In 2008, Former Hillsdale High School, college and NFL coach Dick Vermeil, in partnership with the Foundation, hosted ceremonies to honor and immortalize two well respected and admired Hillsdale Athletic Coaches – Homer Zugelder and Rich Mazzoncini. Homer Zugelder won the hearts of thousands of alums over his 40-year career at Hillsdale. He served as one of Hillsdale’s first basketball coaches, and continued his commitment to Hillsdale even after he retired, when he co-founded the Olde Knights Alumni Group. The recently refurbished gym was renamed the Homer Zugelder Gymnasium in honor of the beloved coach. The Hillsdale community dedicated its remodeled football stadium in memory of Richard Mazzoncini, a former teacher, dean, assistant principal and varsity football and baseball coach. Coach Mazz left an indelible mark on generations of students who received guidance from him both on and off the athletic field. Proceeds from both of these events helped to fund the new stadium and other programs at Hillsdale High School.
Since that time, the HHSF has been dedicated to raising funds primarily to support Hillsdale’s Small Learning Communities. The Foundation has made a huge impact for Hilldale providing funding for: additional staffing for advisory and upper level AP courses, professional development and teacher release days, technology improvements, and grants to the PTSO and Booster Organizations, and much more. As Principal Jeff Gilbert points out, “Quite simply, SLCs would not exist without the Foundation’s funding stream.”