Former UF standout Hill dies after cancer fight

Robbie Andreu
Gator Sports
Florida quarterback John Brantley talks with wide receivers coach Aubrey Hill during the Nov. 19, 2011 game against Furman at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium. [File]

Originally Published on: Aug 16, 2020 at 20:25

Former Florida football player and assistant coach Aubrey Hill died Sunday. He was 48. His death was announced by Florida International University, where he has been an assistant coach since 2017.

Hill played wide receiver for the Gators under Steve Spurrier from 1991-94. After his playing days, he was a graduate assistant at UF under Spurrier and was the Gators’ wide receivers coach in 2011.

“He was a very solid football player,” former teammate and UF quarterback Shane Matthews said. “Not flashy. Probably not the fastest guy in the world, but caught everything, very reliable. He had a great career here and obviously got into coaching and did a tremendous job there, and affected so many kids’ lives in a positive way.

“It’s devastating. It’s hard to believe. He’s one of my favorite teammates of all time. He was just a guy that loved playing football, just a joy to be around. As a quarterback, he’s a guy you could count on to do what he’s supposed to do and be at the right place at the right time.

“He was just a solid human being and a solid football player.”

Hill was in his fourth season as receivers coach at FIU under coach Butch Davis.

“It was a shock to learn of Aubrey’s passing tonight after his long battle with cancer,” Davis said in a release on the school’s website. “Aubrey was loved and adored by so many who saw him not only as a coach, but as an amazing husband and father. We mourn his loss, but we will also hold on to the great memories he left behind and how honored we all were to be a part of his life. We pray for his family and loved ones during this difficult time.”

As a player, he helped the Gators to a four-year record of 43-10-1 (.806) and three SEC championships. He totaled 86 receptions and 18 touchdowns during his career and caught a touchdown every 4.78 catches, the third best TD ratio in Gators history. He was a team captain as a senior in 1994.

Following his playing career, Hill served as a Florida graduate assistant from 1996-98. In his first season as an assistant, Florida captured the national championship with a 12-1 mark, capped by a 52-20 victory over Florida State in the Sugar Bowl.

"Deeply saddened to hear that one of my all-time favorite players has passed away," Spurrier wrote on his Twitter account. "Aubrey Hill was one of our co-captains in 1994. He was the first wide receiver that I ever used as a tight end.

"I still remember two of his greatest plays ... a seam route to beat South Carolina in 1992 that helped us win the division and a pass he caught from Chris Doering that set up the game-winning touchdown vs. Alabama in 1994.

"He will always be remembered as a truly wonderful teammate and Gator. He will be missed. Rest In Peace."

After three years with the Gators he coached at Duke, Elon, Pittsburgh and Miami. Hill returned to Florida in 2011 under coach Will Muschamp as the team’s wide receivers coach before resigning shortly before the 2012 season.

After a brief stint at Marshall and four years as the head coach of Miami Carol City where he went 30-16 and led the Chiefs to the 2016 Class 6A state championship. Hill was named the 2016 Miami Dolphins High School Coach of the year and a finalist for the 2016 Don Shula NFL High School Coach of the Year.