New Georgia State women’s basketball head coach Gene Hill is a competitor, and he wants to be the very best at everything that he does.
“Competitive. I want to not only win but I want to strive to be the best,” Hill said. “I talked to the players about that also, not just on the court, but also just in life. We want to remember that we’re doing everything to try to be the best that we can.”
Hill is bringing a winning attitude and pedigree to Georgia State, and for the Panthers sake, they hope it will translate to wins on the court.
Hill takes over the helm of the program from former coach Sharon Baldwin, who was at the school for eight years.
Before accepting the job at Georgia State, Hill served as an assistant coach and recruiting coordinator at North Carolina State. During his five years at NC State, Hill helped lead the Wolfpack to a 112-52 record and three NCAA tournament appearances, including a Sweet 16 appearance last season.
Hill grew up in LaGrange, Georgia and served as an assistant coach at Georgia Tech from 2009-2012, and helped the Yellow Jackets make four straight NCAA tournament appearances including one trip to the Sweet 16. With such good ties to the state and the Atlanta area, Hill is hoping that it will help him attract some good players to Georgia State.
“I think knowing that you can pick up the phone and call high school coaches and AAU coaches and that they’ll at least take your call because you’ve built a relationship with them in the past and done well with their kids, I think that’ll help us,” Hill said.
Georgia State may be new to Hill, but he is not new to being a head coach, he has had two previous stints as a head coach. The first stop was at the USC Upstate before he moved to Butler where he was an associate head coach. Afterward, he moved to East Carolina and during his time there he served as an interim head coach.
Hill has learned a lot from his time as a head coach and as an assistant. He has several lessons that he will always keep with him no matter where he goes.
“Not taking too many risks,” Hill said. “I think that’s important. Sometimes when you’re sitting in the assistant coach seat, you think you know what you want to do and you can save the world, and you can change this kid, and then you realize that you can’t. You have to be smart with the choices that you make.”
There is no doubt that Georgia State is starting to gain national recognition athletically, and that is one of the things that attracted him to the job.
“I just felt like with my connections in the area and the state it was a natural fit,” Hill said. “I think it’s an exciting time to be here; I’m looking forward to being here and helping the university and athletics continue to go upward.”