USD hosts Cal State Fullerton Tuesday, then begin WCC play at BYU on Thursday.
Rich Hill has built the USD Toreros into one of the most successful Division I baseball programs on the West Coast. The 2013 spring season will be Hill's 25th year as a head coach at the collegiate level, and 15th at USD, having enjoyed 21 winning seasons in 24 years. Since taking over at USD in 1999, Hill has been remarkable in re-writing the school record book en route to claiming back-to-back West Coast Conference Championship titles in 2002 2003 and also claiming the WCC crown in 2007, 2008 and 2010.
In 2012, Hill led the Toreros to the third best record in program history at 40-17. This Torero squad became the second San Diego team to earn an at-large bid into the NCAA Regionals, as USD competed in the UCLA Regional. Under Hill's tutelage, USD had 12 players earn All-WCC accolades, and the Toreros produced four All-Americans in Kris Bryant, Michael Wagner, while both Andrew Daniel and Austin Bailey took home Freshman All-American honors.
In 2010, Hill helped lead USD to a WCC record-setting 19-2 record in league play en rout to the WCC championship. Hill also helped guide 10 Toreros to All-WCC honors including the WCC Player of the Year James Meador and the WCC Pitcher of the Year Kyle Blair. USD made its sixth appearance in the NCAA Regionals as they received the No. 2 seed in the Tempe Regional and the Toreros also had a program record 10 players drafted in the Major League Baseball draft.
In 2008, Hill led the Toreros to a second consecutive WCC title and his freshman class was rated the No. 1 recruiting class in America according to Baseball America. USD posted the program's second 40-win season by setting the program record with a 44-17 mark. The Toreros received a program-best No. 5 preseason national ranking by Rivals.com and USD remained in the top-25 all season long and ended the regular-season ranked No. 6 Hill helped guide Brian Matusz to the WCC Pitcher of the Year award and the No. 4 overall pick in the MLB draft. Hill also guided 10 Toreros to All-WCC honors. Hill was also tabbed as the WC Coach of the Year for the second consecutive season.
In 2007 Hill directed the Toreros to the program's first 40-win season, a program-best No. 4 national ranking and a No. 8 national seed in the NCAA Regionals, becoming the first school in the history of the conference to receive this honor. The Toreros also hosted the NCAA Regionals, bringing this event to the city of San Diego for the first time ever. The Toreros posted an impressive 18-3 record in the WCC including five consecutive series sweeps, a first at USD as well. Hill also eclipsed the 600 career win mark and moved over 300 wins as the USD skipper. For his efforts, he was awarded the WCC Coach of the Year distinction.
In the 2006 season, not only did Hill lead USD back to the postseason, but he also helped guide the Toreros to a, then program-best No. 8 national ranking in the Collegiate Baseball top-25 poll on Feb. 2, 2006. Other milestones that Hill achieved during this historic season was the team recorded its first win over a No. 1 ranked opponent as they swept the defending national champion Texas Longhorns in the opening weekend. Hill became the third coach in the history of the WCC to eclipse the 200 conference wins mark has an overall coaching record of 715-481-3.
Under his leadership San Diego has averaged 33 wins per season, including winning a school record 44 games in 2008, a year in which Hill was honored by his peers as the WCC Coach of the Year. Hill became one of the youngest coaches in collegiate history to reach 500 career victories in 2003, taking USD into postseason play and a second consecutive NCAA Regional appearance.
Scheduling the nation's top competition, Hill owns a 481-331-3 overall record as San Diego's manager. In turn, Hill has brought the school national notoriety, earning a No. 4 national ranking by Collegiate Baseball, its highest in school history during the 2007 season.
Following a 35-21 season in 2004, seven of Hill's eight graduating seniors signed professional contracts. That same season a record 10 USD players were recognized as All-WCC performers, with five players being selected in the `04 MLB First Year Player Draft.
Hill is a proven winner. He has a record of success in each of his three head coaching stops - first at his alma mater Cal Lutheran. In his first head coaching job as the manager at Cal Lu, he won 83% of his games during his final three seasons (1991-93). Hill led Cal Lutheran to a record of 194-76 (.719) over six seasons, including two World Series appearances. His 1990 team won the first-ever district championship in school history. His 1992 squad posted a 43-6 record before falling a couple of outs shy of the NCAA Division III title, while the 1993 team finished first in the Western Region with a 32-7 record. Under Hill's guidance, the Kingsmen knocked off Division I opponents such as USC, Pepperdine, San Diego State, UC Santa Barbara and Cal State Northridge. During his six seasons at Cal Lutheran, 92 percent of his players received their degrees
Hill was hired by The University of San Francisco in 1994, taking the Dons from the WCC cellar to a 34-win season in his final year in 1998. During a five-year coaching stint at San Francisco (1994-1998), Hill posted three consecutive winning seasons, including a school best 18 wins in the West Coast Conference in 1998 as the Dons finished tied with USD for third place in the WCC. Over his final three seasons there, Hill guided USF to upper division finishes in the WCC; and posted three straight winning seasons, including two campaigns of 30 or more victories. Hill's track record boasts record-breaking seasons for wins in a single season at Cal Lu (43), USD (44) and Chatham in Cape League (35).
In addition to his collegiate coaching positions, Hill was head coach for the Chatham A's of the Cape Cod League between 1990-93, winning the league title in 1992 with a franchise record of 35-11. He has twice been recognized as the ABCA West Region Coach of the Year (1992, 1993); was the 1992 Cape Cod Baseball League "Manager of the Year"; was twice named the Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference Coach of the Year (1992, 1993); and twice was the recipient of the California Lutheran Alumni Career Excellence Award (1993, 1994). Hill's assistants have gone on to successful careers in baseball, including five earning head coaching positions, and two with administrative positions with Major League clubs.
Hill has made his mark off the field as well. He has been an advisor for the Fellowship of Christian Athletes. He started an innovative peer-mentoring program with his USF team. Dons players and coaching staff volunteered at the nearby Hamilton Community Center, reading stories and playing games with homeless children. Furthermore, Hill is a speaker and clinician at various conventions and camps throughout the region.
Hill earned his Bachelor of Arts degree (Physical Education) in 1985 from California Lutheran University. After playing one season with the St. Louis Cardinals organization in 1985 (Single A affiliate in Savannah, Georgia), he returned to his alma mater where he earned his Master of Science degree in Education in 1988. Rich and his wife, Lori, live in San Diego with their two children, Robbie (18) and Lindsey (15).
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