Director of Athletics
Stephen F. Austin
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Proving that it gets better each year, Hill enters his 29th year as a member of the SFA Athletic Department and his 11th year as Director of Athletics.
“Our coaches and staff are the reason SFA athletic success continues every year. They’re able to recruit high caliber student-athletes who can achieve on the field and the classroom plus we have an administration who believes in the importance of intercollegiate athletics and what it can do for a campus,” says Hill.
In his time as Director of Athletics, SFA teams have won 44 Southland Conference titles and have made NCAA Division I championship appearances in football, men’s basketball, women’s basketball, volleyball, soccer, softball, women’s tennis, men’s golf, bowling and indoor/outdoor track.
SFA teams won a record nine Southland Conference titles during the 2014-15 school year. Championship trophies were awarded in soccer, volleyball, men’s & women’s indoor track, men’s & women’s basketball, women’s tennis, and men’s and women’s outdoor track.
Although football did not win a conference title in 2014 their eight win season was good enough for an at-large bid to the FCS Championship. First year head coach Clint Conque was named SLC Coach of the Year.
Men’s basketball won their third consecutive SLC title and made their second straight NCAA tournament appearance while women’s basketball picked up their second consecutive SLC title and a berth in WNIT.
Both soccer and volleyball won SLC titles while going undefeated in conference play.
The SFA bowling team made a splash in the spring after being chosen to the eight team field for the NCAA Championship. The Ladyjacks finished as runnerup after losing to Nebraska in the finals.
Men’s and women’s track made it a clean sweep winning both SLC indoor and outdoor titles.
Six SFA coaches were named “Coach of the Year” by the Southland Conference during the 2014-15 school year.
Under Hill’s leadership the SFA athletic program has enjoyed its best years ever highlighted by winning the 2015, 2012 and 2010 Southland Conference Commissioner’s Cups. The annual award represents the all-sports champion in the Southland Conference.
SFA also won the SLC men’s all-sports trophies in 2013, 2011 and 2010 and the SLC women’s all-sports title in 2015, 2014 and 2010. SFA is only the second school to have swept all three awards in the 50-year history of the Southland Conference in 2010.
During the past ten years SFA teams have made school history. Among the notable athletic achievements were the first ever back-to-back SLC football titles in 2009 and 2010; men’s basketball’s three appearances in the NCAA tournament which included a second round win over VCU in 2014; ten consecutive women’s conference track titles; four consecutive women’s soccer SLC titles; first time conference titles for men’s track, women’s tennis and softball. Volleyball became the first SFA team to win an NCAA Division I tournament match in 2006; Bowling’s runnerup finish at the NCAA championship.
Academic success is major point of emphasis for Hill as 123 student-athletes received degrees during the 2014-15 academic year. Also, 179 SFA student-athletes were named to the Southland Conference Commissioner’s honor roll during the 2014-15 academic year. At the end of the 2015 spring semester, 47% of all SFA student-athletes were maintaining a 3.0 GPA or higher with six teams achieving a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher.
SFA teams now wear Under Armour uniforms, shoes and accessories as a result of Hill negotiating a multi-year agreement with the sports apparel giant to become the official outfitter for SFA athletic teams through 2018.
Hill also played an important role in helping to create the “Battle of the Piney Woods” football game between SFA and Sam Houston State at NRG Stadium in Houston. The rivalry game moved from campus locations to the home of the Houston Texans in 2010. More than 26,000 attended the game in 2014. The partnership between Lone Star Sports and Entertainment, SFA and Sam Houston has created one of the top FCS football games of the year with the event now on a three-year rolling agreement because of its success.
Facility improvements have been a priority since Hill became director. One of the most ambitious projects will become reality when the athletic department begins producing ESPN3 telecasts of home football, basketball, soccer and volleyball games this fall. A new state of the art production facility has been constructed that will make SFA the only Southland Conference school to produce ESPN3 events.
Other recent upgrades include the installation of a new playing court in the William R. Johnson Coliseum; new football practice fields, new artificial turf in Homer Bryce Stadium, lights for Jaycees Field home of SFA baseball, a new improved grass soccer playing surface and a remodeled Shelton Gym for volleyball. A new softball stadium opened in 2010 and a new $450,000 tennis pavilion to house the women’s team opened in the spring of 2008. Other improvements during his ten years include remodeled football and basketball dressing rooms, football offices and fieldhouse meeting rooms.
Hill is also active on the national scene where he just completed a four-year term on the NCAA Division I Football Championship Committee serving as chair in his final year. He also is vice president of the Southland Conference Advisory Council and chair of the SLC’s compliance committee.
In 2011 the National Association of Collegiate Director’s of Athletics named him Under Armour Athletic Director of the Year for the NCAA Football Championship Subdivision West Region.
The Canadian, Texas, native began his SFA career as sports information director in 1987. Hill moved to assistant athletic director for business affairs in 1990 and became associate athletic director for internal affairs in 1998. Hill spent 17 years in radio broadcasting prior to joining SFA. He continued his broadcast work at SFA as the voice of SFA football and basketball for 30 seasons before becoming athletic director.
Both he and his wife, Brenda, are SFA graduates. Their family includes daughter Alix and her husband Matt and grandson Carter of Dallas; son Stuart and his wife Kathy and grandsons, Blake and Aaron all of Woodbine, Maryland.