PAT HILL’S BIO
BACKGROUND: Pat Hill enters his first season as the Falcons offensive line coach. Hill comes to the Falcons after spending 15 seasons (1997-2011) the head coach at Fresno State University where he led the Bulldogs to a 112-80 overall record and went to 11 bowl games. Hill led Fresno State to 15 wins over BCS teams during the last decade, which is the highest win total of any non-BCS team in the nation.
PRO EXPERIENCE: Hill spent five seasons as an offensive line/tight ends coach in the NFL. Hill joined the Cleveland Browns in 1992 and spent four seasons (1992-95) in the organization, coaching tight ends and offensive line in addition to working in the personnel department evaluating players.
HIGHLIGHTS: The Bulldogs had 14 players drafted by NFL teams. … Fresno State’s 1985 team was the only unbeaten Division I-A squad in the country, finishing the season 16th in the polls.
COLLEGE: A 1973 graduate of UC Riverside, Hill was a three-time all-conference center, earning All-America honors as a senior. He was inducted into the UC Riverside Hall of Fame in 1989.
FAMILY: Hill and his wife, Cathy, have three children. Their eldest, Michael, is a recent graduate of Fresno State. Zak is a junior safety on the Bulldog squad and Matt, who played at Cal Poly until a career-ending injury, is a college student in Southern California.
QUOTABLE: “I love to coach,” Hill said. “I don’t have a lot of hobbies.”
Here’s are some of the in highlights from the interview with Hill.
ON HIS ASSESSMENT OF THE OFFENSIVE LINE: Offensively, they moved the ball (well) with a lot of regularity. They ran a very sophisticated scheme. From a mental standpoint, I thought it was a heck of a group. Right now, my main focus is working on fundamentals.
ON THE TEAM’S SHORT YARDAGE PROBLEMS LAST SEASON: I don’t really know too much about that. One thing that I’ve learned from 15 years as a head coach, I don’t read the paper too much. I didn’t spend a lot of time on the short yardage tape. I’ve been spending a lot of time on the protections and the other things, so I really can address that. (ASIDE: I suspect Coach Pat does read the paper and has viewed the short yardage tape a time or two.)
ON HIS APPROACH: I didn’t come here to split the atom. I came here to work on fundamentals. At this level you really have a chance to tweak a person’s game. It’s like being a swing coach for a golfer.
MORE ON HIS APPPROACH TO COACHING: Here you are dealing with seven guys. In college, you might be dealing with 15 or 18 and it’s really a cookie cutter deal. Here, you’re trying to develop technique to help each one of your players get better. That’s what the great challenge is about in pro football. Like when I was in Cleveland and Baltimore, you have the same guys over and over, every day. So you have a lot of time to tweak their technique. In college you are just trying to get ready for the next game. You are trying to get 15 or 16 guys to develop. Here you have a chance to really work on the fundamentals.
ON THE PLAYERS: You are a teacher. That’s what this profession is all about, teaching. There is a lot less to deal with outside of football at this level. It’s really enjoyable. You’re just coaching football; just working one-on-one with a lot of individuals.
–D. Orlando Ledbetter, The Atlanta Falcons beat blog