Lew Hill - Coach of the Year
RIO GRANDE VALLEY – The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley (UTRGV) men’s basketball team learned on Tuesday that Coach Lew Hill, who passed away tragically on Feb. 7 at the age of 55, is the unanimous choice for Don Haskins Western Athletic Conference (WAC) Coach of the Year. Additionally, senior Javon Levi is a member of the All-Defensive Team while sophomore Quinton Johnson II earned All-WAC Honorable Mention.
Before his passing, Hill coached the Vaqueros to an 8-4 record, including a 2-0 mark in WAC play. The Vaqueros won their WAC opener over Dixie State by 33 points, the largest margin of victory in a conference game in program history. After sweeping Dixie State to improve to 8-3, Coach Hill had his team off to their best start since 2001-02.
This is Hill’s third honor of the week, as he has also been named a finalist for CollegeInsider.com’s Ben Jobe Award, presented annually to the top minority coach in NCAA Division I men's basketball, and the Skip Prosser Man of the Year Award, giving annually to those who not only achieve success on the basketball court but who display moral integrity off the floor as well.
“It’s special,” interim head coach Jai Steadman said. “All the things he did for this university… how much he cared about the WAC… he wanted to represent both well on and off the court. He brought this program to being ranked nationally in defense. I’m so proud of what he did, and we will continue to do what he did and try to win this WAC Championship. I’m so happy to see him honored this way.”
Sixth-seeded UTRGV opens the Hercules Tires WAC Basketball Tournament on Thursday at 10 p.m. with a quarterfinal matchup against third-seeded New Mexico State on ESPN+.
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