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The ever-turning Shore Conference football coaching carousel will be making a stop on Wednesday.

Howell officially hired Bill Hill as its next head football coach during Thursday night’s Freehold Regional High School District Board of Education meeting. Hill, who was the Rebels’ defensive coordinator last season, will replace Frank Edgerly, who stepped down on March 5 after only one season.

Howell is also bringing back Hall of Fame coach Bob Generelli as the Rebels’ offensive coordinator. Generelli, who was the offensive line coach last season, won state championships as the head coach at Middletown South and later at Raritan.

Hill is a Howell High School Hall of Famer who was a star running back for the Rebels in the 1970s, rushing for 3,147 yards and scoring 228 points in his career. He originally attended the University of Virginia but he left the school after suffering an injury and decided to focus on the other sport he starred in: baseball. Hill played at Brookdale Community College and was an honorable mention All-American selection as a sophomore, which led to him being drafted by the New York Mets in the 16th round of the 1979 Amateur Entry Draft. But after only one season in the New York-Penn League, the pull of football lured Hill back to the gridiron.

Howell High School Athletic Department.
Howell High School Athletic Department.

Hill walked on to the Rutgers football team and played cornerback in his only season with the Scarlet Knights. From there, Hill was signed as an undrafted free agent by the Cleveland Browns in 1981. He then played with the New Jersey Generals of the United State Football League, but that stint was short-lived as the league folded in 1986. Hill then landed a spot on the Dallas Cowboys roster during the 1987 season.

As a coach, Hill was the head coach at Toms River South from 2008-2010, going 7-23 in his three seasons, and the head coach at Asbury Park during the 2014 season. He has also been an assistant at Asbury Park, Lakewood, Jackson Memorial, Freehold and St. John Vianney.

Howell went 2-4 during the pandemic-shortened 2020 season. Since reaching consecutive NJSIAA South Jersey Group 5 sectional finals, including a 9-2 season in 2017, Howell has struggled to a 4-22 record over the past two seasons. The Rebels’ last division title came in 2009 when they won the American Division under longtime head coach Cory Davies, who is now the head coach at rival Freehold Township. Howell’s only state sectional championship came in 2007 when the team went 11-1, also with Davies at the helm.

Among Howell's losses to graduation are standout running backs and linebackers Nick Cerulli and Hunter Lino. Among the Rebels' key returners are quarterbacks JT Goodman and Steven Jardim and two-way lineman Matt Ioannides.


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