Frank Hall, reluctant hero, on June 24 cover of Sports Illustrated
On Feb. 27, 2012, Chardon High School assistant football coach Frank Hall was faced with the question educators fear most: What do I do if a student pulls out a gun and starts shooting?
A troubled 17-year-old student forced Hall to answer that question when he stormed the school’s cafeteria and opened fire with a semiautomatic pistol, leaving three kids dying and a school in panic.
Hall, a beloved figure who — despite a 6-foot-1, 350-pound frame — is as gentle as they come, made a daring decision to charge the shooter and chase him from the school.
The story of Chardon’s tragedy and its reluctant hero is revisited and remembered in a cover story by senior writer Gary Smith in this week’s SPORTS ILLUSTRATED.
Smith takes us through that frightful day in the small town 30 miles outside of Cleveland. “In a flash, Frank had determined that attack was the best defense, the only way to be who Frank Ray Hall always had been: the protector,” he writes.
Harder than making the decision to risk his life and confront a killer? Learning how to cope with the overwhelming grief in the weeks and months to come.