After 35 years in the workforce and 12 years on the Pacific softball diamond, Head Softball Coach, Tim Hill, announced his retirement to his team in March. He will be leaving behind a program he built from the ground up with a legacy that will never be forgotten.
Hill made the decision to retire realizing that he was unable to fulfill the physical aspects of coaching like he used to.
After injuring his leg on the field, he said he knew that it was time to step aside.
Rewind to March 20, Hill was sitting in the middle of a circle made up of his players, announcing his retirement. Outfielder, sophomore Megan Winnans said the entire room was bawling and the entire team stayed an hour after the meeting to talk.
Hill said he was shocked and touched to see how much the team cared about him leaving.
“Tim is such a passionate and caring guy, even though on the field all you ever see is his game face,” said senior pitcher Sara Asasness.
The consensus that Hill was a coach unlike any the team had ever encountered was something the team stressed. Winnans said what set him apart, for her, was that he never brushed anyone off as a player and wanted them to succeed above all else.
“I don’t know how it happens. I go out there just to coach and somehow within the coaching there are some players that the relationship just builds,” said Hill. “It just grows and develops over time. I do love kids, maybe it shows.”
While Hill may be humble about his personable abilities as a coach, his team has no issues commending him.
“He showed me never to give up, even when you are at a loss,” said Asasness. “He had a huge place on my life and my only hope is that he knows how great of a job he has done.”
While he noticed a dramatic change in the teams moral and dynamic, specifically playing with more confidence and energy, he said he really didn’t know why.
What Hill didn’t know was that after he left the meeting with his team, they all gathered together to resolve to make this last season for the coaches and make it the best they’ve had.
“We used to play for ourselves and now we have this attitude of playing for Tim and end his career the best we can,” said Winnans. “He’s a great coach and that’s what he deserves.”
When Hill arrived at Pacific, the softball team had been finishing last every year. In the time that he has served as head coach, the team has grown to have eight winning seasons in the last nine years.
“We were committed to doing whatever it took to be here and be successful,” he said.
That commitment was another reason he was so highly regarded on the team. Winnans said she had never met a coach who knew as much about the game and has a lot of respect for his love for the game.
With such a huge impact left on the players and the softball program, Hill is leaving behind some big shoes to fill when he leaves. The athletic department has already begun searching for his replacement and the choice will be decided in June.
Hill said he thinks the program needs a young, energetic and dynamic female to take over the program.
“I would like to see someone who shares my passion for the game, shares my commitment and someone who can bring an intensity to the program but also build strong relationships with the players,” Hill said.
Up for the position is assistant coach Liz Yandall.
“Any coach who is going to fill his shoes is going to have to be a pretty special person,” Winnans said.
While softball has been a large part of Hill’s life, he said he is looking forward to being able to spend more time with his family, who are his real passion. When he isn’t spending time with his grandkids, Hill said he plans to spend his retirement getting in better shape, reading, walking, relaxing and probably venturing into the Facebook world.
A fulfilled retirement won’t keep Hill away from the Pacific softball diamond. After being told by two of his players that he has to be at every game next year, Hill said he plans to stay very involved as a spectator.
Although Hill plans to stick around the softball diamond for support and his players are grateful for the time and passion he gave to them, it goes without saying that Tim Hill will be very missed on the field and around campus.