July 14, 2012
King Hill Photo Gallery
Rice legend King Hill dies at 75 (Houston Chronicle
Former Eagle Hill Passes Away At 75 (Philadelphia Eagles)
Former Eagles' QB/punter Hill dies at 75 (Comcast SportsNet Philadelphia)
Ex-Birds QB King Hill dies at 75 (Philadelphia Inquirer)
King Hill, top pick of 1958 NFL Draft, Rice University legend, dies (NFL.com)
Former No. 1 overall NFL draft pick King Hill dies at 75 (ProFootballTalk.com)
King Hill, who clinched All American status with a defining performance as Rice upset #1 Texas A&M in 1957 and went on to lengthy career as both a player, coach and scout in the NFL, passed away early Saturday morning after a lengthy illness. He was 75.
"He loved Rice his entire life," Owls head coach David Bailiff said. "Whenever he came to a practice, you could see the twinkle in his eyes when he talked about this school. He loved to meet the new generation of Owls, but despite all he had accomplished in his life, he was more interested in learning their stories than in telling them about what he had done. He was a proud, but very humble man who represented Rice with great dignity. I know that every one of our players who had the benefit of spending time with him gained a true sense of what it means to be a Rice Owl for life."
A multi-sport athlete out of Brazosport High School, Hill continued to excel in multiple sports at Rice, earning letters in basketball and golf while also playing baseball.
Hill earned All America honors in 1957 after leading Rice to a Southwest Conference title and a berth in the Cotton Bowl against Navy. His defining moment that season came when leading Rice to a 7-6 upset over #1 ranked Texas A&M and Heisman Trophy winner John David Crow at Rice Stadium. Hill intercepted a pair of passes, scored all seven of the Owls' points and his punting continued to pin the heavily favored Aggies deep in their own end of the field.
"I have been saying all season that King Hill was a great athlete," Aggies head coach Paul "Bear" Bryant said after the game. "He made me look good on Saturday, but I wish he hadn't. He did everything but take up tickets."
After his senior year, the Chicago Cardinals made Hill the first overall selection in the 1958 NFL Draft and one round later, they selected Crow. The two former rivals were teammates for three seasons before Hill was traded to the Philadelphia Eagles.
He played 11 seasons in the NFL and then went on to a successful 17-year run as an offensive coordinator with the Houston Oilers (1970-80) and New Orleans Saints (1981-86). He joined the Philadelphia Eagles in 1986 to coordinate their scouting in the Western United States and Canada before retiring in 1992. After his retirement from the NFL, he went into private business, most recently serving as the Director of Marketing for several area golf courses.
Hill will be burried at Forest Park Cemetary in The Wooldands. Visitation will be from 5-9 p.m. on Friday, July 20. Funeral services will be held at 1 p.m. Saturday, July 21.