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Dick Hill, 77; Coached High School Football in Southland for Six Decades

October 07, 2005|Martin Henderson | Times Staff Writer

Dick Hill, who coached high school football for six decades in Southern California, died Monday night from cancer at a rehabilitation center in Fullerton. He was 77.

Hill had a record of 224-112-4 during his career, which began at Downey in 1956. That team played to a 13-13 tie against Anaheim at the Coliseum before 41,383, still a record for the largest crowd in the state for a playoff game.

He coached twice at Santa Ana Valley, from 1959 to 1966 and from 1970 to 1979, leading the Falcons to section Division AAA titles in 1961 and 1974.

Hill won section championships in four decades, the last a Southern Conference title in 1985 while at Santa Ana. He retired from Orange in 1997 as Orange County's winningest coach, with a 212-111-4 record, though he has since been surpassed by three others.

He also coached at Santa Ana College, where he went 15-3-1 and won the Elks Show Bowl in 1958.

Though retired, Hill remained in football as an assistant, joining Garden Grove Santiago's staff in 1998 and Fullerton's in 2000. He was with the Fullerton team during the summer but had been hospitalized since August.

Hill was born April 24, 1928, in Hitchcock, Texas, a tiny town between Galveston and Houston. The family lived on a farm, and his father worked in the railroad business through the Depression years. In the early '40s the family moved to Vallejo, Calif., where Hill's father worked as a pipe-fitter at a naval yard. Hill went to Vallejo High. He played college football at Pepperdine.

Survivors include his wife, Jacqueline, of Anaheim; son, Marc, of Yorba Linda; daughters Cheryl Danforth of Yorba Linda and Elise Ramirez of Moreno Valley; nine grandchildren; and three great grandchildren.

Services are planned for 1 p.m. Tuesday at Evangelical Free Church, 2801 N. Brea Blvd., in Fullerton.

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