Trying to imagine the Flyers without Zack Hill is like trying to imagine a peanut butter and jelly sandwich without the peanut butter.
Or the jelly.
Or the bread.
Sadly though, that’s soon to be the case.
I say sadly, but that’s being selfish. Instead, congratulations should be in order. Retirement is a wonderful opportunity and well-earned after a long and successful career.
It’s just that, damn, he will be missed.
That’s because, with apologies to every other media relations professional in Philadelphia sports, who are all tied for second place, Zack Hill is the GOAT. He’s the best at what he does and has been the best for almost three decades.
That’s coming to an end as Hill has announced his retirement, effective the end of this month.
“Zack Hill is a legend within the Flyers organization and his reputation with both players and media is second-to-none,” said Valerie Camillo, President of Business Operations for the Philadelphia Flyers in a statement. “For nearly 30 years, Zack has been a fantastic representative of Flyers, and the example he set – through his kindness, hard work, and eagerness to help anyone he could – will be felt for years to come.”
The 2021-22 season was Hill’s 29th with the Flyers. He will remain with the organization as a communications consultant for the 2022-23 season to reach the benchmark of 30 years.
The Flyers organization will make further announcements at a later date about ways it will honor Hill.
“I am fortunate to have known Zack for all of his years with the Flyers and have developed a close relationship with him,” said Flyers senior advisor, Paul Holmgren. “Zack has been, and always will be, a devoted member of the Philadelphia Flyers and a true friend to me. I don’t think there’s a person who doesn’t agree that he is one of the best at his position, but what truly makes Zack such a special individual is his nature of treating everyone he meets with kindness and taking a genuine interest in their life and how he can help.”
Under Hill’s direction, the Flyers PR staff won the Dick Dillman Award, given annually by the Professional Hockey Writers Association to the top PR staff in each NHL conference on three occasions (2011-12, 2014-15, and 2017-18) and have been finalists for the award 12 times.
Last month, he was honored by the Philadelphia Sports Writer’s Association as the recipient of the Association’s “Good Guy” Award and in April of 2014, Hill was inducted into the Jasper N. Deahl Honors Society at West Virginia University. The group is an alumni recognition program sponsored by the CEHS Alumni Association designed to honor alumni for career achievement, community engagement, and/or loyalty to WVU. Hill holds a Bachelor of Science degree from West Virginia University.
Prior to joining the Flyers, Hill was the public relations director for the Philadelphia 76ers from 1989-93 and assistant public relations director from 1987-89. He joined the 76ers as an intern in January 1987.
Joe Siville, currently serving as Director of Public Relations, is being promoted to Sr. Director of Hockey Communications.
Photo credit: Flyers