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Smithson Valley coach Hill withdraws from consideration for Sul Ross job

Smithson Valley coach Hill withdraws from consideration for Sul Ross job

Credit: David Flores / Kens5.com

Larry Hill, who has gone 203-54 in 20 seasons as football coach at Smithson Valley High School, was a four-year starter as a quarterback at Sul Ross State from 1979-82.

by David Flores / Kens5.com


Posted on February 19, 2013 at 8:22 AM

Updated Thursday, Feb 21 at 9:10 AM

Smithson Valley football coach Larry Hill has withdrawn his name from consideration for the job of head football coach and athletic director at Sul Ross State, Hill said Wednesday afternoon.

Hill, a 1983 Sul Ross graduate who was the Lobos' starting quarterback for four seasons, was one of two finalists for the dual position, according to the Sul Ross website.

Hill, 52, interviewed for the job Tuesday in Alpine. He said he called Sul Ross president Ricardo Maestas on Wednesday morning to tell him of his decision.

"I am not going to be the coach at Sul Ross State University," Hill said. "I was very honored and flattered that my alma mater would consider me for that. But I have withdrawn from that. I'm going to be an alum and an ex-player in supporting whoever they bring aboard.

"I don't wish anything but the best for that school. I'm going to do everything I can to help them, but not as their football coach. I'm going to do anything to help them. Sul Ross is kind of like Smithson Valley and East Central High School. Those are my three families. Family called and I answered the call. But after looking at it, I didn't feel like I needed to do that."

The other finalist for the Sul Ross job, Ronald Dolciato, head coach at John Carroll University in University Heights, Ohio, is scheduled to interview on Friday.

Sul Ross competes in NCAA Division III.

Hill has been one of the most successful high school football coaches in the state while heading the Smithson Valley program the past 20 seasons, compiling a 203-54 record and leading the Rangers to the state finals three times.


Hill helped lead Sul Ross to unbeaten season in 1982

Smithson Valley came excruciatingly close to winning state twice, losing in overtime to Denton Ryan in 2001 and on a field goal as time expired against Southlake Carroll in 2004.

The Rangers have lost in the state semifinals three times under Hill, who has a 213-65 career record.

A 1979 East Central High School graduate, Hill helped lead the Lobos to an unbeaten regular season and the Texas Intercollegiate Athletic Association title as a senior in 1982. Hill went 18-2 in in his last 20 games as Sul Ross' starting quarterback.

Hill earned a master's degree at Sul Ross in 1986.

The younger brother of Churchill football coach Glenn Hill, Hill took over a downtrodden Smithson Valley program in 1993 and transformed it into a consistent winner.

After going 1-9 in Hill's first season, the Rangers finished 8-3 in 1994 and made the playoffs for the first time since Smithson Valley opened in 1976.

The Rangers have made the playoffs 16 of the past 17 seasons and are 181-33 during that span. They have missed the postseason only three times during Hill's 20-year tenure.

Highly organized and intense, Hill has earned a well-deserved reputation as a coach who gets great effort from his players consistently. Hill's dedication and commitment to his profession also have been lauded through the years.

Those who know Hill best say that his job is his hobby and his hobby is his job.

"I would say that's about right," said Hill's father, Glenn Hill Sr., who was a high school football coach for 20 years. "I would think his occupation and recreation are the same thing. Football has always been kind of his life."

Hill started his career in 1983 as an assistant coach at Texas City High School, where he went to work for his former coach at Sul Ross, Joe George. Hill coached six seasons at Texas City before becoming head coach at Jourdanton in 1989.

Hill left Jourdanton after two years to join Mike Robbins' staff at Clark, where he stayed until taking moving to Smithson Valley.