B.J. Hill
B.J. Hill
Title: Head Men's Basketball Coach
Phone: 970.351.2047
Birth Date: May 17, 1973
Hometown: Cedar Falls, Iowa
Previous College: Grand View College, 1996; South Dakota State, 2001
2011 CollegeInsider.com Big Sky Conference Coach of the Year: March 14, 2011
2011 Skip Prosser Man of the Year Award finalist: March 23, 2011
2011 Hugh Durham Award finalist: March 23, 2011
2011 Big Sky Conference Coach of the Year: March 15, 2011

Coach Hill on The Chris and BR Show - XTRA Sports San Diego (2011 NCAA Tournament): March 14, 2011
Coach Hill on The Ride Home - 850 KOA (2011 NCAA Tournament): March 10, 2011
Coach Hill on AM Colorado - 1310-AM KFKA (2010-11 schedule release): Sept. 7, 2010
Coach Hill on AM Colorado - 1310 KFKA (new hire): April 20, 2010
Coach Hill at introductory press conference: April 29, 2010

Coaching year-by-year

B.J. Hill enters his fifth season at the helm of the Northern Colorado men's basketball program. After guiding the Bears to their first Division NCAA Tournament in his first year as head coach and spending the last three seasons molding a promising, exciting group of young players into potential Big Sky stars, there is plenty of excitement surrounding Hill's fifth year.

Already, Hill has coached eight All-Big Sky performers while serving as the Bears' head coach and coached five others while on the Northern Colorado coaching staff.


During Hill's fourth season, the Bears made a strong pursuit in the Big Sky Conference Championships, eventually falling to No. 1 seed Weber State in overtime of the semifinals. UNC finished with an 18-14 record and began the season by winning its first 13 games at home.

The Bears led the Big Sky in field goal percentage (.493) while finishing ranked sixth in the nation. The team also ranked second in the conference in scoring margin (+3.6) and three-point field goal percentage (.386) while finishing third in scoring offense (73.9).

Hill helped lead Northern Colorado to its first ever sweep of Montana while also snapping Kansas State's 47-game home non-conference winning streak and 19-game home opener winning streak in a 60-58 win in Manhattan, Kans. The Bears also made an appearance in the CollegeInsider.com Tournament, the first postseason tournament since qualifying for the NCAA Tournament in 2010-11.

Forward Derrick Barden and guard Tate Unruh both qualified for the Big Sky All-Conference second team while finishing their remarkable careers at UNC. Barden finished third in the conference in rebounding with 8.0 per game and second in double-doubles with eight on his way to recording the second-highest single-season rebound total in Division I program history, setting the record a season earlier. Unruh ranked sixth in the conference in three-point percentage with a .415 average and became the 19th player to surpass 1,000 career points as a Bear.


The third year of Hill's tenure ended with a 13-18 (10-10 Big Sky) record, finishing fifth in the conference standings. The two All-Big Sky student-athletes of Barden and Unruh tied for 10th in the Big Sky in scoring (13.5). The Bears continued to shoot strong in 2012-13 while finishing second in the Big Sky in three-point shooting percentage (37.7%) and third with in field goal percentage (46.3%).

The senior-less 2012-13 team ended the season by winning six of its final seven regular-season games to earn the fifth seed in the Big Sky Championships. The Bears continued their hot streak by defeating Montana State in their quarterfinal match-up before falling to No. 1 seed Montana in the semifinals.

Barden, a Big Sky All-Conference first-team selection, led the conference in rebounding (9.1/game) and the team in scoring (394 points). Unruh, named to the Big Sky All-Conference second team, led the league in three-pointers per game (3.00) and tallied just one fewer point than Barden for the season. Center Connor Osborne became the team’s single-season Division I blocks leader with 28 and also contributed an average of 6.1 points and 4.8 rebounds per game.


In Hill's second year, the Bears finished with a 9-19 (5-11 Big Sky) mark but saw continued improvement surrounding a team filled with young players. Aside from one senior (Mike Proctor) all of Hill's contributing players at the end of last season were either freshmen or sophomores.


Hill, who served as Northern Colorado’s associate head men's basketball coach during the 2008-09 and 2009-10 seasons and was a top Bears assistant for two years before that, was named Northern Colorado's 18th head basketball coach on April 19, 2010.

In his first year on the job, Hill led Northern Colorado to its first Big Sky Conference regular-season and postseason titles and its first appearance in the NCAA Tournament.

The Bears drew a No. 15 seed in the 2011 March Madness and faced second-seeded San Diego State in the tournament's second round in Tucson, Ariz. Northern Colorado hung with the Aztecs into the second half before falling 68-50 at McKale Center.

Hill was honored as the 2011 Big Sky Conference Coach of the Year and landed on numerous national coaching postseason award lists. His 21-11 mark in his first year at the helm was the most first-year wins of any of the previous 17 Northern Colorado head basketball coaches.


In Hill’s four years as a Bears assistant, Northern Colorado men's basketball improved from a team that finished dead last in 2007 in the final NCAA RPI report to a team in 2010 that won 25 games (25-8) and set the school record for most victories in a single season.

Northern Colorado qualified for its first NCAA Division I postseason berth in 2009 (Big Sky Conference Tournament quarterfinals) before advancing in 2010 to the Big Sky Conference semifinals and then making an appearance in the quarterfinals of the CollegeInsider.com Postseason Tournament (CIT).

In Hill, who came to the Bears after a successful assistant coaching career at various stops in South Dakota, Kansas and Iowa, Northern Colorado secured a tireless recruiter, a passionate basketball man and a great ambassador for the University of Northern Colorado community.

With Hill's promotion, Northern Colorado athletics affirmed its commitment to building a successful NCAA Division I basketball program that matches the level of the University of Northern Colorado’s academics and carrying on a tradition of winning on the court and in the classroom.

“We all think that continuity in a sports program is paramount to its success,” Northern Colorado athletic director Jay Hinrichs said shortly after Hill's introduction. “It was critical that we follow through with our multiyear succession plan to ensure stability throughout our men’s basketball program and not miss a beat in the development of our student-athletes.”

Hill, 36, replaced Tad Boyle, now the head coach at Colorado.

“This is an unbelievable opportunity,” Hill said. “I want to thank Jay Hinrichs, President (Kay) Norton and everybody involved who believed in me. I also want to thank Tad Boyle. I’m extremely excited, and I’m looking forward to the opportunity to carry on what Coach (Boyle) started and carrying it on to the next level.

“I’m not going to be much different as the head coach as I have been as an assistant these past four years. I’m going to demand that our players play hard and try to get better every day. That’s all I know how to do. It’s worked so far, and I know it’s going to continue to work. We’re going to continue to strive to bring in the high-character and high-talent student-athletes that this program has been able to get in the past and will in the future, and that’s going to help us keep this basketball program going and take it to new levels.”


Prior to coming to Greeley, Hill worked as an assistant at Indian Hills Community College in Ottumwa, Iowa, where he worked alongside coach Jeff Kidder and with former Bears standouts Jabril Banks and Robert Palacios.

Hill helped the Warriors to a 25-6 overall record and second-place finish in the Iowa Conference in 2006. Indian Hills was ranked as high as No. 3 nationally during the season and won seven more games than the previous year's squad.

Before his time at Indian Hills, Hill coached five seasons at Coffeyville (Kan.) Community College, working with head coach Jay Herkelman. In Hill's tenure, the Red Ravens won five consecutive Jayhawk East Conference titles and three straight Region VI championships and had a combined record of 146-33 (.816 winning percentage) and advanced to the 2002 NJCAA National Championship game.

Hill spent the 1999-2000 season at South Dakota State University, where he helped the Jackrabbits to the NCAA Division II national tournament and a 21-9 overall record. SDSU finished second place in the North Central Conference that season and played a game against Northern Colorado in Butler-Hancock Sports Pavilion.

Hill was an assistant coach at Independence Community College during the 1998-99 season, helping the team to a 22-10 record and second-place finish in the Jayhawk East Conference.

He started coaching during the 1997-98 season at North Iowa Area Community College (NIACC) in Mason City, Iowa, where he was a standout player in the early 90s.

A native of Cedar Falls, Iowa, Hill played basketball at NIACC and at Grand View College in Des Moines, Iowa. He received his bachelor's degree in business administration from Grand View in 1996 and his master's degree in athletic administration from South Dakota State in 2001.

Hill and his wife Eliza have a son, Nathan, and a daughter, Alana.

B.J. Hill's collegiate coaching resume






North Iowa Area Community College (AC)

17-15 (.531)



Independence Community College (AC)

22-10 (.688)

Finished second in Jayhawk East Conference


South Dakota State (AC)

21-9 (.700)

NCAA Division II Tournament; defeated Northern Colorado 99-76


Coffeyville Community College (AC)

24-8 (.750)



Coffeyville Community College (AC)

36-2 (.947)

National runner-up NJCAA title game; NJCAA Region VI championship


Coffeyville Community College (AC)

29-9 (.763)

NJCAA Region VI championship


Coffeyville Community College (AC)

31-7 (.816)

NJCAA Region VI championship


Coffeyville Community College (AC)

26-7 (.788)


Indian Hills Community College (AC)

25-6 (.806)

11-win improvement from year before; featured Jabril Banks, Robert Palacios


Northern Colorado (AC)

4-24 (.143)

Bears' first year in Big Sky Conference


Northern Colorado (AC)

13-16 (.448) 

Defeated San Diego State (Top-50 RPI)


Northern Colorado (AHC)

14-18 (.438)

Qualified for first Big Sky Conference Men's Basketball Championship


Northern Colorado (AHC)

25-8 (.758)

Won most men's basketball games in school history


Northern Colorado (HC)

21-11 (.806)

Won Big Sky regular-season, Championship titles; Made Bears' first appearance in NCAA Tournament


Northern Colorado (HC)

9-19 (.321)

Bears posted best 3-point shooting mark (.444) in nation


Northern Colorado (HC)

13-18 (.419) Defeated Montana State to advance to semi-finals of Big Sky Championship
2013-14 Northern Colorado (HC)
18-14 (.562) Fell in Big Sky semi-finals before advancing to CIT postseason tournament