Nate Hill, who grew up in Tiffin, is returning to Northwest Ohio as the boys head basketball coach for Bucyrus.
Hill is aiming to turn the Redmen program around after only eight wins in the last two seasons.
Nate Hill, the newly hired boys’ basketball coach at Bucyrus High School, grew up in nearby Tiffin, Ohio but took the long road to get to the Redmen’s gym.
After graduating from Heidelberg College in 1999, where his father was the men’s basketball coach, Hill eventually took a teaching position in Winchester, Virginia with the Millbrook School District.
“I was in Bucyrus at Colonel Crawford for four years,” said Hill. “I got married and had the chance to open up a new school in Virginia. We moved down there and it was great. Brand new facilities, bigger school. We had a great time but now I want to relocate the family back to northwest Ohio, where I’m from. It’s a great fit for me and the family and with the community.”
With his journey back to Ohio complete, Hill is looking forward to getting to work as soon as possible.
“My wife is pregnant right now,” Hill said. “We have a 16-month old boy and another on the way, so there’s a lot to do. It’s a real nice feeling to be heading back to Bucyrus. Growing up a half an hour away, I’m really familiar with the area. That was one of the big keys drawing me back in.”
Bucyrus is coming off a 4-17 season in which they lost their last 14 consecutive games. In fact, the Redmen have just eight wins against 35 losses over the last two seasons. Hill thinks that some hard work can change all of that along with some talent in the Bucyrus pipeline.
“We’ve got our work cut out for us and that’s probably a little bit of an understatement,” Hill explained. “I want to try to focus on the elementary league. We need to get as many people involved as well can. We’ll concentrate on the fundamentals. Last year, the junior varsity team was pretty good. I think they had 14 or 15 wins and the freshman team had a solid record. I think they were .500 or maybe one game above.”
Unfortunately, the coach cannot start working for Bucyrus until his contract in Virginia runs out on June 18.
Hill said: “We have from June 18th until the 28th and we’re going to be heavily involved for those days. Another thing that is putting us behind the 8-ball is that they are redoing the gym in Bucyrus; so we won’t have a gym. We’re sort of scrambling right now, but once we get through the kinks, I know we’ve got a lot of talent right now.”
Adding a little substance to the standard clichés coaches use, Hill talked about his style of basketball and the approach he takes to the game.
“Well, I like to play up-tempo,” said Hill. “The standard is that defense and rebounding wins championships. Our goal is that we’ll be one of the best defensive teams and one of the best rebounding teams. But also, you have to be able to adapt the offense to your kids. I’m going to come in and hopefully be up-tempo. I don’t like walking the ball up the floor but our offensive scheme will have to adapt to our players’ talents.”
Right now, it’s difficult for Hill to know if he will be able to push the tempo this season because he hasn’t seen his players yet. Now that he is officially hired, he is starting to watch the film.
“I haven’t really seen our players at all yet,” Hill said. “I’ve got the video tapes from the last couple of years. I’ve got varsity and junior varsity tapes and some freshman as well.”
With a father that coach at the college level for over 25 years, there could be a question about whether or not the younger Hill would want to move up to the next level.
“I don’t know that I want to go to the college level,” said Hill. “Seeing him and all the time he had to spend recruiting and all the hardships that go along with recruiting, I don’t know if that’s for me. When I was in high school I thought it might be a cool thing but looking back, I don’t think that’s for me. Unless something was presented to me later on in my career, I don’t think that would be for me.”
Just most coaches with a new opportunity or position Hill is excited to get started.
“I just want to thank everyone for how great they were during the interview process and for giving me the chance to help my career,” Hill said. “I’m looking forward to it.”