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Q&A with Utah assistant coach Jay Hill

April 26, 2010

FootballScoop.com Staff

Utah special teams coordinator / cornerbacks coach Jay Hill has been with the Utah program since 2001. After serving as a grad assistant from 2001-2004, Hill was elevated to a full-time coach in 2005. He was a finalist for the 2008 FootballScoop special teams coordinator of the year award.

Outside of work, what do you enjoy about living in Salt Lake City?

Our house is close to campus in a quiet, safe, and mellow area. Salt Lake City is a big city, but it has a unique small-city feel.

Best thing your wife likes about living in Salt Lake City?

She really likes the school system for our children. Salt Lake City doesn't seem to have the temptations of a big city. There aren't many distractions. She likes the outdoors, the running trails, snow in the winter, and beautiful warm weather in the summer.

Utah Assistant Jay Hill

What is something you will harp on during August practice that maybe you haven't emphasized as much in previous years?

Last season, we may have slipped a little in our punt coverage. We really want to emphasize our landmarks and tackling techniques with the punt team. Secondly, we want to take our overall aggressiveness of the punt return unit to another level. That aggressiveness sometimes stems from just the mindset of your punt return team. It doesn't mean that we'll come after the punter more often. We'd really like to pressure the punter, but we also want to be more aggressive with our returns and how we setup our returns.

What is something you really like that your head coach Kyle Whittingham implements at practice?

Coach Whittingham demands "our way." He wants the players to do what we want them to do. Toughness and discipline... everyday. Not only are the players accountable, but so are the coaches.

You went from player to grad assistant to full-time coach: What advice do you have for young guys trying to do the same thing?

I've always been a part of the Utah program. I've had opportunities to leave, but I served almost 5 years as a grad assistant because I felt at the time that Urban Meyer was the best head coach in the country and Kyle Whittingham was the best defensive coordinator in the country. I didn't want to pass up the opportunity to learn from both coaches. I think it's important for young coaches to position themselves around the right coaches.

How long is your drive from your home to the football office? Without traffic, I'm 16 minutes from my house to the office.

During your vacation break this summer, what do you plan to do? Any trips planned?

We have a cabin in Island Park, Utah. We'll spend a week or 10 days in Island Park...good fishing, mountain biking opportunities. We also will spend a few days at Lake Powell in Southern Utah. Both places are fun. It's always fun to be with the entire family.

What is the 1 place to eat near campus most of the coaches like to eat for lunch?

L&L Hawaian BBQ is a good place...good chicken teriyaki, rice, good lunch plates. We also like a place called Immigration Market.

What is the biggest similarity between Urban Meyer and Kyle Whittingham?

The thing that makes Coach Meyer and Coach Whitt so similar is they both talk-the-talk and walk-the-walk. Extremely high standards. They both demand things done the right way and both coaches preach toughness.

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