Tom Hill Shows His Love for Music by Creating Razorback Band Scholarships

Coach Tom Hill at the 2019 Towers of Old Main event.
Whit Pruitt

Coach Tom Hill at the 2019 Towers of Old Main event.

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – Tom Hill of Midlothian, Texas, wants to remind people that coaches and players come and go, but music from the band ties everything together.

Hill, who is a retired coach and teacher, is making a difference for future marching band members through an estate gift for the Coach Tom Hill Endowed Razorback Marching Band Scholarship in the J. William Fulbright College of Arts and Sciences at the University of Arkansas. His gift is counted in Campaign Arkansas, the university's capital campaign aimed at increasing academic opportunity at the U of A.

"We are so honored to have Coach Hill support our students and invest in their futures," said Christopher Knighten, director of bands in the Department of Music. "This is an incredibly meaningful way for Coach Hill to show his love of music and to share it with generations of U of A band members to come."

Hill grew up in Atlanta and lost his father at an early age. His parents' love for Georgia Tech football games sparked his own love of football - SEC college football, in particular — and he says he has loved it since.

Hill played in the percussion section for Therrell High School and was named to the All-State Band as a percussionist his senior year. As he set his sights on college, he noticed that more scholarships were available for athletics than band. Because of this, he chose to pursue athletics but says he always wondered what could have happened if the same opportunities had existed for band.

"Scholarship money allowed me to go out of state, get a great education and degree and start the career of my dreams," Hill said. "My desire now is to give back to the sport that changed my life. Creating multiple scholarships at schools in the SEC is my attempt to provide the same type of opportunities for future leaders."

Recipients of the Coach Tom Hill Endowed Razorback Marching Band Scholarship must be enrolled full-time, be a member of the Razorback Marching Band and have a cumulative GPA of 2.5 or higher.

Coach Tom Hill

"For years, my message to my players and students has been that education lays the foundation for the next 40-plus years of your working life," Hill said. "Your time in college is a huge investment in your future, so invest wisely. Many things in life can be taken away from you, but your degree is not one of them. Once you have it, it is yours for life."

Hill achieved lifetime membership status in the American Football Coaches Association (AFCA) and has been a member of the group for the past 39 years.

At the University of Arkansas, Hill is a member of the Office of Planned Giving's Heritage Society, as well as the Towers of Old Main, a giving society for the university's most generous benefactors.

President Don Bobbitt, coach Tom Hill and Chancellor Joe Steinmetz.
UA System President Don Bobbitt, Tom Hill and Chancellor Joe Steinmetz at the 2019 Towers of Old Main event.


Jennifer Holland, senior director of marketing communications
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