Former Lake Park coach Hillner earns national award
Former Lake Park boys soccer coach Norm Hillner, an Arlington Heights resident, will be presented with the Robert W. Robinson High School Long-Term Service Award by the United Soccer Coaches.
Hillner, a United Soccer Coaches member since 1981, spent 33 years as a high school coach, primarily at Lake Park, where he served as boys head coach for 28 years. He was one of the Illinois High School Association's winningest boys soccer coaches with a career record of 369-211-71. Hillner has been an executive board member of the Illinois High School Soccer Coaches Association (IHSSCA) since 1986, serving as president in 1988 and again from 2003-2008. He was inducted into the IHSSCA Hall of Fame in 2007.
"There are a lot of great people doing a lot of great things for the betterment of soccer on the high school level," Hillner said. "I'm honored and humbled to be recognized by the United Soccer Coaches as the 25th recipient of the Robinson Award for my 40 years of service to the high school game. Special thanks go out to my fellow (Illinois High School Soccer Coaches Association), Executive Board members Joe Moreau and Barry Jacobson along with Missouri State High School Soccer Coaches Association President Chris Miller for my nomination for this highest award given to a high school coach by the United Soccer Coaches."
Hillner has served as the Midwest region chair of the United Soccer Coaches Boys High School All-America Committee for the past 15 years. In addition, he was the Illinois state chair of the Boys High School Coach of the Year Committee.
As president of the Illinois High School Soccer Coaches Association, Hillner was influential in negotiating a partnership with United Soccer Coaches to promote membership, awards, education and the Convention within the state association and the state of Illinois. He assisted several other Midwestern states in organizing similar high school soccer coaches associations for partnerships with United Soccer Coaches.
Now the director of operations for men's soccer at Northwestern University, Hillner remains active with IHSSCA as executive board adviser and chairs its Hall of Fame Committee. He received a certificate of appreciation from United Soccer Coaches in 2012 and was a 2014 recipient of its Letter of Commendation.
He is the second high school coach from Illinois to win this award; Bob Dollaske of Maine East is the other. Hillner will receive the award in January at the United Soccer Coaches National Convention in Kansas City.