MANHATTAN, Kan. (AP) – Kansas State University confirmed Wednesday that its highest-paid assistant basketball coach and top recruiter, Dalonte Hill, has resigned to take a similar position at the University of Maryland.
Hill, a native of Washington, D.C., was best known at Kansas State as the person who persuaded star forward Michael Beasley to come to the school in 2007. Hill was hired as an assistant coach in 2006 by then-head coach Bob Huggins, and was promoted to associate head coach a year later after Huggins left and Frank Martin took the top job with the Wildcats.
Hill was believed to be one of the nation’s highest-paid assistant coaches, making $423,750 a year with the potential for up to $80,000 in bonuses.
He will work for Mark Turgeon, a former University of Kansas player who was hired last week as head coach of the Terrapins.
“This was a difficult decision for me and my family to make,” Hill said in a statement. “I really appreciate all the support from the administration and the community, in first giving me the opportunity to come here, and then allowing me to grow as both a coach and a person.”
Hill, a former AAU coach in Washington, D.C., was an assistant at the University of North Carolina-Charlotte when Beasley made an oral commitment to that school. Beasley changed his mind and committed to Kansas State in late 2006 after Huggins was hired and Hill joined his staff.
Under Beasley — who captured dozens of Wildcat single-season records and several in the Big 12 before leaving after one season to play in the NBA — Kansas State began a string of five straight 20-win seasons and advanced to post-season play in five consecutive seasons — both firsts for the university.
“There are few words to describe the impact Dalonte has had on our program,” Martin said. “He has played a pivotal role in helping K-State get back to the forefront of college basketball.”
Hill is the first assistant to leave Martin’s staff since he became head coach in 2007.
“I know this was an extremely difficult decision for him because he loves our players and this program,” Martin said. “However, the opportunity for him to get closer to home was too much to pass up.”
(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)