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Thursday, August 18, 2022

Golf

Hill’s impact on squad leads to national recognition


Junior golfer Curtis Reed has placed in the top five two times and has 11 rounds at or below par this season.  |  Esteban Portillo/The Daily Cougar

Junior golfer Curtis Reed has placed in the top five two times and has 11 rounds at or below par this season. | Esteban Portillo/The Daily Cougar

For junior golfer Curtis Reed, associate head coach Chris Hill has been much more than a coach, and he’s been able to motivate Reed in a unique way.

“He’s like a dad to me,” Reed said. “I wouldn’t have come here if I didn’t think he and (head coach Jonathan) Dismuke were the best coaches out there. I’m really glad I’ve gotten the chance to meet him.”

Hill has gotten national recognition for his work with students at UH. He is one of eight nominees for the Jan Strickland Award after being a part of the UH golf program for 3 years.

The Jan Strickland award is given to an assistant coach who excels in their profession on and off the field. Reed said that Hill’s triumphs make him the perfect candidate for the award.

“It’s huge,” Reed said. “It’s a great honor for his position and everyone should know that.”

With the help of Dismuke, Hill has taken the UH golf program by storm. Since Hill arrived, the team has gone from triple digit national rankings to 25th. Dismuke said the Cougars have had constant development of the program since Hill arrived.

“He works extremely hard, does a tremendous job recruiting and has built strong relationships with each of our players. We are fortunate to have someone like him work with our program,” Dismuke said in a press release.

Hill’s connection with his players on and off the field has helped strengthen the program overall. His relatability to the team drives them to do better individually and as a whole.

“I’m a players’ coach,” Hill said. “I try not to make things too big or too small. I help them with day-to-day issues on and off the the golf course like balancing classes, homesickness, and with travelling.”

Hill said that the support he’s gotten from the University and the athletic department is one of the main reasons he’s here.

“I try to be more efficient than other coaches,” Hill said. “The school has provided a world class course with the Redstone Golf Club. (UH Athletics Director) Mack Rhoades and (Golf Athletics Director) Katina Jackson have been supportive since day one. They’ve put golf at the top and that’s not something that you see. It’s the reason I’m here.”

As the golf program continues to move forward Hill’s dedication to the golf program and its players is helping drive the team towards success.

“We’re having the best season that the program’s had in over ten years,” Hill said. “We plan to win national championships. I live and breathe golf. I want people to know how passionate I am about UH. I think we can win here.”

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