May 9, 2006

Boyle Adds Pair of Assistant Coaches to Men's Basketball Staff

May 8, 2006

GREELEY, Colo. - University of Northern Colorado head men's basketball coach Tad Boyle announced the addition of two assistant coaches to his first staff with the Bears on Tuesday. B.J. Hill, formerly of Indian Hills Community College, and Shawn Ellis, previously of Cloud County Community College, have both been added to the Northern Colorado staff.

"We are fortunate to have two quality coaches like B.J. and Shawn join our staff," said Boyle, who was named the 17th coach in Northern Colorado men's basketball history on April 25. "Each will bring tremendous recruiting contacts and coaching ability to the Northern Colorado basketball program."

Hill spent last season at Indian Hills Community College in Ottumwa, Iowa on the staff of Jeff Kidder. Hill helped the Warriors to a 25-6 overall record and second place finish in the Iowa Conference. Indian Hills was ranked as high as No. 3 nationally during the season and won seven more games than the previous year's squad. Prior to that, Hill coached five seasons at Coffeyville Community College in Coffeyville, Kan. working with head coach Jay Herkelman. The Red Ravens won five consecutive Jayhawk East Conference titles and three straight Region VI Championships. Coffeyville had a combined record of 146-33 (81.6%) in his five seasons as an assistant and advanced to the 2002 NJCAA National Championship game, falling to Dixie by a lone point. The Red Ravens finished eighth at the national tournament in 2003 and fifth in 2004.

Hill spent the 1999-00 season at South Dakota State University, helping 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 got his start in coaching at North Iowa Area Community College (NIACC) in Mason, Iowa during the 1997-98 season.

A native of Cedar Hills, Iowa, Hill played basketball at NIACC, where he was an all-region selection, and then 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.

"B.J. is a tireless worker and a guy who has proven himself both as a recruiter and also as a floor basketball coach," said Boyle. "He is going to be a tremendous asset for our program."

Ellis spent the last six seasons as an assistant coach at Cloud County Community College in Concordia, Kan., serving on the staff of head coach Kevin Muff. In his six years with the program, the Thunderbirds compiled a record of 109-79, including a mark of 24-9 in 2005-06, a year the shared the Western Division title in the Jayhawk Conference and lost in the semifinals of the Region VI Tournament. Prior to working at CCCC, Ellis spent two years at his alma mater, Kansas Wesleyan University, a NAIA school in Salina, Kan., as an assistant coach. There he helped KWU win its first conference championships in 16 years and the program's first-ever NSCAA National Championship in 2000.

As a player, Ellis was a four-year starter for the Coyotes, earned NSCAA All-American honors and was a three-time All-Kansas Collegiate Athletic Conference selection. He was named to the NSCAA All-Tournament team in 1997 and holds the school record for most games played. Ellis, a native of Mooresville, Ind., earned his bachelor's degree in elementary education from Kansas Wesleyan in 1998.

"Over the past six years, Shawn has helped build Cloud County into a championship caliber program," said Boyle. "His ability to relate to student-athletes as well as his recruiting ties will help out our program tremendously."

Northern Colorado, who has been playing as a Division I Independent the past three seasons, will begin play in the Big Sky Conference this season.