New King of the Hill: THS introduces new football coach

Published 9:01 pm Tuesday, June 8, 2010

New Thompson High School head football coach Bruce Hill was formally introduced June 8 during an Alabaster Sports and Entertainment Foundation meeting in the school’s auditorium.

Hill replaces Brian Maner, who stepped down two weeks ago after compiling a 19-33 record in five years.

“We’re all friends with Brian Maner, and it’s not all his fault,” Hill said. “But regardless of whose fault it is, the cart was run into the ditch somewhere down the road.”

Prior to coming to Thompson as an assistant, Hill served as an assistant at Clay-Chalkville, where the Cougars claimed a Class 6A state championship in 1999.

“Up until two weeks ago when changes were made, I never thought I would have said I would rather be the head coach at Thompson than the head coach at Clay-Chalkville, but as God as my witness there is no place I’d rather be,” Hill said to the crowd. “God has put us here at this point in time for a reason — you, these kids and myself. I don’t have all the answers, I don’t think you have all the answers, but I think together we can come up with the best answer for these kids, this school and this community.”

Hill said he realizes there is a long road ahead for the Warriors, especially with the team playing in Class 6A, Region 6 with the likes of Hoover, Vestavia, Spain Park and Pelham, but he did not back down from the challenge.

“We’re not going to outwork anybody; we’re going to work more creative and smarter,” Hill said. “I’ve been around this game long enough to know there are 50 ways to skin a cat and we may use all 50 of them.”

Hill said he intends on putting Thompson football back on the map by adhering to four guidelines, in order: spiritual faith, family, education and then football.

One thing Hill did say he was changing was the offense, which only averaged 12.5 points per game last season.

“The offense is changing,” Hill said as he introduced new offensive coordinator Chuck Nelson. “There is a new sheriff in town.”

Hill said he hopes to be at Thompson a long time, but than can only happen if the community rallies around the players.

“You won’t have to run me off. If I get to where I feel I can’t get it done because there is too much tension or I become too much of a distraction to the program, I’ll move on,” Hill said. “Some of you are looking at me like I’m nuts, and that’s fine. I don’t care. I’m just telling you the way it is.”