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Weber State didn't go far to find its next football coach as sources have confirmed with The Salt Lake Tribune that Utah assistant Jay Hill will be announced as the Wildcats' coach on Thursday.

Hill has been a member of Utah's staff since 2005, when he was named the cornerbacks coach and co-special teams coordinator by Kyle Whittingham.

Previously, the 43-year-old Hill was a graduate assistant with the Utah program from 2001-2004, making him the longest tenured member of Utah's staff other than Whittingham.

Hill has continued to coach the special teams throughout his career in addition to the tight ends and running backs.

Hill replaces Jody Sears, who was fired after the Wildcats finished the season 2-10, including a 1-7 mark in the Big Sky Conference.

In addition to his coaching abilities, Hill has established a reputation as a solid recruiter — a characteristic that could go a long way in helping him rebuild Weber State's program.

He was named to's Class of 2009 Top Recruiters and as one of the Top 10 Recruiters in the Pac-12 in 2012.

Hill grew up in Lehi and played corner for Utah after transferring from Ricks College, where he was a 1997 junior college All-American and the team's MVP.

He led the Utes in interceptions his senior year and was named the team's Defensive MVP.

Weber State has struggled in recent years, but athletic director Jerry Bovee has expressed confidence the program will improve with the Wildcats opening a new indoor practice facility in October and making recent renovations to Stewart Stadium. Other coaches who were linked to the job opening were former BYU quarterback and offensive coordinator Brandon Doman and Nick Howell, BYU's current defensive coordinator.

Hill and his wife, Sara, have four children: Ashtyn, Alayna, Allie and Jacob.

Staff writer Steve Luhm contributed to this report. —

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