Canadian Football League

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Former Canadian Football League Coach enjoying life at BYU

Taking over the job of coaching BYU's secondary would be intimidating to some, especially with the number of people that complained about their play last season.
It seemed that the defensive backfield couldn't do much right. However, when secondary coach Jaime (pronounced HY-MEE) Hill arrived at BYU last spring, he made it clear that he didn't care what happened last season. Instead, he saw the job as a great opportunity. It proved to be great for BYU and great for his players. And most importantly to him, great for his family.
Since Hill's arrival, he has played a crucial part in improving BYU's defense and restoring the needed confidence to the team. The Cougar 'D' is now 11th in the nation, allowing only 14 points per game, and ranks in the top 30 in many other categories. Most importantly, perhaps, the defense has helped BYU's turnover margin to become one of the best in the nation
These numbers for coach Hill aren't what brought him to BYU, however. Nor was it the challenge of turning things around defensively. Hill accepted this job because it gives him a chance to teach players things they can learn to help them throughout their lives, and also because he felt it would be good for what's most important to him: his family.
"I enjoy the family atmosphere, and having the chance to spend time with my family, and still be a coach," Hill said.
Hill and his wife LaShanda have three children, and so far he says that all of them are adjusting well to life here in Utah Valley. All of his children are attending schools here and playing sports, and Hill says he's happy with how they're doing.
Coach Hill maintains a very healthy perspective of football. While Hill expects a lot of his players and pushes them hard, he also knows and reminds them that after all is said and done, it's just a game.
"I haven't coached at the college level in seven years," Hill said. "It's a great opportunity to work with these young men, and teach them the nuances of the game, and teach them life lessons."
The BYU secondary, composed of defensive backs like Ben Criddle, Justin Robinson and Quinn Gooch to name a few, appreciate all that Hill has brought to the team.
"Coach Hill is very well rounded," Criddle said. "He's a very serious guy when it comes down to business, but he knows that this is about fun, and there's always a bit of levity in the room."
Hill brought all new footwork and conditioning drills with him when he came to BYU, and those drills have played a big part in getting the most from his players. Everything was put together personally and is part of his unique coaching style. Hill makes it clear that he demands his players play their hardest each and every play of a game, and that they prepare just as hard.
"Coach Hill doesn't panic about stuff," Robinson said. "He knows what his abilities are, and that he can fix any problems that we may have."
Hill has spent years coaching, beginning in 1987 at San Francisco State University, where he also played as a wide receiver. From there he has made many stops, including a stint with the San Francisco 49ers and a year coaching in the Xtreme Football League. Before coming to BYU, Hill was the co-defensive coordinator for the Ottawa Renegades in the CFL. However, when Hill came to visit, and eventually to work at BYU, he felt it was the best place for him and his family to be.
So far, things have been working out great for everyone. Hill is happy and feels good at BYU, and also feels that his family is doing well here. His players have become more confident, and learned important lessons under his tutelage.
And lastly, BYU fans are happy because his secondary is a vital part of a stingy BYU defense that has got that lovely swagger back.


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