losing 56-53 at Raleigh Sanderson. He moved over to coach the boys the next season.
"When we started seeing the results, we went 22-5 in his first year with girls," Hall said." That was great. Becoming the head boys’ coach I knew was going to be challenge. I wanted to give the kids something to believe in. I coached a good group of kids year in and year and changed the culture."
Last season the Spartans went 19-8, including a 10-2 mark in the Big Eight for a second-place regular-season finish behind Orange. But they came back to win the Big Eight Tournament title. In the 3-A state playoffs, Southern lost 56-53 in overtime at Eastern Guilford in the second round.
Southern won the Big Eight regular season in 2015-16 after going 22-4 and posting an 11-1 conference mark. The Spartans made their deepest playoff under Hall that season, falling in the East Region semifinals 86-82 at Eastern Alamance.
The Spartans had only one losing season in Hall's five at Southern. They went 9-15 in Hall's first year and that also was the only time the Spartans didn't qualify for the playoffs.
"We won quite a few championships and made runs in the playoffs," Hall said. "I established and wanted to build a program at Southern. It’s a bittersweet thing to leave. If you’re progressing and you’re trying to do better, you want to leave a place better than you found it. The biggest thing I will miss at Southern, it was fun."
Hall said he is leaving Southern to pursue other coaching opportunities and wants to pursue a career in college basketball.
"My goal is to coach in college," Hall said. "I had six good years at Southern. I think I've show it’s something I am passionate about. I am excited about the future and what coaching has in store for me. I am passionate about coaching and mentoring kids wherever I am at."
Southern athletics director Crystal Massenburg said Hall's resignation was a surprise.
"We were just as surprised as everyone else about his decision," Massenburg said. "But we appreciate his hard work and all of efforts with our teams over the years."
Massenburg said a search for Hall's replacement would begin immediately.
"When we start looking, we're going to hold our standards high to make sure we get somebody in who can keep the program up to the high standard that has been set," Massenburg said. "I think we'll have time to find a very good coach."