The Hill School- The Family Boarding School

The Founders Hall

Founders Hall A - F Founders Hall G - N Founders Hall O - Z

Dick O'Shaughnessy '50

Dick O'Shaughnessy made a significant impact on Hill athletics as both an athlete and a long-time coach.  He came to The Hill as a post-grad and was a key member of the undefeated 1949 football team as well as the National Prep Champion wrestling team, winning a national title in his weight class. He went on to play football and wrestle at the University of Michigan, where he was the captain of the football team in 1953.  He returned to The Hill in 1959 as an instructor of science and assistant director of athletics and physical education, and took over as the head football coach in 1964, a position he held for 20 years. His coaching tactics in the 1965 Lawrenceville game led the underdog Hill team to a last-second victory in what has gone down as one of the most legendary athletic contests in school history.  His final team was perhaps his strongest, posting a 6-2 record. After beating Lawrenceville 24-14 at Lawrenceville, the players carried their triumphant coach off the field. A tribute to him on the football page of the 1984 Dial reads “As any member will attest, Mr. O’Shaughnessy gave himself to the team during every moment of the season. This included the brutal pre-season practices as well as the lavish dinners that he and his equally caring wife provided every Friday evening. He was a friend on and off the field, gladly giving advice and comfort at any time.”

Harry Price

Harry Price led the lacrosse program to some of its most successful years during his two separate tenures as head coach, climaxing with a State Championship in 1986.  Keep in mind that in those days, the State tournament featured both public and private schools, unlike the Independent School state tournaments in which we currently participate, which are only comprised of private schools. In his first stint as head coach, he guided the 1973 team to the State Championship game and was named PA Coach of the Year, as the team finished with a 12-3 record. He repeated the feat in the first season of his second stint, as the 1984 team finished with a 16-3 record and reached the State Final; he again was named PA Coach of the Year. His teams reached the State semi-finals in 1975, '85, '89, and '95; the State quarterfinals in '87, '90, and '94; and won the Suburban League in 1984, '85, '87, '89, and '90. In 1999, he was inducted into the Tri-County Chapter of the PA Sports Hall of Fame.  Harry finished his career by coaching at Pottsgrove High School from 2002-06.  At the conclusion of his coaching career, he had coached 11 High School All-Americans and 11 players who went on to become College All-Americans (10 of them being Hill alumni). In 2006, he received Summit Award as Most Influential Person in Sports in Northern Montgomery, Southern Berks, and Northern Chester Counties, and in 2007 he was inducted into Eastern Pennsylvania Chapter Lacrosse Hall of Fame.

Wilbur "Jack" Riley

Jack Riley came to the Hill in 1936 to coach the football team and was a member of the faculty from 1936 until his death in 1954. An alumnus of Ft. Hays State College in Kansas, where he was an all-star basketball and football player, Jack returned to his alma mater in 1930 to coach their football team. From Kansas he came to the Hill School. Jack coached the Hill team from 1936 to 1942, when World War II interrupted his career.  He entered the United States Navy, serving for three years as athletic coach for pre-flight trainees. He separated from the Navy as a Lieutenant Commander in 1945 and returned to The Hill. He was a house master for many Hill boys and enjoyed coaching and teaching. One of his proudest achievements was coaching the School's undefeated 1949 team featuring Lamar Hunt, who later established the American Football League. He became the School’s athletic director in 1950, a position that he held in conjunction with being the head football coach before a heart attack during the 1952 Peddie School game ended his coaching career. Jack spent his final years teaching at the Hill. He died in the spring of 1954. Shortly after his death, the Wilbur C. Riley Award was established. The Riley Award is given annually at commencement to the sixth form boy who has “distinguished himself in leadership and sportsmanship in competitive athletics” and is considered the top athletic accolade a boy can receive at The Hill.

Michael Sweeney

Mike Sweeney was hired in 1896 to develop an athletic program that would involve every student, effectively making him the first Athletic Director in school history. His program became well known and was copied by many other schools. Yale University tried to hire him away, but he remained loyal to Hill, though the School did gave him a year off to go and set up a similar program at Yale. When Mike came to The Hill, he was well known for track, as he was the holder of the world record for the running high jump at the time. Many students came to The Hill just to be coached by Mike Sweeney. Also, many nearby track stars would come to The Hill workouts just to gain from Mike's instruction. He developed many athletes who continued running in college and also several Olympic runners. Mike also made a name for himself as a football coach. When Mike Sweeney came to The Hill he knew nothing about football. He studied the game from the time he was hired until the time he began his Hill School career, and it did not take long for him to establish a successful program. In his approximately 15 years of coaching football, seven of his teams finished undefeated, and two of them were un-scored upon. Sweeney Gymnasium was built in his honor while he was still a member of the faculty.

Dave Willman '88

Dave Willman earned an astonishing 14 varsity letters during his five years at The Hill.  As a second former he lettered in wrestling and was the designated hitter on the varsity baseball team.  He made the jump to the varsity football team his third form year, and lettered every season of his third, fourth, fifth, and sixth form years.  Dave anchored the football team as a linebacker and was a captain of the undefeated 1987 team, which currently stands as the last football team to go undefeated.  He excelled on the wrestling mat, serving as team captain in 1987-88.  He advanced to the third place match at Prep Nationals in 1986 and '87, and in 1988 earned a second place finish at nationals.  His best sport arguably was baseball.  Dave starred on some of Hill's strongest baseball teams and was a highly feared hitter - with several professional scouts in attendance at the Lawrenceville game during his sixth form year, he was intentionally walked in every at-bat.  The Philadelphia Phillies drafted him, but he chose to attend college, instead.  Dave played for the University of South Carolina for four years and was drafted again, this time by the Milwaukee Brewers.  He was the MVP of the Southeast Conference and played professionally in the Brewers organizations before his career was cut short by injury.  He has remained involved in the Hill baseball program, frequently returning as a hitting coach.

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