Jan. 18, 2006
FRESNO, Calif. - Fresno State's Director of Athletics Thomas Boeh announced today that Fresno State head coach Pat Hill will remain the head coach of the Bulldogs for the 2006 and that his contract, which had a preexisting roll-over clause, has been extended for five years through the 2010 football season.
"We are very pleased that Pat will pass on any further NFL overtures and will remain as our head football coach," said Director of Athletics Thomas Boeh. "The extension of his contract period underscores our appreciation of his past accomplishments as well as our keen confidence that he is best positioned to lead the continuing progressive evolution of the Bulldog football program."
Hill announced on January 11 that he offered NFL teams a 10-day window in which he would be available for interviews. That window closed at 7 a.m. today (Jan. 18) when Hill met with his student-athletes and coaching staff and informed them that he will be staying at Fresno State. Hill was the only current college coach to interview for an NFL head coaching opening.
"Like I said before, I'm very happy at Fresno State and committed to making this program better," Hill said. "I'm very thankful to Thomas Boeh and Dr. John Welty for allowing me the opportunity to look at other career options. Because of the timing and the time frame I set with the NFL teams, the time as come for me to say that I'm not longer a candidate for any NFL head coaching position. It was a great process and learning experience. I think it speaks volumes about the quality of our program at Fresno State. With the schemes we run and type of young men who come through our program, it's a great testament to our overall program that several NFL teams had a genuine interest. We have worked hard to take this program to an elite level of college football and while we haven't achieved all of the goals we would have liked, we have become well respected and admired by others."
Hill will enter his 10th season as Fresno State's head coach and has a record of 72-42. After guiding the Bulldogs to seven consecutive bowl games, which is the longest current streak in the west, Hill's program has reached the top 25 rankings on the field in each of the last two seasons and his team's Academic Progress Rate of 960 ranks in the top 10 percent of all programs in the nation. It's the fourth-highest APR among all teams in the Western Athletic, Pacific-10 and Mountain West Conferences. Hill owns the 16th-best winning percentage (.626) among active coaches in Division I-A football.
"I am pleased that Coach Hill is remaining at Fresno State," said Welty. "He has helped bring the story of Fresno State and the Bulldogs to the entire country. He's built a powerhouse football program and underscored all of that with superior academic achievement by his team. The recent NCAA Academic Progress Rate, or APR, report demonstrates we're ensuring our student athletes are performing well in the classroom as well as in athletic competition. Coach Hill and Coach Baxter are to be commended for their long-standing commitment to academic performance. Fresno State's football APR score for 2004-05, which already ranked first in the Western Athletic Conference, ranks as among the best at all West Coast universities. Of schools in the Pac-10, Western Athletic and Mountain West conferences, only Stanford, Air Force and Utah had a higher APR."
Under Hill, the Bulldogs have made 44 national television appearances since 1999, including nine in the 2005 season. Fresno State has averaged eight wins per season under Hill's tenure.
"To be at a place for nearly a decade is very rare for any coach these days," said Hill. "I hope that shows how much I love the community and the Valley. We have goals to accomplish and I'm working on making the grass greener at Fresno State. That's why, until now, I have not interviewed for any other jobs. I owed it to my family to take a look at the NFL openings, but that's in the past and my entire attention is focused on the 2006 season. Some people worried that this process has hurt our recruiting, but I can honesty say it didn't. If anything, it strengthened the commitments we had by the young men and their families that Fresno State is indeed a special place. I'm really looking forward to this coming season. We have the best home schedule we've ever had with Oregon (No. 12 final ranking), Colorado State, Hawaii and Nevada coming to Bulldog Stadium. We have a very exciting season and future ahead of us."
Information about season tickets for the 2006 football season will be made available once the Bulldog schedule has been finalized. The WAC portion of the scheduled will not be released by the WAC office until next month.
The next significant date for the Bulldogs is Feb 1, the national football signing day.
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