VERONA, NJ - Former head baseball coach at Montclair State University and Rutgers University and longtime Verona resident Fred Hill Sr. passed away on Saturday. Hill was 84 years old.
With 1,089 collegiate wins, including 941 in 30 years leading the Scarlet Knights, Hill was a member of the American Baseball Coaches Association Hall of Fame and the Rutgers Athletics Hall of Fame. He also tallied 147 wins for Montclair State University where he served as the school's head football coach, making him one of the 40 winningest coaches in college baseball history.
He was a three-time ABCA East Region Coach of the Year, three-time Atlantic Coast Conference Coach of the Year, and one-time Big East Conference Coach of the Year. In addition he was named NCAA Division III Coach of the Year in 1983, his final year at Montclair State, when he led the team to the College World Series.
“Fred Hill was more than a hall of fame coach, he was a hall of fame person,” said Rutgers’ Director of Athletics Pat Hobbs in a statement. “His impact is far greater than 1,089 career baseball victories. It’s beyond measure and lives within the countless individuals he coached, mentored and inspired. The entire Rutgers community will miss him dearly. Our sincere condolences to his wife Evelyn and the Hill family.”
Hill began his coaching career as the freshman baseball coach at the first former Upsala College. He followed that up at the former Clifford Scott High School in East Orange where he served as an assistant for five years and head coach for six. Hill became the head baseball and football coach at Montclair State in 1977 and moved to Rutgers in 1984, compiling a 941-658-7 record, the most wins in Rutgers history across any sport. He earned 11 NCAA Regional appearances, 12 regular season conference championships, and eight conference tournament titles during his tenure at Rutgers, sending 73 players to professional baseball, with 12 making the Major League, and developed 20 All-Americans.
Hill, who was born July 15, 1934, was a collegiate star in his own right, attending Upsala and earning letters in baseball, football and baseball. During his collegiate career he was named a Small College All-American in his final football season. In addition, Hill played minor league baseball in the Washington Senators’ organization.
Hill is survived by his wife of 62 years, Evelyn, and his six children Nancy, Fred, Linda, Jim, Tracey, and Karen, as well as many grandchildren, nieces and nephews.
His wake will be held at Our Lady of the Lake Church, Lakeside Avenue, Verona on Tuesday, March 5 from 3 to 7 p.m. Parking will be in the Lakeside Avenue church lot.
A funeral mass will be offered in Our Lady of the Lake Church, Verona on Wednesday, March 6 at 1 p.m.