Hill will continue in his NWC role as coordinator of GEAR UP, a grant-funded program that helps middle and high school students project a path to college. He is considered an interim hire because the college didn't have time to conduct a full search …
Cody High School coach to lead program The man who will launch Northwest College's new soccer program is a familiar face in Big Horn Basin soccer. Rob Hill, coach of the Cody High School Boy's Soccer Team, will fill in his off-season this fall heading up the NWC Men's and Women's Trapper teams.“We had to find somebody quickly to handle the logistics of launching a new soccer program as well as assume coaching duties,” said Dana Young, NWC vice president for student affairs. “The Region IX soccer schedule was already set by the time our program was approved, so we were behind the ball, so to speak, from the beginning. We're extremely fortunate to have a coach of Rob's caliber already working at Northwest and willing to help us out."
Hill will continue in his NWC role as coordinator of GEAR UP, a grant-funded program that helps middle and high school students project a path to college. He is considered an interim hire because the college didn't have time to conduct a full search to fill the position.
Hill officially began his coaching duties Tuesday, although he did some advance work prior to that to help the college make up for the late start.
The NWC Board of Trustees approved the new program at its Dec. 14 meeting.
Originally from England, Hill was brought to Cody in 2001 through Major League Soccer Camps to develop and implement a soccer program at both the youth and high school levels. It didn't take long for him to turn Cody into a soccer powerhouse in the state.
In the nine years he's been in Park County, Hill has fielded six state championship teams, four in the youth league and two at the high school level. Add to that four conference titles and one regional title.
His 2008-09 high school team set the state record for 104 goals (while conceding only nine the entire season). His Broncs surrendered only once during last two seasons to post a two-year cumulative 33-1-1 record.
Hill holds three NSCAA diplomas, including the NSCAA Premier Diploma, the highest license in the nation, along with the United States Soccer Federation's “A” License.
At Northwest, he will be head coach for both the men's and women's soccer programs with help from two assistants yet to be hired.
The men's and women's teams will travel together, playing back-to-back games.
Hill has already made progress fleshing out a schedule for his 2010 teams, starting with a preseason opener on Aug. 15 against the Rocky Mountain College varsity team from Billings.
Asked why he's first pitting his untried squads against a varsity force like Rocky, Hill responded, “I believe you can only get better by playing those better teams. I want us to get tested. I want the players to see what level they have to aspire to and give them something to work toward.
“I'm all about developing so we can compete at a high level. I want to create a winning team. I'm not here to just bring in bodies. In two or three years, I want them to be competing to go to the national tournament. That's my ultimate goal.”
Region IX soccer comprises five men's teams and four women's teams — Laramie County Community College in Cheyenne, Western Wyoming College in Rock Springs, Western Nebraska Community College (Scottsbluff) and Otero Junior College (La Junta, Colo).
Because the top four teams are guaranteed a place at the regional tournament, the Lady Trappers are guaranteed a spot their first year. The men's team will need to prove itself by outperforming at least one other team.
The other schools in the region have fully-developed programs, according to Hill, with the exception of Otero, which also is in its first year. Unlike other National Junior College Athletic Association sports, soccer regional winners must go on to compete at the district level before earning a berth at the national tournament.
Outside of Region IX, Hill plans to run with the big dogs. He's trying to set up games against varsity teams from four-year schools and competitive two-year teams.
In upcoming years, the Trapper soccer teams can count on playing 22 games, but Hill says it will be difficult to get a full quota of games this first season because most teams have already established their schedules.
To date, he's arranged 17 games for the men and 16 for the women.