Less then a month after being promoted to assistant fire chief of the East St. Louis Fire Department, Todd Hill announced Friday that he has resigned as the head girls basketball coach at Althoff High School.
The Crusaders’ head coach for the past four years, Hill notified the Althoff adminstration of his decision recently and then met with his team on Friday to explain why he was stepping down as its head coach.
“With this opportunity and my new position came a sacrifice at this (coaching) end because my job duties will require more of a 9-to-5 type situation. Before when I was an on the line firefighter as a captain, I would be on duty for 24 hours and then off for 72 and it was a great situation for me to be able to coach,” Hill said. “Now with my job being more adminstrative, It would prevent me from being here after school for practice and maybe some games.
“And then if I had to attend council meetings in the evening it wouldn’t coincide for me to be here for practices and games. I’m a second-generation firefighter. My uncle was a firefighter for 30 years and my cousin is a firefighter. I guess you could say that being a firefighter is the Hill family business.”
Althoff Athletic Director Mike Dori said that there is no timetable as to when he would like to have a new coach named, but that he hopes to have it done before the end of the school year.
Dori said Hill did an outstanding job in leading the Crusaders program.
“Todd did a great job in leading this basketball team the last four years and was just an excellent ambassador for Althoff High School. He will be missed,” Dori said.
Hill, who was an assistant at Althoff before taking over the reigns when Lori Crunk stepped down after the 2010-11 season, coached the Crusaders to a 13-15 record this past year. Also the director of the Southwestern Illinois Jets Basketball Club, Hill said meeting with his team on Friday was a tough chore.
“It was a very tough decision and difficult for me to tell them today,” Hill said. “Some of them said to me ‘but coach we still have some things we haven’t achieved yet.’ I told them that I want them to continue to achieve them and that I will be there cheering them on making sure that they do. I feel like I’m leaving the program in great shape.
“They will have four starters back next year and two of those starters. Maggie (Reimer) and Kyleigh (Vaught) were all (South Seven) Conference players.”
Hill began his coaching career working with youth teams, then moved on to coach the Southwestern Illinois Jets. His daughter, Jazmin Hill, was a star player at Althoff who went on to a solid four-year college career at Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville.
Jazmin Hill is now in charge of the girls program with the Southwestern Illinois Jets.
Hill said he plans to keep a close eye on the Althoff program and has not ruled out a return to the sidelines in the future. But he does have plans to spend quality time his new grandson.
“It’s been a great ride and I am deeply appreciative to (former athletic director) coach Al Foppe and Mike Dori for their help and support during my four years at Althoff. I’ve enjoyed coaching time here a great deal,” Hill said. “They say coaching is in your blood. I may coach again.”