Nov. 11, 2011
By Nayriah Bosley -
In 2011, the women’s basketball program welcomed a talented and very experienced assistant coach E.C. Hill. Hill landed at Arizona after serving as head coach at Robert Morris College during the 2004-05 season and spending six years as an Assistant coach at Northern Illinois.
After Hill had met Arizona head coach Niya Butts on a couple of occasions, she realized that she had to jump on the opportunity to join the Wildcat staff.
“I had the opportunity to meet with Coach Butts a couple of times and I saw the way that she carries herself, and from afar I followed her program, so when the opportunity came up I jumped at it.” Hill said, “Your team and your program are a reflection of you and she has been doing a great job. Her work shows what type of person she is and that is why I wanted to be a part of the
Hill’s talent and experience as a retired WNBA athlete will help her players in multiple ways. As a former player for the Orlando Miracle, Hill believes that her past playing experience helps her players deal with mental aspects of the game. Her past coaching experience has shown her that mentally playing the game is something collegiate players struggle with, so she has a made it a point of emphasis at Arizona.
Hill thinks that players act and rely on their physical ability too much and she wants to help them understand the mental part of the game. She says that everyone at the collegiate level can run, jump and shoot, but in order to make it to the next level, players have to be able to out-think their opponents in order to reach their full player potential. They have to prepare for the game outside of the physical abilities.
“I don’t talk to the team about playing at the next level, because I want them to concentrate on the game at a collegiate level,” Hill said. “I don’t try and change their game, I just try and give them little pointers, because right now at this level, the kids don’t think about the game much.”
So far, Hill has thoroughly enjoyed her time at
“I guess people say that I mesh well with the staff,” Hill says, “Everyone here has accepted me with open arms and the players have been really receptive. My coworkers Brandy Manning, Sue Darling and Lisa Salgado have all helped me transition.”
Hill says she has not reached her ultimate goals yet. She is honing her skills and soaking in as much knowledge as she can, hoping that she can continue to work towards her dream.
“I have yet to achieve my ultimate goal,” Hill said. “My ultimate goal is to become a head coach again. But this time at a Division I level. I don’t have a time frame on it. I just want to continue to learn and study my craft as an assistant coach and when that time comes, I’ll know I’m ready.”
UA sophomore point guard Candice Warthen has already formed a great relationship with Hill in their short time together. Since they have both played the guard position, it makes their connection even more significant.
“Personally, I think Coach Hill is one of the best coaches that I have ever had,” Warthen said. “I play point guard and she also played point guard so she gives me helpful tips all of the time. She’s always on me about every single thing I do. She has made me as whole a lot better already.”
Hill will continue to make a big impact on the players’ lives. She will continue to capitalize on her opportunity here and pass on her extensive knowledge to the players, while also doing some learning herself.