Catching Up With…Jeff Hill/Mansfield High and Bentley University football
Jeff Hill was accustomed to coming through in big moments when he arrived on the campus of Bentley University in Waltham in 2011.
At Mansfield High the previous fall, he helped his team win the Division 2 Super Bowl with two touchdown catches. He was named game MVP after a comeback 29-26 victory over Reading High at Gillette Stadium.
Hill was also captain of the basketball team, which reached the state semifinals, and as a senior on the state champion Hornets’ track team, he set a state record while winning the triple jump.
However, as freshman football player at Bentley, Hill recalled, “I realized I had to get faster and stronger, so there were a lot of long days in the weight room.”
It paid off.
He earned Bentley’s Offensive MVP honors as a sophomore when Bentley finished 8-2, and as a junior and senior was an All-Northeast-10 Conference and All-New England selection.
He was also a Division 2 second team All-American and was named Bentley’s Outstanding Senior Athlete.
The 6-foot-4, 215-pound wide receiver ranks in the top ten in several categories in the program record book, including career marks of third in receiving yards (3,489) and touchdown catches (37).
“I really wanted to win. If there was a big play, I wanted to be the guy who made it,” said Hill.
Hill and Danny Guadagnoli, Bentley’s record-setting quarterback, had a special connection during their three seasons as teammates.
“We developed a friendship and a trust,” said Hill. “We’d practice over the summer, play on the same intramural basketball team, and train together.”
Guadagnoli said Hill was “the best receiver I ever threw to when it came to tracking and running down the ball. He had that sixth sense. And if it was a one-on-one battle for the football, Jeff usually won it.”
After graduation, Hill attended the Pittsburgh Steelers rookie mini-camp, and although he was released, there were no regrets.
“It was an awesome experience to be on the field with the best of the best and to be coached by [Steelers coach] Mike Tomlin,” he said. “It was a dream come true. I put everything I had into it, physically and mentally, and it was very rewarding.”
Hill, 28, now marketing manager for Dell Technologies in San Diego, Calif., applies his experience as a student-athlete to his job.
“The key for me is teamwork and trusting the people I work with,” said Hill. “Athletics taught me discipline and always showing up on time, and you need that to be successful in the corporate world.”
His mother, Kathy, an All-American basketball player at Providence College, was Big East Conference Player of the Year in 1984. Her uniform number has been retired and she is enshrined in the college’s Athletic Hall of Fame.
His father, Bryan, played club volleyball at Providence, where he met his future wife.
Hill’s twin sister, Kate, was a multi-sport athlete at Bishop Feehan High. She lives in Newport Beach, Calif., and currently helps design heart valves for Edwards Life Sciences in Costa Mesa.
“When I visited her with the family, I thought it would be a great opportunity to work in California,” said Hill. “I love it out here.”
Away from the office, Hill plays basketball and beach volleyball. He has worked on his golf game with impressive results, including carding an 82 at the challenging Torrey Pines Golf Club in San Diego, situated on cliffs overlooking the Pacific Ocean.
“That was the round of my life,” he said
Hill’s younger brother, Brendan, played football at Mansfield High and the University of New Hampshire; his younger sister, Megan, is a senior basketball player at Stonehill College, and brother Chris is a junior basketball starter at Mansfield High. Chris recently scored a career-high 21 points with Jeff in the stands while back home for the holidays.
Whom should we catch up with? Contact Marvin Pave with suggestions at firstname.lastname@example.org.