Coach Hill returns to Indiana from West Coast

Veteran teacher brings wide range of experience to campus

Coach Ms. Ashley Hill discusses events with seniors Lizzy Jensen, Bailey Snyder and Hannah Tuttle on Senior Night during the meet against Roncalli.

Gretchen Bowers

Coach Ms. Ashley Hill discusses events with seniors Lizzy Jensen, Bailey Snyder and Hannah Tuttle on Senior Night during the meet against Roncalli.

Max Wirth, Sports Co-Editor

Assistant campus minister and varsity swimming and diving Head Coach Ms. Ashley Hill has been all over the map. She’s touched both coasts and has roots in the Midwest. Her ties to Indiana, however, seems to prevail.

“I just moved here from Northern California, but I’m from all over. I’ve lived in Oklahoma, multiple places in California and Maryland. I spent most of my summers here in Indiana with aunts, uncles and cousins. I had an uncle who lived in South Bend and a lot of my cousins went to Mount Vernon,” she said.

Dedication to athletics

Hill has been around a pool her entire life. “My very first memory is in the water. I was only a year old. I started competitive swim in kindergarten,” she said. The sport shaped her childhood.

Unfortunately, her athletic endeavors burned out before she began high school. “I played volleyball, basketball and soccer in high school. I was burnt out on swimming at that point. Year round commitment with training in the mornings and afternoons ended the fun aspect of it,” she said.

Hill chose to stay within about 75 miles of her hometown Novato, California when she committed to Santa Clara University to play basketball.

“My teaching credentialing was completed there and I took secondary credential classes at UCLA. I have a bachelor’s degree in history,” she said. Oddly enough, she’s taught 13 different courses but none have been history. Simply put, she said, “It just hasn’t crossed my plate yet.”

History of teaching and coaching

Now at Cathedral, she has “started teaching two theology classes this semester. I enjoy teaching English, math and theology. Those are my three main courses, and I would love to teach them here in the future,” she said.

The love for coaching sprouted as early as 16 years old. “My very first coaching job was in 10th grade. As being a part of the varsity basketball team in my town, you were required to coach a recreational team. I had a sixth grade girls team,” she said. Her second year out of college she became a varsity basketball coach.

For the last 14 years, Hill coached an array of sports at Saint Francis High School in Mountain View, California. Saint Francis has the same Holy Cross affiliation as Cathedral.

“I was coaching basketball, water polo and swimming there. The Holy Cross connection is exactly why I chose Cathedral. About two years ago, I decided I’d move here for family reasons. I was at a Holy Cross conference and introduced myself to Principal (Mr. Dave) Worland,” she said.

Inspiration from Duke

Hill compares herself to Duke men’s basketball coach Mike Krzyzewski because of the high standards to which he holds his players  on and off the court.

Additionally, the comparison is solidified through the care he gives his players and the way he teaches them the game. Hill has worked to create of a culture of love and passion for the sport and has done exactly that thus far. The Senior Class of swimmers is a tight-knit group and enjoying their final season together. “The kids here have been fantastic,” she said, “and I really think my biggest goal is to create a tradition, where athletes can look back at the sport they chose to dedicate themselves to with pride and look back on a legacy.”

Hill said, “People always joke about Midwestern hospitality, but it’s very true. With moving from the coast, it means a lot with considering how kind the people are here at Cathedral.”