2019 Best EMBAs: Prime Hall, USC (Marshall)

William “Prime” Hall

USC, Marshall School of Business

Age: 34

Hometown: South Padre Island, TX

Family Members: Brittany (wife), 6-year-old son Trey, 1-year-old Daughter Hanna Joy

Fun fact about yourself: I am an underwater enthusiast and like to be in the swimming pool multiple times a week.

Undergraduate School and Degree: Norwich University – Strategic Studies and Defense Analysis

Where are you currently working? Director – Marine Raider Challenge 501c3, Founder – Underwater Torpedo League, Founder – Deep End Fitness

Extracurricular Activities, Community Work and Leadership Roles: As director of Marine Raider Challenge nonprofit, I lead the team in putting on multi-sport races for special operations military personnel to participate in that promote camaraderie, competition and cause. The Marine Raider Challenge has raised over $100,000 throughout the last year and a half of operations.

Which academic or extracurricular achievement are you most proud of during business school? I am most proud of our team at Underwater Torpedo League and Deep End Fitness for graduating a 9-month business incubator / accelerator program with San Diego Sports Innovators in February of 2019.

What achievement are you most proud of in your professional career? Military – Becoming a Marine Raider and the feeling of accomplishment in training and deploying on special operations teams. Civilian – Graduating San Diego Sports Innovators Incubator program and receiving an award from Bill Walton.

Who was your favorite MBA professor? Gene Del Vecchio.

What was your favorite MBA course and what was the biggest insight you gained about business from it? Greg Patton’s class – We did Strength Deployment Inventory (SDI) assessments on ourselves that informed me exactly who I was and what my strengths and weaknesses are. This has guided a lot of my planning ever since and has been a huge positive for me in my daily life and as a leader in my companies.

Why did you choose this executive MBA program? Living in Carlsbad, I had received a message on Linkedin for an info session and never turned back.

What did you enjoy most about business school in general? The ability to apply assignments to real-world business challenges that I faced as an entrepreneur throughout the program was crucial for me. I still use the micro strategies assignment from Dave Logan to guide strategy for my startups.

What is the biggest lesson you gained during your MBA and how did you apply it at work? Knowing what my strengths and weaknesses are helped me to be more self-aware as a person and as a leader.

Give us a story during your time as an executive MBA on how you were able to juggle work, family, and education? In 2018, I had a week that got scheduled horribly. In one week I had to manage the following: Moving into a new house (with 2-month-old new baby girl), two large MBA projects, directing a nonprofit event for Marine Raider Challenge, San Diego Sports Innovators Pitch, and an Aqua Bowl Championship with Underwater Torpedo League (UTL).

What was your biggest regret in business school? That I didn’t move around to more teams and get more experiences with the rest of the students in class.

Which MBA classmate do you most admire? Cory Walker. He is a consummate professional at all times. He is always presentable with his attire and vocabulary and it impresses me every time is see him in class. Cory sets a positive example with his attitude, work ethic, and authenticity. He is an exceptional speaker as well and I strive to emulate him in that area.

“I knew I wanted to go to business school when I…saw the camaraderie within the Trojan Network and the level of instruction that the Professors bring. I also chose the Executive MBA so that I could work on Underwater Torpedo League and Deep End Fitness throughout the program.”

What is your ultimate long-term professional goal? To take Underwater Torpedo League to the Olympic stage and to have Deep End Fitness programs in every major pool nationwide.

In one sentence, how would you like your peers to remember you? As an innovator in my sector and also as someone that lives their beliefs and uses every opportunity to find an answer that could make a difference.

What are the top two items on your bucket list? 

  1. 1. Compete in 3 X 5 minute rounds with a pro boxer.
  2. See one of my kids go to USC (and play sports there if they want.)

What made Prime such an invaluable addition to the class of 2019?

“I had the great pleasure and honor to be Prime Hall’s marketing instructor in the prestigious USC EMBA Program. Without a doubt, Prime proved himself to be smart, dedicated, loyal, and aggressively persistent. He does not give up or yield ground. The critical leadership and teamwork skills he gained in the Marines (The Few. The Proud.), supplemented with the business skills he gains in the EMBA Program, transferred extremely well into the entrepreneurial world where Prime launched successful new ventures. He is a great ambassador for USC and reflects the best of us.”

–Gene Del Vecchio, Adjunct Professor of Marketing


Prime Bio: Prime was born in Longview, TX. During high school, Prime attended Marine Military Academy, a military boarding school in South Texas. In November 2005, he enlisted and began boot camp in the Marine Corps. From 2005 – 2009, Prime served as an Infantryman and completed two deployments, a year-long deployment to Southeast Asia and a 7-month combat deployment to Iraq. In 2009, Prime became a Marine Water Survival Instructor, and trained thousands of Marines on water confidence over the next year.

In 2011, Prime completed the Marine Special Operations Training Course and was assigned to 1st Marine Raider Battalion. Prime deployed to Afghanistan in May of 2012 as a lead advisor to a large Afghan Local Police force, and again to the Philippines in 2014 as the team Operations Chief. Prime was wounded in an insider attack in 2012 and would eventually be medically separated from 1st Marine Raider Bn. in May of 2017.

His personal decorations include the Purple Heart, Combat Action Ribbon, Bronze Star (with combat distinguishing device), the Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal, and motivation awards from MARSOC and Marine Combatant Dive School.

Prime completed the Tuck at Dartmouth School of Business Tuck Next Step transition program in March of 2017.

Immediately after separating from the military, Prime began the Executive MBA program in August of 2017 at University of Southern California and is entrepreneurial-focused.

Prime is a co-founder to the Marine Raider Challenge, an events-based 501c3 that promotes camaraderie, cause, and competition and raise awareness and support for special operations communities. The organization currently runs an annual multi-sport event in San Clemente, CA as well as a Marine Raider Boat Challenge, and 9/11 Heroes run to raise awareness and support Special Operations personnel, past and present.

Prime is the founder of Underwater Torpedo League, an underground swimming sport in Southern California that promotes team-building and water confidence to all skill levels of swimmers. UTL currently has 11 locations in Southern California, with plans to expand nationwide in the next 12 months.

Prime is the founder of Deep End Fitness, a viral “CrossFit meets water” fitness programming for all ages with locations throughout California and beta tests currently in Orange County and San Diego for national scale. Prime currently trains Olympic swimmers, UFC and Bellator Fighters, NFL players on top of overseeing 11 training locations in Southern California including YMCA San Diego.


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