SAN JOSE, Calif. -- San Jose State coach Fitz Hill resigned
Monday with one game left in his fourth straight losing season with
Hill, one of five black head coaches in Division I-A, will coach
San Jose State's season finale against Fresno State on Saturday.
The Spartans are 2-8 this season and 14-32 under Hill.
Frustrated with a lack of support from fans, students and the
school, he is leaving to become an instructor at Central Florida.
Hill, a former Army lieutenant who has a doctoral degree in higher
education, also plans to write a book.
"I've been through eight months in Desert Storm and four years
at San Jose State," Hill said. "I'm equipped for the next
challenge in the world. Nothing can be comparable to what I've been
through. I've made it out in one piece. I have no regrets. I just
wish I could have produced more wins."
The Spartans have fallen short in several big games during Hill's tenure, who had never been a head coach before San Jose
State hired the former Arkansas assistant in December 2000.
"It hurts to know he's gone," linebacker Ezekiel Staples said.
"He's a father figure. It's like a divorce. It's hard to deal with
the fact that he's not going to be around."
Earlier this month, San Jose State took unbeaten Boise State to
double overtime before the Broncos extended their winning streak to
20 games with a 56-49 victory. The Spartans went 6-7 in Hill's
second season, beating defending Big Ten champion Illinois but
losing two games in the final seconds to ruin their chances at bowl
eligibility. San Jose State slipped to 3-8 last year.
This season's highlight was a 70-63 victory over Rice, with the
teams setting the Division I record for scoring.
"All I want on Saturday is a victory and a dunk of cold water
after the game," Hill said.
San Jose State's football program has been under scrutiny from
the NCAA for weak home attendance, which could jeopardize its
Division I status. The school's Academic Senate wants the Spartans
to leave the Western Athletic Conference, claiming the team's
relatively meager budget still uses too much of the school's
The school has employed four presidents in the past two years,
and athletic director Chuck Bell resigned earlier in the month. San
Jose State alum Bill Walsh is leading the school's search for a new
AD, who must be hired before the school seeks Hill's replacement.