When he walks around Chardon (Ohio) High, hall and study hall monitor and football offensive coordinator Frank Hall is often simply called Coach. Now Hall is being referred to with another simple descriptive name: Hero.
As reported by a variety of sources, the Cleveland Plain Dealer and Cleveland ABC affiliate WEWS among them, Hall is now being credited as the man who drove suspected Chardon High gunman T.J. Lane from the school cafeteria after he had shot five of his fellow schoolmates. Witnesses claimed that Hall put his own body directly at risk, confronting Lane and charging at him despite being unarmed himself. Lane then fled the cafeteria.
Incredibly, Hall was completely unharmed in the attack.
"I hit the ground and heard Mr. Hall yell 'hey' at the shooter. I saw the shooter turn toward Mr. Hall and he ran out. Mr. Hall chased him," student Sebastian Diaz-Rodriguez told Reuters. "He did what he usually does -- he breaks up fights."
Hall's quick thinking and bold actions undoubtedly prevented injuries and probably saved lives. Yet those who know the 38-year-old former high school lineman and star wrestler insist they were anything but surprised to learn that the man who adopted four sons himself would put his life on the line to save children at risk.
"As horrifying as everything was, when you hear about kids in that situation and you hear a coach did what he did, we all knew it was Frank right away," Jefferson (Ohio) High football coach Jim Henson, who coaches Hall's oldest son, told the Plain Dealer. "You know he's going to do whatever he can to take care of the kids -- kids at home, kids on the team, or kids where ever. That's the type of person he is."
One of Hall's colleagues at Chardon echoed that notion.
"It doesn't surprise me he put his body in front of other people's bodies and saved lives," Chardon assistant football coach Don Navatsyk told the Plain Dealer. "If you talk to 100 kids at school, all 100 would say, 'We love coach Hall.' He's an inspiration."
If he was an inspiration for students at the school before, he's an inspiration for everyone now. After all, heroes like Hall don't come along every day.
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- Frank Hall