Alabama State University and the Department of Intercollegiate Athletics announced that the interim tag will be removed from Donald Hill-Eley Thursday afternoon, and he will become the 29th head coach in school history.
“Coach Hill-Eley is a veteran who has already proven his ability to provide the kind of leadership that is needed for the University's football program," said Alabama State University President, Dr. Quinton T. Ross, Jr. "I would like to thank Interim Athletics Director, Jennifer Williams, and the search committee for their due diligence and thoughtful deliberation in sending the recommendation of Donald Hill-Eley as ASU’s next head football coach. In making this announcement, the University’s leadership is affirming our commitment to the continued success of ASU’s athletics program.”
Eley was named to the interim role on October 6 after an 0-5 start to the season, and guided the Hornets to five wins in their final six games including a victory in the Magic City Classic over Alabama A&M and pair of wins on opponents’ homecoming weekends. He also guided the Hornets to four road wins to close the season, all in conference play.
He joined the program in 2015 after a one-year stint as the wide receivers coach at Norfolk State and has served in the role of Associate Head Coach during that time. The longtime Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC) coach spent 13 seasons at Morgan State (2001-13). After his first season as offensive coordinator, Eley spent the final 12 as head coach and was named 2002 MEAC Coach of the Year. His 59 wins rank third all-time in Bears' history, and he turned around a program who had not had a winning season in 23 consecutive seasons by going 7-5 in his first year at the helm.
Eley also spent four seasons at Hampton (1997-2000) as offensive coordinator and pro liaison, helping the Pirates win an HBCU National Championship, two MEAC titles and the 1999 Heritage Bowl.
He spent four seasons in professional football in the Canadian Football League, first with the Baltimore Stallions (1994-95) as receivers coach before two seasons with the Toronto Argonauts as a guest coach (1996-97). Hill was on the staff of three straight Grey Cup championship teams (1995-97) during his time in the CFL.