Ambitious coach seeks to lead Jackrabbits as a grad

Ariy-El Boynton

Ariy-El Boynton

During the Division I move, the SDSU men’s basketball players have seen significant changes. Whether it was players transferring, key players graduating or other players leaving for various reasons, there has been a guy that has stood it out.

Tim Hill, a senior health/physical fitness major, has been a student assistant for the men’s program for four years. A Blue Earth, Minn., native, Hill worked in various aspects for Coach Nagy.

“I really enjoyed scouting other teams, putting together game plans, film exchange, travel arrangements, scheduling arrangements with other coaches and more,” said Hill. “Being a part of the Jacks athletic program is probably the best experience I’ve ever had.”

Seeing that he has devoted so much of his time in his days at State, he has been given excellent instruction on how to coach and on the day-to-day operations of the program. Hill witnesses intense daily practice of a Division I program and appreciated the knowledge that was passed down to him from Nagy. He feels pleased that he was given an opportunity to travel all over America to places “like NYC, the campus of Ohio State, California and to ‘The Barn’ up in Minneapolis,” he said.

Not only was Hill able to travel throughout the country, but he has also been given direction for his future.

“Because of coaches, I have seriously figured out what I want to do after college. I always wanted to coach basketball, and this opportunity has helped me get my foot in the door for that career field,” said Hill. “This job has allowed me to get to meet and talk with some high profile coaches, most notably Tubby Smith and his staff at the University of Minnesota.”

While Hill will graduate later this semester, his time at State will not, as he will contuine to work for Coach Nagy.

“I, along with other coaches, have decided that it would be a good idea for me to stay here. My first year I’ll be like a volunteer graduate assistant, since we’ll still have our two GA’s from this year,” Hill said.

While he will be back, Hill noted that he was sad to see seniors Ben Beran and Michael Loney lose their final game to Centenary College this past winter.

Hill is looking forward to next year and the fresh faces of the program.

“Next year I honestly believe will be a lot different. We’ve got a good young core coming back, and now I think they know what it takes to finish and win those close games,” he said.

The players and the other coaches have made his life very enjoyable by giving their friendship and many smiles. Hill lists many memorable exchanges with players on many road trips as memories that will last a long time.

Among the more somber memories this year was the fact that the team lost many close games, and it hit especially hard since he realized how hard the men’s team worked. Hill explained that the team did not lose the games due to a lack of effort.

Outside the SDSU athletics, Hill along with his good friend Trevor Arnone created the Dwarf basketball team dubbed the “Midwest Magic.” The Magic, which is made of athletes who are 4-feet to 4-feet-10, is currently in the process of finalizing their roster and will compete in Detroit this summer.

“Playing basketball against other people of short stature and actually being competitive is one of the best experiences for me,” he said.

An active member of the Little People of America and the Dwarf Athletic Association of America, Hill has racked up several medals in DAAA competition, primarily in basketball and track and field. Hill could boast the national record in the 200-meter dash in the DAAA.

While the record has been since broken, he is still proud of the record. “It was a big achievement for me to set the national record in the 200-meter dash for dwarfs, especially since I was only 17 at the time,” he said.

From setting records, being a graduate student and playing basketball in national competitions, Hill is and will be a valuable commodity for SDSU as an undergraduate and graduate.

Hill plans to coach the next two years at State.