New Richmond High School will be adding two members to its sports hall of fame.
Pat Hill and Warren McConnell are well-respected and legendary not only in New Richmond, but throughout Clermont County. They comprise the class of 2009 of the NRHS Sports Hall of Fame.
The induction ceremony will take place before the Jan. 31 varsity boys basketball game, when the Lions’ varsity and junior varsity boys basketball teams will host a team from Georgetown, Canada. An alumni game begins at 12 p.m., the junior varsity at 2 p.m., and the varsity at 4 p.m. An induction dinner/ceremony will take place following the varsity game. The cost is $15 per person.
Warren McConnell began his teaching career at New Richmond High School with the 1973-74 school year.
"I began teaching at Princeton, but I was looking to move up in coaching and I heard New Richmond was looking. I interviewed with (head football coach) Ron Bird and the superintendent (Jess Rawlins)," said McConnell.
He began teaching and coaching at New Richmond High School with the 1973-74 school year. He was the junior varsity football coach and the head track and field coach that year. He went on to coach both sports for 33 years and was also the head boys basketball coach for two seasons. His varsity assistant football position included serving as the defensive coordinator.
McConnell was well-qualified to coach. The 1967 Indian Hill High School graduate had lettered in football, basketball and track and field when New Richmond and Indian Hill were both members of the Eastern Hills League.
He received his bachelor of science degree in education from the University of Cincinnati in 1971. Today, he is the husband of Kelly and the father of Logan (17-years of age) and Colin (14).
He taught mathematics, civics, American History, and Occupational Work Experience (OWE) at NRHS.
"I have really enjoyed my years at New Richmond. I was fortunate to have a lot of good students and people to work with. I was lucky to get to New Richmond when it was growing and I was able to help the district to grow.
"I'm a little surprised to be selected, but I'm pleased and honored. This is something I never thought about. I'm lucky I was able to keep coaching after I retired from teaching.
"I think if I was good at something it was communicating with the students and athletes and getting them to work hard.
"I am very happy to be going into the hall of fame with Pat Hill. I feel very fortunate to have been at New Richmond."
In his early years as the boys head track and field coach McConnell mentored many Clermont County League all-stars.
1973-74: Dwayne Woodruff and Keith Willis (first team) and Tom Cherry (second team). 1974-75: Dwayne Woodruff and Buster Hardin (first team) and Tom Heidel and Ken Dunn (second team). 1975-76: Buster Hardin, Jeff Carr, and Kenny Lamb (first team) and Rick Oetzel and Tom Schmidgall (second team). 1976-77: Jeff Carr, Kenny Lamb, and Mark Williams (first team) and Buster Hardin (second team). 1977-78: Bill Deavers (second team). 1978-79: Richard Hardin (second team). 1979-80: Doug Mitchell (first team). 1980-81: Doug Mitchell (first team) and Adam Bird, Jeff Cann, John Telek, and Rob Wildey (second team). 1981-82: Doug Mitchell, Mike Olchefski, Stan Willis, and Bob Adamson (first team) and Adam Bird, John Telek, Jeff Cann, Shannon Sittason, and Rob Wildey (second team). 1982-83: Mike Olschefski, Stan Willis, Adam Bird, and Bob Adamson (first team) and Tom Bowman, Ben Smith, John Telek, Rick Mahan, and Shannon Sittason (second team). 1983-84: Bob Adamson, Greg Clift, Rick Mahan, and John Telek (first team) and Sean Gessendorf and Terry Lewin (second team). 1984-85: John Walters and Lee Linville (first team) and Jim Newman, Tim Benjamin, and Mike Howard (second team). 1985-86: Mike Howard, John Walters, Jim Newman, and Chris Altman (first team) and Mark Duff, Jeff Howard, Jeff Osburn, Mark Wolf, and Shawn Hopper (second team). 1986-87: Chris Altman, Jim Newman, Greg Howard, Shawn Hopper, and Jeff Howard (first team) and Ben Forsee, Scott Lytle, Jeff Osburn, and Tom Watkins (second team).
The Southern Buckeye Conference (SBC) was formed beginning with the 1987-88 school year. McConnell's track and field all-stars in those earliest years of the SBC were 1987-88: Jeff Howard, Ben Forsee, and David Anderson (first team) and Adam Combs, Pat Watson, Mark Wolf, and Tom Watkins (second team). 1988-89: Jamey Strunk, David Anderson, Jeff Howard, Ben Bird, Tony Hoskins, and Jason Cope (first team) and Ben Forsee, Adam Combs, and Jim Kelly (second team).1989-90: Adam Combs, Ben Bird, Jason Cope, Tim Kelly, Ray Forsee and Jeremy Dees (first team) and Greg Findlan, Toby Lewin, Shep Sittason, and Eric Hedger (second team). 1990-91: Ben Bird, Adam Combs, Ray Forsee, Greg Findlan, and David Krusling (first team) and Jeremy Dees, Bryan Basham, and D. J. Kirschner (second team).
He was the CCL coach of the year in boys track and field six times and was the SBC's coach of the year in the sport eight of the league's first nine years of existence.
Pat Hill was a member of the staff at New Richmond for 36 years, the last 10 as athletic director and dean of students. She was the second female high school athletic director in Clermont County history after Mary Tiberghein Johnson at Clermont Northeastern High School.
The 1968 graduate of Grady (Atlanta, Ga.) High School competed in basketball, track and field, softball, and tennis and was a cheerleader. She received her college degree at Georgetown (Ky.) in health and physical education. She was a member of the track team and a cheerleader.
She, too, received her job interview from superintendent Rawlings and began teaching at NRHS in 1972-73. She learned of New Richmond from Don Dean, a NR grad who was a Georgetown room mate of her future husband, Joe Hill.
At NRHS, she coached volleyball, basketball, swimming, track and field, headed the Girls Athletic Association (GAA) and was the cheerleader advisor.
"I have been so lucky that I had talented kids with good personalities and good character. I feel very fortunate to be a part of their lives," she said. "One of the reasons I stayed at New Richmond is that it felt like home to me."
The Ohio High School Athletic Association began recognizing girls sports again (stopping after the 1939-40 school year) beginning with the 1975-76 school year. Hill was well-known for her outstanding coaching talents in many sports, particularly in basketball and track and field.
The CCL all-stars she coached in basketball were 1975-76: Tracy Corwin and Liz Misheff (first team). 1976-77: Tracy Corwin, Connie Hensley, and Liz Misheff (first team). 1977-78: Tracy Corwin and Patsy Warden (first team). 1978-79: Stephanie Corwin and Mary Richmond (first team). 1979-80: Stephanie Corwin and Mary Richmond (first team). 1980-81: Kim Rorick, Melissa Ireton, and Mary Richmond (first team). 1981-82: Mary Richmond and Melissa Ireton (first team). 1983-84: Lana Stacy and Lisa Stacy (first team) and Mindy Law and Patti McMillin (second team). 1984-85: Lana Stacy and Lisa Stacy (first team) and Lisa Taylor (second team). 1985-86: Donna Hayslip and Tricia Hudson (first team).
Hill was coach of the year four times.
Her track and field all-stars were 1975-76: Patsy Warden and Terri Huber (first team) and Liz Misheff, Sherri Hadley, Diane Carr, Debbie Hendricks, Sherri Huber, and Lori Raver (second team). 1976-77: Patsy Warden and Liz Misheff (first team) and Diane Carr, Debbie Hendricks, and Sherri Hadley (second team). 1977-78: Patsy Warden and Debbie Hendricks (first team) and Diane Carr and Mary Wiesenhahn (second team). 1978-79: Debbie Hendricks and Diane Carr (first team) and Mary Wiesenhahn and Sheila Spires (second team). 1979-80: Rhonda Gaskins, Mary Richmond, and Mary Wiesenhahn (first team) and Beth Colonel and Sheila Spires (second team).
Hill was coach of the year one season.
"My satisfaction during all the years here was drawn from so many girls having an opportunity to participate in sports. I feel very honored and really appreciate being selected. It is very humbling for me. There was a lot of good times and good and memories.
"This is wonderful sharing this success with Warren. He's a fantastic coach and well deserving of this honor," Hill said.