Athlete, Pre 1960
Scholar….all-around Athlete.…successful Coach.…revered Legend. Before becoming a legend at USC, Jess Hill was an area legend, playing five sports at Corona High School and excelling at four sports at Riverside Community College. Jess was known at USC as “Mr. Trojan”. Beginning as a track competitor at USC, he set a record of 25’ 7/8” in the long jump. In football, he played on Troy’s 1928 National Championship team and in the Rose Bowl in 1930. He batted .389 for the Trojans in baseball and led the conference in hitting. Jess went on to play in the Major Leagues for the Yankees, Senators, and Athletics for nearly a decade after college. During the off season he coached at Corona High School and Riverside Junior College. Returning to USC after four years in the Navy during WWII, Jess was hired as the track coach. For two years, his squads were undefeated and won the NCAA Championship both years. From 1951-56 Jess was USC’s football coach and led his team to a Rose Bowl Championship in 1953. He became the Athletic Director in 1957 and held the position until 1972. During his tenure, USC won 29 NCAA titles, a U.S College record that has remained untouchable. Jess was named the Athletic Director of the Decade in 1967, and received the prestigious Corbett Award from the National Association of Coaches and Athletic Directors in 1972. He passed away on August 31, 1993 at the wonderful age of eighty-six. Jess Hill was truly a Riversider and Trojan of Excellence.