Bob Hill

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Bob Hill

Robert W. Hill[1] (born November 24, 1948)[1] is an American basketball coach. Hill grew up in Mount Sterling, Ohio moving to Worthington, Ohio for high school. Upon graduating from high School, Hill entered Bowling Green State University. During the summer of 2011, he was invited by Nike to help Taiwan men's basketball team as a consultant. Most recently, Hill was the assistant coach of the Ukrainian national team at the 2014 FIBA World Cup and the 2015 Euroleague,[2] as well as an assistant coach for the Phoenix Suns under the tenure of a former player of his, Earl Watson, back when he was considered an interim head coach.



Bob Hill played basketball and baseball collegiately at Bowling Green State University and was also a member of the Sigma Chi Fraternity. He attended the school during a time when college players were not eligible to join the varsity squad until their sophomore seasons; although statistics indicated he showed tremendous promise as a member of the freshman team, his success never really translated over to his tenure as a member of the varsity team.[1] He then became interested in coaching.

Early coaching career[edit]

Hill was an assistant coach for the Kansas Jayhawks from 1979-85.

As NBA coach[edit]

As an assistant[edit]

Hill coached the New York Knicks in 1986–87, and went on to be an assistant for the Pacers under Dick Versace.

Indiana Pacers[edit]

On December 20, 1990, Hill was promoted to head coach of the Pacers after Versace's firing.[3] He spent three seasons as the Indiana Pacers' head coach (1990–93). He led the Pacers to the NBA playoffs.

San Antonio Spurs[edit]

After being fired by the Pacers and being an assistant coach for the Orlando Magic for a season, Hill piloted the San Antonio Spurs to an NBA-best 62 wins in 1994–95 before losing to the Houston Rockets in the Western Conference finals. After a 3-15 start to the 1996–97 season, Hill was fired by one of his bosses, Gregg Popovich, who thereafter replaced Hill as the Spurs coach. Hill's firing at the time was puzzling to some and deeply angered Hill, considering his previous success and the fact that the poor start to the season was due in large part to injuries to David Robinson and Sean Elliott, the team's two best players.[4][5]

At Fordham University[edit]

Between 1999 and 2003, Hill was head coach at Fordham University where he compiled a 36–78 record (31.6% winning %). He was let go by the Rams following the 2002–03 season after only 1 win in the Atlantic 10. The Rams finished 2–26 in 2003, the worst record in school history. Fordham paid Hill $650,000 to leave the university in a buyout agreement four years into his 10-year deal.[6]

He took responsibility for his rocky four-year tenure there. "Fordham was my fault; I just shouldn't have done it," Hill told the New York Daily News. "I don't want to get into why," he added. "Just blame it on me."[7]

"I guess the best way to put it (is), I've had a really privileged career," Hill said. "I've been around a lot of great organizations; I've had a lot of great players. I've always had success to some degree, so I feel like I understand what it takes to do that and it just didn't work."

Asked to recount some of the missteps he made during his tenure at Fordham, Hill said that he made a mistake before the 2002–03 season in trying to bring in playground players such as Adrian Walton and Smush Parker. "We tried to bring the Rucker League to Fordham and it didn't work out," Hill said.

But Hill said he didn't have any regrets about his time in the Bronx. "It's a good school, good people, the whole thing, but I made a mistake," Hill said. "I don't really regret it," he added. "I've learned so much about what those young guys go through to try to be successful. It's hard for them." (Ian Begley)

Return to NBA[edit]

Seattle SuperSonics[edit]

On January 3, 2006 he replaced Bob Weiss as head coach of the NBA team the Seattle SuperSonics, after a lackluster 13–17 start to the 2005–06 season; he had most recently served as assistant coach for the team. He was fired over the phone as Sonics head coach on April 24, 2007 after their penultimate season under that name.

He holds a career win-loss NBA coaching record of 310–293.

Phoenix Suns[edit]

On February 1, 2016, it was announced that Hill would be the Phoenix Suns' newest assistant head coach for the rest of the 2015–16 season after it was announced that the Suns would fire Jeff Hornacek as their head coach and replace him for the season with his former player under the Seattle SuperSonics, Earl Watson. After his contract for 2016 expired, it was announced that the contracts for both Hill and Corey Gaines would not be renewed with the team.

Personal life[edit]

Hill has three sons with his wife Pam. The oldest, Cameron, is currently the Head Basketball Coach at Trinity University in San Antonio and is the owner of CHB, specializing in player development and team training. His second son, Chris, is the Head Basketball Coach at Jesuit College Preparatory School of Dallas, and his youngest son, Casey, is the head coach for the 2015 NBA D-League champions Santa Cruz Warriors.

Head coaching record[edit]

Regular season G Games coached W Games won L Games lost W–L % Win–loss %
Post season PG Playoff games PW Playoff wins PL Playoff losses PW–L % Playoff win–loss %
Team Year G W L W–L% Finish PG PW PL PW–L% Result
New York 1986–87 66 20 46 .303 4th in Atlantic Missed Playoffs
Indiana 1990–91 57 32 25 .561 5th in Central 5 2 3 .400 Lost in First Round
Indiana 1991–92 82 40 42 .488 4th in Central 3 0 3 .000 Lost in First Round
Indiana 1992–93 82 41 41 .500 5th in Central 4 1 3 .250 Lost in First Round
San Antonio 1994–95 82 62 20 .756 1st in Midwest 15 9 6 .600 Lost in Conf. Finals
San Antonio 1995–96 82 59 23 .720 1st in Midwest 10 5 5 .500 Lost in Conf. Semifinals
San Antonio 1996–97 18 3 15 .167 (fired)
Seattle 2005–06 52 22 30 .423 3rd in Northwest Missed Playoffs
Seattle 2006–07 82 31 51 .378 5th in Northwest Missed Playoffs
Career 603 310 293 .514 37 17 20 .459



  1. ^ a b c The Sporting News: 1992-93 Official NBA Register. St. Louis, Missouri: The Sporting News Publishing Co. 1992.
  2. ^ Odeven, Ed (18 September 2014). "Ex-Apache coach Hill supports FIBA mandate for JBA". Retrieved 5 June 2017 – via Japan Times Online. 
  3. ^ "Disappointing Pacers Fire Versace, Select Bob Hill as Their New Coach". Los Angeles Times. December 20, 1990. 
  4. ^ Allen, Percy (2006-02-21). "Sonics' Hill remains baffled by Popovich's treatment - Seattle Times". Archived from the original on 2011-06-04. Retrieved 2010-02-25. 
  5. ^ "SuperSonics fire coach Bob Hill". Retrieved 5 June 2017. 
  6. ^ Finley, Bill (April 23, 2003). "BASKETBALL; Fordham Expected To Fire Hill". The New York Times. 
  7. ^ New York Daily News, March 13, 2007.

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