Madison West athletic director Torrance Hill resigns less than a year into job

February 28, 2018 GMT

Madison West athletic director Torrance Hill has submitted his resignation and the school is in the process of appointing an interim athletic director, Madison West principal Karen Boran informed the West community in an email letter Tuesday.

Hill was in his first year as the Regents’ athletic director.

A reason for Hill’s resignation was not immediately given.

Boran, reached by phone Tuesday afternoon, declined comment when asked about Hill’s resignation because it was a personnel matter. Boran directed questions to Rachel Strauch-Nelson, the Madison school district’s media and government relations director.

Boran, asked about the interim athletic director process, said it was “a little early, but we are active in that process.”

Strauch-Nelson confirmed the resignation and added: “Our coaches, along with our district athletic director Jeremy Schlitz will support West to finish the year and set the program up for success going forward.”

Messages were left for Hill.

“I am confident that the coaches will continue to support our athletes and that District Athletic Director Jeremy Schlitz will support the West athletic department as we complete the winter season and move forward,” Boran’s statement said. “Our athletes and our athletics programs are important to our community. We look forward to a strong finish to our year and setting up ongoing success for all of our programs going forward.”

Schlitz, asked for reasons for Hill’s resignation, said Tuesday, “As a personnel decision, I can’t comment on any specifics.”

Schlitz, who is the Madison Memorial athletic director, said he was working Tuesday at Madison West in his role as district athletic director, trying to support Madison West school officials and students. He said the focus is on moving forward, identifying an interim athletic director and continuing to make the rest of the winter sports season and this school year a positive experience for the student-athletes.

Schlitz said the interim athletic director search has just begun and more information about it could come later in the week.

Schlitz said a timeline hasn’t been defined yet for the permanent athletic director job search.

Madison West announced in May that Hill accepted the job as director of athletics and school operations. He began his duties in July.

He had 14 years of athletic administration experience, most recently at Archbishop Carroll High School in Washington D.C. and for the District of Columbia public schools, according to West’s announcement to Regents’ parents when he was hired.

Prior to that, he was Aiken High School athletic director in Cincinnati, Ohio, and assistant athletic director and women’s basketball coach at Wilberforce University in Dayton, Ohio.

He also coached high school basketball and track and field. Hill has a master’s degree in sports management from California University of Pennsylvania and a bachelor’s degree in communications from Central State University in Wilberforce, Ohio.

According to that West release, Hill’s professional career demonstrated a track record for building strong athletic programs through fundraising and recruitment of students and coaches and building relationships with students, which has increased participation in athletics where he was worked and the number of students securing scholarships to NCAA Division I and II schools.

The resignation is the latest in a series of administrative changes at Madison West.

Jeremy Thornton served as West’s interim athletic director much of the 2016-17 school year. Thornton’s responsibilities now include serving as football coach at Madison East.

In November, 2016, Madison West named Eric Bertun as interim athletic director and Thornton as assistant to the athletic director with a permanent athletic director expected to be hired in the spring of 2017 to replace Chuck Seils, who resigned Oct. 31, 2016.

In January, 2017, it was reported that Madison West shifted roles and responsibilities in its athletic department after examining individuals’ strengths. Thornton took a more predominant role in the day-to-day operations, Schlitz, the Madison Memorial athletic director and the Madison school district athletic director, said at that time.

Thornton was the contact for parents, coaches, students and people in the community. Bertun continued to work with scheduling duties, online communication and the assigning of district officials.

Seils, who had been athletics and activities director at Beloit Memorial, was named the athletic director at Madison West in June, 2016. Madison West decided to seek another athletic director in early May, 2016, when it let go Sandy Botham from that role.