Tuesday, 17 April 2007

Virgil Hill Resigns as Head Coach of Laurentian

Here is the official press release from Laurentian Sports Information. Speculation on who the new coach might be now begins. There are at least a couple of ex-Laurentian Voyageurs players who are now in the coaching ranks including former OUA East First Team all-star Brad Hahn at Cambrian. Virgil was a respected, hard-working coach who played for and then was mentored for coaching at Simon Fraser by current Toronto Raptors Assistant Coach Jay Triano. Hill, originally from Sarnia, Ontario, who played for some very strong Sarnia Northern high school teams in the mid-1980's before accepting a scholarship to Simon Fraser in Burnaby, BC when the Clan was a member of the NAIA, also spent several summers on the coaching staff and as guest coach in stable of teams including student and junior national teams in Canada's National basketball program. From all indications, Virgil, who has a growing family in B.C., wants to be closer to his loved ones out west. Virgil always made himself very available and from a basketball perspective first and foremost had the good of the game at the forefront. Best of luck Virg you will be missed here in Ontario.

SUDBURY, Ont. - After seven years with the Voyageurs men’s basketball team, Virgil Hill is stepping down as head coach of the Laurentian University Voyageurs men’s basketball program. Hill sighted personal matters as the reason for his departure.

"I am grateful for the opportunity that Laurentian University has provided me with to grow both as a coach and a person. I have enjoyed the past seven seasons immensely working with the student athletes, assistant coaches, faculty and staff. It is now time for me to focus on my family and be reunited with them in BC. I would like to thank all of the individuals that have supported me and the team over the past seven years and I wish the program much success in the future." said Voyageurs head coach Virgil Hill.

Hill took over the head coaching position before the start of the 2000-2001 season and went on to lead the Voyageurs to the playoffs in six of seven seasons reaching the OUA East quarter final five times and the OUA East semi final once. He leaves with a career conference record of 60-94 and an overall record of 90-141, while coaching many Voyageurs to OUA all-star awards and CIS academic all-Canadian awards. Off the court, he instilled a sense of community in his team initiating many community outreach projects including senior’s home and in-school visits as well as participating in the Terry Fox Run.

"We are extremely grateful for Coach Hill’s commitment and dedication over the last 7 years and wish him all the best in his future endeavours. This was an extremely difficult decision for Virgil and we respect his thoughts and wishes. While leading our men’s program, Coach Hill continued to strive for excellence in a very tough East Conference and will leave a well structured and detailed program," stated Director of Athletics Peter Hellstrom.

"Laurentian University Voyageur Athletics will immediately begin a national search for a Men’s Basketball Coach," added Hellstrom.

Sports Information
Laurentian Athletics

To provide a sense of Virgil's influence on young men, here is a very nice article from Northern Life, a Sudbury publiciation, on one of Virgil's former players and assistant coach with the Voyageurs this past season, Aaron Sidenberg, who volunteered to spend time in Africa this summer building a school for underpriviledged children. From the court to Kenya

Here is another recent article from Northern Life on Laurentian's graduating senior Brody Bishop with some very encouraging words for coach Hill LU Players bid a fond farewell

No comments: