Logan Larson to lead Hall football program

Former college tight end was assistant at 2023 2A runner-up Athens for three years

Logan Larson

Since he was young, Logan Larson had the goal of becoming a high school football head coach someday.

That day is here for the former Southeast Missouri State University tight end as he was hired Wednesday to be the head coach at Hall.

“It’s exciting,” said Larson, 29. “It’s something I’ve dreamed about since I was little. Literally, since the first grade I’ve always wanted to be a head football coach and that’s why I got into it right out of college and everything I’ve done is always been going toward being a head coach, starting a program and really building it up.”

Larson grew up in Springfield and played his first two years of high school at Sacred Heart-Griffin before playing his final two years at Pleasant Plains.

He played his freshman year of college at Bowling Green State University. then transferred to SEMO after a coaching change.

After college, he coached at Springfield Southeast for three years and spent the last three years at Athens. Larson was the offensive and defensive line coach and special teams coordinator for Athens.

“We were looking for someone with some coaching experience and also someone who has the energy and youthful exuberance to really push a program and grow a program and we feel Logan is that person,” Hall athletic director Eric Bryant said. “He has college experience as a player and he has coaching experience. Not that we were necessarily needing someone from outside the area, but I think it’s a plus for someone to bring maybe some new ideas and new energy from the program.”

During Larson’s tenure at Athens, the Warriors went 29-8, advanced to the second round or deeper all three seasons and played in the Class 2A state title game last fall, losing 28-3 to Wilmington.

“We were looking for someone with some coaching experience and also someone who has the energy and youthful exuberance to really push a program and grow a program and we feel Logan is that person.”

—  Eric Bryant, Hall athletic director

“Athens started football in (2006),” Larson said. “I went to school just 20 minutes away from Athens so I got to see them start from the ground up. When coach (Ryan) Knox called me to be part of their program I was super excited. We were super successful the last three years. Just to see how they do things (will help my transition to head coach). I think one of the most important things is the way the kids buy in and the community support.”

Larson said part of what drew him to the Hall job was the Red Devils’ tradition, which includes state titles in 1995 and 2001, a runner-up finish in 1996 and 27 playoff appearances, including seven under Randy Tieman, who resigned after the 2023 season with a 53-50 career record in 10 seasons.

“After doing a little bit of research, I saw the tradition they have,” Larson said. “I was looking for a community that could be something that’s built up from the JFL level and having that total buy in.

“Being a young coach, I’m all into this football thing for sure. I’m just really excited to put my spin on it and keep building the tradition.”

Larson also has a connection to the area through his father, Jeff.

“My dad played football at IVCC in the early 80s and actually lived in Spring Valley, so it’s kind of a little full circle to get back up there,” Larson said. “He’s still got from buddies there. (St. Bede baseball coach and assistant football coach) Bill Booker is one he played football with at IVCC. I kind of have some connections up there and felt like it was a good spot.

Larson said he isn’t 100% sure yet what type of offense he’ll run with the Red Devils, but has experienced different schemes through his career.

“We were a Wing T at Athens so I’ve kind of fallen in love with that, but being at SHG and playing in college, it was more spread offense,” Larson said. “We’ll see. I haven’t talked to any of the coaches yet. I have an idea of what I want to do.”

Larson said his defensive philosophy is “play fast, play simple.”

“Alignment, assignment, technique are really the big three,” Larson said. “When you do those things, play with great effort and tackle, good things happen defensively.”

Larson takes over a Red Devils squad that went 3-6 last fall.

“They’ve had a lot of success building at Athens and he’s been part of that for the last few years,” Bryant said. “Maybe he can give us that same kind of vibe.

“We’re excited to have him and I think he’s excited. We’re ready to go.”