Rockwall paid tribute and showed its appreciation to departing head girls’ basketball coach Jill McDill on Monday for her 12 years at the helm of the highly-successful Lady Jacket basketball program.
McDill is leaving to take the head coaching job and assistant athletic coordinator position at Sunnyvale High School, where she and her family live.
Junior varsity coach Janna Heller kicked off the program at Rockwall High School by expressing her personal appreciation to McDill and calling her “one of those special people who makes everyone around her better.”
Other speakers included former head football coach and athletic director Mark Elam, who hired McDill 12 years ago after first seeing her aggressiveness and competitiveness as a player at North Mesquite High School, Marc McCartney, originator of the Future Lady Jackets program, former players Paige Turner, Alyssa Lang and Shelby Adamson and 12-year assistant coach Casey Reeves, who summarized many of McDill’s coaching accomplishments and stated that in his opinion “she is the best basketball coach in any class in the state of Texas.”
Successes during McDill’s tenure, according to Reeves, included the 2007 state championship team that became only the fifth team in state history to go 40-0, two state runnerup finishes, 11 consecutive 20-plus seasons, six seasons with over 30 wins, a playoff record of 35-10 and an overall record of 348-94.
Paul McDill, Jill’s husband, then discussed how close the entire family has been to the Rockwall players and community. “Our kids have actually grown up around most of these special players. The Rockwall community will always be close to our hearts”
Coach McDill’s time at the podium was emotional with multiple comments about how proud she was of the players in the program and how they have grown up to become such great role models.
“I love Rockwall and will always love this community. My dog is even named Jacket and will always keep that name.”