OXFORD, Ohio – After serving a year on the staff of Miami Hockey as a volunteer coach, Tommy Hill has been tabbed the RedHawks’ director of hockey operations, head coach Enrico Blasi announced Thursday, Aug. 1. Hill begins his duties immediately.
As the director of hockey operations for Miami, Hill will coordinate travel arrangements, set up meals and organize ice time, among other duties. He will also handle much of Miami's video, organizing it, exchanging with teams and cutting clips for scouting reports. Hill will serve as the liaison to the Blue Line Club and other departments, as well.
“We are very excited to have Tommy joining our staff full-time,” Blasi said. “Tommy did a tremendous job for us last year as a volunteer coach. He has an outstanding work ethic, a familiarity with the program and fits in very well with our staff. He will be great in his new position.”
Last year as Miami’s volunteer assistant coach, Hill worked with players on the ice, assisting in skill development and contributing to in-game strategy. He also broke down film in his first year at Miami while helping prepare scouting reports – something he’ll continue to do in his new role. Hill coordinated the Junior RedHawks program and other community service outreach, as well, in 2012-13.
Hill came to Miami after completing a four-year hockey career at former CCHA rival Ferris State from 2008-12. As a senior he served as co-captain and led the Bulldogs to their first ever Frozen Four and a berth in the national championship game. He also helped guide FSU to the program's second CCHA regular-season title in 2011-12.
A defenseman his first three years before moving to forward as a senior, Hill played in 61 career games as a Bulldog, including a career-high 24 as a senior. He blocked 30 shots during his Ferris State career while firing 36. He earned his bachelor's degree in finance from FSU in the spring of 2012.
Hill was honored with the NCAA Elite 89 award in April of 2012, which recognizes the true essence of the student-athlete by honoring the individual who has reached the pinnacle of competition at the national championship level in his or her sport, while also achieving the highest academic standard among his or her peers. It is presented to the student-athlete with the highest cumulative grade-point average participating at the finals site for each of the NCAA's 89 championships.
Among Hill's other awards are the FSU Blue Line Competitive Award, which he won as a junior for being the top competitor on the team on a daily basis. The award was voted on by his teammates. He earned the Bulldogs' Most Improved Player Award as a sophomore and was given the FSU Dean's Academic Award three times during his career.
The Portage, Mich., native will continue to work towards his master's degree in sport studies at Miami while serving as director of hockey operations. Hill completed his first year of graduate school last year while serving as the volunteer assistant coach.
Miami opens a new era of RedHawk Hockey in 2013-14, as the program begins its inaugural season in the newly formed National Collegiate Hockey Conference (NCHC), of which Miami is a founding member. Miami opens the season with an exhibition game on Saturday, Oct. 5 against Windsor, before beginning the regular season with a home-and-home series against in-state rival Ohio State. The RedHawks play in Columbus Oct. 11, before welcoming the Buckeyes Oct. 12. Miami then kicks off its new conference with the first ever NCHC game on Friday, Oct. 18 against North Dakota at Steve Cady Arena.
The NCHC is an eight-team hockey-only league consisting of Colorado College, Denver, Minnesota Duluth, Nebraska Omaha, North Dakota, St. Cloud State and Western Michigan, along with Miami. The conference boasts a combined 17 NCAA Championships, 50 Frozen Four berths, 12 Hobey Baker Award winners, including SCSU’s Drew LeBlanc this past year, and 266 All-Americans. The teams have also produced 295 players that went on to play in the NHL. The new league will reward fans every weekend with fast, exciting, action-packed hockey that pits several of the top teams in the country against each other. The NCHC also has agreed to a television deal with CBS Sports Network, assuring at least 18 league games will be broadcast to a national audience this coming season, including the NCHC opener between Miami and North Dakota.