Basketball Coach: Virgil Hill

Virgil Hill


  • Played 5 years on Senior high school basketball team in Sarnia, Ontario (5 City Championships, 5 Regional Championships, a Provincial gold medal)
  • Four years playing for the SFU Clansmen (Captain Senior year)
  • Began coaching in 1994 as graduate assistant at SFU 1994-2000, National Development team assistant coach 2000-2004, Collingwood Senior boys coach & senior mathematics teacher 2007-2015,
  • SFU Men’s basketball Head Coach 2015 – 2016
  • FIBA licensed coach

Get to Know Your Coach

Q: Did you play other sports growing up? Were other sports important to your development as an athlete?

A: “Growing up, I played a variety of sports including: soccer, ice hockey, tennis, volleyball, cross country, track and field (high jump and shot put), baseball & football. Being a multi-sport athlete has more positives than negatives.

The obvious draw back is that playing another sport takes time away from your main sport. However, the cross over benefits more than make up for any lost practice time where spacing, timing, hand-eye or foot-eye coordination, development of other muscle groups, new motor pathways and movements are developed.

The other essential piece is mitigating burnout. No matter what the passion, staleness can be an issue as plateaus are reached. Breakthroughs sometimes happen after stepping away for a brief period of time. Socially every sport has a slightly different culture, so learning those nuances, making new friends and playing a different role adds to the holistic development of the athlete.”

Q: When did you get serious about basketball?

A: “My entry into sport happened late by today’s standards, so my specialization didn’t happen until age 13/14 when I entered Grade 9. ”

Q: Who have been your biggest sports influences?

A: “My biggest influence was my senior high school coach, Mr. John Thrasher. He was from the old-school model of coaching and he taught us about toughness, togetherness, competing and character.”

Q: What values did you learn through sport that have been influential in your life?

A: “The ability to fail and get back up and fight. In sport, everyone loses at some point, so losing is inevitable but not forever. Sport reveals character more than it builds it, so it creates an internal battle with your inner dialogue to either prepare to do better the next time or quit.”

Q: Who is your favourite player?

A: “Isiah Thomas – Detroit Pistons”

Q: What did the most to build your confidence as a player?

A: “Playing every single day without being told to…”

Q: What lesson are you most passionate about sharing with young players?

A: “Applying yourself to a meaningful pursuit and be passionate in that pursuit…being lukewarm gets you nowhere”

Q: Favourite number/nicknames?

A: “ #10 /V-Train”

Q: Favourite basketball memory?

A: “Winning the 1998 Canadian U19 Men’s basketball championships in Halifax.”