Interview with Gary Hill
by Morgan Bollinger
LAFM: How many years have you been coaching? Where?
I have been coaching for 8 years, only at Terrebonne.
LAFM: Where did you go to college? Did you play football?
I went to college at Nicholls State, majoring in Kinesiology. I played golf there.
LAFM: How did you get into coaching?
I played sports through high school. I had an uncle in coaching. I realized it is what I really wanted to do so I changed my major to kinesiology and education.
LAFM: Do you think the brand of Louisiana football is different than anywhere else in the country?
I wouldn’t say it’s different as far as the high school and how the kids play. I think that Louisiana produces more than the average amount of athletes.
LAFM: What advice do you give to students in regards to the recruiting process?
Number one is to enjoy it. Don’t make it something that stresses you out or changes you as a person. It is supposed to be the one time in your life that people are showing that they want you. You have to pick where you belong. Decide what you want to major in, does the school offer your major? Make a decision you are happy with. Don’t let anyone who doesn’t have a lot of say in your life make that decision for you. You make the decision.
LAFM: On either a professional or college level, who is your favorite coach?
I’ve been partial to Bill Parcells. That was one of the guys I admired as a coach when I started. Also, Dean Smith and Bobby Knight’s coaching, the type of program that they ran, and their philosophies. Dean Smith’s form and discipline was calmer than Bobby Knight. Bobby was more extrinsic, but he got a lot more out of his players.
LAFM: What makes Terrebonne a great school and a great football program?
Just because of the culture we have in Houma, and the diversity of students we have in the area. We have a great variety of students and athletes. Our kids become dedicated. We are the only 10-12 school left in the state. We get those kids and they have to learn the proper way we want to do things fast. Our fans are supportive of us as long as our kids are giving their best effort.
LAFM: What are you looking forward to about this upcoming season?
We are going to be a young team. It’s going to be one of those years we have to bond and teach our kids to believe in themselves. They have to do a lot of things they probably aren’t sure they are capable or doing. It will be a lot of growing this year. I think that process will be something I will enjoy seeing.
LAFM: What is a key characteristic in some of your great players?
Our better players have been hard-nosed kids. Not necessarily the biggest or fastest athletes. They have the desire not to be the guy that lets the team down. A great example is Colby Steward. He is 5’11” 195 playing quarterback and he played hard. Devante Clark is 5’9” 165 with 106 tackles playing middle linebacker. We don’t see that too often of a kid that size. They come out here and they don’t want to let anyone down. That’s what makes them some of our best players.
LAFM: What game are you most excited about?
That’s tough. I think I’m excited about all of them. It’s that process that we are going to have to improve every week. If we don’t grow each week the next week is going to be tough for us. Each game is as important as the next.
LAFM: What do you think the Terrebonne football program needs to have a successful season?
We need our kids to stick together. We are going to have some hard moments, so we need to bond together. That is going to be key for us to be successful not only this year, but in the years to come. The older kids show the younger kids what it takes. That is what you need to be successful also in life down the line.