Hill Denson
Hill Denson
Organization: University of Southern Mississippi
Year: 2018 Inductee

With more than 30 years of coaching experience, Hill Denson has compiled a career record of 1,273-842-2 (.601), including a 1,058-774-2 (.562) collegiate coaching mark in 17 seasons at Belhaven University and 14 seasons at the University of Southern Mississippi.

At Belhaven, from 2001-17, Denson and the Blazers have accumulated a 590-388 record (.603). His Blazers have won six conference championships, an NAIA Opening Round tournament and made the school’s first ever appearance in the NAIA World Series in 2010.

From 2006-11, Denson led the Blazers to six consecutive 40-plus win seasons, five of which culminated in both a conference championship and a berth to the NAIA Tournament.

Denson served as head coach at the University of Southern Mississippi from 1984-1997, where he helped establish USM as a nationally recognized baseball power. Denson left Southern Mississippi with a coaching record of 468-386-2 (.547).

Denson enjoyed many years of success while at USM, including being named Metro Conference (now Conference USA) Coach of the Year in 1989 and 1990, having 12 consecutive winning seasons (1986-1997), a school-record 42-win season in 1990, NCAA Tournament bids in 1990 and 1991, eight USM players being named All-Americans and 35 players signed to professional baseball contracts.

Denson was recognized by the University of Southern Mississippi with the changing of their stadium’s name to Hill Denson Field at Pete Taylor Park in 1999.

Denson, a 38-year Lifetime ABCA member, was inducted into the Belhaven Athletics Hall of Fame in 2010 and the Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame in 2008. He has also been inducted into the Southern Mississippi Athletic Hall of Fame (1990), the Bobcat Sports Hall of Fame at Jones County Junior College (2012) and the Mississippi Semi-Pro Baseball Hall of Fame (1982).

Prior to his tenure at USM, Denson served as the Director of In-Game Promotions for the Nashville Sounds, then a New York Yankees affiliate. He also served as an assistant baseball coach at Vanderbilt University.

Denson’s high school coaching experience included stints at three Mississippi high schools: Callaway High School, Manhattan High School and Chamberlain-Hunt Military Academy. Denson wrapped up his high school coaching career with a 215-68 (.760) record.

A native of Bay Springs, Miss., Denson is a graduate of the University of Southern Mississippi, where he earned his bachelor’s degree in Science Education. He received his master’s degree in School Administration from Mississippi College.