‘Prodigal Son’ Returns As Head Coach

By BASN Wire Services
Updated: April 11, 2008

RALEIGH, N.C. — Cleo Hill, Jr. was announced as the new coach of Men’s Basketball during a press conference Thursday on the campus of Shaw University.

Dr. Clarence G. Newsome, President of Shaw University made the announcement before a standing room only audience of eager supporters including Board of Trustee members, Administration, faculty, staff, alumni and students.

Before resuming his seating position, Dr. Newsome proudly proclaimed Hill as the “prodigal son” and he further explained his esteemed pleasure in welcoming Coach Hill and his wife Regina Hill back to Shaw University.

Hill was given a warm and thunderous welcome.

In the conference, Hill touched on his roots with Shaw as he served as an assistant men’s basketball coach from 2000-02. Hill stated, “It’s great to be back!”

He discussed his beliefs of Shaw having a “standard of success;” which is a bar highly set that resonates throughout the athletic programs at Shaw. In addition, he elaborated on the consistency of the rich tradition and leadership that stems from the University’s Administration and is exceedingly exemplified through its students.

In the question and answer portion, Hill spoke about the importance for athletes to be equally successful in the classroom and on the court. Also, he made it known that he has plans to continue to respect his father, CIAA Hall of Famer Cleo Hill, as a consultant in coaching and intends to make winning the National Championship an annual goal.

//<![CDATA[ //]]> Hill was the former head men’s basketball coach at Cheyney University since 2003. This past season, he led his team to receive a bid to the NCAA Division II Tournament; a feat he also accomplished in his inaugural season.

Hill’s success awarded him the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference’s (PSAC) Men’s Basketball Coach of the Year in the Eastern Division after the Wolves projected a 10-2 season record.

In the previous year, he piloted Cheyney to the PSAC Championship; the first time in the school’s history in more than 20 years.

While at Shaw during 2001-02, he was instrumental in the Bears capturing their first CIAA Conference Championship, a bid to the NCAA Division II Elite Eight, and advancement to the Final Four.

Shaw was crowned as the NCAA Division II South Atlantic Regional Champions and Eastern Division CIAA Champions; finishing with an overall record of 28 – 5.

In addition, Hill has had positive impacts as an assistant to the basketball programs at the University of Nebraska and Mt. Zion Christian Academy in Durham, North Carolina.