Former Eagles’ QB/punter Hill dies at 75
King Hill, who spent most of the 1960s as a punter and backup quarterback with the Eagles and later served as a scout for the Eagles, passed away Saturday after a courageous battle with cancer. He was 75.
The Chicago Cards made Hill the first pick in the 1958 draft, but he spent the 1961 through 1968 seasons with the Eagles, backing up Sonny Jurgensen and then Norm Snead after Norm Van Brocklin’s retirement following the 1960 NFL Championship season.
Only four quarterbacks have spent more years with the Eagles than Hill – Randall Cunningham and Donovan McNabb (11 years each), Ron Jaworski (10) and Koy Detmer (nine).
Hill started 17 games for the Eagles and played in 71, passing for 4,308 yards and 29 touchdowns. He also punted 254 times for a 42.4 average, fourth-highest in franchise history with a minimum of 100 punts, behind only Joe Muha, Sav Rocca and Sean Landeta.
In 1961, Hill averaged 43.7 yards per punt, still third-highest in Eagles history behind Muha in 1948 (47.3) and Rocca in 2010 (43.8).
His 80-yard punt against the Packers in 1962 is tied for third-longest in franchise history with an 80-yarder by Cunningham against the Cowboys in 1994.
Hill was traded to the Vikings to back up Joe Kapp in October of 1968 and finished his career with a second stint with the Cards in 1969. He then spent 17 years coaching, first as offensive coordinator with the Oilers (1970-1980) and then for six years with the Saints.
After his coaching career, Hill returned to the Eagles’ organization and was a regional scout from 1986 through 1992 covering the Western U.S.
Hill, who also played varsity golf and basketball at Rice, remained an avid golfer after leaving the NFL, playing in countless charity tournaments around the country. He also was involved with the Big Brothers program, Special Olympics and Ronald McDonald House.
"He loved Rice his entire life," current Rice coach David Bailiff said on the school’s website. "Whenever he came to a practice, you could see the twinkle in his eyes when he talked about this school. He loved to meet the new generation of Owls, but despite all he had accomplished in his life, he was more interested in learning their stories than in telling them about what he had done.
“He was a proud, but very humble man who represented Rice with great dignity. I know that every one of our players who had the benefit of spending time with him gained a true sense of what it means to be a Rice Owl for life.”E-mail Reuben Frank at email@example.com