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MISSOULA — Torry Hill says she's much more vocal now than she was as a standout player for the Montana women's basketball team.

That part should come in real handy in her new role as Frenchtown girls' basketball coach.

"I was more on the quieter side as a player, so that seems to surprise some people I'm more vocal now," she told "But mostly I describe myself as an energetic and passionate coach, and a learner.

"I'm super excited about the job and the Frenchtown community seems more than welcoming to have me come on board. It seems like it will be a great fit."

Hill succeeds Jim Tolman, who retired at the end of last season. She is an Anaconda High School graduate who led the Copperheads to back-to-back state championships in 2008-09 before joining the Lady Griz.

Hill started at point guard for three years for former Montana coach Robin Selvig. She helped guide UM to two Big Sky Championships (2011 and 2013) and NCAA tourney berths.

Hill scored over 1,000 career points for Montana. She ranks fourth all-time for UM in made 3-point goals (202) and is seventh in career assists (436) and steals (199).

Following college, Hill went into coaching. She spent one season as the varsity assistant women's basketball coach at Rocky Mountain College in Billings. She has spent the past few years coaching JV high school basketball at Missoula Big Sky High School (one season) and Florence (two years).

"After college I spent the one year at Rocky coaching and it just kind of felt like coaching was what I needed to be doing," she offered. "I'm also finishing my education Master's degree, so I really enjoy teaching and kids and seeing the girls at the high school level as players and people."

Hill, who lives in Missoula, already has a Master's degree in athletic administration and coaching from Concordia University-Irvine. Still, all the degrees in the world won't fully prepare her for what's ahead.

"Just getting the kids to buy into the system will be a challenge as a new coach," she said. "They've had a long-time coach there, so a lot of things will change. The girls will need to get used to me and a new system."

It's no surprise Hill has gone into coaching when you consider her family roots. Torry's dad, Bill, coached the Anaconda boys for a while and is a fixture in the town with his ties to AAU basketball and community softball events. Torry's mom, Traci Thomas Hill, is a longtime basketball official and youth sports coordinator for the Anaconda parks and recreation department.

"Growing up, athletics have been the thing that have kept our entire family staying together," Torry said. "My dad, I think he was more excited than I was for this job. My brother (Griz football recruit Braxton Hill) will be here in Missoula and they'll be able to come watch me coach.

"But it's been our family tradition to stay in athletics. I think my dad forwards me five different coaching articles each day."

Frenchtown also announced Monday the hiring of Jasmine Mitchel as girls' soccer coach and Morgan Job as the head volleyball coach. Job grew up in Shepherd and graduated from Montana State University. She was a volunteer coach for the Broncs last year and coached club volleyball over the winter.

Bill Speltz is the Deputy Sports Editor of the Missoulian. Email him at

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