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Feature   Know Your Military

Sports Heroes Who Served: NFL Player and Coach is Also Air Force Veteran

Feb. 1, 2022 | BY David Vergun , DOD News

Sports Heroes Who Served is a series that highlights the accomplishments of athletes who served in the U.S. military.

A football player smiles.
Chad Hall
Chad Hall with the Philadelphia Eagles, Aug. 3, 2010.
Photo By: Air Force Senior Master Sgt. James McGarvey
VIRIN: 100803-O-D0439-001

Chad Hall is currently a wide receivers coach for the National Football League's Buffalo Bills. He's also played football for the Philadelphia Eagles (2010-2012), San Francisco 49ers (2012), Kansas City Chiefs (2013) and the Jacksonville Jaguars (2014).

Prior to his NFL career, Hall was in the Air Force.

Hall attended the Air Force Academy from 2004 to 2007, where he lettered in football for three years. During his first year at the academy he was a quarterback. For the next two seasons he was running back and for his senior year he played wide receiver, running back and return specialist.

A football player rushes against two players.
Running Play
Air Force Academy Falcons Chad Hall cuts back against Wyoming safeties Quincy Rogers and Michael Ray, 27, during Air Force's 20-12 win at Falcon Stadium in Colorado Springs, Colo., Oct. 20, 2007.
Photo By: Air Force photo by Mike Kaplan
VIRIN: 071020-F-0558K-270A

At the academy, Hall set an Air Force record with 275 yards rushing in a win against Army on Nov. 3, 2007. He also rushed for one touchdown, caught three passes for 19 yards, and returned three punts for 39 yards.

Hall was the only player in the United States to lead his team in rushing and receiving during his senior year. He finished third in the nation in all-purpose yards. 

Late in his senior year in 2007, he was among those who were seen as real possibilities for the Heisman Trophy.

Football players celebrate.
Touchdown Celebration
Air Force halfback Chad Hall, 23, helps fellow running back Justin Handley celebrate his first career Falcon touchdown at the Air Force Academy, Colorado Springs, Colo., Sept. 17, 2005, against the University of Wyoming. Hall later scored his first career Air Force touchdown in the same game. The Cowboys went on to edge the Falcons 29-28.
Photo By: Air Force 2nd Lt. John Ross
VIRIN: 050917-O-D0439-001C

After graduating from the academy, Hall served on active duty in the Air Force as a second lieutenant from 2008 to 2009. He was based in Hill Air Force Base in Utah as a maintenance officer, assigned to the 421st Aircraft Maintenance Unit of the 388th Maintenance Group.

Following his two years of active service, he transferred to the Air Force Reserve.

Hall attributes his success to his Air Force background.

A football player signs an autograph for a service member.
Autograph Signing
Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver Chad Hall signs an autograph for Army Sgt. 1st Class Manuel Roman after the Eagles training camp practice which was held at the Air Force Academy, Colorado Springs, Colo., Aug. 1, 2012.
Photo By: Army Capt. Antonia Greene
VIRIN: 120801-O-D0439-001

"The rigors of the Air Force Academy just furthered my discipline and my work ethic," he said during a Jan. 29, 2013 interview with John Van Winkle, Air Force Academy public affairs. 

"For the cadets at the academy now, I'd say just because you go to the academy, it doesn't mean you can't follow your dreams and do anything you want, whether it's right away or after finishing your service commitment. Whether it's flying an aircraft or playing professional sports, you just keep on grinding and keep on fighting for that goal. If you work hard enough, your dreams can come true."

More Sports Heroes Who Served
sports graphic
Sports Heroes Graphic
Sports Heroes Who Served graphic - with title
Photo By: DOD
VIRIN: 200706-D-ZZ999-903