"Jai" Hill's career in football is most noteworthy, but longtime
followers of the local sports scene can recall Jai being a great
all-around player while at New Brighton High School.
The 1988 Lion grad was first team All-Conference on both offense and
defense on the gridiron as a senior, and followed that with
All-Section honors on the hardwood. In track, Jai led the team in
scoring as both a junior and senior. Overall, he won nine scholastic
As good as those seasons were, though, Jai exceeded them as a wide
receiver at Indiana University of Pennsylvania. He had an
When it was all said and done, Jai set numerous records at IUP. He
is still the college's all-time leader in receptions, receiving
yards, and receiving touchdowns. His 214 career catches and 4073
receiving yards are Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference
records, as well.
His honors include being a three-time PSAC first team selection,
three-time All-ECAC first team, Kodak All-American, AP All-American,
and Football Gazette All-American. For the coup de grace, Jai was
named a finalist (one of five) for the Harlon Hill Award, which is
for best player in all of Division II, after his dynamic junior
season, when he scored 20 touchdowns as a receiver.
Jai holds the three best season receiving yardage marks in IUP
history. He was twice named the team's Most Valuable Player, and
received the Thomas E Westhoff Memorial Award as the Most
Outstanding Offensive Player. His teams played in the Division II
national playoffs all four years, and were ranked number one in the
nation after the regular season when he was a senior. As a junior,
Jai and the Crimson Hawks reached the national championship game.
After graduation, Jai went on to play one year in the Canadian
Football League with Saskatchewan, and then played eight years in
Arena Ball. At the conclusion of his AFL career, he was tied for
first all-time in touchdown receptions.
Jai has also coached at the college level for five years, with IUP,
Widener, and Geneva. Today, Jai, father of Alliyah, Chanse, and Jai
Jr, resides in Cranberry Township. He is an educational speaker and
is connected with the National Collegiate Scouting Association. The
NCSA is an athletic recruiting network that connects qualified
student athletes and their parents, high school coaches, college
coaches, and professional communities. He is also a case coordinator
with the Mercy Behavioral Health System.