The Florida Tech community lost two treasured members in September.
Les Hall, the former Florida Tech head baseball coach who guided the Panthers to their first ever trip to the College World Series, passed away Sept. 9 at the age of 80. Hall served as both the head coach and Associate Director of Athletics at Florida Tech from 1977 to 2002. His 596 wins over a 25-year career at Florida Tech rank Hall among the Top 25 in Division II baseball history. He remains the program’s all-time winningest coach.
Hall came to Florida Tech in 1977 after serving as the head coach for the Satellite High School baseball team in Satellite Beach, Florida, where he compiled a record of 204-79.
A 1996 inductee into the Florida Tech Sports Hall of Fame, Hall was further honored two years later, in 1998, with the retirement of his number and induction into the Satellite High School Hall of Fame. In 1999, Hall helped Florida Tech dedicate the school’s new baseball field, which is named Andy Seminick-Les Hall Field, honoring him and former major league star Andy Seminick. In 2003, Hall was welcomed into the Sunshine State Conference Hall of Fame following an illustrious career in the league.
On Sept. 18, Robert Shearer passed away. A 35-year faculty member at Florida Institute of Technology whose interests in philosophy and mathematics, music and literature made him a Renaissance man on campus, Shearer was one of a small number of faculty, recently recognized by President T. Dwayne McCay, who served under all five of Florida Tech’s presidents.
A former president of the Faculty Senate, Shearer went on to serve for more than a decade as secretary of that body. He was also known for playing concert piano every year at Florida Tech’s Honors Convocation, often featuring his own compositions.
And Shearer was an award-winning teacher, as well having won the Faculty Excellence Award for Teaching, among other honors.
An on-campus memorial service for Shearer will be held at 3 p.m. Oct. 7 at the All Faiths Center.