No bowls in Hill's four seasons
SAN JOSE, Calif. -- San Jose State coach Fitz Hill resigned Monday with one game left in his fourth straight losing season with the Spartans.
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 resources.
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.
Copyright 2004 by The Associated Press