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Posted on Mon, May 9, 2011 : 7:49 p.m.

Eric Stanczyk hired to replace Denny Hill as girls swim coach at Pioneer

By Pete Cunningham

Replacing a legend is never easy.

That’s exactly what new Pioneer High School girls swimming coach Eric Stanczyk will be faced with this fall when he takes over for legendary coach Denny Hill and his wife/assistant coach, Liz Hill.

Denny Hill's teams won 16 state championships since he started the girls swimming program at Pioneer in 1973. Fifteen of those titles came after Liz Hill, a former all-American swimmer at Pioneer, joined him as an assistant coach in 1983.

“Yeah there’s pressure, there’s obviously pressure,” said Stanczyk. “But I know the Hills pretty well and I’m excited to get started.”

The Hills will continue to coach the boys team at Pioneer, and will do so as long as they’re healthy, Denny Hill said.

They decided to step down from coaching the girls team to vacation at their cottage on Lake Michigan in the fall, something they haven’t been able to do in recent years. Hill retired from his job as a chemistry teacher at the school in 2007.

Stanczyk swam with the Hills' son, Steven Hill, at Eastern Michigan and is a 2006 graduate of the school. He was the girls swimming coach at Ypsilanti High School for the past three years, an assistant for the Huron boys team the past five years and is also a coach at the Dexter Community Aquatic Club.

“We’ve known him since he was swimming at EMU. He’s a young coach and is going to do a great job," Denny Hill said of Stanczyk. "He’s very capable.”

Though the Hills did not hand pick their successor, Liz Hill was on the search committee. Stanczyk taking over the boys position when the Hills are done for good has not been discussed.

“We haven’t really thought about it. That would be the most logical conclusion, but we haven’t really talked about it yet,” Hill said. “We’re pretty happy that he’ll do a real good job, I’m sure.”

Pete Cunningham covers sports for He can be reached at or 734-623-2561. Follow him on Twitter @petcunningham.


Katie Keeley

Tue, May 10, 2011 : 10:18 p.m.

Good Luck at Pioneer Eric , they are very fortunate to have you as a coach.

Marget Smallwood

Tue, May 10, 2011 : 1:21 p.m.

Congratulations Coach Eric! Lehna is very excited!