The Hill School wrestling program has one of the most storied school traditions in the country. Under former Coach Frank Bissell ’33, Hill won 17 National Prep School Championships. Two of Bissell’s wrestlers captured NCAA championships: Hud Sampson ’49 for Penn State and Andy Fitch ’54 for Yale. Max Pearson ’53 and Andy Kaul ’51 captured multiple Big Ten titles for Michigan and placed second at the NCAA meet. Bissell’s wrestlers were mainstays in the Michigan lineup during legendary coach Cliff Keen’s tenure at the helm of the Wolverines. Hill wrestlers found success at the collegiate level around the country: Eight of Bissell’s wrestlers garnered Division 1 All-American honors, and 36 Hill wrestlers went on to captain their college teams.
In 1999 and 2000, Hill teams placed second and third respectively at the National Prep championships and added a fifth place finish in 2001. Hill National Prep Champion David Hoffman ’01 went on to win Division 1 All-American honors for Virginia Tech, where he currently is an assistant coach. Continuing The Hill tradition into the 21st Century, Chad Saunders ’14 placed second at National Preps in 2011, and in 2012, Colin Farawell ’12 pinned all of his opponents on his way to a third-place National Prep finish and captured the Bob Dalling Award for Most Falls in the Least Amount of Time.
Hill’s coaching staff is passionate about the success of their wrestlers. Coaches spend countless hours with their wrestlers improving technique, discussing strategy, and improving strength and conditioning. There are several factors that have worked to benefit our program:
• Assistant Coach Tom Hutchinson is one of the premier wrestling technicians in the country.
• Guest clinicians include: 2X Olympic Gold Medalist Sergei Beloglazov, 2X NCAA Champion Mark Lieberman, and former Lehigh Head Coach Thad Turner
• In 2009, a generous gift from Walter Price ’66 in honor of his former coach Frank Bissell ‘33, revitalized Sweeney Gymnasium installing one of the largest mat hoists in the country. Sweeney now can be set up to host three mats in a matter of minutes.
• Hill is situated between the Lehigh Valley and Philadelphia. This is a source of high caliber wrestling talent from which the team can recruit. Additionally, as a boarding school the school can accept the best wrestlers from around the country.