By SAM STEPHENSON
Jordan Hill, Allegheny’s new assistant cross country and track coach specializing in sprint, hurdles and relays, joined the Allegheny coaching staff in August. Hill, coming from Baldwin Wallace, joins the Gator staff after being named the 2014 Men’s National and Great Lakes Regional Assistant Outdoor Coach of the Year by the United States Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association. Her coaching of eventual national champion sprinter Kevin Johnson in the 100 and 200-meter dashes and All-American Ben Beidelman were a major element in her recent hiring.
A graduate of Baldwin Wallace in the Ohio Athletic Conference, Hill continued her education at Bluffton University in Bluffton, Ohio, earning a masters in Business Administration. She also began her coaching career at Bluffton, coaching their for three years before joining the Yellow Jackets. During her sprinting career at Baldwin Wallace, Hill earned multiple all-OAC honors and all-Ohio honors en route to her team winning three OAC titles. Hill’s senior year saw her earn the Paul “Sparky” Adams Most Outstanding Female Athlete award and the Baldwin Wallace Most Outstanding Sprinter award.
The Campus sat down with Hill to get to know the coach better.
The Campus: Having so much success at Baldwin Wallace, what’s it like coming to a completely new school and program and how have you approached it?
Coach Hill: It’s very exciting, one of the things that attracted me to Allegheny was the reputation for academics. I like knowing that I’m working with smart students. You know, the sprints, hurdles and relays part of our track program is something that needs to catch up a little bit to the level where our distance program is, so I’m kind of eager to get on that challenge and see what we can do as a team here.
Campus: In your opinion, what makes the Gator athletic community unique in what you’ve seen thus far?
Hill: Again, I kind of mentioned previously the academics are very impressive. One thing that I noticed here within the entire athletic department is how cohesive everybody is. From one sport to another everyone’s willing to help each other out. They genuinely want to see the other sport do well and everyone win and be successful. Sometimes at other schools you may not see that cohesiveness and sense of community.
Campus: What has been the hardest transition coming to Meadville?
Hill: The hardest right now is trying to learn everybody. Especially for cross country it such a huge roster then what I’m used to seeing and just trying to get a feel for the community.
Campus: The easiest?
Hill: Just jumping in and coaching and working.
Campus: Did you previously know it is such a historic time at Allegheny and what has it been like being a part of the Allegheny culture during the bicentennial?
Hill: I actually didn’t know that it was the bicentennial until I came here. As an undergrad, we always came here for a last chance meet so I’ve been around Allegheny quite a few times and ever since I came here and competed here myself, I’ve been a big fan of Allegheny. I’ve always liked the location, the school, the facilities, I mean it’s a great track. I actually ran my PR on this track. So Allegheny has definitely been a school that always attracted me.
Campus: If you could tell the Gators anything about yourself, what would you say?
Hill: I guess you can say I’m a self-made athlete and I believe that hard work can get you anywhere. You can’t be afraid to push yourself and if you can learn to do that in your athletics and apply that in whatever else you’re doing in your life that you will be successful.
Campus: Looking ahead to the Allegheny College Classic on Saturday, what are your expectations?
Hill: I think that both teams, men and women, are going to run really well. It’s going to be a great preview for what’s going to come in November for our post season. We had time-trials and I think it’s going to be a great opportunity for the athletes that maybe didn’t post the times that they wanted to during the time trial to get a second chance to show the coaches what they can do and the work put in during the summer.
The Gators will run at home on Saturday, Aug. 30 at 10:45 a.m. at Robertson Complex.