When I was just a kid, my mom took me to the Jack Murphy Stadium, home of the San Diego Chargers, to see Lincoln vs. Clairmont in the CIF High School Football Championship. In the early 80s, the CIF final was always played at Jack Murphy and was a very big deal. I was there to see Lincoln's star quarterback, Rodney Hill. He was only 5'6" and couldn't even see over the line of scrimmage. Although Lincoln lost the game, I was mesmerized by his play.
Rodney Hill is one of the legendary San Diego athletes that this podcast has, from the beginning, sought to document. I came to know him personally, years after his incredible high school football career, but I didn't know until this interview that he was an equally great baseball star who started out at Sunshine Little League.
In this episode, we take a deep dive into Rodney's illustrious career, from his time as a Pop Warner player himself through to his role as head coach for the Balboa Raiders Pop Warner team. At Balboa, he seized the chance to give back to his community as a coach, mentor, and father figure. His teams went to ten Q-Bowls—the Pop Warner equivalent of the Super Bowl—and won seven of them, as well as two national championships and one Junior Rose Bowl title. In San Diego, he's considered by most to be the greatest Pop Warner coach of all time.
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