A longtime Boca Raton High School coach who led swim teams to state championships is being investigated by the Palm Beach County school district in an alleged misdemeanor battery case, and he will not return to teach there in the fall, officials say.
Effective Tuesday, the school will not renew its contract with Eric Hill, 41, the former coach and aquatics director, a spokeswoman said.
Citing the open investigation, school district police would not describe what Hill is accused of doing. The investigation began April 16, and Hill was reassigned four days later to a position where he had no contact with students, the district said.
The case is the fourth involving Hill since he came to the school district 15 years ago, records show. School district police found no evidence that he committed a crime in the earlier cases.
District police investigated allegations that Hill inappropriately touched a student in November 2017; that he was too close with a student while she took selfie photos in December 2012 and that he once had a sexual relationship with a student. The student in the third case told investigators that it was months after graduation in 2008 when she began a brief relationship with Hill that has since ended.
Hill, of Boca Raton, referred calls to his attorney, who could not be reached for comment.
Justin Katz, president of the Palm Beach County Classroom Teachers Association, the educators’ union, said Monday, “The open investigation precludes us from making a comment at this time.”
Boca Raton High School’s athletic director, Matthew Ryder, said Monday that the school is looking for a new swim coach to replace Hill and will begin interviewing candidates this month. Ryder said his goal is to hire the new coach before July 1.
Hill was hired by the school district in January 2003, and his annual salary as of August 2017 was $46,975.
A graduate of Florida Atlantic University, Hill led the Bobcats to three team state championships and four runner-up finishes.
Hill guided the girls to back-to-back championships in 2007 and 2008 and coached the boys to a title in 2012.
Also, Hill coached 12 individual state champions and eight relay champions, according to the Boca Raton Swim Team’s website. Hill earned Florida coach of the year honors in 2007, 2008 and 2012.
At Boca Raton High School, Hill also served as an assistant principal from 2005 to 2011. The following year, he left that role and became the school’s aquatics director, according to the swim team’s website.
Hill is no longer in his position with the Boca Raton Swim Team, an affiliate of USA Swimming that operates independently from the school.
Hill was one of the program’s co-founders. Hill’s biographical information has been removed from that team’s website. He was previously listed “co-founder, executive director, president,” according to a cached version of the site.