Hill Returns Home to Coach SCC Volleyball Team
When Sandhills Community College Athletics Director Aaron Denton was looking for a new head volleyball coach, he found the perfect candidate in the local paper.
It wasn't in the want ads, but rather the sports pages, where he found the program's next coach.
"I first became aware of her (Alicia Hill) when somebody showed me the article in The Pilot."
The article to which Denton referred was a feature story on Hill and her longtime friend and fellow coach Corey Marks Deese, published this past December. Both are graduates of Moore County high schools.
Denton contacted Hill and has now hired the former Division II volleyball player to be the next head volleyball coach at the school, which is in its second year of competition since the school discontinued its athletics programs in the 1980s.
"She has experience as a player and a coach," Denton said. "She has ties to this area, and she has been well-respected every place she has been. We think she is an excellent fit for the program."
Hill graduated from North Moore High School in 2003. She attended UNC-Pembroke where she was a player four years and an assistant coach this past year.
She replaces Tabitha Crider as the SCC coach. The Flyers are in the second year playing volleyball.
Hill is the daughter of Ricky and Tammy Hill of Bennett. Her brother Chad is the varsity baseball coach at Union Pines. In her senior volleyball season at UNC-P in 2006, she was second on the team in kills and digs, and led the Braves in service aces. She received her master's degree in education from the school in December.
The Flyers are scheduled to start their season at 7 p.m. Aug. 28 with a home match against Guilford Techical College. The team can begin practice on Aug. 1, which doesn't give Hill a whole lot of time to get prepared.
"I think they (some of the returning players) are a little skeptical about hiring a coach so late," Hill said. "But my main goal is for them to see this as not a rebuilding year, but as an opportunity to grow and improve their skills as volleyball players."
Prior to her hiring, the program was led on an interim basis by T.J. Brower. Both Denton and Hill credited Brower for his hard work and dedication to the program.
Hill said she is more concerned with practicing hard, working hard and doing things the right way, more so than counting wins and losses in her first year.
"We have to learn to play as a team," Hill said.
"I think the biggest problem they had last year was getting down on themselves when things went bad. It is important that they stay positive. We have to stay together, you can't win by yourself in volleyball, you have to do it as a team."
Hill was a standout athlete at North Moore. Her grand slam home run in the 2003 state softball finals in Raleigh was a shot heard all the way back in Moore County.
It helped put North Moore within a game of winning a state title that was not to be. This past year she taught at Prospect Elementary School and coached girls' volleyball and basketball.
But volleyball has always been her first love.
"It killed me every day not to be playing," Hill said. "I missed the game so much. I am just so excited for the opportunity."
Contact Tom Embrey at 693-2477 or by e-mail at email@example.com.
More like this story