A graduate of Gunnison Valley High School, Danny Hill spent 42 years working at the school in central Utah and coached basketball for 32 seasons. Danny’s Bulldogs won four basketball state championships, all in the 1970s. He also coached Gunnison to four state baseball titles during his 19 years as coach and he served as the school’s athletic director for 12 years.
His basketball teams also posted a secondplace finish, while making four more semifinal appearances and earning seven other top-eight placements. He retired with records of 422-311 in basketball and 182-39 in baseball. His basketball and baseball teams played for a combined nine state championships and won eight of those games. Danny was so well regarded in the basketball coaching profession in Utah that three different coaches chose him to assist them in all-star games. No wonder he’s being honored as a Distinguished High School Coach by the Utah Sports Hall of Fame Foundation.
In 2016, Danny was inducted into the Gunnison High School Athletic Hall of Fame as a coach and athletic director. The school now stages the Danny Hill Invitational Basketball Tournament every December. In 2010, he received an Outstanding Service and Achievement Award from the Gunnison Alumni Association. He also has been recognized by the Jaycees, locally and statewide.
As a Gunnison student, Danny was a teammate of his cousin, Gary Hill, who still holds the Utah high school basketball all-time scoring record of 2,283 points. When Danny started teaching and coaching in 1970, he emphasized education for his athletes. He always believed that players who were successful in the classroom would thrive on the basketball court and the baseball field. The Bulldogs also dressed sharply and followed the rules he established for them. For all basketball games, players wore shirts and ties, slacks and dress shoes – no jeans, T-shirts, earrings or caps during the basketball season.
Hill’s Gunnison High teams were known for representing the school well and receiving compliments about their behavior from custodians, principals and other observers for being conscientious and behaving well. It has been said that his players always left “the school, the gym floor, dressing room, bus, restaurants and motel rooms better than they found them.” In retirement, Danny is a volunteer for the Mission Care Center, a nursing home and community living rehabilitation facility, in the nearby town of Centerfield.
Parents of five children, Danny and his wife, Mary, live in Mayfield.