University to Honor Billy Jones and Darryl Hill, Two Athletic and Social Justice Trailblazers
Jones-Hill House to serve as home of Maryland Football
COLLEGE PARK, Md. - As part of the University of Maryland Presidential Inauguration where Dr. Darryll Pines was officially installed as the 34th President at Maryland, President Pines recognized two trailblazers who broke the color barrier in basketball and football. The legacy of Billy Jones and Darryl Hill will be commemorated with the naming of Jones-Hill House in their honor. Jones-Hill House will serve as the new home of Maryland Football in the Cole Field House project.
Jones broke the color barrier in basketball at Maryland and the ACC in 1965 and Hill was the first Black student-athlete to play football at Maryland and in the ACC in 1963.
The entire Cole Field House project -- which will eventually include a research wing and entrepreneurship center -- would not have been possible without the support of donors -- notably a generous leadership gift from Kevin Plank, the founder and Executive Chairman of Under Armour.
Plank’s support of this project made this honorific naming possible. In fact, it was his idea to forego the opportunity to put his own name on this facility to honor these two trailblazers. That kind of visionary leadership and selflessness demonstrates Plank’s deep commitment not just to his alma mater, but to social justice.
Jones-Hill House will be the new home for the football performance center, and the new home for football operations - including coaching offices, team meeting spaces, locker room, and dining facility - and indoor and outdoor football practice fields. The state-of-the-art facility also features world-class strength, conditioning, and hydrotherapy facilities, advanced physical assessment, and diagnostic technology and embraces a holistic performance approach, including career and nutrition support.
“It is an honor for me and my family to be able to name the Jones-Hill House at my alma mater,” said Plank. “What began as a financial gift grew to something much more meaningful last summer as my wife and fellow Terp, DJ, and I considered how we could positively influence the conversation around social justice. Honoring these two trailblazers by naming our facility with Billy Jones and Darryl Hill is fitting for our school and for all of the student athletes and entrepreneurs who will walk the halls of this House for many years to come.”
Maryland Athletic Director Damon Evans recognized the special day, acknowledging the everlasting impact Jones and Hill made on Maryland.
"Jones-Hill House is a fitting tribute to two men who were heroic trailblazers in Billy Jones and Darryl Hill," said Evans. “We are excited to honor them with a permanent reminder of the impact they made on all of Maryland Athletics and the world of collegiate sports. We would also like to thank Kevin Plank for not only his generosity, but for challenging us to reconsider how we should honor legacy here at the University and frankly, at every educational institution across the country."
Jones debuted for the Terps on December 1, 1965, against Penn State, becoming the first Black men’s basketball scholarship player to play in a game with the Terps. He served as a team captain in his senior year of 1967-68. Jones went on to be an assistant coach at American, UC-Santa Barbara and Stanford and head coach at UMBC for 12 seasons. Following his coaching career, he went to work in human resources at Lockheed and Tupperware and as a manager for cast services at Walt Disney World for 15 years before retiring in 2011.
“I am absolutely elated to receive this honor,” said Jones, who is a native of East Towson, Md., and currently resides in Orlando, Florida. “My life changed when I received the phone call informing me of this recognition. It is an honor that I couldn’t even imagine. I am thrilled to be honored along with Darryl, to share it with him is very special. A trophy might break, a photograph might fade, but a building will be there for a lot of people to see. I am elated for everyone from the east side of Towson, my family, my grandchildren and my 96-year old mother who will be able to see this building with our names and what this building represents. I am so flattered and thankful for the generosity of Kevin Plank, the University of Maryland, President Darryll Pines and Damon Evans.”
Hill first played for the Terrapins in 1963 as he set Maryland’s then-single-game record for receptions with 10 against Clemson, set an ACC season-record for touchdown catches with seven and threatened the school’s single-season record for receptions with 47 that season. Hill spent time with the New York Jets in the NFL before beginning his post-playing career. Hill has been a successful businessman and entrepreneur for decades in addition to serving as Director of Major Gifts for the Terrapin Club at Maryland from 2003-09. He is also on the Maryland State Athletic Hall of Fame Board of Directors.
“We fought a hard fight for African-American student-athletes and I am gratified that those doors have been opened and those barriers have been removed,” said Hill, a Washington, D.C., native who now resides in Laurel, Md. “It is a great honor to open those doors for all African-American student-athletes to follow and now they will proudly walk into this beautiful building. They will have a structure with a name that demonstrates what Maryland has accomplished in terms of racial and social equity. Every time they see Hill and Jones on that building, they will know what that represents and they will have something to be proud of. To be the first African-American to receive an athletic scholarship from a Division I school south of the Mason-Dixon Line was quite an honor, but the impact didn’t resonate with me then. But, it certainly does now, and I am proud that Maryland took the lead in breaking down that barrier in sports and I am proud to be the person Maryland selected to lead that effort. Thank you to Kevin Plank, the University of Maryland and President Pines and Damon Evans for this special honor.”
Jones-Hill House will also feature a new area, Game Changers Row. Maryland will recognize and honor pioneers and ground-breakers, including incredible women and men -- especially student-athletes and staff members -- whose contributions to their sport and our community epitomize the rich and storied history of diversity, equity and inclusion in Maryland Athletics.