Brownsburg High School Athletics Director Greg Hill announced his retirement via email Thursday.
Hill, a 1970 graduate of BHS himself, had held the position since August 1999. He said he had thoroughly enjoyed his 12 years in the position.
“I had a great run, enjoyed every minute of it, and I’m going to miss it,” Hill said.
A trip with his wife as she filled out retirement paperwork last Monday helped Hill determine that maybe it was his time to hang it up too. He said he had been thinking about retirement over the last couple of months with the principal and superintendant and came up with a conclusion.
“I don’t know how much longer, I feel like I could go longer,” Hill said. “But maybe it’s better to go when you feel like you could go an even longer period of time, than it is to stay too long.”
Leaving on his own terms is the way Hill likes it, as he prepares to welcome the next athletics director.
“We’ll get somebody in here with some fresh ideas and some new enthusiasm,” Hill said. “Whoever they get, they won’t love the Bulldogs any more than I do.”
Brownsburg has won four IHSAA state championships during its school history with half of the titles coming during Hill’s tenure.
The final moments of the 2008 boys’ basketball state championship game when Gordon Hayward hit a layup at the buzzer for the dramatic 40-39 victory over Marion sticks out for Hill.
“I thought we had it won,” he said. “I thought we lost it and then we won it all in a brief period of time. That will never be forgotten.”
The 35-0 record and state championship of the 2005 baseball team is another highlight for Hill. And it was a comment made by a fan in the parking lot after the Bulldogs beat Evansville North 6-4 at Loeb Stadium in Lafayette that really stuck with Hill.
“Some fan came up to me, not a Brownsburg fan, just someone just there to watch baseball and he said, ‘You guys were lucky to win that one.’ Because we had made a couple errors in the seventh inning to tighten it up a little bit,” Hill said. “I turned around and looked at him and said, ‘When you’re 35-0, it isn’t luck. You’re pretty good.’”
The talent crop during Hill’s tenure at Brownsburg has been exceptional with eventual athletes in the MLB, NBA, and MLS all in school at the same time.
“It’s kind of hard to believe that at one point in the school building we had Lance Lynn, Drew Storen, Hayward, and Chris Estridge,” Hill said.
A conversation with parents had to change over the years with the success of the student athletes.
“I usually started the conversation with ‘Your kids need to enjoy this high school experience, they are not going to make a living at this’ and I have had to modify my parent speech a little bit so that they understand that it is possible,” Hill said. “It is still more likely that they are just going to be a high school player. But there is still a chance that they can play at the college level.”
With close to 200 former Bulldogs continuing their athletic careers in college, Hill has enjoyed seeing that progression.
“That’s different than when I first came and it’s certainly different than it was for Brownsburg 15 or 20 years ago or back in the dark ages when I graduated from Brownsburg back in 1970,” Hill said.
The high school athletes who go to college without playing sports and become doctors, dentists, ministers, business executives, and so forth are an important part of the process for Hill.
“I get as much enjoyment when we have a kid graduate from college who was a high school athlete that goes on to be a professional in another industry,” he said. “Those kids will tell you that things they learned playing high school sports helped give them the drive and confidence to succeed in other areas.”
As Hill heads into retirement, he said he would still be around at the games and just had one wish.
“They better let me in the games for free,” he joked.