OGDEN — After back-to-back winning seasons, Weber State head football coach Jay Hill is sticking around northern Utah for a little longer.
Hill and the Wildcats agreed to a contract extension that will keep the third-year coach in Ogden for the next five seasons, the school announced Thursday. Terms of the deal were not immediately released.
“I’m very excited about the success of our team and the direction we are heading at Weber State,” Hill said in a statement. “The future is bright and my family and I love it here. I’m very appreciative of the Weber State administration for their support of me, our assistant coaches and our program. We can’t wait for the upcoming season.”
After winning just two games in his inaugural season in 2014, the 41-year-old first-time head coach turned the program around by going 13-10 since, including the program’s first FCS playoff appearance since 2009 this past season.
A native of Lehi, Hill was a junior college All-American cornerback at Rick’s College before playing two seasons under Utah coach Ron McBride in 1998-99. He led the Mountain West in interceptions as a senior, and played briefly in the XFL following contracts with the Buffalo Bills and New York Giants.
Hill returned to Utah in 2000 as a graduate assistant, and worked his way up to special teams coordinator while earning a reputation as one of the top recruiters in the West. In 13 seasons at Utah, he coached five All-Americans, including defensive back Eric Weddle, punt returner Shaky Smithson and kicker Louie Sakoda before taking over at Weber State.
“Jay has brought energy and excitement to our football program that has fueled greater support from our community and beyond,” Weber State athletic director Jerry Bovee said. “He and his staff are improving the football culture by bringing the type of student-athletes that win on the field and in the classroom.”
This past season, Hill and his wife Sara were at the center of a story that united the Big Sky Conference and FCS football nationally as Sara Hill battled cancer. Video of the Hills shaving their heads, along with the entire Weber State coaching staff and football team, quickly went viral in a show of support for the coach and his family.
“Jay and Sara and their family have made a home in Ogden and I’m thrilled to be able to continue working with him and his staff going forward,” Bovee said.