FCA is honored to announce Southern Illinois University’s head football coach Nick Hill as the recipient of the 2024 Grant Teaff Coach of the Year Award.
Named after Grant Teaff, former Baylor University coach, a FCA executive director, and Trustee Emeritus of the FCA Board of Trustees, the Coach of the Year Award presented by FCA recognizes a football coach who exemplifies Christian principles and who is involved in FCA. The award is also based on the success and performance of the coach’s team that season.
“Fellowship of Christian Athletes has honored an outstanding coach who has impacted countless players over his successful career,” said FCA President and CEO Shane Williamson. “We congratulate Nick Hill for not only his accomplishments but for the way he has touched the lives of his players for God’s Kingdom.”
Hired at age 30 as the head coach in 2016, Coach Hill is now in his eighth season at the helm of his alma mater. Coach Hill was selected to attend the American Football Coaches Association’s 35 Under 35 Coaches Leadership Institute. In the last three seasons, SIU has a record of 10-6 against ranked teams, with wins over the No. 1, No. 2, No. 3, No. 4, No. 15, No. 17, No. 19, No. 20, No. 22 and No. 25-ranked programs.
The Salukis were nationally ranked for 30 consecutive weeks, the program’s longest streak since 2010, and ranked as high as number three, its highest ranking since 2009. The program under Hill has produced five active NFL players, including Jeremy Chinn, runner-up for Rookie of the Year in 2020.
Coach Hill remarked, “This is such a humbling award. To be recognized by FCA not because of wins but because of my faith in Christ and trying to use my platform for the young men I have been entrusted with is humbling. I’m very thankful for what FCA has done in my life and continues to do.”
Coach Hill is a very relational coach, and that approach comes from his walk with Christ. As a Christian in his role, he knows that demonstrating a Christ-centered life to his players and coaching staff is vital and he takes the approach that the gospel should be known as to why he does things the way he does within Saluki football and beyond.
Justin Raby, FCA Southern Illinois Area Representative said, “At the center of the Christian life is a love for God and for other people. When you’re around Coach Nick Hill it’s evident that his life is rooted in those things. His love for Christ and willingness to share openly about his faith comes out in the way that he demonstrates his love for the players under his leadership. He operates with a real open-door policy so that everyone in the Saluki Football program knows he’s available to them on a personal level; and sometimes that means him going and tracking someone down himself that’s in need of a loving ear to listen. That’s loving like Christ.”
As for his involvement in FCA, Coach Hill was an active member of the SIU Huddle as a former football player. As a coach, he is an active participant in the SIU weekly Coaches Huddle. He was a guest speaker for both of Southern Illinois banquets this past Spring. He has been involved in coach/spouse events and he has taken his entire family to Black Mountain Family Camp multiple times.
Photos courtesy of Southern Illinois University Athletics and Isabel Miller/The Daily Egyptian