Mr. Rex Hillier is being inducted into the Provincial Volleyball Hall of Fame as an Athlete/ Builder. He started playing organized volleyball at St. Matthew’s School, Manuels, in 1967-68 and continued at Queen Elizabeth from 1969-72. While at Queen Elizabeth, Rex was on teams, which won the Provincial High School championship in 1971 and The Provincial Juvenile Championship in 1972.
In 1972, Rex entered Memorial University and developed under the watchful eye of Coach Keith Taylor. During his five years at MUN, there were a number of Provincial Junior and Senior Championships and individual honours as MUN’s most valuable player in 1973-4 and 1974-5. In 1973, Rex was invited to the Atlantic Provinces training camp where he was identified for the National pool of players. 1975 saw Rex captain the Newfoundland Canada Games Team and become a member of the National Junior Volleyball Team. He was back as a member of the National Junior Team in 1976 and competed for Canada in the North American Championships in Mexico.
In 1977, Rex helped form the Venice Pizzeria Volleyball Club and from 77-82 won several St John’s and Provincial Senior Championships as part of that club. The team also competed in Atlantic Provinces competition and Rex won several Most Valuable Player Awards at that level as well as at the Provincial Senior level.
From 1986-90 Rex played for CBS at the Provincial Senior B Championships. While with this team, several more Provincial Championships were realized and the list of MVP and All Star awards grew. CBS competed in two Eastern Nationals Championships as representatives of the Province during this same period.
Rex started playing for the Guards Athletic Association in 1993 and would continue with this organization until 1998. It was while Rex was with the Guards that they won several St John’s League Championships as well as five consecutive Provincial Senior A Championships. There was a Bronze medal in 1994 and a Silver in 1995 at the Eastern National A Championships. In 1995 Rex was named to the All Star Team at the Eastern Canadians and was named as the Newfoundland and Labrador Volleyball Association’s Player of the Year for 94-95. In 1996 the Guards honoured him as their Most Valuable Player and Rex was the Provincial Senior A MVP in 1996, at age 40!
There was still another Provincial A title to be won by Rex and it came in 1999 when he played for the ONCA volleyball club. He was also named to the Provincial Senior A All Star Team once again.
In 1977 Rex started to teach and coach at Booth Memorial High School. Over the next twenty years, Rex’s volleyball teams would win 11 St John’s Zone Championships, 7 Regional Championships and a Provincial 4A Championship in 1983.
From 1997-2001, Rex turned his attention to CBS where he helped form the Sabers Volleyball Club. He coached teams from this club as well as from Frank Roberts School and Queen Elizabeth High School to an impressive number of Championships and medals. The list includes a Bronze medal at the Bantam and Gold at Volleyfest in 1997 as well as Silver at the Newfoundland and Labrador Games, Provincial Midget A and Juvenile B in 1998. The next year, 1999, there was a Bronze at Eastern National Midget, Provincial Minor Team Of the Year and Gold at Volleyfest. Rex’s teams won Gold again at Volleyfest in 2000 and the 4A Provincial High School as well as the Provincial Juvenile A in 2001.
There was also time found to coach the Provincial Midget Elite Teams at Eastern National Championships in 1998,1999 and Rex coached the Newfoundland and Labrador Men’s Team at Canada Games to a 7th place finish.
Rex Hillier is a member of MUN’s Athletic Honours Society; won the Reg Soper Memorial Award in 1998-99; was v-p of the Newfoundland and Labrador Volleyball Association 1997-1999 and was the first Male Athlete of the Year for Conception Bay South.