IFL Hall of Famer returns to the Blizzard
ASHWAUBENON (WLUK) -- Get number three down from the Resch Center rafters, Indoor Football League hall of famer B.J. Hill is back on the Blizzard.
"This is my first love, so there's always that itch to come back, but it was just whether or not I wanted to pull the trigger," said Hill who last played in 2013. "I had an opportunity to talk to the coach, talk to the owner and say I think it's about time and we made it happen."
After five years away from football, Hill said he hasn't lost a step.
His teammates agree.
"You never could tell that he had taken time off. That's how you know he's a consummate professional and he's kept himself in shape," said Blizzard QB Christian Lemay. "He's one of the best conditioned athletes we have here. During our conditioning test he was blowing everybody else out of the water."
"Athletically he's awesome," said Blizzard head coach Chris Williams. "He holds every record for his position on this team, his number's in the rafters so it's just nice, glad to have him back."
Hill owns two IFL records and his number is the only one retired by the Blizzard.
After so many years away, how did he know he could come back and play at a high level? It's his performance on another playing field that gave him the confidence to come back.
"When I retired I actually started playing Rugby which is kind of the hooligan sport of football, no pads," said Hill. "It was a lot of fun, I still play now and again when the fall comes around."
"With me playing Rugby, I've always been able to keep in shape," Hill continued. "It's not like I retired and became a couch potato. I've always gauged myself off of what I've been doing with Rugby. This game is, once you get used to it, it's like riding a bicycle."
Older and wiser, this time around Hill says he has more to offer the younger players that are chasing the dream.
"It's looking for those opportunities when we're just messing around just to interject the blueprint that it takes to get to the next level," said Hill. "It takes a lot of diligence on these guys part, not allowing anybody else to do it for you, but to make sure you're doing it yourself because at the end of the day it's your life, it's your future and you got to take it into your own hands."
"His leadership has been big. He shares a lot of the old knowledge that he got when he played with some of the young guys. He's almost like another coach on the field," said Williams. "He's obviously helping guys and the guys are looking to him for the help. They know who he is, they know what he's done so for him there's a responsibility that goes with that."
Hill and the Blizzard kick off the season at home February 25th.