Hill takes reins at VHS

Published 4:28 pm Friday, July 5, 2013

By DREW GRANTHUM / Sports Writer

VINCENT — The Shelby County Board of Education approved new Vincent High School head football coach Jason Hill at their July 2 meeting in Columbiana. Hill replaces Zeb Ellison, who took a coordinator job at Chelsea in June.

Hill comes to Vincent after spending last season as the head coach of Phil Campbell High. While he admitted it wasn’t easy to leave Phil Campbell, Hill said he felt he was doing what was best for his family.

“To be honest, 12 of my 15 years coaching were spent in the Shelby County system,” he said. “I had to make a decision based on family. One of the hardest things I’ve had to do was tell those kids. For me to up and leave, that was tough. It was a family decision.”

While leaving his first head coaching gig behind was tough, he said he felt Vincent was the perfect situation for him and his family. Hill is no stranger to the area, as he spent five years as an assistant at Shelby County High under Geoff Walters, a year at Caelra and six years at Chelsea before taking the PCHS job.

“I always thought Vincent would be a cool place to coach,” he said. “ The community kind of revolves around the school.”

He also said one of the selling points was the fact he, VHS principal Joe Dixon and athletic director John Hadder share a similar view on high school sports.

“We all kind of agree, in high school athletics winning is important, but is secondary to life lessons,” he said. “Things like dedication, work ethic, the ability to overcome adversity and willingness to put the greater good before what you thinkis best for yourself is going to pay off for them, because they’ll have those tools later in life.”

Hill acknowledged that his work was cut out for him, given his late start with the team. The team has already began some summer conditioning work.

“(It’s) going to be tough,” he said. “We’re going to do some creative scheduling and apply the KISS (Keep It Simple, Stupid) mentality and be really good at core plays. We’ll let the athletic ability shine. You’ve got to prioritize and hammer out the details, and get kids in the best situation.”

Hill also said he hopes to expand the Yellow Jackets’ roster.

“We’re going to do the best we can to go out and get kids on board,” he said.

Vincent will take on West Blocton at home August 30 to open the season.