Hill resigned to take care of his ailing daughter and finds himself away from the gridiron for the first time in nearly three decades.
Wednesday, August 29, 2012
Tuesday, August 28, 2012
Former offensive coordinator Ryan Irish knows Jeff Hill started the change in attitude and strives to keep it going as head coach.
Sunday, July 8, 2012
Baby girl battling acute lymphoblastic leukemia is baptized at St. Mary Catholic Church Sunday morning.
As parishioners of St. Mary Catholic Church sang the hymn “How Can I Keep from Singing?” one family couldn’t keep from smiling. Rev. Steve Wertanen baptized 8-month-old Maleena Irene Hill today at the church’s 11 a.m. mass. Maleena, the youngest child of former Royal Oak High School football coach Jeff Hill and his wife Natalie, was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia on Dec. 26, when she was just six-weeks old. Hill was named head coach of Royal Oak High School's football team in the spring of 2011, taking on the huge challenge of turning around a 28-game losing streak and rebuilding community support. He stepped away from that challenge in January to focus on helping his daughter fight leukemia and the community rallied behind …
Tuesday, January 24, 2012
High school coach had intended to resign to focus on his baby daughter's illness, but administrators are allowing a leave of absence while his assistants handle daily duties.
The Royal Oak school district has given Royal Oak High School head football coach Jeff Hill a leave of absence rather than accept the resignation he offered so he can attend to his youngest daughter's battle with leukemia. Earlier this month, Hill – who had taken over the Ravens team just one year earlier – told his players about his decision to step down to take care of family matters, saying he didn't want to put the team behind in its quest to improve. "It's hard to ask kids to give a commitment when you're not there at any time, and that's a big part of the off-season," Hill said. Senior quarterback Brandon Fredrikson respected the coach's decision at the time. "We can tell that he's a family man first because he stepped down from …
Wednesday, January 18, 2012
Friends set up donation fund as well as fundraisers to help the former Royal Oak High School football coach and his family through a tough time.
Friends and family of Maleena Hill have announced fundraisers to help the Royal Oak family. Maleena is the 9-week-old daughter of former Royal Oak High School football coach Jeff Hill, who stepped away from coaching on Jan. 6 to focus on his daughter’s health. Maleena, born Nov. 13, was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia on Dec. 26, when she was 6 weeks old. She began chemotherapy treatments the next day at Children's Hospital of Michigan in Detroit. The Hill family has also set up a website through CareBridge to post updates on Maleena's progress. It's also where visitors can sign a guestbook, leave messages and make donations. Visit www.caringbridge.org/visit/maleenahill. According to recent posts on the website, Maleena is …
Tuesday, January 10, 2012
A blog lets the community follow the progress of little Maleena, the daughter of Jeff Hill, who recently resigned as Royal Oak High School's football coach.
Supporters asking how they can help baby Maleena Hill and her family as she begins her two-year battle with leukemia have a game plan now. Last Friday, Jeff Hill caught players, fans and team boosters off-guard when he announced he was resigning from his position as head football coach at Royal Oak High School due to his 8-week-old daughter's health problems. Maleena, born Nov. 13, was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia on Dec. 26, when she was 6 weeks old. She began chemotherapy treatments the next day at Children's Hospital of Michigan in Detroit. "We took her in to get her checked out just after Christmas because she was a little fussy," said Hill, a Royal Oak native. The baby's feet also showed a blue/purplish color. "They …
Friday, January 6, 2012
Jeff Hill, on the job just one year, is stepping away from football to tackle his infant daughter's disease.
When Jeff Hill was named head coach of Royal Oak High School's football team last spring, he took on the huge challenge of turning around a 28-game losing streak and rebuilding community support. Now he is stepping away from that challenge to focus on an even bigger one: helping his 2-month-old daughter fight leukemia. Maleena Hill, born Nov. 13, was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia during the Christmas school break, when she was 6 weeks old. "We took her in to get her checked out just after Christmas because she was a little fussy," said Hill, a Royal Oak native. "They came back after some bloodwork with a diagnosis of leukemia. That stops your world." The disease is a cancer of the white blood cells characterized by excess …
Wednesday, October 5, 2011
Girls golf continues its winning ways, Top Ten Clarkston High visits Ravens football this Friday and Cross Country brings home a second place finish.
Highlights of what’s happening in Royal Oak High School varsity sports: A tough 52-0 loss on the road in Pontiac on Saturday dropped the Ravens varsity football team to 1-5 and 0-5 in league play. Still, Head Coach Jeff Hill explained the team is making mistakes that are fixable. "We had a good first half. They just capitalized on our mistakes due to their athletic ability," Hill said. "In the second half we didn't come out and play the kind of football we wanted to play. They made some plays and things got out of hand pretty fast." Hill is confident the team can learn from its mistakes. "The mistakes are very correctible and the kids can learn from the experience," he said. "They're growing up as football players. Sometimes you've got to …
Saturday, September 10, 2011
Energized students and community members are behind Royal Oak High School's "new" football team.
Students, parents and local Royal Oak Ravens fans are excited about the changes new head coach Jeff Hill is making with the Royal Oak High School football program. After 28 straight losses, Royal Oak finally won a game - this season's opener at home against St. Clair Shores on Aug. 25. It then lost the next two, but optimism is still in the air. Patch caught up with a cross-section of fans Friday night during the Ravens' 39-21 loss to West Bloomfield to ask how they feel about the team and what it means for the community. Freshman Brianna Williams didn't attend any games in the past, but learned about the losing history of the program from her cousin. "I'm glad they've actually won a game and the coach and team are doing a great job," she …
Friday, August 26, 2011
Spirits run high for students, administrators, parents and community members after dramatic win at home Thursday.
Dephann Edwards-Hatchett has sat through plenty of Royal Oak football losses, so she was ready for a big win for her son and the rest of the Ravens team. She and other Royal Oak High School football fans were overcome with emotion after Thursday night's 21-20 victory over St. Clair Shores Lake Shore. "I'm ecstatic," said Edwards-Hatchett, whose son Justin "JT" Hatchett, a senior, made the game-saving tackle when Lake Shore decided to go for a potentially game-winning two-point conversion late in the game. "I've been sitting in the bleachers watching for four years and watching these boys struggle and it's the best birthday present ever. "I saw the scrimmage last week and I could tell there was going to be a difference at this game." …