Hall Rejoins Pioneers as Director of Player Relations

There is no need for the St. Paul Pioneers to baste their turkey this Thanksgiving. The team just got a whole lot more Juicy.

George Hall, known as Juice to those who know him and love him, is returning to the team he helped start on its way 10 years ago. Hall, who has been everything from a player to sideline manager to team owner, is joining the Pioneers’ Board of Directors as Director of Player Relations.

Hall owned the team in from 2008 through 2010. In 2009, St. Paul embarked on a historic coast-to-coast odyssey to win the 2009 NAFL National Championship in Miami Beach, Fla. He took last season off to tend to the home fires and move ahead professionally.

Now, he is back. And to Hall and the Pioneers, it is like he never really left.

“I am very happy, actually,” Hall said of his and the team’s decision to rejoin each other. “It’s in my blood, this organization. It’s in my soul. It’s a part of me. Being away for a week, a month, or more, it eats at you a little bit.”

The most recent separation was actually the second for Hall, since the team’s founding in 2002.  He stepped away in 2005 to take a break as well. He returned with a vengeance, however. In 2008, Hall bought the team and led St. Paul to the North American Football League’s Elite Eight.  In 2009, the rewards were even sweeter as the team went 15-1 and won the first national championship ever for a Minnesota semi-pro football team. He still owned the team in 2010, although the day-to-day operations were handled by the new board.

Since Hall stepped away, the Pioneers restructured the organization and the team now is run by a board of directors that makes shared decisions on team finances, fundraising and strategy.  Hall will once again be an important part of that.

As Director of Player Relations, Hall will be the board’s conduit with the team’s players, bringing their thoughts and concerns to the rest of the board while also communicate team moves and needs to the players.

Hall says he sees himself as “someone who can be the platform to listen to their issues and suggestions. It’s also nice that we have someone who has been a player, who has been around this level of football for almost 20 years.”

St. Paul has won six league or national championships in its decade of existence, starting with a its first title in 2003 and including winning back-to-back Northern Elite Football League titles after joining the Minnesota-Wisconsin league in 2010. Hall, who has seen the team’s roster transform over the years only to continue its winning ways, sees no reason why St. Paul shouldn’t be in the mix for another title in 2012 – and beyond.

“I don’t see why we can’t do it again. We don’t have the same roster that we had in ’03,” he said. “We might have only two or three players from that time… but we have the same results.”