Dec. 4, 2008
FRESNO, Calif. - Fresno State head coach Pat Hill announced today that he is no longer a candidate for the head coaching vacancy at the University of Washington.
Hill, who is finishing his 12th season at Fresno State, has built one of the most respected programs in the nation. The Bulldogs are preparing for their ninth bowl game appearance in the last 10 seasons.
Hill had the following comments on the Washington head coaching vacancy:
"I had a great visit with the people at Washington and I appreciate their consideration," said Hill. "At this time, it's in the best interest of my players and the Fresno State program that I withdraw from consideration and put my full attention on preparing for a bowl game and getting our team ready for the 2009 season."
"As I said before, whoever gets the Washington job will have a great challenge but also a great opportunity. They have great support and tradition there and are making a serious commitment to restoring that program. As they move through their hiring process, they have made it clear that they are not ready to hire a coach at this time and I can't keep my players or our staff hanging on. We are building a very good recruiting class that I'm really excited about and that's a huge consideration, too."
"I had a great visit with the leadership at the University of Washington and I have a great deal of respect for them and their vision. Because of the time frame we discussed, which is that I needed an answer by Wednesday, it's apparent that I'm not their top candidate. I felt it was in my best interest and the best interest of our team to make this decision at this time. I wish them the best of luck in their search."
"We have not met all the goals for our program at Fresno State and I'm committed to reaching those goals. We are going to have a good football team in 2009 but we have a lot of work to do this offseason to get ready for that. No one within our program is completely pleased with the results of this season, but the season's not over. We can finish it with a bowl win and build toward next year."
Under his guidance, Hill has led the Bulldogs to 73 wins this season, which ranks fifth in the west behind Boise State, USC, Oregon and Utah. Among those wins are 14 over schools from BCS conference, tied with Utah for most in the nation by a non-BCS program.
His 92 wins rank fourth-best in Western Athletic Conference history behind BYU's LaVell Edwards, Arizona State's Frank Kush and Air Force coach Fisher Deberry.
Of the teams that are bowl eligible this season, Fresno State is one of 17 that have been to nine bowls in the last 10 seasons. The Dogs have bowl wins over Georgia Tech, UCLA and Virginia.
Hill's program is also nationally recognized for its academic success. The Bulldogs have produced 109 Academic All-WAC players in his tenure, the most in the WAC by nearly 40 players. The Fresno State Academic Progress Rate ranks very high nationally for public schools and is among the best in the west. Only three public schools in the west have higher APR scores.
The success of his program has also translated in the development of NFL players. In all 19 former Bulldogs have been drafted by NFL teams, including two first round picks (2002 No. 1 overall pick David Carr and Logan Mankins, a 2007 All-Pro player for the New England Patriots).
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