Ever since Josh Hill (Sr., Portland, Ore.) was introduced to football, the two have been inseparable.
Born into a football family, Hill picked up the sport at a young age. He could commonly be seen in the backyard throwing around a football with his grandfather.
“Football was something that had always been in my family,” reflects Hill. “We would always talk about football and I would never do anything else.”
During his first year with Linfield as a sophomore in 2010, Hill impressed teammates and coaches alike, playing in all 11 games. The local product from Portland’s Westview High School took an unusual path to becoming a Linfield Wildcat. Initially deciding to attend the Air Force Academy out of high school, Hill changed directions and instead moved home to reunite with his family.
Once in Oregon, he hoped to find a school where he could continue to play football. He found Linfield to be the perfect fit.
“When I decided to come to Linfield, I didn’t know what to expect,” says Hill. “Then I started to meet everyone and got a really good feeling being here with the coaches, players, and the whole family environment.”
After getting acquainted with Linfield and its storied football program, Hill quickly made his presence known on the field. In his first year with Linfield, Hill totaled 311 all-purpose yards as a hybrid receiver/running back even though he had intended to play quarterback.
“When I came to Linfield I was a quarterback, but I was willing do whatever it took to help our team win,” says Hill.
He has achieved his goal in continuing to play football at such a high level. When thinking of other goals in football, he only has one.
“I just want to keep winning,” explains Hill. “We all come here to win and that’s all we want to do.”
With winning comes new friendships and bonding. Hill claims to have one fond memory from his Linfield football career above all the others.
“Every year we have a dance off (during training camp) and the juniors did an amazing job. It was a lot of fun, but unfortunately we didn’t win.”
On the field this season, Hill has already developed into one of the premier players in the Northwest Conference. Twice he has exceeded the 100-yard rushing plateau and last week he gained a game-high 69 yards on 12 carries against Pacific. His efforts have led to an unblemished 5-0 record and the continuation of Linfield’s record streak of 56 consecutive winning seasons. Even his teammates have taken notice of his diligent work and commitment to winning on the football field.
“Josh’s work ethic during the offseason was infectious to those around him as was his positive cheerful attitude,” says Wildcats coach Joseph Smith. “His production at tailback has been a big reason for our offensive success this year.”
Hill adds a dimension to Linfield’s football program that may have been lacking in recent seasons: a productive running game. Now the Wildcats have the opportunity to attack teams not only with their passing game, but also a potent running game.
“Josh takes a lot of pressure off everyone else because he makes plays even when they aren't there,” says teammate Andy Hunthausen. “He forces other teams to plan against our passing and running game, which can be very challenging.”
Another teammate, Tim Edmonds (Sr., Portland, Ore.), calls Hill “A great team member. He's also a great influence on this team through his actions on and off the field. I know for myself he drives me to try and work hard to match his level.”
With the support from teammates and coaches on the field, Hill looks to continue to flourish.
Away from the field, Hill enjoys many interests. He loves to keep up with political science, his major, and current events.
“My family has always been interested in what’s going on in the world and I gained that passion from them,” says Hill.
Beyond football, Hill is setting his sights high toward a future career.
“I have always wanted to be an attorney,” he says. “I plan on going to law school and following my dream.”
As Hill lives his dream of playing college football and keeping the sport prominent in his life, he will continue the season the only way he knows how: by playing as hard as he can, and above all else, winning.
-- Ian Rapport '12
Ranks third in the NWC at nearly 81 rushing yards per game
Director of Sports Information
McMinnville, OR 97128