Nathaniel Brown as an NCAA finalist and multiple-time All-American for Lehigh (Photo/Tony Rotundo, WrestlersAreWarriors.com)
Throughout the storied history of Hill School wrestling, the program has had no shortage of masterful coaches. Beginning with Frank Bissell, the architect of 17 National Prep champion teams and a 2012 National Wrestling Hall of Fame inductee, Hill School wrestlers have always been instructed by coaching staffs possessing an intimate knowledge of the sport's fundamentals, techniques, and strategies.
When Dave Hoffman left his coaching position at The University of Tennessee-Chattanooga to return to The Hill, his high school alma mater, as head coach, he immediately sought to surround himself with as highly qualified of a coaching staff as possible. Using his extensive network within the wrestling community, Hoffman succeeded in achieving his goal. Joining Hoffman is highly talented staff of six assistant coaches who bring a plethora of experiences and accolades to the mat: Nate Brown, TJ Demetrio, Zach Doll, Dan Hoffman, Kevin Tkachuk, and Ty Willman.
One of the most decorated athletes in Lewisburg High School history, Nathaniel Brown finished his high school career with a record of 149 wins and just 13 losses, winning 95 bouts by fall. Brown was a three-time state place winner and the 2011 AA state champion at 171, capping an undefeated season. In 2011, Brown, who also was a standout on the gridiron and the track, was named "Athlete of the Year" by the Sun Gazette newspaper. Brown was a three-time Fargo All-American and was the national champion during his sophomore year.
Continuing his wrestling career for perennial power Lehigh University, Brown was a four-time EIWA place winner, winning the EIWA championship at 174 as a sophomore. He qualified for the NCAA tournament three times, finishing as runner-up at 184 in 2015. Brown graduated from Lehigh as a two-time NCAA All-American and a NHSCA national champion.
Another three-time NCAA Tournament qualifier, Zach Doll is another newcomer to The Hill staff this year. Doll attended The Hill for four years, from 1996 until 2000, graduating as a member of the 100-win club. Doll finished as runner-up in the PA Independent School State Tournament as a freshman before winning his weight class in each of his final three years. A four-year qualifier for the National Prep tournament, Doll finished as runner-up in each of his first three years before finally breaking through and winning National Preps at 160 as a senior.
After graduating from The Hill, Doll attended The University of Pittsburgh, where he compiled a career record of 77-40. In addition to qualifying for the NCAA Tournament three times, Doll finished third in his weight class at the EWL Championship three times.
Returning to The Hill staff in 2018 is TJ Demetrio. A 2011 graduate of Pottsgrove High School, Demetrio compiled a career high school record of 108 wins and 41 losses. He was a four-year Sectional qualifier, three-year District qualifier, two-time Regional qualifier, and two-time State qualifier in high school. In his junior year, Demetrio was the Regional champion at 152, and as a senior he was the Sectional champion at 160 and placed 6th in the AAA State Tournament.
After graduating from Pottsgrove, Demetrio attended and wrestled for York College of Pennsylvania for three years before finishing his college career at Millersville University.
Dan Hoffman attended The Hill from 2000-2003. In his three seasons at The Hill, Hoffman reached the final of the PA Independent School State Tournament three times, finishing as runner-up in 2001 and 2002 before winning in 2003. Hoffman also was a three-time National Prep qualifier, placing fourth in 2002 at 130 and fifth at 135 in 2003. Hoffman transferred to Owen J. Roberts High School for his senior year, where he was both a Section and District champion.
Born and raised in Manitoba, Kevin Tkachuk wrestled while growing up but made a name for himself internationally as a rugby player, representing both the Canadian National Team and the Glasgow Warriors of Scotland. Tkachuk earned 34 caps for Canada, serving as a team captain for five matches. His professional career spanned eight seasons, and in 2006 he was named the Warriors "Player of the Year."
Along with Dave Hoffman, Ty Willman is one of just five wrestlers in event history to place five times at the National Prep Tournament. Willman came to The Hill School as an eighth grade student in 1990-91 and immediately embarked on one of the most storied careers in program history. He won the first of four PA Independent School State Tournament championships that year, also winning in 1993, 1994, and 1995; Willman was named the OW of the 1995 tournament. At National Preps, Willman placed eighth in 1991, second in 1992, and fourth in 1993 before winning National Prep Championships in 1994 and 1995. After graduating from The Hill, Willman wrestled at Penn State University.
The Hill opens the 2018-2019 season on Saturday, December 1 at The Battle at Germantown. Shifting the schedule to largely tournaments for this season, the team also will compete in the Springside Chestnut Hill Academy Invitational, Xcalibur Invitational, Howdy Duncan Classic, Delcastle Classic, Bissell '33 Hill Tournament, Warpath Invitational, PAISAA Cup, MAPL Duals, and Cardinal Classic. A Dec. 5 dual meet with Westtown School rounds out the regular season schedule. Postseason competitions include the PA Independent School Wrestling Tournament and the National Prep Tournament.