Hillhouse High School
|James Hillhouse High School|
|480 Sherman Parkway
New Haven, Connecticut
|School district||New Haven Public Schools|
Established in 1859 as New Haven High School, Hillhouse High School is New Haven's oldest public high school. Originally located on Orange Street, it adopted its nickname, "The Academics," in acknowledgment of its close association with Yale University.
In 1863, the school was moved to a building at Orange and Wall Streets, which was replaced in 1871 by a new school.
The school is named in honor of James Hillhouse of New Haven, who represented Connecticut in the U.S. Congress in the early years of the United States' existence as a nation, serving as both a Representative and a Senator.
For many years, Hillhouse served not only New Haven but also suburban towns around the city that did not have high schools of their own. Its peak enrollment was nearly 5,000 students, when the school had to conduct double sessions to accommodate the large enrollment.
The school includes grades 9 through 12 and enrolls about 979 students.
Hillhouse became involved in athletic competition as early as 1866, when some boys formed a club to play a sport that is described as having "resembled rugby and soccer." By 1884, students were participating in several sports, including modern football, which had been invented by Walter Camp of New Haven. Team competition in baseball, tennis, ice hockey, indoor polo and yacht racing also had been established around this time. Basketball was introduced around the beginning of the 20th century.
In the school's history, Hillhouse football teams have won 17 state championships, ranking the school third in the state for football championships. The boys’ and girls’ basketball teams have a combined total 31 state championships. 22 for the boys and 9 for the girls. The most combined basketball state titles of any high school in the country. Only Detroit,MI has more basketball state championships than New Haven,CT which has an astounding 40 boys 19 girls titles. Total 59. Add in the 10 New England Tournament championships and the total post season titles is 69. Still a little bit behind Detroit overall. The Hillhouse boys basketball team was ranked # 4 in the country for 1986 by USAToday. Crosstown rival Wilbur Cross HS has the distinction of being ranked the # 1 high school team in the country in 1974.Over the years New Haven as a city has had many top ten ranked HS basketball teams, girls and boys. Equally the list of All American players is just as impressive. A list of the ten greatest AA players from the city includes John Williamson 6-2 guard, Dave Hicks 6-5 center, Mickey Heard 6-4 forward, Earl Kelley 6-0 guard. Tracy Claxton 6-0 forward and Karen Draughn 5-7 guard(girls) from Wilbur Cross HS. Walter Esdaile 6-5 center, Tharon Mayes 6-3 guard, and Bria Holme(girls)6-1 forward all from Hillhouse and Sly Williams 6-7 forward from Lee HS. These are just a random ten. Other All America basketball players include, Roland Jones, Bruce Campbell, Doug Wardlaw, Alex Scott, James Williamson, Maurice Williamson, John Thomas of Wilbur Cross. Billy Evans, Curvan Lewis, and Charley Farley of Hillhouse. There are many more. Basketball has a long and proud tradition in the City of Elms on every level. It is a great source of pride to the city, state and New England region. The boys’ and girls’ track teams also have more than 25 state championships between them. The Academics also have won state championships in baseball, swimming, ice hockey and tennis.
In 1999, a grant was provided by the Connecticut Association of Schools to construct a fieldhouse for sports. Construction was finished in 2002, and it was named the New Haven Athletic Center, later to become the Floyd Little Athletic Center in 2011. The 115,000-square-foot (10,700 m2) Athletic Center houses events for basketball, indoor track, and tennis. It has a capacity of 3,500 seats.
Among the school's notable alumni are:
- Bob Barthelson, professional baseball pitcher
- David Beckerman, founder and CEO of the Starter Clothing Line
- Albie Booth
- Ernest Borgnine, actor
- Joseph Payne Brennan, New Haven poet, author, WWII/ETO veteran
- John C. Daniels, mayor of New Haven
- Chad Dawson, professional boxer
- Robert Giaimo, U.S. Congressman
- Louis Harris, pollster
- John Huggins, leader in the Black Panthers
- Levi Jackson, first African-American to play football for Yale University
- Richard C. Lee, mayor of New Haven
- Marvin Lender of Lender's Bagels
- Floyd Little
- Paul McCracken, NBA and Maccabi Tel Aviv basketball player
- Constance Baker Motley
- Eugene Pergament, geneticist and 1951 graduate of Hillhouse who has donated $1 million to the school to fund scholarships for graduates
- Maurice Podoloff, first president of the National Basketball Association
- Artie Shaw, jazz clarinetist and big band leader
- Vincent Scully, architectural historian
- William Starkweather, artist
- Dick Tettelbach, former MLB player (New York Yankees, Washington Senators)
- Terrell Wilks, sprinter and All American at University of Florida
- Hillhouse High School website, accessed February 11, 2010
- Pamela McLoughlin, "Hillhouse celebrates 150th anniversary", New Haven Register, November 20, 2008.
- James E. Hillhouse High School Athletic History, Hillhouse Athletic Hall of Fame website, accessed February 11, 2010; archived here.
- The 2010 New Haven Magnet School Catalog (New Haven Public Schools), page 31
- Hillhouse High School Sesquicentennial All-Class Reunion Banquet Saturday, May 16, The Ficklin Media Group, April 30, 2009
- James Hillhouse Comprehensive High School, New Haven Public Schools website, accessed February 11, 2010
- David Borges, "New Haven renames athletic center for hometown hero and NFL star Floyd Little", New Haven Register, September 15, 2011.
- , "New Haven Athletic Center".
- Sam Rubin, Baseball in New Haven, page 59
- Franz Lidz, This Coach Knows Clothes; David Beckerman, CEO of Starter, scores in sports apparel and high school hoops, SI Vault, March 10, 1997
- Alex Pierpaoli , Interview: Bad Chad Dawson goes back to school, Doghouse Boxing website, March 28, 2005
- Hillhouse Athletic Hall of Fame: Past Inductees (retrieved February 11, 2010).