Montclair State’s athletics department is bestowing a rare honor on Rutgers head baseball coach Fred Hill: It will retire his jersey, No. 24, in a special ceremony on February 13.
Hill is a long-time resident of Verona and the inspiration for the Fred Hill Sports Academy on Fairview Avenue. (He is also the father of embattled Rutgers basketball coach Fred Hill.) The senior Hill was Montclair State’s head coach from 1977 to 1983 and this spring will begin his 27th season with Rutgers’ Scarlet Knights. During his time at Montclair State, Hill totaled up a 148-92-1 and guided his team to the NCAA Division III World Series in 1983. At Rutgers, his record is 832-532-7, and his teams have won 12 regular-season or conference championships and 11 NCAA Tournament appearances.
The jersey retirement is only the third in Montclair State’s history, coming after that of Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame member Carol Blazejowski (12) and College Football Hall of Fame inductee Sam Mills (62). The ceremony will be held at the Mayfair Farms in West Orange, N.J. beginning at 5:30 p.m. Tickets for the event are $45.00. For more information, call Montclair State’s Diamond Club at (973) 668-2560 or e-mail at [email protected].
“There’s no one more deserving of this honor than Coach Hill,” said current MSU head baseball coach Norm Schoenig. “For all that he has done, not only at Montclair State but the influence he has had on the many players and coaches in collegiate baseball throughout his career.”
“I am deeply honored and want to thank Montclair State,” said Hill. “Coach Schoenig and the Montclair State family have always held a special place in my heart. To be recognized with such an illustrious group is something I will truly cherish. I am “