Ohio State softball head coach Kelly Kovach Schoenly announced Thursday the hiring of Jenna Hall as an assistant coach for the Buckeyes. Hall, who spent the last five seasons at Ohio University, completes Schoenly's coaching staff that also includes assistant coach Amanda Buchholz.
"I am very excited to add Jenna Hall to our staff," Schoenly said. "Having competed against Jenna for years, I have grown to respect the energy and knowledge she has for the game. Jenna has had two tremendous mentors in Illinois head coach Terry Sullivan and Ohio University head coach Jodi Hermanek. Known for her knowledge in developing hitters, Jenna will also add in other areas of the game as well. Having played in the Big Ten and also in the pros, she has some valuable experiences from which to draw from to share with our athletes."
Hall, who was promoted from assistant coach to associate head coach at Ohio in December 2011, helped guide the Bobcats to the finals of the Mid-American Conference Tournament three times, and the most conference wins in a ten-year period in both 2010 and 2012. In addition, she oversaw three of the best Ohio offensive lineups in school history during the 2009, 2010 and 2012 campaigns, respectively.
"I am extremely excited about joining the softball program here at Ohio State," said Hall. "Being a part of coach Schoenly's staff is a great honor and I am really looking forward to working with her. I have always respected both Kelly and Amanda as coaches and this is a wonderful opportunity to learn and work with them."
Serving under head coach Jodi Hermanek, Hall helped guide the 2012 team to the best offensive season in program history as the Bobcats broke school records for most home runs (47), RBIs (255) and runs scored (293) in a single season.
"We're very thankful for the dedication and leadership she has provided Ohio Softball for the last five seasons," said Hermanek. "I'm confident that, through her pedigree as a student-athlete and her coaching experience at Ohio University, she will have tremendous success with the staff in Columbus."
After Hall helped coach Ohio to a postseason berth in 2008, she worked with an offense in 2009 that recorded offensive marks that rank among the Top 10 in seven offensive categories, including hitting (fourth), runs scored (eighth), hits (10th), home runs (fourth), doubles (tied-fifth), triples (tied-fourth) and RBI (ninth). Hall helped the 2010 offense record the tenth highest batting average and RBI, in addition to breaking the schools home run record with 33.
"I am very much looking forward to my days ahead as a Buckeye and a member of this highly-successful athletic department," said Hall. "I hope to help bring as much success as I can to these players both on and off the field so we as a staff can keep the tradition of excellence alive within Ohio State Softball."
The Bobcat offense grew its power numbers under Hall during the 2011 season. She topped the single-season record of 33 home runs during the 2010 season, with a new program-record 35 during 2011. The Bobcats also tallied 190 RBIs in 2011, which is the third-best total in single-season history.
Under her tutelage, the 2009 squad hit a conference-best .292 as a team, while their .351 on base percentage also ranked tops in the league. In addition, Ohio ranked second in the MAC in both slugging percentage at .414 and in doubles with 65, and ranked third in RBI (172), triples (13) and total bases (522). That was followed by a 2010 squad that hit .278 in MAC play.
In addition to helping produce productive offenses, Hall also showed her ability to develop talent in five seasons in Athens. Courtney Waters (2008) and Alexis Joseph (2009) garnered All-Region recognition under her coaching, with Joseph receiving first team honors. In 2012, Lauren Gellerman, who batted .340 with a .660 slugging percentage, was named a first team All-MAC and All-Mideast region selection, while Jillian Van Wagnen notched second team All-MAC honors after batting .362 with 64 hits. In all, she coached 18 All-MAC selections during her time at Ohio.
Prior to her time in Athens, Hall served as the student assistant coach at her alma mater - Illinois - under head coach Terri Sullivan. While at Illinois, she left her mark on the program as a four-year starter and team captain, in addition to planting her name in the school's record books.
"Jenna was one of the most talented players I ever coached, but what separated her from others was her love of the game and work ethic," Sullivan said. "I have no doubt that she will do great things at Ohio State as her career continues to grow."
The Fighting Illini's all-time record holder for best career and single-season batting averages, Hall is also the program's all-time single-season fielding percentage record holder. As a senior, she led the nation in walks and was a finalist for the USA Softball Player of the Year Award. She was also selected to the NFCA All-American first team list and was a NFCA Scholar Athlete. She graduated in May 2007 with a degree in history.
Hall concluded her professional career playing for the Philadelphia Force, a professional team with the National Pro Fastpitch League. In her first year with the Force, she was selected to the NPF All-Star Team.