Jim Hill to receive state coaching honor

Spearfish varsity Boys’ Soccer head coach Jim Hill instructs a player during a game. Hill received the South Dakota Boys’ Soccer Coach of the Year honor from the South Dakota High School Coaches Association.

SPEARFISH — Spearfish’s Jim Hill will officially receive the South Dakota Boys’ Soccer Coach of the Year honor from the South Dakota High School Coaches Association this summer.

“It’s very gratifying, because then I know I’m doing some of the right things to teach and coach the boys,” Hill said in describing the award’s personal significance. This is the second time he has received this honor; the first occurred in 2016.

Hill is quick to say this award is certainly not a solo effort.

“I wouldn’t be getting this honor if it wasn’t for the players, number 1,” Hill said. “Number 2, if it wasn’t for the backing of the parents of those players.”

Hill said all past and current players, along with past and current parents, have bought into the culture he is trying to present. He described the culture’s biggest component is the players’ willingness to work hard and really put themselves on the line.

“Sometimes you may play the best you’ve played, and you still fail,” Hill said. “You have to deal with that and move on: just like in life.”

Spearfish forged a record of 13 wins, one loss, and two ties during the 2020 season.

The Spartans fell 3-2 to Sioux Falls O’Gorman in a quarterfinal game.

Hill recalled the campaign as only the second undefeated regular season one of his teams has had. He said while there was disappointment the team did not advance further, the team ending the Spartans’ season went on to win the state AA title.

“I want people to know how successful the program has been, as players and parents, back when I first started and what it is still today,” said Hill, who has coached 18 years.

“It takes everybody to make this work, not just a coach or a coaching staff,” Hill said. “It takes the players, the parents, the community support.”

Spearfish’s regular-season record during that 18-year stretch features 205 wins, 43 losses, and 22 ties.

The Spartans have qualified for the state tournament 16 times, including two state titles. This log includes three runner-up finishes, four third-place showings, two fourth-place finishes, three fifth-place showings, and two eighth-place finishes.

Hill and the other recipients will be recognized at the annual awards banquet this summer in Rapid City. This will be held with the South Dakota Coaches’ Clinic.

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