Simi Valley assistant Cory Hall has lessons learned from twice being interim college coach

Cory Hall gestures along the sideline as interim coach for Oregon State.
Simi Valley High defensive coordinator Cory Hall was interim head coach at Oregon State in 2017.
(Timothy J. Gonzalez / Associated Press)

If anyone knows the rules about being an interim college football coach, it’s Simi Valley High defensive coordinator Cory Hall.

He was the interim head coach at Oregon State in 2017 for six weeks and was the interim head coach at Central Michigan in 2018 for two weeks after the season ended. He has some interesting lessons learned for USC interim coach Donte Williams.

“It’s so early that what they do first is damage control, assuring the current players that the program is stable,” Hall said Tuesday. “They’re going to say in the interim, play hard and finish strong.”


Hall said the focus will be on the USC administration finding a coach and looking at the financial considerations while making sure everyone is on board, from boosters to fans. “You don’t want to have another bad investment,” he said. “This is a pivotal moment.”

As an interim coach, Hall said, “You are auditioning for your next job, whether with the incoming staff or another staff. It’s always an interview. Every action is under scrutiny. How you are at practice, how you are after practice, how you are at meetings.”

Those who think Williams is going to get a promise to be retained by the administration, forget that.

“It’s going to be on merits,” Hall said. “I don’t think they’re going to promise anything, because they can’t. The new coach is the general. I think Donte is a really good coach and smart guy and has a pulse how this goes.”