Traditions


    Jess T. Hill

    Jess T. Hill held the USC coaching reins from 1951 through 1956, compiling a 45-17-1 record before moving up to the athletic director's post.

    His tenure includes two Rose Bowl appearances, a 7-0 win over Wisconsin in 1953 and a 20-7 loss to Ohio State in 1955. The win over the Badgers was the first victory by a PCC team since the pact with the Big 10 had been conceived in 1947.

    It was under Hill's regime that USC converted to a multiple offense, single wing and "T," to take advantage of Frank Gifford. A former quarterback and defensive back, Gifford moved to tailback and rushed for 841 yards.

    The Trojans finished with a 7-3 record in 1951, including a 21-14 victory over California. It was the first regular season loss for the Bears since 1947.

    Hill was one of USC's best all-around athletes. He lettered three years in track as a broad jumper, the first Trojan ever to better 25 feet in the event. A non-starter in football, he led the conference in rushing average, 8.2 yards a carry, at fullback. Hill only played baseball as a senior, leading the league with a .389 average.